In this week's edition of "In The Mix With," we interview wedding and event planner Sara Franklin of Social Scene Events. We've done quite a few weddings over the last year with Sara and she's been great to work with. Sara, I hope you're ready to tackle some tough questions -- here we go!
How did you get started in the wedding business?
I started my career working for Design Cuisine. I was with them 12 ½ years and loved the social aspect of the parties I helped plan for my clients. When I had a family, I knew that the catering business time commitment and family life would not mix well. I started working for a client of mine from Design who had a wedding planning company and then went out on my own in 2008. Moving to this side of events was the BEST decision I ever made.
What do you do when you are not working?
Have fun with my family and be a Mom of 2 young girls. Working the way I do still allows me to take them to ballet, soccer and swimming yet still plan fabulous parties! I also love to work out (cycling, classes and yoga/pilates); it gives me so much energy.
How would you describe your approach to weddings?
I am enthusiastic yet laid back, which I know sounds funny. I really try to not get all flustered when things do not go exactly to plan, no sense in throwing a fit about it -- it won’t change what is happening after all. It is much better to assess the situation and figure out the best plan to fix the issue. I also feel very strongly that I want to assist clients create their dream wedding. I always tell them, I got married and did what I wanted to do… now it is your turn!
What inspires you in your work?
Working with creative people and seeing things at other events and in magazines. It is amazing to have an idea and then build on it with each vendor that gets involved. We are so lucky in DC to have so many creative people and rentals at our disposable.
What do you find the most rewarding about your job?
I enjoy seeing how much fun my clients have at their weddings. I really believe, of course I would, that they should be able to relax and enjoy themselves completely because they have given themselves the gift of a planner. It is so amazing to see it all come together; especially something you have been working on for months with a client, all the hard work shows to their guests.
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business?
As we all know, it is not brain surgery but it is not as easy as it looks. I think most clients are not always sure how they can benefit from a planner and there are so many ways. We see so many things, some good and some bad, I like to be able to help my clients hire the right professional vendors.
What do you think sets your company apart from other wedding planners?
It is hard for me to comment on how others work so I will just say that I am proud of the way we work really hard to match our clients to the best possible vendors for them. I was once in a floral meeting where the mother of the bride began crying and then the bride just because they were so happy about what they were seeing, talking about and what was to come. That makes me feel like I have done my job well!
What do you love about weddings?
Ceremonies, father/daughter dances, and special moments between the bride and groom which show you why we are all really there.
What do you hate about “working” weddings?
The fact that I cannot join in on the dance floor during a really great song and have as good of a time as all the guests are having!
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding?
I was lucky enough to be a guest, and they had a bar made completely out of ice with candelabras carved into it… amazing!
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding?
Enjoy yourself, and host the wedding of your dreams that reflects you -- not what others think you should do. And hire a planner, of course!!!
Who is your favorite artist or band?
WOW... Now, that is a hard question. It depends on what I am doing. When I run, I have to have a beat -- so Pink, Pussycat Dolls, Prince, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Snoop Dogg, Black Eyed Peas... the list could go on. If I am having dinner with my family I love listening to Ryan Adams, Lyle Lovett, Donavon Frankenreiter, David Gray, Jack Johnson. I really just love music, makes the day better!
What is the worst song of all time?
Oh my… "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung I think! It is very hard to narrow that one down.
Open mic, final thoughts:
Enjoy everything planning a wedding has to offer. Obviously, it has elements of stress but remember why you are there. On the day of your weddinf, only you and possibly your vendors know if something has not gone exactly the way it should have. The guests love it all, it’s a party so what’s not to enjoy!
[EVAN] Thanks, Sara! Everyone, have a great holiday weekend and watch out for the crazies - I have some really interesting stuff to post next week. Happy 4th!