We had a lovely time last week at a local style shoot organized by Forever Bride, a community of trusted wedding vendors that we’re proud to be a part of. The day itself was organized by one of our favorite people in the world, Heather Gauthier, a wedding planner who we always enjoy working with.
Together with her husband Justin, Heather runs SunKissed Events, a family-owned business that provides affordable options for a variety of events. We thought it would be fun to chat with Heather about her company and the Forever Bride photoshoot, so that’s exactly what we did!
What inspired you to set up you own wedding planning business?
“The inspiration behind SunKissed Events came from my own wedding. I loved every aspect of the planning process and I was all hands on deck. I was engaged for 11 months, so I had a good length of time to figure out all the details. I felt very on top of things about four months out and that felt great, but soon after I realized that I couldn’t be the one setting up my own wedding on the day!
“I started getting really stressed out and tried to find companies who could set up my own decor for our ceremony and reception. Everyone I heard back from either didn’t offer that specific service or was too expensive – looking back I was probably being too stingy! So I enlisted my Personal Attendant and her husband. I had no idea how much work it would be for them to set everything up! They did a fantastic job, but to this day my husband and I still feel so guilty for the amount of work we made them do. They should have been able to enjoy our day with us, not work on it the whole time. Soon after SunKissed Events was established!”
What philosophy drives your company?
“You could say we have small town values. It’s important for us to provide amazing customer service, to listen to our clients intently and provide affordable options for everyone. When I say we want to listen to our clients, we actually want to hear what’s important to them and what they need!
“I’m not going to throw out some generic email and expect potential clients to feel warm and fuzzy and hand over their money. Let’s get coffee or chat over the phone. I want to meet with clients because emailing can seem very cold and impersonal. Working with brides and grooms on the biggest day of their lives is important. I want to make sure they feel comfortable because we are going to be a team.”
How pressured a task is helping to arrange the most important day in many people’s lives?
“It’s a lot of pressure for sure! The night before the wedding is usually the most stressful for me. All you can do is dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s and hope the next day will go smoothly. The morning of though is when it’s exciting! Sure, things can go wrong throughout the day, but you learn to problem solve in a matter of seconds and to roll with the punches.”
What’s your favorite part of the job?
“My favorite part of this job is seeing the bride’s face after she arrives at her wedding reception or at the end of the night. The smile and excitement she gets lets me know that we did a great job and it was exactly how she envisioned her wedding to be.”
What’s the most elaborate event you ever organized?
We got to set up a wedding reception on a yacht in Stillwater. It was a gorgeous setting and the decor was beautiful. It was also one of the most stressful because we had an extremely tight timeline to get everything ready before guests arrived and the yacht would leave – with or without us! We literally got the job done within minutes of the yacht leaving. Whew!”
What do you offer with your wedding planning business for clients?
“We know that all clients have a different budget and set of needs. Our most popular packages are our reception setup and tear down package as well as month/day of coordination. We also have moderate to full wedding planning. Whatever they need, we can provide!”
What is unique about your wedding planning business that others might not offer?
We also do honeymoon travel and destination weddings! I started my own travel agency almost seven years ago and it has grown ever since. It’s been so great working with brides and grooms on everything from wedding planning, day of wedding prep, all the way through to the most romantic and memorable vacation of their lives.”
When did you first discover Ivory Isle Designs?
“I was at the local bank this summer and the teller was asking me questions about my business. She then remembered that she recently heard of another local wedding company who did stationery. I went home and looked up Ivory Isle Designs and decided that would be a great new vendor to provide my clients. We set up a meeting soon after! It’s great to have another company located in our small town of Waconia, Minnesota.”
What’s the appeal of working with Ivory Isle Designs on a regular basis?
Building relationships is super important in the wedding community. Being a wedding planner/coordinator, I need to provide my clients with vendors that I believe in and that I know will do an amazing job. After meeting with Josie, I knew that Ivory Isle Designs would be the best option for wedding stationery. Ivory Isle Designs does amazing work and they are the nicest people! I know my clients are in good hands.”
When planning a shoot involving multiple companies, do you simply choose your favorite vendor for each task, or is it also important that they complement one another?
“It’s definitely important that each company works well with each other. Not everyone has the same style. It’s fun to work with companies that you haven’t worked with before, but it’s also handy to be able to count on someone specific each time.”
How did the Forever Bride shoot go?
“The styled shoot was amazing! It’s such a good feeling when you can see all your hard work pay off and come together seamlessly. We had a great group of wedding vendors participate. I can’t wait to see the photos!”
To see Forever Bride’s beautiful ‘Boho Bridal Brunch Styled Shoot’ blog, click HERE.
Flow Event Group (Photos and Video of actual shoot)
RaeLyn Nicole Photography (Behind the scenes photos)
SunKissed Events (Stylist/Designer of shoot)
Wedding Shoppe & Kennedy Blue (Dresses)
JAK Beauty (Makeup)
Poppy Stella Rose (Jewelry)
Sugardust & Sprinkles (Cake and Macaroons)
Ivory Isle Designs (Stationery)
Sterling Catering (Brunch food, table settings)
Nalias Events (Gold charger plates, clear chiavari chairs)
Oh Hello Textiles (macrame backdrop, table runner and plant hangers)
Models: Kim, Sarah, Jennifer and Kaylie.