Happy #WeddingWednesday, Planner Friends! It’s that time of the week again! Today on The Bridal Society blog, we have another fabulous Society Planner Spotlight featuring Barbara Gautier of Set the Date Event Planning & Design.
Barbara had planned corporate events for 20 years, but when a friend asked her to plan her wedding five years ago, she couldn’t say no. She enjoyed the process from beginning to end, and on the day of the wedding a peaceful joy came over her. She knew this was what she was supposed to be doing. She started Set the Date Event Planning & Design 4 years ago and was able to leave her full-time sales job to run her business full-time last year.
She said, “It has been a mind blowing experience and I learn something new every day. My business has grown every year all while keeping my feet firmly planted in faith. Honesty, compassion and the love of God has helped this business flourish! I wake up every day saying Thank You to the Lord for yet another day I get to fulfill my dream!”
Get to Know Barbara
What inspired you to become a wedding planner?
I know it is cliché, but the movie The Wedding Planner was the first time I had even thought of planning weddings. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a Jennifer Lopez falling in love with a Matthew McConaughey! Planning and organization have always been something I have done in the corporate world whether it was marketing communications or sales. When my friend asked me to plan her wedding it just felt right. Now my inspiration comes from all the amazing planners we have in TBS!
What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
The connection with my clients and feeling like a part of their wedding day is what I love. The friendships I have built with clients, vendors and other planners has truly been amazing!
How has your certification and membership with The Bridal Society helped you and your career?
I have learned a ton from Laurie and the other leaders in our organization. The Bridal Society’s certification helps me to stand apart from other planners in my area and it provides me with a constant network of professionals to reach out to.
What does your average week look like?
My days are filled with communication with current clients and prospective clients. I meet with 1-2 new venues every week trying to build relationships with them. I also try to meet with 1 vendor that I have worked with in the past. Connections are everything in this business. Evenings are spent at local networking events. I find that every person I meet has some type of industry knowledge that I can learn from.
What is the one item you can’t live without on a wedding day?
It’s almost impossible to choose just one item! However, I would have to say my walkie talkies. Once I purchased those my wedding days got even smoother because I wasn’t running around looking for my assistant(s). We are all connected no matter where we are. I even purchased and RF License to be able to use my walkie talkies up to 35 miles away. They are awesome!
What type of client do you attract?
I seem to attract laid back clients. They are not always high end clients, but they definitely are ones that see the value in having a wedding planner. Sometimes I am the most expensive item in their budget. In the past 4 years of owning my business I have not had one single bridezilla, and I think that is because I am laid back and I am a calming presence to my brides. Nothing shakes me on a wedding day or while planning. There is always an answer!
What is your favorite moment on wedding day?
My favorite part about a wedding is the moment the couple walks back down the aisle as a married couple and they look at each other with a profound amazement that they are now one!
What advice can you give and/or have you received that you can pass on to new/existing planners?
Always give your best and 100%! Nothing less should be acceptable. Be committed to providing your clients with every ounce you have inside of you! In the end, only you and the bride know if something has gone wrong!
What advice do you have for engaged couples?
Take time for each other during the planning process and listen to what your fiancé says. This day is not just about the bride, so be fair! Also, even if you think you are the most organized and have it together person, you should always have someone on the day of the wedding handling the logistics, issues, etc. Getting a professional should be important to them and not to use friends or family to save a dime. We are worth our value!