Every so often, I like to profile other wedding vendors who I really enjoy. I had lunch with Aletha from Pearls Events in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago, and I asked her if I could profile her here, and she agreed (yeah!). Here's what she had to say!
How did you get started as an event and wedding planner?
My career began in 1998 with a part time job as a banquet server. I loved working weddings, but had no idea I could turn it into a career. In college, I interned with a bridal designer in Chicago and realized that the wedding world was much larger than just the food side of things. After working in a cubicle for four years marketing Christian books, I finally took the leap of faith and started Pearls Events. I've combined my love of weddings, service & marketing and am pleased with how things have been going.
Tell us about Pearls Events. (Who you are, what you do, why you do it) Pearls Events is an event planning boutique located in West Michigan, with offices in Grand Rapids and Holland. We plan, design & coordinate social events throughout the entire state of Michigan with couples located all over the Midwest.
What's your favorite thing about helping people plan their perfect wedding? Getting to know the couple throughout their engagement is my favorite aspect of wedding planning. I went into this business because of the relationships that are formed - in the end, it's all about people.
On average, how many weddings do you do a year? On average, we work with 17 clients per year. Of course, all of our clients use our services in different ways, from full event planning, to simply setting up venues - each client is different and that is why we offer custom services.
If someone wanted to book you for their wedding, what are the important things they should know (timeline/process/etc)? Brides-to-be just need to have a month in mind for their wedding day. Since we book some clients 18 months in advance, we just need to have a date. Ooh, and a fiance, of course!
What do you recommend for brides who just aren't sure where to start with planning a wedding? Start by talking to your fiance about what sort of wedding you'd like - big, small, outdoor, traditional.
Also, talk about money. Having some sort of budget is a good place to start and will determine what sort of wedding you will be planning.
What makes "Pearls Events" different from other event designers? Pearls Events is the most connected wedding planning company in West Michigan.
On a personal note, what are some of your favorite things? Some of my favorite things include my husband, our Yorkie Olive, driving manual transmission cars, wearing dresses, getting a pedicure, fresh squeezed orange juice, seeing live music.
What is something you would want a future client to know about you? When planning your wedding, don't let the wedding magazines, wedding blogs, or your friends & family persuade you to doing something that doesn't reflect you. Weddings are personal and and can be beautiful without all the fuss. My favorite wedding to date was simple, but full of personal details. There were no fancy centerpieces and no expensive favors - it was all about the couple.