This month we are very excited to feature Certified Wedding Planner Billie Atkinson-Csik in our Society Wedding Spotlight!
Billie Atkinson-Csik is 36 years old, married to her husband, Matt and mom to 2 girls, Aubrianna, 9, and Emelia, 6. After 20 years of working for the same company in corporate American (yes, she started at 16 years old!) she felt she had hit mid-life a bit early. She decided to change careers and entered the world of wedding planning- a world she defines as one in which people strive to make others happy! With the founding of her company, Best Day Ever Event Planning, LLC, Billie is busy doing just that!
Date of Wedding: 6/24/16
The couple: Kelli (Prusik) and Jimmy Gilbert
Share a brief background story about your clients including their names, wedding date, how they met, how the engagement happened, etc:
Kelli (Prusik) and Jimmy Gilbert were married on June 24, 2016, in a mini-destination wedding in Lancaster, PA. Jimmy and Kelli were both actively working and each caring for a child of their own, so they met at the place where busy people meet these days – online! Though their meeting was modern, their love is anything but. Jimmy opens doors and brings home flowers a little too often. They love Frank Sinatra and enjoy the little things in life together. Nothing is more important to them than family game night with their blended family.
How were they referred to you?
A relative of mine was asked to be the Matron of Honor in Kelli’s wedding. Kelli expressed that she knew what she wanted her wedding to look and feel like, but didn’t know if she could pull it off. MOH suggested that she meet with me. Kelli lives 2 hrs away so we set up a convenient meeting and discussed her plans over cupcakes. For the next 6 months, Kelli and I had a long-distance planner-client relationship. I traveled out to Lancaster to meet with her florist and the venue. The next time we saw each other was at rehearsal. She’s become a dear friend.
What unique elements did they want to incorporate into their wedding?
Kelli added me to her Pinterest board and I created a physical hands-on inspiration board to take to our initial consultation. I showed Kelli how her boards blended a lot of current trends. As we talked, we pared down her true vision – Vintage Glam – and I could not have been happier.
As soon as we settled on a theme and colors -ivory and white, I knew there was one item that HAD to be at the wedding. She HAD TO HAVE a vintage car at this wedding. I did some research, found the perfect ivory and gold 1954 Bentley. At first, Jimmy said that he thought we should go ahead without the added expense. Heartbroken, I completely understood. Weddings get expensive! I was delighted when Kelli called a few days later and told me her dad said to go ahead and book the Bentley. I worked with Lasting Impressions out of Lancaster, PA. The car arrived and took the almost married couple off to have their formal portraits done and was used as a backdrop for some pretty awesome pictures. Kelli’s comment, “We were talking in the back of the Bentley how it felt like we were in a dream, everything was so beautiful, it didn’t seem real.”
We also had a key-board with vintage keys as escort cards. A classic Underwood Typewriter was on hand with a typed note quoting Frank Sinatra and thanking their guests for coming. The note also directed the guests to the “Guest Book” which were old-fashioned post-cards and a mailbox.
About 90% of the flowers in the wedding were all babies breath -quite a site to see.
What was your favorite moment on this wedding day?
My favorite moment of this wedding is my favorite moment at every wedding. When the officiant pronounces the couple married and post-kiss. That moment. I tell the couples that I’m working with (and some that I’m not), “at that very moment post-kiss, you just stop, you look around and you take it all in. Don’t rush down the aisle to get to the party. There’s plenty of time for that. Cherish that moment, that biggest moment of your life and look at all those happy faces smiling at you. Feel it!”
What was your favorite part of planning this wedding?
My favorite part of planning the wedding was probably the night before the wedding when the bridal party had headed off to the rehearsal dinner. I had a few DIYs to put the finishing touches on. I was in my hotel room, alone, and I thought, “I did it. I did it!” This was my first wedding and I could feel the success already.
What was one item you could not live without on this day?
My timeline was priceless on the wedding day.
What was one aspect of planning this wedding that you were excited to execute?
I was so excited to add in a father’s first look. I knew the relationship that Kelli had with her dad and he was just a dream in the wedding planning process. The two have quite a bond and I knew it was just as big of a day for him as it was for her. I asked Lizzie of Elizabeth Moore Photography if we could squeeze one in. She confirmed and it was a moment that the two will cherish forever. Glad to be a part of their memories.
Thank you to Billie for allowing us to feature Kelli and Jimmy’s wedding. If you are a CWP through The Bridal Society and would like to submit a Spotlight Wedding to be featured, please be sure to visit our private Facebook forum for the application.