Red Letter Event Planning plans events for couples that want to celebrate among the lakes and mountains of the Inland Northwest. Red Letter Event Planning provides expertise in artistic styling and attention to every detail, creating an unforgettable wedding that is uniquely you. Red Letter Event Planning, is derived from the phrase “a red letter day” which means a day of significance or celebration.
Red Letter Event Planning is based in the beautiful resort city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and available to clients throughout the Inland Northwest.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
I don’t really go with the trends per se, different parts of the country have different trends, however 2 things that I have seen in the industry that I am excited about:
1) Couples being involved in wedding planning, not just the bride but also the groom or the bride/bride, groom/groom. I love this trend because I build relationships with both parties and in the end they have a wedding that reflects them as a couple, not just individuals.
2) The other industry trend I love is how social media can enhance not only your marketing but also your relationship with your client. I love getting tagged by my current and past clients, and love doing the same. I am building a fan network and this also increases brand awareness. But honestly, I love the long term relationships I maintain with many of my clients over social media even after their wedding is over.
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
The best way to stretch your budget is to reduce your guest list. That is why smaller weddings that are definitely trending now, and will be into the new future, excite me. Smaller weddings allow you to provide guests with a customized and memorable experience. Also, if you are on a tight budget HIRE A PLANNER. I know it can seem counter-intuitive to pay someone to plan an event on a tight budget, but a planner will save you money. We not only can help you find the right vendors (ones you may not know about) we can look at your budget, assess your priorities, and help you make decisions that impact your event in positive ways without breaking your budget.
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
A good vendor team is the key to any successful wedding or event. I treat vendors as valuable team members, I am not there to tell them what to do. My job is to make sure that the vision a client has is fulfilled. I am the advocate for my client, but I insist that all vendors are treated with respect and allowed to have creative freedom when necessary. I have been told by other wedding professionals in the industry that I am easy to work with because I am organized and keep everyone on track but don’t micromanage. My goal is always to build a team of professionals that not only fit the client’s budget, but also their personality, which is a win-win for everyone in the industry.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
This year, 2020 definitely has been a challenge for this industry. I am very optimistic about the future though as I think many couples see the benefit of hiring a planner for their wedding, especially when something like a pandemic strikes. Because I have had more downtime than usual I am honing my business processes and also marketing to my ideal client.
I also have been wanting to write a book for a while, and have narrowed down the concept and outline, and now I just need to start writing it! The book ideally will be not only a memoir of this sometimes insane industry, but also a book that newer planners will pick up and learn from. I am a huge advocate of education for the wedding industry and want to help those coming up as planners.
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
I wish I would not have compared myself to the competition as much as I did in the beginning. If you spend too much time comparing you won’t be creating. When I moved to another state 9 years ago it really freed me from this issue. Since I was starting my company all over again, I was a little bit older and wiser than the first time, and I just focused on MY business. This allowed me to develop a niche, identify my ideal client, and feel more fulfilled in my business every day. Don’t get me wrong you need to be aware of who your competition is, but don’t compare or copy, blaze your own business trail – it will not only make you more successful, it will also be more rewarding.