Get to Know a Wedding Planner: Simply Elegant Group (3)Photo Credit: Jody Savage Photography

Today’s planner interview is with Ashley of Simply Elegant Group based in Minneapolis, MN! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

I am a LOVER of all things vintage- and I loved that 2014 was all about antique inspired décor! I have been a part of the lovely wedding world for going on 5 years now and I CANNOT get enough! I recently was a bride myself- marrying the LOVE OF MY LIFE Nathan in early 2014. But before I was a bride- I created Simply Elegant, a wedding planning company that is devoted to helping brides on a budget.

Unlike other wedding planning companies, the Simply Elegant Group does not focus solely on the design of an event, but provides clients with as much insider knowledge as possible. Beyond this innovative approach to help you feel comfortable and informed in your event decisions, we work with industry leading wedding vendors to provide couples with significant discounts on products and services. With these exclusive discounts from our amazing vendors, we actually save you money! And what bride doesn’t want to spend less on her wedding??

The most revolutionary part about the Simply Elegant Group is that our goal is to save you more money than what we cost you (Extraordinary idea, right?). We are here to change the pre-conceived notion that event planners are only for the wealthy. We believe that clients who are more budget conscious aren’t getting any less married or having any less fun; they deserve to be fully present on their event day. Here at the Simply Elegant Group our motto is: We are for every bride and groom, on every budget.

Read the full interview after the cut!

Get to Know a Wedding Planner: Simply Elegant Group (2)Photo Credit: Athena Petlon Photography

How did you get into wedding planning?

I have always had a passion for adding value to others. I am also a HUGE NERD for a good love story- wedding planning and helping brides through this stressful time was such a natural progression. Being involved and being available for advice for any of our couples is SUCH an important thing for myself and my team. We are here for our clients- anytime day or night!

Get to Know a Wedding Planner: Simply Elegant Group (1)Photo Credit: John Sharpe Photography

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I have a very specific piece I look forward to MOST- absolutely adjusting my brides train of her dress before they go down the aisle- I LITERALLY tear up every time! No kidding. Yep- I’m THAT girl. But in all honesty- I know from that moment on- hand-in-hand with her family she is taking a step to show her love for her significant other and that is just beyond for me.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?

Learn when to say “no.” This is something I am still trying to learn myself. I am the type of person that wants to help to the ends of the earth- but unfortunately sometimes weddings and events can bring out difficult emotions and unrealistic expectations of clients. Understanding how you can BEST help vs always help is an important distinction.

Get to Know a Wedding Planner: Simply Elegant Group (1)Photo Credit: Jen Togal Photography

What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?

I am trying to become an incredible chef! I constantly watch the Food Network Channel (I LOVE Ree Drummond) and I want to be the Urban Pioneer Women! I’m not sure that could be a thing… But of course I love planning parties- but a little secret? I love HOSTING them even more! Friends and family over, having great drinks and playing board games- what could be better than that!!

Any great stories from working with a client?

One of my favorites is when I feel like I added the most vaule- (Of course!) I had a beautiful and talented bride getting married at a venue I work at all the time. There had been an oversight from the caterer and with the bride and groom being so anxious about the upcoming wedding they had unknowingly overpaid the bill to the caterer. During our routine review of the wedding contracts, I pointed out the error to the staff manager (unbeknownst to the bride) 6 days before the event and on the day after the wedding they received a refund check in the amount of $2,000. Happy Honeymoon!

Get to Know a Wedding Planner: Simply Elegant Group (2)
Photo Credit: Paper Antler Photography

What is your current favorite color combination?

There are SO many right now that I love! But lavender is my all-time favorite. Because it is such a versatile color- it can be a neutral as well as a little pop of color if needed. And it is so VERY Simply Elegant. ;)

Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?

I think for 2015 there will be a slight twist on my favorites- like I said I love all things vintage. But I think brides are really moving beyond the burlap and lace of 2014. They are loving the natural pallets and amazing textures of true ethereal concepts and tints. I love naked cakes and whimsical floral bouquets- I hope these trends stay around for at least a few seasons!

Get to Know a Wedding Planner: Simply Elegant Group (3)Photo Credit: Kendra Oxendale Photography

What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning?

The advice I give to my clients is the same that Mom and Dad gave you when you were young- don’t give into peer pressure! What do I mean by that?? I mean that your wedding is YOUR WEDDING- give it personality! Give it LIFE! Make sure that it is your own- and don’t let others push you into certain details or traditions that just aren’t YOU GUYS. Do what speaks to you as couple. This day is about YOUR relationship and if you hold true to you- I promise your day will be truly unforgettable.

Thanks Ashley! For more information about Simply Elegant Group, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Ashley? Add them to the comments below!

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