Sometimes we are reminded of how far San Diego is from Los Angeles – you know, when you want to meet up with your creative friends and remember that there is 3+ hours of traffic sitting in between you? Robin, the Owner and Lead Designer at Gather Events, is one of our friends that we wish we could coffee date with on the regular! So when we caught wind of some of the fun projects she is working on right now, we had to give her a ring and catch up!
Tell us about your journey to becoming a wedding planner.
My background is in marketing and PR for creative service companies. I worked in the architecture, package design and image consulting fields before meeting my friend, Sarah, a wedding planner who eventually became my business partner and opened my eyes up to the wonderful world of weddings. I have always been creative and drawn to the arts, yet fairly organized and methodical. So wedding planning is a profession that fulfills everything I love!
How do you like working with a team?
I love working with my team. Laura Allin is our Senior Associate Planner, Natasha Coughlin is our Associate Planner and we also have a number of interns and event day staff at any given time throughout the year. We all add a unique perspective to the mix. We work and design and share information in a very collective way. I value the opinion of each and every person on the team, from the intern to the senior associate planner. I don’t always have the right answer and it’s important to lean on and listen to team members and share together in our resources and perspectives. It always makes our designs stronger when they are balanced with a number of different influences.
I know that one of your favorite elements is stationery (I am totally a paper lover and collector myself!). What about it gets you most excited?
I admit it, I’m a paper nerd! One of my favorite pastimes is visiting stationery shops and I love collecting cards. The wedding stationery suite (save the dates, invitations and event paper) is one of my favorite elements of a wedding. It’s where we’re infusing important information for guests with design elements that help set the tone for the wedding day. It’s so fun to give guests a little preview of what’s to come through the save the dates and wedding invitations.
Do you normally get hired by your couples early enough that you get to be involved in the design process for the paper elements? If so, how does that affect the design process for the entire event?
Oh yes, we come on board very early on in the process, even before the venue is booked. The best way we can help our clients is by offering our expertise and guiding them in the right direction from day one. We collaborate closely with our clients to expand on their initial wedding vision and create a cohesive design plan that reflects their story and style. Once that’s locked in, we reach out to creative partners like stationers, calligraphers and floral designers to help take the event inspiration and make it a reality. At all stages, the name of the game is collaboration!
We are excited to hear that you’ll be one of the presenters for Wedding Planners’ Gathering! How did you get involved with the event?
It’s so exciting! My friend Angel Swanson of Love and Splendor reached out with an idea for creating an online learning experience at a more affordable price point than some of the in-person workshops she and other wedding experts have hosted in the past. She had the great idea of creating a series of videos to allow learning in the comfort of one’s own home or office. I am one of the 10 industry experts she rounded up to provide guidance to aspiring and current wedding planners on a number of different wedding planning-related topics.
What are you most excited about for the event?
As a creative and as an entrepreneur, I’m naturally a very curious person. I always wonder how other planners/designers and industry colleagues do what they do, what resources they use, how they’ve gotten to where they are, etc. This learning experience gives us a glimpse behind the scenes to see how some of the countries most esteemed planners/designers do their thing! I’m so honored to be part of this amazing group of industry leaders. Truth be told, if I weren’t on the panel, I would be signing up for this learning experience! I fully believe that we can never stop growing. There is a wealth of knowledge and perspective that we can gain in our field, regardless of how established we are. It’s going to be a blast not only to share my knowledge, but to learn from the rest of the expert panel!
And we saw that you are sharing about your expertise and love of paper! Tell us about your session on creating a cohesive stationery suite.
I take the viewer along on the creative process of working with one of my actual client couples! We start with collaborating on their event vision and creating a cohesive inspiration board. We then dive into various paper elements and discuss the specifics of what they decided to include (save the dates, wedding invitations and event day paper). From there, we link up with a trusted graphic designer to take our ideas and inspiration and transform it into the full wedding stationery suite. And finally, we take the viewer to experience the chaos and excitement involved in setting up the couple’s actual wedding day. It really gives the viewer an idea of what it’s like to be a wedding planner and all of the creative stages we go through to make an event happen. I infuse my lesson with TONS of insider resources and tips, including my love of Aisle Planner! AP has transformed the way I collaborate with and plan weddings for my clients and I’m shouting it from the rooftops!
Is there any difference on how you use the Aisle Planner Design Studio through the process of working with the stationers versus the entire planning process?
It’s a similar process with all of our creative partners, but Aisle Planner allows us to invite them into the Design Boards and contribute to the design conversation in real time. I can’t tell you how many emails have been cut down by allowing the whole team to be collaborating on this program at once. It makes the design process so much more streamlined and productive!
We know you are bit of an Aisle Planner power user – do you have any pro tips on the Design Studio for other planners?
I love how collaborative the Design Studio allows us to be with clients. Rather than emailing images back and forth to each other, we create boards of imagery in the design studio and can put them them into distinct categories — florals, stationery, attire, etc. My clients and I add notes to each image within each category so we’re always on the same page about what we’re drawn to about each image. I love that the program allows us to pull specific colors out of each picture and integrate them in the overall color palette. Once I have a clear vision of my clients’ design sensibilities, I take their images and create a collage which becomes the inspiration board. It’s a fun, creative process with my clients and they love seeing the event design build in each stage!
What’s your favorite color palette?
Such a tough question! I love all color and like to use a lot of it in my designs. I could never pick just one, but I have to say, I’m partial to something with a bit of pink or metallic of any type.
Modern or traditional calligraphy?
Modern, for sure. I love the fresh, current spin that has been placed on this historic art form. There are so many amazing calligraphers out there now!
Favorite way to get over a wedding hangover?
Cheeseburgers and fries! Whether it’s a drinking hangover or a planning hangover, cheeseburgers and fries usually do the trick. After the completion of a successful wedding, it’s what my team and I lovingly refer to as “Victory Meal”.
Your most loved pair of shoes?
My sparkly Jimmy Choos! I wore them on my day and they bring me so much joy when I wear them because they remind me of my most favorite day and also make me feel like $1 million. Even in the box, they still make me smile!