As a small team with two married couples on staff, we kind of have this thing about other married couples who are working together. So, when we met Josiah and Blake of Ninth & Everett, we had to chat about working with your spouse, their take on the “southern wedding,” and about all of the new locations they have been opening. Keep reading to meet these two – and we’re ready to pack our bags and head to Nashville!
Tell us about your path to becoming a wedding planner.
Josiah: Blake and I have always been in the “people” business. We love people. All types, colors, religions. We find people fascinating! So, the idea of two people becoming one, is AMAZING! I knew at young age that I loved love. And, after saying I do, Blake and I realized that the planning process wasn’t stressful for us, rather, it really brought out the best in both of us. Three months after our wedding, Ninth & Everett was founded. (Also, I had 3 different DVD’s of Jennifer Lopez’s, “The Wedding Planner” because I wore those DVD’s out. I knew every word. Still do to this day.)
What came first: Ninth and Everett or Josiah and Blake?
Blake: Technically, the street corner of Ninth & Everett has been around for a long time! But our company was founded after we fell in love and got married.
J: Blake and I met on the corner of Ninth & Everett in Portland, Oregon. After years of being together, we tied the knot. When we were trying to decide on a name for our company, Blake thought, why not just name the company after the place where we first found love ourselves.
Quick side story, I had Blake’s ring custom made, and it actually has bits of dirt from the ground of Ninth & Everett melted into the metal!
What are the perks of working with your spouse? The challenges?
B: Working with someone that you love is great because you enjoy and look forward to going
to work everyday. Josiah is a good co-worker to have by my side. But, it can sometimes be tough; like when we don’t see eye to eye on certain design elements. We always work through it and come out stronger in the end. Also, working together at coffee shops just feels like romantic dates where we talk about weddings.
J: One of my favorite things is sending the bride down the aisle. Once she is walking down the
aisle, I always look over at Blake and think, “Yes. We just did that!” It’s so much fun to be able to share the feeling of accomplishment with someone that you love. As far as challenges go, I would agree with Blake, finding a workload balance and disagreeing on colors or textures for events are probably our biggest challenges, but at the end of the day, we are in this together. We both pull our own weight then share each other’s weight when one of us needs a breather.
Josiah loves good stationery. Blake loves peonies.
Favorite color palette? grey-blue, putty, clean.
If you get into a spat with your partner at work, watching “Nate & Jeremiah By Design” always makes it better at home.
You are opening a new office in Charleston in the fall. How did you choose the location and what has the it been like to build a new arm of your business?
B: Josiah loves talking about our new offices so I’m going to let him take this question.
J: Its true. I get so excited! I love growth! Ninth & Everett has been such a wild and amazing journey. We are so fortunate to get to do what we love for a living and expanding to new regions has been so exciting! After we launched Ninth & Everett here in Nashville, we decided that we wanted to start expanding and offering our services in neighboring cities throughout the southeast. And, in February, we launched Ninth & Everett Atlanta. (We love the big city feel but the small town southern charm that can be found in some of the little neighborhoods throughout Atlanta.)
On May 1st, we launched Ninth & Everett NOLA. That has been such a blast so far and we have two weddings booked in New Orleans this year! There is so much life and culture there and it’s always such a fun place to be…like a year round…party. Forever. I love it.
We are launching our Ninth & Everett Charleston this fall and we couldn’t be more excited. We chose this location because the ocean is my heart beat. I have to get away to the salty air from time to time. And, Charleston is just so beautiful. It’s also the wedding capital of the Southeast so we thought, go big or go home! Not to mention (to our knowledge) we will be the first same-sex couple offering wedding and event services in the Charleston area – so we are pretty pumped about that!
How do you describe the classic southern style?
B: We are both from the south. Josiah is originally from Georgia and I am originally from Louisiana. It’s hard to describe classic southern because there are so many different types of “south.” But in our opinion, I would say that classic southern style is oak lined driveways, Spanish moss, handcrafted lemonade, sun-kissed shoulders, and timeless dress designs. That paints a pretty picture right?
What is your spin on it?
J: Well, we love moody. So, for example, in Charleston we would book one of the beautiful plantation homes, but instead of making everything bright and pastel and “Lilly”, we would play up the natural elements – the wood, trees, moss – and be inspired by the deep blues, greys, and muted browns of the ocean and natural landscape. All in an effort to bring a level of sophistication that isn’t as “preppy” as one may predict. Don’t get me wrong, we are all about seersucker slacks and loafers Honey but every southern wedding doesn’t have to require that type of aesthetic.
You were recently in NYC for Bridal Week. What is it like sitting front row at a runway show?
B: It was so surreal. We were so honored to be invited by a few of our favorite dress designers. We kept looking over at each other thinking, “We’re here! We did it.”
J: Starting your own company can be hard and things like “sitting front row at a runway show in New York” can seem pretty unattainable. But Blake’s right, we made it. We have worked hard to make a name for ourselves in the wedding industry and we were so incredibly honored to have played a small part in New York Bridal Week. What an awesome experience and opportunity.
How do you use Aisle Planner to keep all of your locations and weddings on track?
J: Without Aisle Planner, our life would be in shambles. No, but really. I have reached out to you ladies multiple times thanking you for existing. You all have made our jobs a reality. It’s great that all of our staff and clients can access Aisle Planner from anywhere. What a blessing.
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
B: The budget tab in Aisle Planner is so great. The auto-adjust button – it’s our favorite. Typing something in, then having the budget auto adjust is, in itself, worth every single penny.
Even though you have so much going on, what are you most excited for this year?
J: We are working with a major publication on a big shoot and though I cant really tell you any specifics right now, I can promise you, this is going to be some of our best work yet. We are so honored and excited to be a part of it!
B: We are also just excited to meet vendors in our new location cities, and continue to grow. 2018 is looking great already!
On this month’s theme: Be an Inspiration.
Each day, we wake up and have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Live your most full life, don’t let anyone or anything hold you back from being exactly who you want to be. If someone is beautiful, tell them. If your in line at Starbucks, buy the person behind you in line coffee. Its the little things that make all the difference. Inspire greatness in all things. work hard, play hard, laugh hard and love hard.
Want to see more from Ninth & Everett? Head over to their website ninthandeverett.com