We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Kandace McElroy a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Kandace, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission that drives your brand?
I love creating a space for people to come together and feel love, joy and hospitality. Whether that’s in my own home, or planning a wedding or social event, the motivation behind starting an event planning business was to bring people together. I wanted to give couples (and all clients) the experience of having their closest family and friends together for one of the biggest days of their lives, and not have to worry about getting down the aisle, how their reception decor would be set up in time, when dinner will be served. I
Kandace, 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?
We offer professional wedding and event planning services for clients desiring a grace-filled, memorable celebration. We create modern and romantic celebrations that make an impact, believing that every detail should be intentional. We do this through a unique approach of understanding and producing your vision through dedication, organization and meticulous coordination.
I began my career in the event industry right out of college where I worked as an assistant for a motivational seminar company where they put on larger scale conferences in different parts of the country throughout the year. I have worked in hospitality and a few other management jobs in Tampa, FL. For the last several years I was working as the Director of Events for a non-profit in Washington, DC, planning conferences, workshops, fundraising events, and almost any type of event you can think of.
I started in the wedding industry about 6 years ago, freelancing as an assistant on the side in the Tampa Bay area, and then the DC-metro area. In 2020, the pandemic changed a lot for me (as it did for everyone!) I moved from DC back to my hometown of St. Pete, FL and started my own event planning business.
My love of the more personal and detailed side of the business is what inspired me to branch into the wedding industry and launch this wedding and event planning business. My goal is to provide each client with a personable yet professional experience.
What’s been the most effective strategy for growing your clientele?
Venue and vendor relationships! I work hard to develop relationships with venues, and aiming to make their lives easier so they see the value of my work, and earning the respect of other vendors so they see the value of working with me. Word of mouth has been the best way to grow my clientele. When a venue coordinator or a photographer recommend me, it’s typically a very easy sell and there’s a trust factor right from the get go.
Have any books or other resources had a big impact on you?
Podcasts have been the biggest and best resource as I’ve built my business. In particular, the Wedded Podcast by Shannon Leahy and Tracy Taylor Ward, and Planner Life Academy Podcast have been my top two.
- Website: https://www.kandacemcelroyevents.com/
- Instagram: kandacemcelroyevents
Amanda Zabrocki Photography