We are so excited to introduce you to this month’s Featured Planner! Lindsay Sims of Toast Events is based in Atlanta and has grown her team to service multiple locations in the south. A woman close to our heart (wait for her favorite post-wedding-late-night-snack), Lindsay and her team are putting their own twist on the classic southern wedding. So, keep reading to learn about some of her favorite designs, how she and her team collaborate, and her thoughts on this month’s blog theme!
Tell us about your path to becoming a wedding planner.
I began my career in corporate events, but was always enamored by the wedding world. In my twenties, many of my friends asked for me to help them on their wedding day pull together details and my love for weddings was solidified. Ten years ago, I planned my first wedding, while still working as the Event Director at a country club and slowly began building my business based on word of mouth. Two years after that, I left my full-time job and put everything into growing TOAST.
Toast Events is in three locations. How did you end up in Nashville, Atlanta, and the coastal Florida?
TOAST began in Atlanta, but I quickly found that many Atlanta brides plan destination weddings. I began traveling frequently to the coast for weddings and decided it would be great to have a TOASTess on the ground in that area. Shortly after, I began to see the great things going on in Nashville and it was a natural fit for expanding our brand to Tennessee.
How would you describe a traditional southern wedding? How do you put a contemporary spin on it?
Southern weddings are steeped in tradition and have a timeless grace about them that is easy to spot. We try very hard to make our weddings original, but still classic through personal touches. I find the best way to make something fresh and unique is to make it all about the couple – and it’s a great way to have fun, without turning too trendy. We want our weddings to stand out, yet withstand the test of time!
In general, what is trending in weddings in the south?
Food! I think Southerners are finally willing to step away from the shrimp and grits in a martini glass and have some fun! We have seen couples really create a menu that speaks to them, while including Southern staples like Quail or pimento cheese. I definitely see Southern girls taking more risks with stationery too. I think they have finally realized you can be elegant and traditional and don’t have to have the same invitation their mothers had.
Tell us about the wedding with hundreds of paper flowers hanging from the ceiling! What was set up like for that?
Ooh that was so fun! The bride and her father owned an art gallery, so we thought an installation of art was the best way to speak to them. The design team created a net that was hung around the chandelier and painstakingly hung hundreds of paper flowers from the net. It was an amazing look!
Favorite post-wedding-late-night-snack? Wedding cake– icing only, I look for the coveted corner pieces!
Best moment from your own wedding? Getting to feel the happiness and gratitude that all of our brides feel on their wedding days. I had eight years of weddings under my belt before I became the bride, and it was really special to be on the other side. And actually getting to dance to the awesome band!
Gold or platinum? Gold!
How does Aisle Planner help your team communicate and collaborate?
I could not have grown my business so quickly and successfully without the help of Aisle Planner. We have truly customized it and continue to find features and short cuts that save all of us time and energy. The templates tool is great so that all offices have continuity with our documents. I also love the task tool – to assign tasks to my team and get notified when they are done!
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
That’s like picking a favorite child! I love the budget and payment reminders most, that was an area I struggled the most with keeping up with for our clients, and it’s so simple now! We also use the notes section a LOT and have found it very helpful to collaborate with each other and our brides on things.
You ladies take an annual retreat. When did you decide to do that and why is it important to your business?
This year was only our second annual official retreat. Several of us travel to industry events and conferences, but I really think it is important to get together at the beginning of each year and talk about what we have learned, make goals for the future and streamline our practices. It really helps us take the time to work ON our business and not just IN it, and let our hair down and laugh with one another too!
What is the next big thing for Toast Events?
I think we have really hit our stride and everyone is having the chance to work on some really amazing weddings, with more time to spend on creating the experience with our brides. Aisle Planner is partly to thank for that! We are in a really great place and no huge changes or announcements are planned, but you never know!
On this month’s theme: Be Open
“I always try to inspire my team by listening to their ideas, and praising their hard work. I try to create a great work environment with an open door policy and believe you should never stop learning. I still ask my team what we learned after every wedding and have never come up short of answers.”
Want to see more from Lindsay and her team? Visit her website at toast-events.com!