Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An interview with C&C:

We had the opportunity to be part of an interview for Antoinette at Fab Blog and share a bit about who we are, what trends we're loving...and what trends we're not! ;) You also might learn a little bit more about how we got started and why we love what we do...

Thank you so much Antoinette for the feature on Carter & Cook! Go take a look at their blog for some fun inspiration!

Talk about how the two of you became what we know now as Carter & Cook Event Co. How we met: I am from Point Loma {San Diego, CA} and Ashlyn is from Ventura, CA. It’s funny, we actually switched cities for college, as I moved up to Santa Barbara to attend Westmont College and she moved down here to go to Point Loma Nazarene University {both private, Christian schools}. After graduation, I moved home and got married. After my wedding, I knew I wanted to somehow be involved in planning weddings and events. I ended up working for a corporate event planning company {Vision Event Productions}, where I met Ashlyn. I learned so much during my time there. It was definitely invaluable, as I gained event experience and met my future business partner! Ashlyn and I began carpooling to work, and in that half hour commute {each way} we began discussing our dreams of having our own company and doing private events on a much more personal level. And so, Carter & Cook Event Company was born!

Ashlyn was actually planning her wedding at the time, so we spent hours on wedding blogs and other coordinators’ sites, getting inspiration as well as an idea of what our competition looked like. We met with Karrie of Posh Paperie and began brainstorming what our brand would look like. We also talked with an attorney to get informed on exactly what we needed to do on the legal end, and set up our business license… even before we had our first wedding booked!

Tell us about your organizational +/or creative process, from the moment you meet with a client for the first time to the completion of their event. The creative process really begins the moment we meet a new bride and groom. We love how each couple is completely unique, even though they all say they want similar things, like the “Anthropologie, vintage” inspired wedding. We love finding out what’s important to the couple and what distinguishes them from the next couple. This is how we come up with their theme/feel for their wedding day. Once we decide to go in a certain direction, it’s our job to assist our couples in staying on track when it comes to décor, budget and time! The organizational process also starts immediately. We are big fans of lists and time lines. {Hopefully our brides are too because we’re always sending them their way!} I don’t think it’s normal for someone to be creative and organized! So Ashlyn and I really take pride in our God-given talents!

Where do you find inspiration for...

...Yourselves? As far as our business goes, Ashlyn and I really admire a few planners that have been in the business for years. One that always comes up is Mindy Weiss. We would love to one day have a super successful, renowned company. And we’d love to meet Mindy someday! Both Ashlyn and I have inspiring parents who have encouraged us to go for our dreams. They’ve also been great examples of what hard work looks like.

...Your clients? We are really inspired by interior design. I love looking at magazines and blogs such as apartmenttherapy.com and designsponge.com to get ideas for event décor. Also our clients are very inspiring. They normally are pretty good at starting our creativeness to flow.

...Events? {same as above! All of our events are for a lovely clients.}

What trends are you loving right now? Are there any that you wish would disappear? What ideas do you foresee as staples for future weddings? The trend we love the most is that anything goes these days. It is enjoyable seeing how each client and event is completely different. At one of our weddings in March, the groom created a hot air balloon piñata for his darling bride. He blind folded her in front of all their guests, spun her around and watched her attack the piñata. It was great! It’s all about the details… and making them personal to each couple.
There are a few trends that we are a little tired of… anything to do with birds: birdcages, nests, nests with eggs… you get the picture! I’d like to see the traditional, single wedding cake make a comeback, rather than cupcakes. WE see photo booths all the time. They’re fun, but not uncommon anymore. Ashlyn just mentioned the other day she wouldn’t be sad if she never sees another sparkler send off. But at the end of the day, it’s up to our clients and what they want at their wedding. If a bride’s always dreamed of having a bird themed wedding or sparklers for her send off, that’s what she’s going to get. Of course we make suggestions, but the bride and groom make the final decision.

What are some tips/tricks that you can share that allowed well-designed elements to really pop in photographs? The easiest way to get beautiful, crisp photographs is to hire a talented, professional photographer! Ashlyn and I cannot stress this enough to our couples. You can spend all the money you want on flowers and décor or your wedding dress, but if you do not hire a good photographer you won’t have beautiful pictures to remember all of your wedding day details. Some tips that help well-designed elements pop in photographs are: Choose a color palette wisely! Whether you choose a palette with multi-bright colors or a muted palette, make sure you have at least one color that will stand out and make a statement. Also, using different textures help photographs pop. We like finding place mats or napkins that have texture to them. They really add something special to the tables.

Have you ever dealt with a ‘Bridezilla’ client? How do you deal with sticky situations? Honestly and thankfully no! We’ve never had a Bridezilla! We are very fortunate in that department. Of course we’ve had our fair share of minor sticky situations. But every planner knows sometimes things don’t go as planned. Fortunately, we are excellent at thinking on our feet, and can always figure out a way to solve any issues that come our way!

Knowing what you know now, if you could re-plan your own weddings, what would you do-over or incorporate? Oh man! Where to begin?! I cannot speak for Ashlyn, but I would definitely do a few things differently. First off, I would not spend as much money {sorry dad!}. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my wedding. But I have so much more wedding knowledge now than I did then, and know so many more vendors! I was married in a large church and the reception was in a beautiful ballroom overlooking the Pacific Ocean {at Hotel Del Coronado}. Today I would probably have a backyard or garden wedding with peonies galore and a smaller guest list!


Katie Neal Photo said...

SO FUN! I loved reading your background and input! You two ladies are geniuses! :)

Vicky said...

Thanks for sharing all your lovely inspiration! I just found your blog/company today and cannot stop looking at your amazing work, you gals are so charming.