Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vendor Series Interview No. 12, The Sweetest Thing Weddings

I am always looking for talented wedding planners to recommend when we are unavailable to a client and after chatting in depth with Amber Small of The Sweetest Thing Weddings, I know my clients would be in great hands with her team! Not only is she talented in our industry, she has four children to boot! Zachary is enough for me right now, I don't know HOW she does it all. Take a look at her photos and enjoy the interview! We have recently welcomed Amber to the KPW family as well!

The Sweetest Thing Weddings

Amber Small

Samples of her work

KP: What is your favorite part of the wedding process?

AS: All aspects of the wedding process are wonderful. My personal favorite is the day of the wedding. I love seeing all the work come together. To see the excitement of all the people involved: the couple, their family and guests. It is an amazing experience to be a part of this significant part of their lives. There is a rush that comes with the day, an adrenaline high. I also love working with other vendors and see them do their art. It is like a show and you have the honor of opening the curtain!

KP: What do you love most about your job in the wedding industry?

AS: Creating a wedding that depicts the couple’s unique personalities. I love the art of design; creating a space that defines the couple and makes the wedding “theirs”. I love working with talented vendors who are true artists in their own crafts, from florist, to lighting companies, caterers to rental companies and owners of inns and estates: all with the common goal of creating an amazing event for the couple. I love that I get to spend a year or more with some of my brides, create lasting friendships with them, to hear from them when they are having a baby or buying a house. It is a true honor for me to become a part of their life.

KP: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?

AS: I believe the biggest misconception in my industry is that a planner isn’t necessary. I think every bride could benefit from working with a planner, whether it is throughout the entire planning process, during the day of the event, or a consult to help create a vision. The wedding industry is saturated with ideas, colors, details, products, etc. It can be so overwhelming, and a planner can help the couple stay focused.

KP: How did you get into the wedding industry?

AS: I have always loved design and fashion. I started in the wedding business working for a caterer. I saw a lot of wedding and noticed ways to make them work smoother and be less “cookie Cutter”, more unique to each couple. I progressed from catering to being a bridal assistant at the hotel I worked for and then for friends. Soon friend’s friends wanted me work with them. In 2003 I went “live” online and have been doing what I love ever since.

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor other than in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

AS: I think there are a lot of great planners in Maine. I love Meghan Gilpatrick from Maine Seasons Events. She is great at what she does, highly organized and driven. She is also a young mother like me; a wonderful person to bounce ideas off, as well as to work with.

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

AS: This is a tough question. As a planner, I work with every type of vendor in the wedding industry. I feel honored to have worked with some incredible vendors who do their jobs incredibly well and go above and beyond the call of duty. However, Audra Welton of Audra photography is an amazing photojournalist. She has an incredible eye and is amazing with people. She is fantastic at what she does. I am always awed by the photos she captures without being in anyone’s space. She is a true photo journalist. Another vendor would be Bancroft Potter of Sperry Tents Seacoast. They have the most incredible tents and service. The owner and his staff go above and beyond for every client.

KP: Favorite wedding story- funny or serious

AS: I had a couple who was bringing an old friend to officiate their wedding ceremony. I sent the Maine State guidelines to the couple as well as the man performing the ceremony. When I contacted him, he said he had just graduated from seminary and would have all his documentation for the ceremony. The day of the rehearsal I get a call from the officiate. His paperwork was delayed. He was not certified. I called EVERY notary public in the town and found a man who could come to the rehearsal. The couple didn’t want everyone to know that their friend couldn’t do it legally, so, after the rehearsal, with me as the photographer, they went into the Asticou gardens and had a secret ceremony with the notary and their parents. It was a sweet, little ceremony that no one knew about. We went to the dinner and no one was the wiser. The next day their ceremony friend “married” them again. After that experience, I became a notary, to be prepared to sign the proper documentation if needed. I learned a lot from “Operation Azalea Garden”.

KP: What other part of the wedding industry would you not want to work in? Why?

AS: On behalf of my family, I would say baking the cake. I cannot for the life of me get cake to come out of the pan in one piece. For the sake of all involved, I should be kept away from any sort of cooking. However, I can make a mean biscuit which is not helpful, unless the couple wants strawberry shortcake.

KP: What differentiates you from the rest of your industry peers?

AS: As a mother of four young children, multitasking is second nature. It takes a lot to overwhelm me. I am organized and thorough which allows me to be flexible when the unexpected occurs, and sometimes it does. I am naturally very calm and yet very extroverted. This helps me mediate well with clients and vendors throughout the wedding planning process. I love people and I connect with just about anyone. I get hooked with each couple as I hear how they met and how they got to this point in their relationship. I desire to get to know each couple and work with them to make their wedding personal and unique to them. My goal is to make their wedding the sweetest thing.

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