Industry spotlight: VIP Events Management Wedding & Event Planning
Did planning your own wedding inspire your work?
Not actually. I was married the first time 15 years ago, and I had friends plan my wedding because they offered-and I had no clue what I was doing. My second wedding was four years ago, just before I got started as a wedding planner, and it was very low-key and not at all like the weddings I plan.
So how did you get involved in the wedding industry?
I have always been a "planner;" I thought everyone knew how to organize an event. Then, unexpectedly, while at my receptionist job at the Ohio Association of Realtors, I had a chance meeting with a master bridal consultant from the Association of Bridal Consultants. She told me who to contact to get into the wedding industry, and I interned with Jamie Rapavy (of Devoted to Details) for two years and knew it was what I was meant to do. I started my own business two years ago and I love what I do.
Why should a bride hire a professional planner or consultant?
Keep in mind the end result. Once you have everything planned-vendors chosen and so on-decide who will execute the details the weeks before and the day of. To some, it seems like a luxury to have a coordinator, but honestly it's insurance that you (and your friends and family) will enjoy the most special day of your life.
Let's talk recent weddings: What are some of the highlights?
Three highlights from the last year include an April 2013 wedding at a distribution center in Hilliard-the location was completely transformed with lighting and pipe and drape-an October 2013 wedding at the Bluestone-they had custom Krispy Kreme doughnuts for guests and the cake was by Wendy Kromer, who's worked with Martha Stewart-and a July 2014 wedding on the rooftop at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown. All three couples were great, and I have stayed in touch with two of the brides and consider them friends! I've been very blessed with amazing couples and I stay in touch with the majority. Three "VIP babies" were born this summer!
How do your planning efforts shape the day?
I've been told on many occasions that I bring a sense of calm to the planning process as well as the day of the wedding. I can pick up where the Bride (or another planner) has left off and seamlessly coordinate the details of the day just weeks before the wedding, if necessary. A coordinator, especially for the day of (which is what I specialize in), basically takes over the planning process one to three months prior. This allows for the bride and her friends and family to enjoy the "getting married" part.
For more tips from Lawson, check out "Partners in Planning" from our fall/winter 2013 issue.
Above: The bride and groom at Lawson's distribution-center wedding.