When you live in a beach town, the city life seems so foreign – let alone comprehending what planning weddings in one is like. So today, we are excited to introduce you to this month’s Featured Planner, Sharokina of Citygirl Events in Chicago! Keep reading to learn about what couples in Chi-town are like, some of the many projects she has going on, and which local baseball team reigns supreme in her book!
Tell us about your path to becoming a wedding planner.
I started planning events for people I knew as well as some organizations while I was in college and I loved it! I always had a passion for event planning but wasn’t sure if I could make a career out of it so I went about graduating and then getting jobs in sales and marketing. Eventually, my passion won and I began my business at 24 years old. A year later, I went full-time and haven’t looked back!
How would you describe your planning style and process?
I am very hospitality, logistics, and communication driven. I want to make sure that I walk my clients through each step of the process as much as possible to ensure I minimize their anxiety as much as possible. Keeping their to-do list updated and as clean as possible is a constant goal. I also make sure to incorporate the 5 senses into each event I do and work with the clients to ensure they are thinking about how their event feels whenever possible. Planning on paper is different than making decisions that make an impact in the guest experience on the day of the wedding.
You’ve got a team! Do each of you bring something different to the table or are you all similar?
My belief is that event planning is an art and each person brings something different to the table. While we all have our own fun and different personalities (who wants to constantly be surrounded by people like themselves?) we follow the same core structure and have the same professional event beliefs. We put the clients first, always, and make sure we incorporate the 5 senses into each event we do.
I saw you put together a wedding planning survival guide. What was the inspiration for that project?
I remembered what It was like when I was first engaged. I was so excited! I went online and searched a bunch of blogs, bought a ton of bridal magazines, had some champagne and chocolate, and researched away! I thought it would be a fun thing to offer newly engaged couples and give them insight into the Citygirl brand at the same time.
And, you’ve just launched Citygirl in Business! A) How do you find the time to do all of these side projects and B) tell us all about it!
I’m really passionate about helping others create their goals. I really thought about this for years and finally felt that I had been through enough experiences and years in the business to finally offer my guidance, advice, and support to those looking to get into the event industry. The members-only exclusive Facebook group is for those thinking of jumping in or just starting in the industry, which could be 0-3+ years in the event planning industry. Whether someone is freelancing, working for another company, or starting their business, it is a good to be a part of a group with like-minded, professional individuals that are solution-oriented.
What is the Chicago couple like?
Savvy. Fun. Smart about how they spend money. It’s not about how much money they spend; instead it is more about spending money on categories they value and that make an impact on the overall guest experience. The Chicago couple also values quality, not only in items they purchase but also the relationships they create and build with each member of their wedding vendor team. They also trust their planners. They realize that bringing on a wedding planning professional is not an inexpensive investment but they value what we bring to the table.
Best view of the city? When I run by the lake and see those gorgeous blue views to my left and see the breathtaking skyline view ahead of me.
Cubs or White Sox? Cubs. Hands down.
Favorite way to kick of the planning process? Meeting my couples with champagne and inspiration photos they’ve chosen to share and talking about their style and dreams
Do you invite your couples into Aisle Planner or do you use it internally?
Absolutely. We tailor Aisle Planner to our Citygirl Events clients and make sure to constantly keep it updated to ensure the clients have the most up-to-date information at all times.
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
I love that the timeline can be adjusted depending on who we want to send it to. Whether it’s the wedding party or the wedding photographer, the timeline can have as much or as little information as each person needs. It’s great!
What else do you have up your sleeve? Anything you are particularly excited to start or finish?
There are always exciting things happening at Citygirl, mostly because each year is different than the next. My belief is that we should always be developing, learning, and growing. We have expanded our team this year and I am excited for my team and the cool and interesting events they will be planning this year and for years to come.
Want to see more from Sharokina and her team? Visit her website citygirlweddings.com