Star Vendor: Devoted to You
One thing I didn't expect when planning my wedding was the overwhelm that I would feel over making decisions and organizing people for different DIY aspects. I thought, "I'm laid back, so this will be no big deal," but the other people involved aren't always quite so relaxed, and one has to take that into consideration... the day of our wedding, I was busy directing and delegating, instead of relaxing with my closest ladies while getting ready. And that, I regret. I would have loved to have had someone helping to organize advance details, and taking the reins that morning, so that I could have had that special time. That being said, I'm not certain that my personality would have meshed well with someone who planned weddings as a profession, because they love them so much! Being a non-traditional bride, I felt that there probably wasn't anyone out there who would understand my vision and vibe.
A couple of years later, I met Melissa of Devoted to You, and realized that I had been wrong in my assumption. A number of Glitter & Grit brides have hired Melissa to help plan their wedding, and in each, I have seen fantastic reflections of those women in the details. If you're feeling the overwhelm, consider asking for (professional) help. If you find the right person, they will absolutely help make everything easier!
When did you enter the wedding industry? What made you want to do so?
My first experience in the wedding industry was back in 2009 with my own wedding! I was a very hands-on, DIY bride, and I loved the whole planning process. When I tell my story, it’s funny because I’ll say “After I got married, I was depressed! I had nothing to plan anymore” But I mean that in the most loving way possible. It’s just that planning was in my heart. So I helped a few friends and family members and then one day, I decided to take the plunge... and by plunge I mean an ad on Craigslist! I woke up, decided I was going to do it and just did... that’s how I got my first five weddings and it has just grown from there.
What was your most glittering moment in your business?
It’s really hard for me to pick just one moment that I’m most proud of because at the end of night, when my couple comes to me filled with joy and love and gratitude that they were able to really enjoy the day and live in the moment...that’s what it’s all about. Being able to be there as someone they can rely on and trust to support them throughout the day is so important to me and means the world..there is no better feeling.
What's your grit; what sets you apart?
I would say my approach to the wedding planning process in general, and my relationships with my couples sets me apart. No couple is the same, so no approach is the exact same. I always aim be open to ideas, no matter how off the wall or non-traditional you or I may think it is. A wedding should be an expression of the couple getting married and tradition is what you make of it. I love when I’m asked, “Do I have to do this”? My answer is always the same...this is your day, it should be a reflection of you and your fiance and you don’t HAVE to do anything. And also don’t feel like you have to follow trends. I don’t think that you should plan a wedding according to what is popular. Plan according to your heart. And make it guest centered. I’m there to offer my ideas,opinion and direction; but ultimately it is your day and I am there to support that.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
I love it all. Every single bit of it... I take the chaos and crazy with the calm. But if I had to pick one moment that is my absolute favorite it would have to be the first look. I always thought that my favorite moment of a wedding was getting to see the grooms face as his bride is walking down the aisle (and it’s still up there) but there is just nothing like that pure raw emotion between two people during the first look. It’s incredible. And getting to be there to experience it (and all the other moments like it throughout the day), how could I not be in love with what I do?!!
Please share a most memorable moment in your adventures in the industry.
So last year I had this crazy idea that I was going to start my own bridal show...a styled reception in which I would take a space, style it, bring in all the vendors it takes to make a wedding happen and then have them all be “in action” so that brides could come and really get to experience what their wedding could be like in this space with these people. In the midst of planning it, I had an even crazier idea that we would give away a wedding ceremony as a part of the event. So I announced the contest, took entry submissions and then chose the winner on January 1, 2015. UnVeiLed was on January 17th so we had about two weeks to pull this together and basically plan a wedding. With the help of some incredible people, we were able to provide them with her dress, her bouquet, wedding party flowers, groom's attire, the wedding ceremony, limo transportation, a hotel overnight stay, hair and makeup services, beautiful photos and video all as a gift. It was truly amazing.
Please describe your ideal client, i.e. who will love you.
My ideal client is passionate and creative. They are laid back and down to earth. They think outside of the box and don't necessarily follow tradition... they are getting married in unique, non-traditional wedding venues. The little details are important to them, but they also embrace imperfection. They are eclectic at heart... in style, in life and in wedding planning. They want their wedding to be guest-oriented and at the same time, a unique expression of themselves.
ESTABLISHED: October 2011
PRICE RANGE: $1,250 and up, depending on services
INCLUSIONS OR OPTIONS: Custom based packages based on needs ranging from full planning, down to day of coordination
LOCATION/TRAVEL BOUNDARIES: Based in Pittsburgh but there are no boundaries! I love to travel!
PHONE: 412-758- 9720
Facebook: Devoted to You