Earlier this year, this lady reached out to us with one of those emails that makes our day. She had just started using Aisle Planner and was so jazzed about how it was helping her organize her wedding planning business that she invited us to be a part of her annual be-there-or-be-square party up in Santa Barbara. And because we are always looking for a good excuse to step away from our desks, we packed our bags and hit the road! The Jam Event was such an amazing time and today, I am excited to introduce you to the planner behind it all!
What was your path to becoming a wedding planner? How did you first get involved in the industry?
I got my start in the hospitality industry, managing local restaurants right out of college in 2002. After years of putting together special events for our establishments, I started a side business dappling in weddings, mostly month-of/day-of coordination.
In 2011 I had my first child, Milo, and then six months later my mother passed away from cancer. The emotional highs and lows of that year were a catalyst for me to follow my dreams and my mother’s genetic disposition for design (she was an interior designer). I rebranded my business, never went back to the restaurant industry and dove straight in to something that fulfills my heart and soul.
About a year ago we were getting multiple inquiries for brides that loved our style, but wanted to be hands on throughout the process. They were interested in design consultation, but creating many of the elements themselves. I decided to create a more economical facet to Wild Heart Events where we would guide clients with our current tools as well as give them design ideas and DIY instructions, helping them to create cohesive and hand-crafted events.
Our seasoned lead coordinators run the day-of for our No Frills clients, allowing us to take on more than one wedding per weekend. Essentially No Frills is just a facet of Wild Heart Events, but I decided to separate the two as a branding and marketing move to give more credibility to our lead coordinators as the lady bosses of No Frills and also to keep Wild Heart as the more design based, service-filled concept, where we customize packages to fit each client’s needs and vision.
What is it like juggling the two?
Essentially the two businesses are under the same umbrella, so we use the same templates, questionnaires, organizational tools, etc. Last year the main issue was the amount of emails going back and forth between clients, lead coordinators and myself. To get into your next question, Aisle Planner has changed EVERYTHING for us!
Did finding Aisle Planner change anything for you? What has been its biggest impact on your business?
I did quite the research on cloud-based software for wedding planners and was very impressed with Aisle Planner and the direction it is going. Aisle Planner has enabled our team and our clients to exchange information, stay on the same page and make the entire process transparent without a MILLION emails going back and forth. We can all collaborate on the same wedding at the same time! It has also enabled us to take on much more business as an accessible organizational tool for my team.
Tell everyone about The Jam Event! (BTW, we had a FANTASTIC time!)
A few years back I found that my marketing budget was not being utilized properly. I was doing wedding shows, paid advertising and putting my money into one-off styled shoots and then spending a lot of time on getting published. These avenues were not producing the client’s I really wanted to work with. I sat down and evaluated where most of my business was coming from, and concluded that referrals were of the utmost importance. I decided to throw a party for industry professionals to kick off the New Year and showcase all of the crazy, outside the box or trending ideas we had been milling over. The first year, 2015, was a total hit…not only did people have fun and get inspired, but other industry professionals were really able to identify our niche and the business we strive for.
What was your favorite moment from this year’s event?
What a tough question! I LOVE collaborating with each florist on the design for the tablescapes. We work hand in hand with our select team to create stations of inspiration and I love the way we all play off of each other, creatively. In terms of a particular moment, it is hard to choose! Our aerialist (who was also a bride of mine a few weeks later) was phenomenal, the Band and DJ rocked the house, and we had an airstream speakeasy with craft cocktails on draft! We also debuted the Wild Heart Gypsy Rambler, our 1962 Serro Scotty trailer for rent!
Any fun ideas up your sleeve for next year?
You know it! Next year I plan on bringing on more creatives (planners, florists, graphic designers, etc) and putting together teams to create tablescapes and lounge displays. I do have a couple of new vendors I am keeping in my back pocket and can’t wait to showcase next year!
Let’s talk creative! What design elements to you get most excited about?
I love mixing textures and patterns, things that are derived from natural elements and bold colors in free-formed florals. Stay tuned this year for ‘his and hers’ lounges, leather details, unique menus and custom builds from Wild Heart Events.
What would you say is the Wild Hearts Event signature? No Frills signature?
I think Wild Heart Events is known for our niche of trendy combined with outside the box. We are known for sourcing from multiple vendors or DIYing to get just the right look (while still keeping our rentals as streamlined as possible). Our No Frills events are very handcrafted and intimate.
What adventure is up next for you?
We have quite a few things in the works, including expanding The Jam Event to other areas as well as teaming up with some other industry professionals for a collaborative retreat type experience. Stay tuned……
Want to see more from Jaime? Hop on over to her website wildheartevents.com