This month we are all about being unapologetically you and our Featured Planner this month does just that! Krisy of Southern Sparkle Weddings knew that where she was out of college wasn’t for her so, what did she do? She went out there and made the perfect opportunity for herself! Keep reading to learn more about her path to becoming a wedding planner, how she built a family-focused business, and who her favorite Golden Girl is!
Tell us about your path to becoming a wedding planner.
I was in the banking industry right out of college and, although I was good at my job, I just wasn’t happy. For about a year my mom, encouraged me to try wedding planning. She did her research and found The Bridal Society. She offered to pay for me to attend the conference but I counter offered and said I would pay for myself if she came and got certified as well. After attending the conference, I took everything we were taught to heart and hit the ground running. 1 year later I was able to quit my full-time job and put everything I could into Southern Sparkle.
Southern Sparkle has multiple locations in Tennessee – Nashville, Jackson, Memphis – what was it like growing the business and planning weddings all across the state?
I grew up in a small West Tennessee town, right outside of Jackson. The West Tennessee area is booming with amazing wedding venues popping up, however the other aspects the industry aren’t growing as fast, including professional wedding planners. When I became certified, I knew that there was a need for a professional wedding planner in the area, so Jackson was the first market. Nashville and Memphis are the bigger markets with a bigger vendor community so it was just a natural fit to plan in these areas as well. We have bigger dreams of being located all over the Southeast, so stay tuned!
How did you go about growing your team?
I lucked out with an amazing “starter” team. My mom (Jennifer) and my sister (Brooklyn) were my biggest supporters and we have so much fun working together. The first two years of the business was just the three of us. Getting to spend almost every weekend with my mom and sister is SO much fun. We get along so well and balance each other out so much. However with growth and expanding into different markets, I knew I needed a team outside of the family. I’m not going to lie, that scared me to death. As a family, we had build the reputation of Southern Sparkle and worked really hard for it. So I prayed about it all the time. I received so many resumes once we opened a position to join the team. I wanted to hire people who were just as crazy about this industry as I was. The Sparkle Team consist of ladies who eat, sleep, and breathe weddings. They are just as passionate as I am about educating clients during the planning process, establishing those key relationships with vendors, and maintaining the reputation we worked so hard to create.
Dr. Pepper is best from the can or in a glass? Can. For sure.
Your favorite Golden Girl? “I’m from the South, flirting is a part of my heritage.” – Blanche Devereaux
Southern Sparkle stands for… Southern Sparkle to me has always been a combination of Princes Diana and Blanche Devereaux
You have an on staff florist. How did you come to the decision to offer floral services?
This was all Jennifer also known as “Mama Sparkle”. She has a huge love for design but not so much of a love for logistics and planning. She took the initiative and started doing as much research as possible. She attended classes, watched a million videos, read a ton of blogs , took part in a ton of webinars, and got to work. She is just so naturally talented and has such a gift with this. I’m just so proud of where she has taken this in such a short period of time.
Describe the Southern Sparkle couple.
The Southern Sparkle couple has a deep love for their families and having them involved in planning. They love all things southern including delicious food and sweet tea. They realize that glamour doesn’t have to just be for a hotel wedding but can be added in their backyard or barn weddings. They understand and realize what the wedding day is all about – the beginning of their marriage.
We have to say “Congrats!” because you were named wedding planner of the year last year by The Bridal Society! What was that like?
Thank you! You know how during the Oscars when the actress wins Best Actress and she gets on stage and is frantic and genuinely didn’t think she would win so, she stumbles her words and basically freezes? Yeah, that was me. I literally couldn’t get out of my chair. Not to mention I was “ugly face” crying. Thankfully no one filmed it!
It was honestly one of the happiest days of my life. I’m talking right on up there with my wedding day and the day my son was born. The Bridal Society has given so much to me, and I am forever grateful for founder, Laurie Hartwell, for believing in me since day one. I’ll sit at my desk and see my award and I am still blown away that I was chosen for this. It was also a huge recognition of my hard work. I dedicate so much to my clients. They have no clue how much I appreciate that they are trusting me with one of the happiest days of their lives. That is something I never take for granted. This award was just proof that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
What were your biggest takeaways from attending The Bridal Society?
From the words of Rhianna “work work work work work.” If you want to be a success in this crazy industry, get out there and work. Go visit every wedding venue possible and get to know the venue managers, go to those awkward networking functions, have coffee with someone you actually clicked with at the networking event and get to know them. Creating a website, Facebook Page and paying for some ads isn’t going to get you clients. You have to get out there and hustle. My favorite quote is “hustle until you no longer have to introduce yourself.”
Tell us about how you and your team use Aisle Planner to collaborate on weddings and events.
Aisle Planner has been a game changer for us. I kick myself for not getting an account sooner. It’s an amazing tool keep everyone on track during the planning process. Our clients rave about it! We actually had a calligrapher say our address list was the most organized one she has ever seen. Thank you Aisle Planner!
It’s also a huge selling point to our potential clients. I love getting to show them a sneak peek of a client’s profile during our consultation. Then I basically say “this could be all yours when you become a Sparkle Bride.” Gets them Every. Single. Time.
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
The Design Board is one of my favorites, especially now that we are offering Floral Design. It has a ton of images that my clients haven’t seen before. I love being able to give them a visual of what their wedding day could look like.
You wrote a blog post about reasons why couples should hire a wedding planner. What is your top reason?
Your mother. Your father. Your family members. As a new mother, I understand that your parents have been dreaming about this day long before you even knew what a wedding was. Hiring a professional wedding planner allows your mother to help you button up your dress instead of worrying about the wrong size linens. Your dad will be able to get lined up for your first look with him instead of giving the lost limo driver directions. A stress free wedding day is a possibility for everyone involved when you hire a professional wedding planner.
On this month’s blog theme: Be Unapologetic.
“Being unapologetic to me means being you, having your business be a reflection of you and not being sorry about it. Understanding that every potential client isn’t your client and not being afraid to say no to someone who doesn’t fit your design or brand.”
Want to see more from Krisy and her team? Visit her website southersparkleweddings.com!