Happy #WeddingWednesday, Planner Friends! Wednesdays are my favorite days of the week when I get to share about our fabulous TBS family members on the blog. Today on The Bridal Society blog, we have another fabulous Society Planner Spotlight featuring Aashritha Marepalli of Amare Occassions.
Amare Occasions is a full-service wedding planning firm, built on a simple philosophy that planning should be an experience of excitement, discovery and sweet memories. Whether it is a close gathering or a lavish affair, Amare has the expertise to bring your occasion together flawlessly, so you can enjoy your day stress free.
Aashritha is the Owner and Lead Planner of Amare Occasions. As a Certified Wedding Planner, Aashritha is passionate about creating thoughtful weddings that showcase the couple’s personalities, interests and most importantly, their journey of love! She looks forward to hearing the stories of her clients and working to bring their unique event alive.
Get to Know Aashritha
What inspired you to become a wedding planner?
When I planned my first large scale event – a dance graduation recital with 800+ guests – I envisioned a very specific, multi layer, invitation design. I shopped around looking for a such a design, but struck out. So my 17-year-old self buckled down, hand drew the design, reached out to a private printing shop, and went back and forth on drafts until I came up with what I wanted. So many people get disheartened by not being able to find what they want, not knowing where to search or maybe not having the time to search. I want everyone to feel as excited as I did opening that shipment of invitations 6 years ago, and if I can get them there by doing the leg work and taking the stress out of the process, then that is what I want to do.
What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
I love challenging myself to come up with new and unique ideas for my clients. By that I mean that I love trying ideas that I have not done before and designing ideas that speak to the specific personalities or memories of the couple I am working with.
For example, for a doctor client of mine, I had come up with a fun “Doctails” drink menu including “Strawberry Doctorate” and “Cherry Tonic”. For another couple, we had guests sign wine corks instead of a regular guestbook to cherish the couple’s engagement at a winery. Tailoring the details of a wedding towards each couple and making that day extra special for them is one of my favorite parts of the job!
How has your certification and membership with The Bridal Society helped you and your career?
For a long time I had toyed with the idea of opening up my own wedding planning business. Even though I had put together many events over the years and I had the creative edge and passion for it, I didn’t feel like I had the right credentials to market myself as a wedding planner. When I heard of the Bridal Society certification, I knew it was just the thing I needed. Listening to Laurie inspired me more than I can put into words. I took my new found knowledge and kick started my business just months later, but it didn’t stop there. Discussions in the TBS forum continue to educate and inspire me. One day, I hope to grow into an experienced planner that can turn around and contribute my knowledge to newcomers in TBS.
What does your average week look like?
Aside from the expected vendor coordination and client phone calls, as a relatively new wedding planner, most of my week consists of proactive business development. That includes researching networking events, setting up appointments with vendors and visiting venues, caterers, florists etc.
What is one item you can’t live without on a wedding day?
Earring Backs. It’s surprising how many times I have saved a bride or wedding party member with a loose or lost earring back – because it is not an item many think to carry with them!
What type of client do you attract?
I tend to attract clients that are very passionate about their big day and have all sorts of details they want for their wedding. I definitely pride myself in being able to execute and deliver on those visions.
What is your favorite moment on wedding day?
I love seeing my couples dance the night away at the end of the reception, with huge smiles on their faces and surrounded by their family and friends. That moment feels like the culmination of everything we worked together to create.
What advice can you give and/or have you received that you can pass on to new/existing planners?
The best advice I can pass onto new wedding planners is to take care of your fellow vendors. This is a theme covered in the Bridal Society course as well, but I have experienced it in real life and have had multiple vendors come up to me and tell me how much they appreciated that I looked out for them on top of taking care of everything else the Bride and Groom needed. For instance, this could be simply stopping by your vendors and asking if they need an extra hand with set-up or checking in to make sure your vendors have eaten their meals. Yes, the day is focused on your couple, but doing little things throughout the day to make sure your vendors are comfortable goes a long way in building relationships.
What advice do you have for engaged couples?
Don’t go into the planning phase with presumptions. There is a lot of information online regarding weddings and not all of it is sound advice. Many couples go in with inaccurate assumptions about their budget and what certain aspects of a wedding may cost. I would advise that engaged couples speak to professionals in the industry and potential planners they may want to work with, to learn about what a realistic budget is for their dream wedding.