S1E4: Behind the Scenes of a Wedding Planning Business

In this episode of the Candid Conversations podcast, your co-hosts Dan and Sagan share a little bit about the progress they’ve made on their new business venture, Juxta Communications. We also interview Carly Edmundson of LouLou Weddings, a wedding event planning company, who shares what it’s like behind the scenes of running weddings in Winnipeg. 

Find out what it's REALLY like to be a wedding planner... the behind-the-scenes scoop of the wedding planning industry!

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Show Notes

0:00 Introduction to the podcast

0:40 Update on Sagan & Dan’s business, Juxta Communications

“One of the things we’ve found within the past 3 weeks since the last episode was launched, the action items and being able to have some kind of project management process in place is important.” – Dan

“Each week we have meetings where we ask, ‘what are the top 3 things I can do this week in our business to get to our goal of full-time status?’” – Dan

“We made the mistake of duplicating our tasks… there’s been lots of figuring out what works best for each of us, how are we currently doing it for each of our own businesses, and how can we make sure that we’re both on the same page for our joint business, Juxta Communications. What it comes down to is figuring out how you want to organize your tasks, and does the system work for both of you in this joint business partnership? It’s redundant and unnecessary to duplicate processes and content.” – Sagan

“Figuring out our assets and what we bring to the table was also a big one. We understand our skillsets, which is what you have to do in a joint partnership.” – Dan

5:00 Introduction to Carly Edmundson, Lou Lou Weddings

5:35 Why Carly decided to get into wedding planning

“I thought, ‘I can do this, I’m passionate about it.’ I’d done a lot of events through my marketing day job and always really loved them, but weddings offer that extra personal emotional connection. As good of a job as I do, nobody’s ever going to say, ‘I remember every moment of the charity golf tournament in 2003,’ you know? So I thought, I want to try doing it, so I started doing it!” – Carly

“I see weddings as the ultimate brand experience. I can’t think of anything else, even from a business standpoint, where everything you see, smell, taste, and hear is all supposed to reflect the experience that you’re having. I see it through that business lens: do all of these choices fit with the brand that’s trying to be achieved?” – Carly

7:15 How do you manage someone else’s wedding while managing a full-time 9 to 5 job in the process?

“Sometimes I don’t manage it well, but I do have a flexible work life and spend time in the evening. It helps that it’s a similar field, where it doesn’t feel like it’s a total departure from managing an ad campaign at my 9 to 5, to then planning someone’s wedding. It’s a similar vibe, although obviously a lot more personal in nature. That’s something I do struggle with… I need to learn how to say ‘no’ a little better with weddings. My worst fear would be to over-commit myself and not be able to do the best job I can ever do for my clients — they’re hopefully, likely, only having one wedding! It’s not worth the risk for me to have an off day.” – Carly

“I limit myself and only do 2 — 3 weddings per year, and probably moving forward as my 9 to 5 gets busy, I’ll just do 1 wedding.” – Carly.

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8:50 Why having a close relationship with her clients is a strength

“For us to have a good planning experience, you as the client have to feel as though I’m your friend, and feel comfortable enough to share with me what you really think, so that I can best represent you on that day… It’s such a personal experience so it’s hard not to feel close right away; you’re talking about their family dynamics or the things that make them unique as a couple and their personal stories.” – Carly

“Then you have a really great emotional investment that the wedding will go well.” – Sagan

10:50 For someone who’s trying to get into wedding planning, where did you start to get here today?

“It’s really myself that I’m selling. If my personality connects with you, that’s awesome, but if it doesn’t, then I really shouldn’t work with you because it’s a very personal long-term relationship that we’re about to enter into. So it’s important that the connection is there.” – Carly

12:15 What does a typical wedding day look like to you?

13:20 What does a typical contract look like? Wondering if you're cut out to be a wedding planner? Get the inside scoop of what it's like being a wedding planner in this Candid Conversations podcast episode!

“The way that I do it is very customizable. Some people enjoy the research; other’s don’t. I think that’s a misconception about planners, that we come in and take over… that’s not what happens. I aim to do it however clients want to.” – Carly

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16:45 Is hiring a wedding planner right for everyone?

“There are so many societal pressures that come with having a wedding… there’s an expectation of everything being this perfect handcrafted experience, but the reality is that it’s a ton of work to pull that off and a ton of money. But if it’s in the budget, no wedding could not benefit from having a planner, because if you don’t have someone designated to take care of stuff that day, they’ll be coming to you instead.” – Carly

18:15 How has your perspective on weddings changed since you got into this business?

“I’ve always been a details person, so even as a guest, I’d notice things. From that perspective, that skillset carries over into being a planner.” – Carly

“I can romanticize these events because I only do a couple a year. The reason I love it and am passionate about it is because it’s a special occasion when I do it. If I didn’t have that connection with clients, I would get so much less out of it.” – Carly

20:40 What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced as a wedding planner?

“The biggest challenge is my own internal struggle with some of the stigmas around weddings. I haven’t had a ‘nightmare bride’ — that’s such a sexist thing to say. There’s been almost no drama with my clients. The only drama I’ve witnessed is inter-family dynamics, not because brides become blinded by the ring on their finger.” – Carly

23:05 What do you enjoy most about the wedding planning process?

“How many things exist where it’s just to celebrate something that’s awesome? I love that I get to be part of that. How often do people show emotion like that?” – Carly

24:55 Being a wedding planner and an event planner are two different things — why are they so different?

27:00 Do you have any interesting or funny stories that you’d like to share?

28:50 For those who choose to get into wedding planning, what tips do you have for them, or what skillsets would they need to get into this line of business?

“There’s a confusion sometimes between decorators/stylists, and planners. It’s not a bad thing, I think most successful ones are a hybrid of both, but I think people who are passionate about making things love beautiful forget that this is a supply chain, logistics project. I lead with spreadsheets!” – Carly

30:40 What’s coming up next for you and your business? In this podcast episode, we interview a local Winnipeg wedding planner all about her experience of being a wedding planner, why she loves it, and the skillset required if YOU are thinking about getting into the wedding planning industry. Click on over to get the goods now!

31:50 How do you go about bringing on assistants for the event? Who do you trust, and how do you reach out to people?

“I usually hire people I’ve worked with at a corporate event, people who I’ve seen in action and who I know can manage an event. I need to have experience in that setting with you to feel comfortable with hiring you.” – Carly

34:00 How to connect with Carly

Instagram: @LouLouCarly

Facebook: Lou Lou Weddings

35:00 What Carly loves most about the wedding industry in Winnipeg

“I can’t think of any industry that empowers young women to start their own businesses, more than the wedding industry.” – Carly

37:05 Thanks for listening!

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37:35 Outtake 🙂

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Awesome Resources + People Mentioned In This Episode:

Don’t Be a Stranger!

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For example, you could…

  1. Tweet at us (@Dn_Nicholson and @Saganlives) to let us know what you thought about this podcast
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Pssst… want to grab Dan and Sagan for an interview on YOUR podcast or blog? We’d be honoured! Shoot us an email and let’s chat.

Find out what Carly’s up to now in our book, A Year in the Life of Candid Conversations: Behind the Scenes of Creating a Podcast From Scratch.

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