Happy June! This month we are very excited to feature another wonderful planner, Michaela Lamb of I Do! Happily Ever Afters.
Wedding planning found Michaela. After planning her own wedding in 2006 to her husband, Jacob, she thought, “I should do this for a living.” Thus, The Wedding Planner was created and today her business is flourishing.
Michaela is a certified wedding planner with The Bridal Society, received in 2014, and is our Rhode Island Regional Director. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree and is a member of Southern RI Weddings.
Get to know Michaela…
What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
I love the feeling of accomplishment I have at the end of an evening. It is so great to know I have contributed to making the couple’s wedding day so memorable for them and their guests.
What social media do you use? Why? How?
Facebook- I use Facebook mainly to promote my business. I try to create a variety of posts- real weddings, fun and easy reads, links to useful information, a little of my personal life when it’s wedding related. I enjoy The Bridal Society’s forum and am on it regularly.
Pinterest– I love using this to get inspiration to assist my couples with their décor and offer suggestions. I especially like it when I am getting to know my couples. I always ask to be invited to view their boards.
I also like google+. Creating posts for google has helped me “move up” on google searches.
Where do you advertise? Why?
Advertising on TheKnot and WeddingWire has really helped to grow my business. I have tried to take advantage of their marketing support to get the most from my investment.
I am trying to organize community events to get my name out locally and offer my time and service rather than pay out of pocket for advertising.
Do you take interns?
It is something I am researching right now. I love the idea of helping out an enthusiastic college student while he/she is assisting me. It’s seems to be a win-win!
What continuing education courses have you taken with The Bridal Society?
All of them!
Describe your favorite wedding.
One of the first weddings I planned after my own was my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. It was such a nice experience to work with them throughout the process and to see how happy they were on their wedding day. She chose light blue and pink as the color palette. They could not have asked for better weather that Columbus Day weekend. The ceremony took place at Immaculate Conception Church in Westerly, RI, the parish my brother and I grew up attending. It was followed by a lovely reception at Lake of Isles in North Stonington, CT. Their day was filled with personal details. A wagon they bought for my daughter, their Goddaughter, was used to walk her down the aisle. They took beautiful photos at the nearby beach. Wine bottles at each table were filled with sentiments of love for the bride and groom that they break open each year on their respective anniversary. The groom gifted his groomsmen with NFL socks of their favorite team to wear. Guests literally danced the night away. The day couldn’t have been any nicer for Joe and Liz, two people that I very much admire.
Advice for Existing Planners?
My husband always says to me, “Hun, say, ‘when’ not ‘if” please.”
What is your average week like?
Each week is different for me. I start each day by checking my emails and responding accordingly. I have been trying to schedule at least one venue meeting for a site visit or asking another vendor to meet for coffee to try to get to know them on a more personal level. I try to accommodate a potential client’s schedule and will do consultations to meet their requests, though I prefer mornings or evenings. I set aside time in the morning to catch up on all my weddings and reach out to couples to stay connected with them, especially those I do not hear from as frequently. At least a few times per week at night I work on marketing my business, using social media, and doing research to make new business contacts.
I love owning my own business. Right now I am currently teaching two days per week. I also have four children so I make sure to have quality family time with them each day. Family time is usually early afternoon until they go to bed, and I TRY to put work aside. If I do not have a wedding or event on the weekend I devote most of it to family as well. Sometimes it is tough trying to balance it all, but in the end the hard work and time I have put into establishing The Wedding Planner has been totally worth it!
What is the best way you have found to acquire clients?
The Knot and WeddingWire and vendor/venue connections
I have actually made connections with other wedding planners and we have referred business to one another. Establishing relationships with other vendors has taken time, but has certainly paid off.
Do you have a blog?
Do you have any words of encouragement?
“She believed she could, so she did.”
These are a few of Michaela’s Favorite Things…
What is your favorite moment on wedding day?
My favorite moment on a wedding day is when a bride is walking down the aisle and everyone including the groom turns to see her for the first time. I still like the traditional walking down the aisle reveal over a first look.
What is one item you cannot live without on wedding day?
If there is one item I cannot live without on wedding day I guess it would have to be my cell phone. Sometimes I cannot believe the number of vendors and family and friends of the bride and groom that contact me about wedding details the day of. Actually, it validates the importance of hiring a wedding planner/coordinator. 🙂
What is your favorite activity when not coordinating a wedding?
I love DIY home decorating projects. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t say spending time with my husband, Jacob, and four kids, Lydia, Molly, Kevin, and Violet, especially a relaxing Sunday at home!
TBS gives a special thanks to Michaela for this special look into her life and 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