We’re so excited to share our interview with Courtney Tibbets of After The Engagement. Courtney has been a wedding planner in Southern California since 2008 and is here to “plan the hell out of a kick-ass wedding.” From what started as a side hustle that became the wedding biz it is today, to the Aisle Planner tools she and her couples can’t live without, we’re chatting all about Courtney’s path to becoming a wedding pro.
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
I entered the wedding industry after my own wedding in 2007. We hired a “day-of coordinator” who made our lives really easy for the day of the wedding. I figured that with my strengths in customer service and organization, it was something I could do as well. I had zero intentions at the time of it becoming a full time job, or the real business it is today!
Why did you start After the Engagement?
What started as just a side hustle completely evolved before my eyes! I’ve become passionate about being my own boss and working in the creative industry. I’m absolutely obsessed with personal branding and have spent the last several years really honing that. That way I can easily be led to my ideal clients and work on the most fun weddings. I have been so lucky to create a reputation for weddings that are out of the box and focused on guest experience.
If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?
I have to choose two! The first is traditions and the societal pressure to adhere to them. It’s your party. Do only what speaks to you. There are no musts in wedding planning. The other is the tendency to find something you like aesthetically and regurgitate it over and over again. I challenge clients to look beyond Pinterest to find inspiration. What is your favorite restaurant? Let’s find a great caterer that can play off that menu. We don’t have to keep doing the same weddings and adhere to trends at all. For instance, everyone knows hay bales and mason jars are over, but we keep doing similar things every couple years.
What’s your trademark in the client or event experience?
Giving clients permission to do whatever works for them, while always reminding them about the guest experience. Let’s not do seven speeches at the wedding (borrrring!). Save a few for the welcome party as something casual and fun to welcome people to town. Don’t like cake? Skip it. Think flowers are a waste? Do all candles.
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want to?
It has absolutely revolutionized the way I do business. Not only does it save me hours upon hours each week, but it helps me present myself in a very professional manner to my clients, rather than sending PDF checklists and budgets. The checklists are honestly my favorite feature by far. Clients don’t have to email me every time asking “what’s next?”.
What are three things you never show up without on event day?
I work mainly in the Palm Springs area so my number one is water! Then definitely my emergency kit and my iPhone.
How do weddings and special events make you feel?
They make me feel lucky to share these most special days with people who appreciate me.
If you could plan any celebrity wedding whose would it be?
I might be the worst person to ask this question to, because I truly think people are just people so I don’t have huge aspirations towards celeb weddings, but I do watch a lot of trashy reality TV so maybe someone from Vanderpump Rules or one of the Real Housewives. Unless Snoop Dogg wants to do a vow renewal, then definitely that. My real ideal client is someone with a really large budget who lets me learn about them and then choose everything myself, and they just write the checks. I know I’d kill it.
Just for fun:
Dogs or cats?
I have a cat (her headshot is even on our website!), but I am vegan and I love all animals equally.
What skill would you like to master?
Building things like backdrops and woodworking!
What song do you know every word to?
Pretty much anything 90’s and early 2000’s gangster rap, when rap was still rap.
On my days off you can find me…
Netflix and chilling, reading my Kindle, or probably working.
If you catch me out and about I’m always wearing…
Anything that makes me feel like a modern day Stevie Nicks.