Happy #WeddingWednesday, Planner Friends! One of my favorite things about The Bridal Society is how much of a family we are – and as a family, we love to lift each other up! Today on the TBS blog we have another fabulous Society Planner Spotlight that I can’t wait to share with you. This week’s spotlight is featuring Larie Gray of MILA Event Solutions.
Larie is the owner and head certified wedding planner of MILA Event Solutions, a wedding and event planning company based out of the DMV area. If you ask her, she says that one of her greatest passions is to serve, and that is why planning weddings and events is her dream career!
Get to Know Larie
What inspired you to become a wedding planner?
I have had the opportunity to plan and/or assist with many events over the years — including weddings, book launches, scientific conferences, church conferences, birthday parties, and more. But weddings have a special place in my heart. When I planned my first wedding for my niece in 2013, I loved the excitement of it all. She was living in Florida while we were planning her wedding to be held here in Maryland. Seeing all of the pieces unfold and come together into a beautiful event made me feel like I found my calling. Not to mention, the smiles and happy looks on my niece, her husband and all the guests in attendance, inspired me to continue to officially become a wedding planner.
What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
One of the reasons I love planning weddings is that I love seeing the smiles and satisfaction on the faces of my clients knowing that they can enjoy their special day, their guests, and each other without the worry of the logistics and stress that comes along with planning.
How has your certification and membership with The Bridal Society helped you and your career?
As soon as I mention that I am a certified wedding planner, I’ve noticed the looks of relief on faces that say, “Okay, she knows what she is doing!” A certification from The Bridal Society really holds a lot of weight because it tells the world that I am official and that I am serious about what I do because I took the time to educate myself and master my craft.
What does your average week look like?
I spend time during the week making phone calls to my clients and vendors, brain storming about ideas for whatever event I’m planning, making lists, and organizing those lists. When I am not focused on an event, I spend time working on my social media campaign, updating my website, working on things to create for design purposes, and seeking out educational and other opportunities to continue on an upward trend.
What is one item you can’t live without on a wedding day?
An amazing pair of flat, comfortable shoes!
What type of client do you attract?
I’d like to think I attract a wide variety of clients and couples for my event and wedding planning services. I’m proud to serve anyone and everyone needing a planner for their event or big day.
What is your favorite moment on wedding day?
My favorite moment on the wedding day is when the doors open for the bride and she and the groom lock eyes and see each other for the first time in their wedding attire. I can’t get enough of the ‘Wow!’ factor along with smiles that form on their faces. That is when all the planning and stressing disappears for them and their focus is shifted.
What advice can you give and/or have you received that you can pass on to new/existing planners?
As a new planner, make sure to stay organized. Use some form of spreadsheet or planning tool to keep all of your information organized so you always have a reference. Keep your preferred vendors, contacts, venues, team members, and back up planners there. Keep your clients’ information and all of your notes there, and use it when consulting with your clients. Aisle Planner is a great planning tool to use and has been one of my best investments.
What advice do you have for engaged couples?
I strongly suggest hiring a certified wedding planner to help with your special day. Planning a wedding, no matter how large or small, takes a lot of work and time. Wedding planners will not only be able to help you keep it all organized and together, but they will also be able to inform you and bring to your attention things you make not think about. A planner will take undue stress off of you. The day of your wedding, you want to be able to sit back and enjoy the day, and you really want your family and guests to do the same.