I'm really excited about today's small business feature! Our creative is Stacia Baskin and she is the owner and event planner at Paper Swallows Events! Wedding planning is always something I've dreamed about doing on the side, so it was fun to learn a little bit more about what goes on behind the scenes!
I asked Stacia some fun questions, including ones about her favorite event and any horror stories she might have! Here's what she shared...
When did you start your business/open up shop?
I knew that wedding planning and I were meant to be once I started planning my own wedding. Once my husband and I were married in May 2013, I delved in to researching everything I needed to know about being a wedding planner/coordinator. I helped with my first wedding in a small capacity that June before diving in to being the full-on wedding planner/coordinator for a wedding that took place in October. The name, Paper Swallow Events, came to be shortly after that, and my website was launched in late October/early November 2013. Depending on how you interpret those dates will determine my official launch date.
What is the story behind your business/shop name?
Name choosing is hard! That's a huge reason why it took me so long to launch my website. I knew I wanted something whimsical because I gravitate towards whimsical things, but I also knew that, though I didn't want it to be cheesy, that I wanted it to have some symbology and meaning. I finally landed on Paper Swallow Events for three reasons. 1. Paper. I love working with my hands and getting elbow deep in a fantastic DIY project, especially if it involves paper. I felt like this word captured my love for creativity. 2. Swallow. I'm a bird lover, for one thing, but more importantly I love the symbology of swallows and how they mate for life. It's such a beautiful image to me! 3. Events. Paper Swallow Weddings just fell flat, but I also wanted to a) give my name a descriptive word so people know what I'm all about, and b) give myself and my brand room to expand into other types of event planning in the future. Though weddings will always be my first love, I can see myself really enjoying helping people pull together other important moments in their lives.
What inspires your creativity when planning an event?
Without a doubt my brides and their love stories. I absolutely adore sitting down over tea or coffee with my brides (it's even better if they bring their fiance!) and hearing their love stories. What made them fall in love, how he proposed, and all the things he does that make her laugh. The smile on her face inspires me incredibly. From there I work with her to create a wedding that is not only special to her, but that represents her and her fiance and their unique love story. As the couple talk about what's important to them, it's easy to pull out ideas and suggestions based on what they're saying. It's fun to work with the complete romantics that want everyone in tears during their sweet first dance, or to help a bride who hates over-sentimentality come up with a couple quotes on relationships for her photo backdrop, or to work with a bride who wants to show of the couple's nerd side and create a Lord of the Rings inspired wedding. Each couple is so different and I'm always looking forward to meeting my next client!
What's your favorite event you've done so far?
That's a difficult one. Each wedding I've worked on so far has been so unique to the couple that it's almost like comparing snowflakes - they're each so beautiful in their own way! I am, however, greatly looking forward to the rustic outdoorsy wedding that I'm currently working on for this May. The venue is on the Ocoee River and it's just going to be stunning. I also love the elegant vineyard wedding I did. I was really happy with how the aisle turned out (pictured below courtesy of Memories by Missi Photography.) The bride and I had planned to sprinkle petals in her wedding colors all down the aisle along with candles, but the winds were really strong that day, so I came up with a new plan that used both the candles and petals in a different way, which still adding that pop of color the bride had been wanting.
Do you have an event/client horror story?
So far I would say that my experiences have been fairly tame. Whenever something does happen I tend to chalk it up to how weddings are such a high stress environment and it's hard to predict everything. Maybe it's my background in theater, but I don't tend to let the little things get to me, I just go with the flow (it rained on my own outdoor wedding and I couldn't have been happier.) I did have one wedding where the caterer was a diva and did everything the bride and I had both specifically asked her not to. That was rough. I was making them move the buffet table at the last minute because I ran off to check on the bride and, when I came back, they had set the buffet table up in front of the doors the bride was planning on entering through. Thankfully they got them moved and the bride made her grand entrance none the wiser!