Today’s wedding planner interview is with Michelle, the CEO of Michelle Isabel & Co, based in Irvine, CA! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Michelle Isabel & Co focuses on the art of hosting, which allows me to be intentional in my designs and the production of the event. I like to create experiences for my clients guests while easing the stresses of the planning. When I create these designs for my clients I have them in my mind in every single decision, so that their celebration is a reflection of who they are.

Read the full interview after the cut!


How did you get into wedding planning?

My background is in corporate planning but once I started working with couples on their big day, I knew immediately that this was the space for me. When I planned my sisters wedding I saw a lack of professionalism with the different vendors and vowed to never make my couples feel like just another number. Coming from corporate planning the unreasonable response times, no websites, no reviews, no formal contracts or lack of pretty pdfs wasn’t acceptable. I treat each wedding as if it were my own so in a way, I’ve been married many times :)

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I get to meet people that I would have never ever crossed paths with and I never take that for granted, especially in this world where social means the online world.

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

I’m a HUGE proponent of education. I can’t stress enough how important it is to not just jump in the deep end, but to learn to swim first. Start off by clearly laying out a plan for your business and learning as much as you can, not just about your trade but about running a business. Enroll in courses, attend webinars and take workshops to help you both in business development and personal development. AND treat everyone with kindness no matter the level of pressure you’re under.

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

I love to learn so I’m always reading, taking some kind of workshop or webinar. My husband and I love the outdoors so we love hiking, camping, backcountry camping with no cell service. We also love to travel so we make it a point to visit another country and often travel to new cities to explore different cultures. We love Hopper, if you haven’t used it, download it now.

Any great stories from working with a client?

My favorite memories with clients are the ones where the client broke all the rules. They stepped out of the traditional lanes and made their event their own. My favorite event to date was one where the couple didn’t even want to call their wedding a wedding; it was a “dinner party for their closest friends.” They rented a private property with a pool and made their wedding a three day celebration. The night before they ordered a bartender and had a huge pool party with their family and wedding party. On the “wedding day” they had a very special and personal ceremony and ended up hiring a mariachi and synchronized swimmers to perform for their guests. They had dinner off the property to not make it feel like a traditional sit down dinner. They had an unlimited bar for hours and a good time. The following day they all woke up and continued the parting and walked to a nearby restaurant for brunch- it was a blast.

What is your current favorite color combination?

I love the color black these days. It is so naturally elegant and simple that not much is required.

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

I could definitely see the bouquet toss, garter toss, honeymoon dance, overly posed photos and unreasonably long ceremonies go. The part that I see couples running out of time for or wanting more of, is spending quality time with their guests and the party hour. After 10 hours of running around for my couples on their wedding day the moment in the evening when I get to take a break and see them out on the dance floor having the time of their lives is priceless. If there is no meaning behind having the traditional (bouquet toss etc) elements other than that’s what people do at weddings, I would take it out and leave more time for having fun.

Photo Credit: Crystal Nicole Photography

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

Drown out the noise and as cliche as it sounds, listen to your heart. If there is something causing you a lot of stress step away from it and then when you come back ask yourself if you really need that. You might be able to toss it out all together with an alternative that fits like a glove and causes zero stress. Don’t get caught up in the details and logistics of it all because this is YOUR time to celebrate. Don’t be scared to ask for help, that’s why wedding planning is a professional career because there is more to wedding planning than pinning pretty pictures.

Vendors:

Coordinator: Michelle Isabel & Co.
Photography: Olli Studio
Second shooter: Savannah Hayes Photography
Floral design by: Pavan Floral
Cake: Baked Goods Unlimited
DJ: Vox DJs
Dress: BHLDN

Thanks, Michelle! For more information about Michelle Isabel & Co, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

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