We have another wonderful planner to spotlight this month! Say hello to Krisy Parker Thomas of Southern Sparkle Wedding & Event Planning in Nashville, Tennessee!
Krisy Parker Thomas is extremely passionate about celebrating one of life’s most anticipated occasions, WEDDINGS! She discovered her talents while planning her own wedding. Krisy then became a Certified Wedding Planner through The Bridal Society in 2014. With the help of her creative mother, Krisy decided she wanted to help other brides have the wedding day of their dreams. This is where Southern Sparkle Wedding and Event Planning began. Krisy was born in Memphis and was raised in Lexington, a small West Tennessee town. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication, Krisy moved to the “Music City”, Nashville. She currently resides there with her husband Chris, their 8 year old rescue dog and new baby boy, Cortland. She also serves as the Tennessee Regional Director for The Bridal Society. Krisy’s goal for every client is to have a stress free, fun, and memorable occasion.
What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
What I love most about being a wedding planner is the relationships I have developed with the brides and their families. I believe this relationship is formed from the fact that they are trusting us with one of the biggest days of their lives. Wedding planning can be an emotional time and I am able to fully understand what it’s like for a bride to make decisions. Even if these decisions don’t seem like they should be emotional (for example, I had a bride cry over invitations) I can understand their feeling and relate to them. Because of this, friendships have been developed.
Also, Southern Sparkle is a family owned and operated business. My mother, Jennifer Parker, is also a Certified Wedding Planner. My sister, Brooklyn, is becoming a Certified Wedding Planner in August. My mother is our Design Coordinator and creates floor plans and also attends the florist and rental meetings. She assists brides in creating and developing their wedding day vision. My sister is comes in on the wedding day as our wedding day assistant and keeps up with our business profits and expenses. We have so much fun working together! I love being able to share my passion with my two best friends!
What social media do you use? Why? How?
I use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, & Snapchat. I have booked brides thru Facebook & Instagram. I think Instagram is becoming the new Pinterest for brides. Which is exciting because most of these shots are actual photos from weddings. I try to post daily on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. We use Snapchat during the wedding day to show us in action while setting up the space.
Where do you advertise? Why?
I advertise with social media. There is a science to marketing on social media. I edu- cate myself by reading article/blogs about how to market yourself with social media. During engagement season, I will “boost” some of my Facebook post for $1.00 a day and get a few more “likes” or traffic to my website. However, I have not spent any big bucks on marketing. I would say 80% of my leads have been from referrals from former brides and other wedding professionals. I also have a free Wedding Wire Account. Thru an Instagram contest, I won a vendor spot on Wedding Chicks. I am also a preferred vendor for the regional wedding blog MidSouth Bride. I believe you don’t have to spend much with marketing and advertising.
Do you take interns?
Not yet! This is something I will be looking into for next wedding season.
What continuing education courses have you taken with The Bridal Society?
Venues Vendor & Clients Oh My (Venues Vendors & Clients) & 14 Keys To A More Successful You
Describe your favorite wedding.
My favorite wedding was the wedding of Megan & Brooks. This wedding was referred to me by a photographer and I knew going into the meeting this would be a make or break my career meeting. Brooks is the third generation owner of The Old Country Store/ Casey Jones Village. This is a national landmark and a huge tourist stop in Tennessee. I knew this wedding would be HUGE. My interview with them took place just a few months after becoming a Certified Wedding Planner so I was well prepared and confident despite only having 2 weddings in my portfolio. We hit it off right away and they hired me for their BIG (600 plus guests) wedding day.
This wedding has giving me lots of publicity as it has been featured in MidSouth Bride, MOD Weddings, Ruffled Blog, & Better Homes & Gardens. Vibrant colors. Bold patterns. Gorgeous setting. This spring wedding inspired by the Kate Spade brand took a garden party themed wedding to the next level. Bold colors combined with black and white stripes pulled the look together and created stunning wedding images. From bouquets with citrus to bold striped table linens, the Kate Spade style was apparent throughout this wedding.
Advice for New Planners?
Don’t expect this to be easy. You must know going into wedding planning business you will have to work hard. There were many late nights just trying to figure out my business name, the brand, the website, business card…it took months just to get up and running. Especially because I was still working my full time job. Once I finally had my business going, I spent around 3 months visiting venues and vendors to introduce myself in hopes of a referral.
Advice for Existing Planners?
Schedule business hours for yourself. I have learned this the hard way of constantly working. Having two days during the week set aside for time with my family has been wonderful. Not only do I get some time with my husband and son, but it also allows my brain to sort of refresh for the next week/bride. I was warned from many wedding planning colleagues how exhausting this job really can be, and to try your hardest to set hours for work. Yes, it is super hard to turn my brain off sometimes, but I turn my computer off, and try my hardest to not check my phone. Time with my family is just as important as an amazing wedding!
What is your average week like?
CRAZY BUSY! Monday is my off days so I try to get things done around the house, do something fun with my baby boy, and get some “me” time! Tuesday – Thursday I try to schedule meetings with brides and potential clients. If I am not in meetings, then I am working on timelines, reviewing contracts, updating my websites, posting on social media, scheduling meetings with vendors, track RSVPs or organizing my wedding files. I am blessed that I am also a stay at home, so I am also playing with my little boy and pulling double duty as a mommy and planner. During wedding season Friday and Saturday are dedicated to the actual wedding. During off season, I schedule meetings with brides who can’t meet with me during the week. Sunday is my off day. During wedding season, I am typically suffering from a wedding hangover. So I relax on the couch and wait for The Walking Dead! If I have any styled shoots, I also schedule them on a Sunday.
What is the best way you have found to acquire clients?
Referrals from venues and other vendors were crucial during my first year. These vendors and venues are still referring me to brides, but now so are my former brides. They are all sending their engaged friends over to me and I am loving it! I have also booked a few brides from my Facebook and even Instagram posts. However referrals have been my key to success.
Do you have a blog?
Yes! http://southernsparkleweddings.com/blog My goal for 2016 is to blog at least once a month!
Do you have any words of encouragement?
“Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself” was my motto for 2015. I still think it’s crazy when vendors come up to me and say things like “Omg we have to work together this year! I have heard so many amazing things about you!” I still can’t wrap my head around that, but I have worked so hard to hear those things. If you want to be successful in this industry, put in the work. You have already made the best step you can make by becoming a Certified Wedding Planner…you got this!
A Few of Krisy’s Favorite Things…
What is your favorite moment on wedding day?
The end of the night when the bride and groom come up to me to hug me and say how much fun they are having and how it wouldn’t have been possible without us. That seri- ously makes me cry almost every time. I feel so honored that they trusted me and my team with one of the happiest days of their life.
What is one item you cannot live without on wedding day?
Our walkie talkies with headsets. Since we are a team of 3, we are always in different spots at the venue. I feel very J.Lo in the Wedding Planner movie with them on, but man they are a lifesaver. If I am with the bridal party and my sister is with the DJ we can cue the important events together, like the formal introductions, first dance, etc.
What is your favorite activity when not coordinating a wedding?
I live in Nashville, and there is always something fun taking place in this city. I am also a big foodie and love trying new restaurants. My husband and I have a restaurant bucket list and love spending time together marking off our list. I have a fun and crazy 5 month old, and he has just made life even more fun. I also love spending time with my family taking trips together. We are looking forward to our annual beach trip, except this time with our little man!
TBS gives a special thanks to Krisy for giving us a glimpse into her business! If you are a TBS Alum who is interested in being a part of our Spotlight Feature, please be sure to visit our private forum for the Society Spotlight Application