Here at APHQ, we get to collaborate with some great educational organizations. And, over the years, The Bridal Society has introduced us to hundreds of planners from around the country! So today, we are excited to introduce you to a pair of TBS graduates – Kyla and Tasha of Everlasting Events. Read on to learn about how they got started, a bit about their process, and an upcoming wedding that they are really excited about!
Tell us about your path to becoming a wedding professional.
Kyla and I took winding paths to the event industry. I always knew I wanted to be a planner, but I graduated right when the market crashed. There weren’t a ton of planning jobs so I ended up working in various aspects of the industry- rentals, floral, admin, and planning events on the side. This actually served me really well when we started our business. Kyla went to art school when she was in college, worked in business after school and then she became a stay at home mom for 10 years, planning events on the side as well. When I got married I wanted to plan my wedding but knew I’d need a coordinator. Kyla and I had known each other for years because we went to church together and I knew that she would do a great job with our wedding. We hired her and our wedding day was so peaceful and joyous. After that both of our husbands and several other people kept bugging us- “Why don’t you guys go into business together.” The rest is history!
What did it take to build your business/brand?
As a company, you’re kind of always tweaking and polishing your brand, so I don’t think you’ve ever “arrived”. However, we realized after the first couple years in business that our generic, cursive, gold logo just wasn’t representing who we were and the kinds of clients we wanted to attract. Kyla and I as owners attract fun-loving, adventurous couples who usually want something a little different than the “blush and gold” wedding. Something outside the box. Since we excel in design we decided to change our logo and branding colors into something vibrant and colorful. Since then I feel like we’ve seen an upswing in events of that nature. We’re 4 years in, and just now starting to hit our stride with the “look and feel” we want to project into our market.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being a business owner?
Hire a bookkeeper! But seriously- most creatives are not necessarily business/finance minded. We didn’t do this the first couple years and tax time was a nightmare. Now we are starting to grow and the need to delegate anything that we’re not great at is significant. Delegating these things allows you to focus and be excellent at those things that are truly your gift.
You got your certification from The Bridal Society. How has attending the conference impacted your business or process?
It impacted everything! Seriously, it set us on a great trajectory for success. From help putting together our contract, to knowing how to approach venues and being able to use the forum for questions. Even with us having been in the industry in various jobs for years, this certification catapulted our success and enabled us to have an excellence level that other vendors don’t see a lot. Also, having Laurie as a “Business Mom” has been fabulous!
Tell us about your process.
A bride can fill out an inquiry form on our website or Facebook page. Making things automated is lifesaving! Then we’ll schedule a quick initial call to determine the event budget, date and size. If we are available for the date and their budget is reasonable then we will sit down and have an in-person consult where we use a questionnaire to ask them questions about their big day. After hearing about their vision and details, we provide them with a quote within 24 hours. The platform we use allows them to accept the quote right from their phone and also sign their contract and pay their initial 50% retainer.
Once a client is signed we schedule out planning meetings based on their contracted level of service. If their services include design we will create a vision board for them and adapt to their likes and dislikes. Throughout the process we use Aisle Planner to keep all information in one spot. So helpful!
How do you use Aisle Planner to collaborate on weddings and events?
We love the Design Studio and use it for every event to gather clients inspiration photos and select a color palette. Also, the seating chart and guest list manager are invaluable tools for us and our clients. I (Tasha) personally love the budget tool and use it even in the sales process prior to booking. If someone has a tight budget I will do a preliminary budget and show them how our fee works in the overall budget. We’ve booked several weddings doing this and it opens the door to a conversation about what’s most important to them and how we as planners can save them money and free up money for a planner.
Anything you are particularly excited about working on this year?
We have an “outside of the box” wedding coming up this fall that we are stoked about. It’s a 1940’s Cuba themed wedding. The bride is renting tons of furniture and rugs, and she’s bringing in real tropical foliage for all around the ceremony site and reception. In addition, she’s having an 9-piece salsa band and one of the best lighting companies in Orlando is doing lighting. So say we’re excited is an understatement!
Want to see more from the Everlasting Events team? Visit their website everlastingeventsfl.com