As a blogger, I can proudly say I love this job. It’s all fun and exciting to meet brides who are over the top in excitement due to their upcoming weddings but my excitement moves to a whole different level when I come across people who go for it; go for their passion, step out of the box and do what they really enjoy. Of course when it’s in the wedding field I get even more thrilled 🙂 In the high-degree-over-the-moon excitement I’m in today, I bring to you the 29 year Cydney Johnson all the way from Denver, Colorado who is the face behind Stiletto Events the award winning Wedding Planner as voted on Denver’s Best A list. Hope you enjoy our very first Vendor feature on E.W.A.M and of course learn a few things!
Enough of my words, let’s get to hers!
How and When did you discover your interest in anything related to weddings
I’ve been dreaming about weddings since I was old enough to know what they were. I loved putting together wedding boards and looking through bride magazines when I was in my early teens. It wasn’t until my friends started getting married in our early 20s that I realized I should be planning weddings for a living.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
It took quite some time to come up with a name…we had about 5 options, all had something to do with classic pieces in a woman’s wardrobe (like Stilettos or Little Black Dress)…what it came down to was whether or not the name was actually available. All the names we had picked were classic names…something that would never go out of style…Stiletto ultimately became the favorite and it stuck ever since.
Is running your business what you do full-time?
I run it full time, but I also have a day job and have recently purchased a wedding floral company called Oakes Fields…so technically I work 3 jobs! For my day job, I am an advertising account executive for an online marketing company. I am a workaholic. I don’t take lunches at my day job, so if a client calls, I’m able to take a minute to talk to them without worrying. My day job hours are flexible as well, which is extremely helpful. I work until late on weekdays for Stiletto and Oakes Fields and am always working on weekends. I don’t consider Stiletto or Oakes Fields a job…I like to consider it a paid hobby…I love it so much so it doesn’t feel like work. One day I will be able to focus on them full-time.
Where is your business located and How long has it been officially been up?
Stiletto Events is officially located in Denver, Colorado and will be venturing into it’s third year on Jan 1, 2013!
What were your obstacles to beginning your own business?
I originally started Stiletto Events with a business partner…this was a huge obstacle…eventually we decided to go our separate ways and I took over Stiletto full time. Getting the word out about Stiletto was also a challenge…we were competing with some top name companies in the industry and it was hard to get our foot in the door.
…and what challenges do you still face having come this far?
Many ladies in Colorado like the aspect of DIY weddings and enjoy saving money…convincing a bride she needs help is always an obstacle to overcome. In many cases, people don’t see the full benefits to having a planner until it’s too late or last minute…it’s a good thing we specialize in Day Of Coordination!
I would imagine traveling is a huge part of your type of job, how is that for you?
We typically stay in the Denver Metro area, but have had the privilege of working some mountain weddings. For us to travel we do add on a travel fee…gas is not cheap! And depending on how far away we are from home, we also require lodging.
As a wedding planner you get to meet the various wedding vendors. What is it like having to manage so many other vendors who may not directly be your own workers?
In this industry, I consider the vendors I work with as my team…I will always work with a different combination of a team…rarely with the exact same team. We’re all there for one reason, to make wedding dreams come true. I’ve quickly learned that if you want things to go smoothly with the vendors you work with, you respect them…the golden rule comes into play here! Treat vendors how you want to be treated. Network yourself to get to know the vendors in the area…and on the wedding day, be sure to be professional…introduce yourself prior and let it be known what your role is…vendors will almost always respect the planner and their role on the wedding day.
Knowing that you got married somewhat recently, I cant help but wonder if you planned your own wedding too. Or just sit back and let someone else work on it?
I have a control issue…so I planned every aspect of our wedding. On the wedding day, I relaxed and put my faith and trust into the vendors I hired…I obviously chose my vendors for a reason…because they are THE BEST in the industry…in the end, I was amazed at how relaxed I was on the wedding day…and so was my husband!
Are there any specific/favorite moments that you always look forward to on the job?
One of my favorite moments is showing the bride and groom the setup for their reception. I don’t always get the opportunity to show them, but when I do…I love seeing how they light up and get excited about how it looks. It always makes me happy knowing I was able to create exactly what they had been dreaming of.
What is it you can’t stand from clients; any on the job pet peeves?
I sometimes get frustrated with brides who lack on communication. I understand they’ve hired me because they don’t have much time to plan their wedding…but I still need input. I also now require a meeting with the mother of the bride or whoever is making the financial decisions. I had a nightmare of a mom this last wedding season and it really changed my way of how I book weddings.
In an ideal world, who would you say are your favorite type of clients?
My wedding world is pretty ideal. I’ve loved every bride and groom I’ve worked with…even with the frustrations. Working with different personality types from brides and grooms is what makes my job fun and at the same time challenging.
We would love to hear your favorite client review so far?
This was a review that meant so much to me…I only wish I had more than 4 months with this bride. The moment I met with her and her boss (who was paying for her wedding) I knew I was in for a fun ride. They were a blast to work with and trusted me to make the best decisions for them. Her boss had me planning tons of surprises for her…which were all so much fun and enjoyable to see her excitement with each surprise on the wedding day!
What is your one advice you can share with upcoming wedding planners?
Find an internship! Work with someone who has lots of experience in the industry and is able to help you learn. Do not go into business with a friend. And most importantly…love what you do! It’s not an easy job and is extremely stressful…if you don’t love it, you won’t succeed.
See Photos of some of Cydney’s work below.
|Photo of Cydney’s booth at her very first bridal Show at the Sarchet Event Center|
|Photo by Elevate Photography|
|Photo by Elevate Photography|
|Photo by Elevate photography|
|Photo by Volkel Image|
|Photo by Volkel Image|
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