White Orchid Weddings: Small Business Sunday
Today is the first ever Small Business Sunday and I'm starting it off right with one of the loveliest small business owners I know. :) Stacy owns White Orchid Weddings and Event Planning (or WOW, which is obviously an adorable acronym!) I can't say enough good about her. Stacy is one of those rare people that seems to know how to do everything and has experience in so many different areas. Her skill set, knowledge, and ability to put everyone at ease is absolutely invaluable on a wedding day and leading up to it! With that, here are her own thoughts on weddings and soft-serve ;)
Hi, I am a Stacy Larson owner and creator of White Orchid Weddings & Event Planning. I am a wife to an amazing husband, a mom to a beautiful little girl and to two fur babies, I love all things matcha, I am a nature lover (except for bugs), I enjoy traveling; especially to the beach, and I love genuine conversation.
How Did You Get into Wedding Planning?
It started when my now husband proposed to me in Chicago in December 2012. This is where the excitement, and craziness of planning a wedding started. We planned our wedding for one year and six months. As the time got closer, I would say about 4 months before our wedding day, I thought maybe I needed a wedding planner and reached out to a few vendors for referrals.
As I called around to see what a planner could do and what they actually did, I was emailed a lot of information about their services, and prices. However, they never explained to me how they could help me.
To me, being the type A bride, I didn’t want someone else running my wedding. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I need to budget this person into the wedding; After all, with the list and information they provided to me, couldn’t my mom or bridesmaids just do those things? I was wrong!
I decided that it just was not a necessity to have this stranger come in and try to run our wedding, the wedding we planned for a year and a half. The day came, Brad and my brother got to the venue super early to place champagne flutes on the table. I went to the venue after getting my hair and makeup done. I checked on how set-up was going, and saw a few vendors come in and out. At one point, I looked over to see the cake had been placed on the cake table without a linen or table décor. The décor company did their best to decorate around the cake, but it wasn’t how I had envisioned it. Brad & my brother did not get to finish setting out the champagne glasses, they had run out of time, and were planning on finishing them after they got back to the venue. When you are in the moment, the day it goes by so fast that unless you can duplicate yourself to be in multiple places at once, details will get lost. Needless to say, the caterer took care of placing our champagne flutes, and put the gift table together. I assumed that the linens we ordered through the catering company were going to be floor length. The linens were not floor length, and are the table legs at the venue were ugly! A whole slew of other things went wrong that day, minor details in comparison to marrying your best friend. However, they are details Brad and I worked very hard on, we put a lot of time, money, and late nights into those details, and we didn’t notice most of this until we received our photos. I tell you this story because that is when it clicked for me, that I need to be in this industry to educate couples on the importance of having a wedding planner, what I can do for their wedding, and to make sure their details are executed exactly how they planned.
Couples spend so much time, money and effort on planning their special day. Having an advocate to help guide them throughout the process is a key necessity to their wedding day.
Is the investment worth it? Can’t I just have my aunt/friend/cousin help?
It's absolutely worth it!! A wedding planner is a middle ground for family, for vendors, for friends, and that aunt that can cook your food, make your invitations, run your rehearsal, and even DJ. As a planner, I know when the line needs to be drawn, and I do so tactfully. I can give you advice on wedding etiquette, preferred vendors, I help run the rehearsal, and I am the direct point of contact so the bride and groom do not have to worry about the mundane details on their special day. I get to know the bride & groom, all about their wedding, their contracts, and their vendors so that their day is as flawless as possible.
I have to say that I have been fortunate enough to have some really wonderful clients. So, I do not have any of those crazy bridezilla stories to tell. However, I love it when the groom gets involved in the planning, it makes me so happy when a couple can work the details out, and compromise on things. Planning a wedding is a test of your future marriage, how you work together and how you problem solve together.
Memorable Wedding Moments?
The most memorable wedding moments for me, well I have a lot. The three that stand out the most, would be the time one of my couples planned a surprise dance for their guests, the bride, groom, and brides brother danced it up to an awesome mix of music. I had a bride & groom that loved ice cream, they did pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and instead of cutting the cake, they had a “first scoop”. Finally, at the last wedding I planned, the bride & groom wanted a sparkler send of, we had so much fun. Everyone was laughing and enjoying the moment. The photographers, and I headed out to the golf course. We got to spend time with the couple, and laugh while one of the photographers ran around the couple so the other could catch the exposure.
I love my couples, and getting to share in their memories makes my job the best!
What Do You Enjoy Most About the Wedding Planning Process?
My favorite part of planning a wedding is the execution, when everything that has been envisioned and planned out comes together. I also love being able to coordinate the rehearsal, and the father daughter dance gets me choked up every time. My other favorite part of the wedding is when my couples get to take time to themselves in-between cocktail hour and the reception, when they can take in what just happened at the ceremony, and get ready to celebrate with family and friends.
Favorite Flower & Soft-Serve Ice Cream?
My favorite flower is the orchid, I know so cliché, right? But seriously, I have always loved the orchid. When researching a business name, I knew I wanted to have the orchid in it, I found through my research that the white orchid signifies elegance and beauty; much of what I want my business and my clients’ weddings to signify. Orchids are also a symbol of love, affection, and humility.
My favorite soft-serve ice cream shop would have to be the Flying Pig in Beloit WI., wait, did I tell you ice cream was my weakness?!