We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Brandy Blackford. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Brandy below.
Brandy, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Alright, so one thing we think people don’t talk about nearly enough is investments – either time or money. What’s one of the best or worst investments you’ve made and what did you learned from the experience?
When I first started my business almost 13 years ago now a lot of things just fell into place. I had just gotten married and my venue coordinators reached out the Monday after my wedding and told me that in all their years they had never had a wedding come in that was so organized, so complete and so easy to work because of all the background work I had done. They told me I had a gift and asked me if I would mind being referred out to their couples that needed an extra hand. This was so very different than family and friends telling me I had done a good job at this or that event.
I had had a name running around in my head, but had no idea until that moment what it was for. Setting up our business flew through the process and we were ready to go less than a month after our wedding. A wedding show that had been sold out had a last minute cancelation that we were able to snag and we never looked back.
It has to do with this show that I made one of the worst investments of my business career. I designed and bought 2,000 flyers thinking that a show that had an estimated amount of 4,000 attendees would need that much marketing material. Boy, was I so very wrong. 10 years later I still had hundreds and hundreds of those pesky flyers; cases and cases of them. My husband and I had a burn party and laughed at that very naive (and expensive) mistake.
Brandy, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I am a mom, a former corporate accountant, a wedding planner and a wedding show producer.
I’ve been planning weddings as a business for almost 13 years and prior to that I planned events for others for 10 additional years.
I’ve been called a wedding day therapist, a briber of children and I’ve even held personal hygiene devices for bridezillas.
I have exhibited in almost 30 traditional in-person wedding shows and have assisted 100’s of clients in choosing just the right professional teams for their wedding days.
My ultimate goal is to ensure my couples, their families, friends and guests are enjoying every single moment and making all the memories, not working or stressing about things getting done.
Have you ever had to pivot?
2020 was a year that everyone had to pivot or rest and wait for the world to change. I chose to pivot. I realized that, as a company that filled 80% or more of my calendar based on leads obtained from exhibiting at in-person wedding shows, I was in trouble. Covid-19 meant that for an undetermined future, there would be no shows and that meant that I had lost my lead supply. I realized that I wasn’t going to be the only wedding pro in this predicament.
So, I did a little research, and jumped in. I produced my first show in June of 2020 and I haven’t looked back. Couples were excited for a small piece of relative normalcy in a period in their lives when they had no idea if they would even be able to get married. Wedding pros were excited to have a creative outlet that allowed them to continue to do what they loved, in a slightly different environment. And my heart was happy because I was able to do one of the things that I love, connect people together.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
There is this myth out there that a wedding planner is a control freak. That we must have the last word or else. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
One of the things that I have always prided myself on is being the person that brings everyone together and helps them shine their brightest. I’m both Team Vendor and Team Couple and I have and will go to bat for both sides depending on what is needed. By being honest, fair and supportive while allowing vendors to provide their best product or service, I’ve become known as one of the most hands off, least controlling wedding planners in the area.
- Website: https://www.sweetido.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sweetido/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sweet.I.Do
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sweet-i-do%27s
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/SweetIDos
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SweetIDo
- Other: www.azonlineweddingshow.com www.phoenixmicroweddings.com
Personal Images – Elizabeth Douglas Photography 6K5A6547.jpg – Elyse Hall Photography 87af51_bcb38e5d378c41ffbf3d85628d020a70~mv2_d_5760_3840_s_4_2.jpg – Rachel Baker Photography 0947s.jpg – Twin Lens Studios Alix and Omar 5.28.2016.png – Harley Bonham Photography Salajan1167.jpg – Ina Ivanova Photography z7A9A0581.JPG – Ryanobull Photography