Tell us about your business.
My business is She Said Yes Weddings based out of Lake Tahoe, CA. We live in Nevada but service the Northern Nevada and CA regions. We offer custom services focusing primarily on Full-Service Planning + Design
How long have you been in the Event Planning industry?
She Said Yes is entering our 5th year as a business. I started out as an Intern for another company and then made the full-time leap!
Why did you become an Event Planner?
I think we all were born with a calling and gifts we were given, like the gift of hospitality (people who like to host parties), and the gift of administration (people who love organizing and preparing). When I look at who I am as a person, it makes sense that I have gone toward the event industry. I love people, I love designing, I love preparing and putting ideas together. I don’t know of too many other professions that this is possible! I think like most people, I started helping friends with their weddings and fell in the love with the process and the relationships built during that process. I worked for the Federal Government for many years before focusing 100% on Wedding Planning, but the moment I did, I never looked back! I am the happiest planning weddings, it’s in my DNA it’s who I am.
What is it like owning a business in an area known for destination weddings?
I absolutely love it! 90% of our clients are not from this area. People come in from all over the world so it’s neat to bring traditions from different parts of the world and the country. When we started seeing an increase in destination couples we had to change up our style of planning. Lots of virtual meetings-even prior to COVID, but it’s weird because the likelihood that I will ever see my couples again is slim – I’m so thankful for Social Media to keep in touch with everyone! Between May-October we see about 12,000 weddings in Lake Tahoe, so you can imagine the impact Lake Tahoe has seen since COVID.
As an EPA member and mentee under David Tutera how has the mentorship program affected your business and personal life?
Oh, my word! Where do I start??? It’s given me an instant community of people who are just like me and who understand how hard it can be to run a business. Having direct contact with David + Joey in the mentorship has been so valuable. I have seen an instant change in the type of clients we are booking. Higher budgeted weddings, better interactions with potential clients. During my time with EPA and the Mentorship my confidence has skyrocketed, and it is flowing into my personal life. I have business goals and by joining these two groups I feel I have found the confidence to pursue these goals. It’s crazy that just in a few months I am much more confident about how I feel running She Said Yes Weddings.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in the field?
First, find a group like EPA or get in a mentorship! You don’t know half of what you think! It’s good to be confident, but be humble enough to know you need guidance. No matter how uncomfortable you may feel, network network network!
My biggest piece of advice is to find your mission statement early on. When you do that you will make better business choices and it will allow you to stay true to who you want to be as a business. Trying to be everyone else will slow you down, and it will cause you so much misery trying to be something you are not! In the tough days, read that mission statement. It will direct you to the right path. Have a good community that will rally around you and guide you!
What do you look forward to learning about in the mentorship?
There are two things that I have been most excited about: Branding + Who Am I? During my time with the Mentorship, I have learned how valuable it is to show more of ME in my branding. It has made me a little uncomfortable at times, but anything worth a darn is going to make me uncomfortable. I am learning what branding really is and how it looks from the customer and from an internal viewpoint. As mentioned, this mentorship has changed the entire course of our business!
Are there any fun tips you have for event planners?
Never stop learning! There are always ways to improve the process! I say this often but I’ll say it here too…BE YOU! Bring your own talents and gifts to the table. If a client is not right for you, move on! Learning to say no early on is a useful tool. There is a planner that is right for that client, and it’s okay to pass it to someone else. Stay true to who YOU are as an individual and as a Planner. There is value in being honest.
How do you balance being a mom and a business owner? What advice would you give to other parents?
I’m very fortunate that I started my family early, so my two boys are 19 and 12. So they are for the most part independent, but I am a strong believer that our family is our first ministry. The way we pour into our children will make an impact on the future, so it always has to be the first priority. When you put your business first you will be off-balance. Your kids need to know that yes, you work but they are never put 2nd in line.
I would encourage you to have a structured weekly schedule and try your best to stick to it. In that schedule block out family days where you are available 100% to the family. It has helped my own kids knowing what days of the week I’m available and when I am working. For stay-at-home Moms building their empire that also have little kids at home, the days get long but I would still get the kids on a schedule that matches your schedule. Just like our kids need structure so does our business. Your clients need to know your availability and set boundaries early on.
I’d also recommend making a workstation or creating an office. Working from the couch, bedroom, or at the kitchen table may not look much different (to your kids or spouse) that you are just scrolling the web. When you are at your desk, you are working! It helps to set boundaries.
What was one of your favorite events you’ve planned? Do you have pictures?
100% Golden + Dylan! Not only was it fun to design, but they were also two of the nicest people I have ever met! I was so charmed by their families and their energy. I have attached a few of their photos by Photographer: Woodmancy Photography