Friday, April 19, 2013

11th Flaunt my Friend Friday! Susan!

For the 11th Flaunt my Friend Friday, I have my first relative participating! Meet Greg's cousin Susan! She has ran her own Wedding Planning business while still having a full-time job and being mommy. Unfortunately with family being spread out over the nation I've only had the pleasure of meeting Susan once during a family reunion.

Since it's not shocking to say that probably 90% of my readers are female... I think you'll enjoy this post! It doesn't seem to matter if a woman is married, unmarried, young or old... we all seem to like wedding planning, details (flowers, dresses, etc...), and just weddings in general. She sent me some pictures of her favorite wedding, and I'm going to put them throughout the post. Be sure to check out the link for the whole thing at towards the end of the post.

Susan Keough, Owner and Wedding Planner
A Moment In Time, LLC

My dreams of being a wedding planner started back in college, when I was asked to be the university’s Homecoming Director, planning a weeks’ worth of events for 20,000 students and 40,000 alumnae.  It was another eight years before I finally started my own wedding planning business.   It was the birth of my first child that actually compelled me to follow this dream. 

In the Spring of 2009, I signed up to take a training course with a nationally recognized Wedding Planning Company.  Through this course, I was able to learn about weddings, traditions, how to price my services and the basics of building my business. In July 2009, I incorporated my business and hung out my sign.  I was open for business, but on a part-time basis.  I still continued to work my full-time corporate job, and did the wedding planning as a hobby.

The first thing I did was to join the local Bridal Association, which allowed me to be a vendor at their Spring and Fall shows.  I immediately signed up for the Sept 2009 Bridal Show.  When the bridal show day arrived, I realized I was out of my league compared to the other established vendors.  Brides weren’t willing to book me without prior experience, and vendors had seen so many new wedding planners come-and-go that they didn’t bother getting to know me.  I spent the rest of the Fall up-ing my game.

But I had one thing going for me…..I had a kick butt website!  In our tech savvy world, a great website means a lot.  I was getting a ton of inquiries, just from my website, but I had yet to get a bride to sign with me. 

Two days before the Feb 2010 bridal show, I got a call from a bride that wanted to meet.  I went to that meeting with a resolve to book this bride!  I laid it out for her and her fiancé, just give me a chance! They both attended the bridal show that weekend, and found my booth asking to sign the contract right then.  I had turned a corner!  Before the show was over that day, I booked two more brides, which was amazing since my year one goal was to book three weddings.  I just hit that goal….and in the next couple months I would triple that number to make year one a success.

During year two, I met my year five goals…..and we kept going.  I finally asked a friend to come work for me as a coordinator so that my company could continue to thrive.  By year three, I had three coordinators and nine interns working for me.  I was now on a runaway train!

In early 2012, my husband and I were expecting our second child.  I was already losing precious family time by being gone for weddings every weekend.  How was I going to continue at this pace with a new baby?  That is when I had to re-evaluate my priorities.  In the summer of 2012, I made the hardest decision of my life, and announced I would be taking a hiatus from my wedding planning business to raise my family.  My company still had weddings booked through June 2013, so there was still work to do, but we would not be taking on any new weddings.

Although it was a hard decision, it was a relief to know that I would not lose the precious time with my growing family, and I still had that corporate job.  The wedding business would always be there, and the reputation I built for myself wasn’t going to fade.  I could always go back to wedding planning once my girls were a little older.

Tips for Brides

·         Get a Wedding Planner.  Even if you go with the “Weekend Only” option, it will take a ton of stress off of you! 

·         Don’t ask your mom, sister, aunt, etc to be your weekend wedding coordinator.  They are supposed to be enjoying your wedding, and you just asked them to WORK!

·         A good wedding planner/coordinator will make sure the wedding party and the vendors are kept abreast of events (cake cutting, toasts, first dances, etc). 

·         The Bride and Groom should be a top priority for the wedding planner.  Both during the planning process and the wedding weekend.  Don’t let your planner become a slave to your mom or future mother-in-law.  Make sure what YOU want is what the planner is focused on.

·         A Wedding Planner/Coordinator can solve a lot of problems, but they cannot change the weather or fix relationships.

I have attached some pictures from my favorite wedding, and it was a featured wedding on Style Me Pretty.  I still get a kick out of seeing people pin this wedding on Pinterest
This wedding took place on 9/10/11 (such a cool date) and the bride described it perfectly when she said, “If George Strait and Barbie got married, that would be my wedding.”  From the Blue ’56 Chevy Pick-up that dropped her off at the ceremony, to the brides bouquet that used family brooches and rustic centerpieces, it was a wedding filled with texture and elegance.  We even had the Aggie Wranglers (a country-western dance team from Texas A&M University) come and dance, followed by dance lessons for the guests.
I love the succulents that were used in her bouquet and flowers! I love the truck! I love the lanterns, heck I just like it all. Since she's currently taking a break, there's no longer her website to share... but you can see the past weddings she planned on her blog A Moment in Time, LLC. Thank you for sharing Susan! Hope you and your family are doing well and that we get to see you again sometime soon.

1 comment:

Ayelet said...

Inspiring! Love this series, Tyson! you have some awesome friends :)