Let's start off with a couple fun questions, so people can get to know a little more about Stephanie!
What's one of your favorite spots/hangouts in KC?
Ca Va, Taco Republic, The Phoenix
If you aren't working a wedding, what would we find you doing for fun?
Tailgating and then attending a Chiefs or Royals game.
And now, let's get to work:
How did you get into the wedding industry?
I started my first wedding planner internship in college...then started my own business 2 years later!
How long have you been in business?
Since 2007 - but I was very part time at that time while still keeping my corporate gig. After I had my daughter in 2015 I quit my 9-5 and went full time in business for myself. Best decision ever. Thanks to my daughter for making it a easy choice!
Tell us a bit about the specific services you provide.
I provide day/month of coordination for the couples who want to do 90% of their planning but still want a professional to come in and take care of all the loose ends. I also take charge of the wedding weekend, ensuring all the details they planned are taken care of.
I provide partial and full planning for couples who are looking for a professional partnership in their planning process. These are my couples who are really busy in their professional careers and trust me to oversee most (or all) of their wedding plans and vendors.
What makes your business stand out from others in your industry?
My clients have said in reviews that I feel like a friend to them, and that they love my personality of keeping it real. I'll tell a bride I hate burlap and not stress about offending her. I feel like picking a planner is such a personal decision and it's important to fine the right personality fit of someone you want to work with over the long engagement process. I think my clients book me because I tell them upfront I want them to book someone they find the best "fit" with. I never bring out contracts in my consultations for this reason. I believe in being real and knowing that will attract my "right" clients.
What's one of your favorite things about weddings?
I love getting to know my brides and grooms on a personal level,. . .who they are outside of their wedding planning. So when I see the relationships between them and their wedding party, family, and friends it's really fun. I like being part of such a special day for the family. Getting that hug from the mother of the bride at the end of the night because "She couldn't have done it without me, and she was able to relax and enjoy the day" because I was there to free her of the details and duties is what it's all about to me.. That means a lot and reminds me of how important a planner is.
What's your favorite month or time of year for weddings?
Early November. It's the month I got married so I think it's the best time of the year in KC. The weather is typically beautifully and I love fall.
Do you/are you willing to travel for destination weddings?
Absolutely! I love to travel.
Can you tell us about an unusual or super memorable wedding you've had?
One of my same-sex weddings was really memorable for me. It was soon after the Supreme Court declared it legal in all 50 states, so it was finally recognized in Missouri. The couple I coordinated the wedding for had been together for over 20 years. The stories their friends and families shared about them and their journey at the reception were very beautiful. There really wasn't a dry eye (even mine!) in the building.
What is your best advice for couples planning a wedding?
To set a budget and be realistic about it. To not complain about what it costs to have a wedding. Weddings are not cheap. I always tell my couples your wedding is the "biggest dinner party" you're ever going to throw.
Check out Abby and Alex's wedding that Stephanie planned.