One month before our wedding last summer; I realized I couldn’t email another vendor or make another call about the ‘big day.’ I hit a pre-wedding wall and needed help with logistics –fast! Thankfully, it came in the form of three amazing sisters – Johanna, Andrea and Clare (who I actually went to school with growing up in Ukiah, CA.)
They are the power team behind the professional wedding and event planning services: Lily + Mint located in the SF Bay Area north to Mendocino. Here’s my ‘Behind the Scene’s’ interview with middle sister, Andrea, who I highly recommend if you’re in need of a wedding planner. She offers amazing insight how to start your own business and what it’s like to work ultra high-stress days with your two sisters. Can you imagine? Let’s meet Lily + Mint with a few flashbacks from our wedding day last August...
Q. How did you get into event planning, weddings and starting Lily + Mint?
Andrea – I actually didn’t realize that wedding planning was a “real job” until after college, when I discovered an internship with a wedding planner and fell in love with it. It was difficult to find a full time job with an event planning company, as they tend to be small teams of 2 or 3 people, so it was natural to start my own business and to include my two sisters, who are equally creative.
Q. What is it like running a business with your two sisters? Do you have any advice for other’s looking to start a business with their family?
Andrea – Working with family can be very challenging, but also a very rewarding experience. There are always moments when we disagree, as siblings do, but ultimately I know I can trust and rely on them more than anyone. We know each other so well that we work seamlessly together. We can absolutely count on each other to pull through in tough situations. My advice for those starting a business with family members is to be patient with each other and to realize that each person is different. Focusing on each others strengths has helped us create a stronger team and a stronger relationship.
Q. Do you have any advice to newly engaged couples?
Andrea – Planning a wedding is a lot of work, but can also be a lot of fun. Make sure to give yourself enough time to plan. Start with the big picture of your day and how you envision your ideal wedding. After that, put together a budget and start researching venues. Once you have your location decided, many of the other details will fall into place, such as the style and look of the wedding. Finally, don’t lose sight of why you are doing all of this – to celebrate your love with one another and your family. If any element of your wedding doesn’t feel like you, then don’t do it! There really is no right or wrong way to do things; do what makes you happy.
Q. What is the worst wedding catastrophe you’ve seen on the big day and how did you fix it?
Andrea – At one of our earliest weddings, the limo driver left the venue in a hurry with all of the alcohol for the evening in the vehicle! He refused to return with the alcohol, so my sister had to run out and purchase more. Sometimes the worst catastrophes happen because of unprofessional vendors rather than “bridezillas.” All the more important to choose vendors you can trust!
Q. Besides having a wedding planner, (hehe) what is your best advice for a bride on her wedding day?
Andrea – Make the decision to be happy on your wedding day and let go of the small stuff. Do as much prep work in advance as you can, and then let go and enjoy. Hopefully you have a coordinator and trusted vendors to make sure all goes smoothly, but even if you do, there are always things that are out of our control. While you can’t always stop the bumps in the road from happening, you can decide how you respond to them. Our happiest couples are not the ones who have a picture perfect wedding day, but those who choose to embrace the small imperfections. In fact, sometimes the most memorable part of your wedding is something you never expected.
Have you ever helped a friend or family member plan a wedding? Did they hire a ‘Day Of’ coordinator? ~xoDale
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