Interview with Lisa Simpson
We interviewed Lisa Simpson, a wedding planner with years of experience, plenty of enthusiasm, and a passion for wedding planning.
FBC: Describe when and how you first decided to become an event planner.
LS: I created a successful wedding program for a major hotel and around year nine, realized wedding planners were going to be an integral part of any successful wedding process in the future, due to how busy brides and their lives were becoming, not just the day of the event (which is really what hotels may cover/provide) but the months or weeks of planning. I left the hotel to actually plan honeymoons, but after a couple of weeks, was asked by a 5-star hotel if I would help a couple they had who needed a planner; I took it on and realized weddings are my life.
FBC: How would you describe your personal style?
LS: Confident and strong, giving a feeling of comfort and security. I don’t push people to spend more than they want to or have an event that is not a reflection of themselves. I am happy to do weddings from the beginning through the wedding, as well as smaller services that start closer to the wedding where the couple has pulled the vendor team/vision together and they just need someone good to oversee/orchestrate everything.
FBC: Tell us about the favorite event you’ve planned with us (Flowers by Cina) and why it was your favorite.
LS: We had a wedding where the bride really did not know what she wanted/liked, was very indecisive, and did not have a big budget, but was also not looking for sweet/simple. Melissa at Flowers by Cina was very patient and helpful, and we ended up with a really cool look that looked like they spent a lot more than they did; all the centerpieces were tall and lush, and she only used hydrangea. It looked elegant, modern and fresh. We loved it!
FBC: What is the most difficult part of planning a wedding or event?
LS: I can visualize the event months prior, because this is what I do. Sometimes a bride second guesses her decisions, but of course on the day they are always over the moon as it normally turns out better than they dreamed and they realize their worrying was for nothing.
FBC: Tell us about the biggest problem that came up while planning an event (or at the actual event) and how you solved it.
LS: I don’t recall any problems, if during the planning you choose to do something you just work out how to get or do it. If during an event something goes awry (which doesn’t happen really at my events as everything is planned/thought out) I have been doing this long enough to keep a clear head and work around what it is to get to our ultimate goal and all the important moments happening for the couple, and the guests enjoying and experiencing a smooth, great wedding celebration.
FBC: Where do you find design inspiration?
LS: It can be from anything, not necessarily something we focus on from the beginning. It can be quite organic and as we go along, something pops up that is it, and then we are on a roll…all evolving around that one thing big or small. Sometimes it is color, the location, the bride and her personality, or something very personal that the guests will catch on to.
FBC: What trends do you see in the near future in weddings and events?
LS: Most couples using wedding planners. We don’t necessarily cost you any more than you would have spent if you were out there finding vendors on your own. For the time alone you don’t spend researching vendors or ideas, or worrying about what to be focusing on and when, we are worth it…especially in these busy times for everyone.
FBC: Name three of your favorite venues and describe what makes them great.
LS: Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Can’t beat looking down at the waves and that ocean stretching out for miles that you feel you can just touch. From the office team to the banquet team on the day, they want everything to be fabulous, and it always is.
St. Regis, Monarch Beach. For a couple wanting a grand/spread out Mediterranean feel location, this is it. The feel guests have upon arriving at valet through to the lovely ceremony locations and views over the grounds, then golf course to the ocean in the background, it’s a winner. The team here is also fabulous to work with and I am fortunate to have been working with them from the day the hotel opened.
JW Marriott, Ko Olina Hawaii. Everything you anticipate a destination wedding in Hawaii to be: 5-star hotel and staff, ocean views and breeze, palm trees, and there is a really nice vibe when everyone including the bride and groom are away from home and their normal routines and responsibilities. The aloha mood is intoxicating.
FBC: Event planners work long and crazy hours. What do you do in your precious spare time to relax?
LS: I love to travel, tropical as well as Europe and Down Under. When at home in the summer, I enjoy reading my travel magazines by the pool with some nice music on and a glass of champagne or cool beer in my hand!
FBC: What are your goals for 2013 and beyond?
LS: To keep doing what I’m doing, but always trying to elevate the end result/experience for everyone involved.