Earlier this year I published a rundown of some of my favorite Colorado Wedding Vendors. But in case the preview left you wanting to know more about these amazing women (yes, all the vendors on my list are women), I’m taking the time to do some more in depth introductions to these talents.
LILLI BLACK | SWEETLY PAIRED – An amazing guest experience
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been in the wedding business since 2010. I started by owning Bella Calla – a flower shop, and moved into planning in 2013.
What made you start Sweetly Paired?
I started offering coordination to my floral clients and fell in love. I absolutely adore managing the day, handling all of the details, design and logistics…and making the day run smoothly for my vendors as well as my clients. I started Sweetly Paired as a separate business when I realized how much I loved planning.
What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
Oh, being the boss lady for sure. I love making my life up as I go, being my own boss. If something in my life isn’t going the way I want it to, I know I have the power to make it different the next second.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is a laid-back design-savvy gown-up couple. I enjoy working with a little older clientele, say 30s or 40s, rather than young 20s. Most of my clients know who they are, and they have figured out their path in life. They know what they like, know why they like it, and can afford their lifestyle and their wedding!
Who inspires you in your design?
SO many types of things inspire me. I tend to be inspired by the world around me, rather than individual designers. A day in the mountains outside in nature inspires me more than looking at photos of floral chandeliers and celebrity weddings. Not that the high-end designs out there aren’t beautiful, but I’d rather take my inspiration from a trip to the Caribbean for some SCUBA diving. I notice little details in the world around me, and incorporate them into my life and my design.
Describe the process of working with you. How would a couple interact with you from start to finish?
We have 3 packages that our clients typically choose from. Full-service, partial-planning and wedding coordination. The different service levels dictate how much interaction our clients have with us throughout the process. I’ll describe the full-planning process:
We book the clients after an interview, and hit the ground running. We collect info/ contracts on any vendors that they have already booked, and immediately start the process of booking any others. We help our clients to find the right professionals by digging in a finding out what is important to them in each category. As we narrow down the choices, we set and attend meetings to make sure that the clients aren’t making mistakes or forgetting to ask the right questions.
Then as we go through the planning process, we send a weekly wedding update, with all vendors, statuses, and to dos. This keeps everyone on track. We manage communication with vendors, handle all details as we go through the year. Then as we get closer, we’re on-site for the walk-through, rehearsal, and day-of. We always have 2-3 (or more, depending on guest count and complexity) planners/ assistants on site. We are the first on-site, last off-site. We take the stress out of planning, and our goals are that the guests’ experience matches the vision for the day, each decision we make is impactful to that experience, and our clients feel like guests at their wedding, not just the hosts.
What trends are inspiring to you right now?
SO many. Interestingly shaped ceremony backdrops for one. Geometric, angled, or organic arches. Cocktail-party style weddings, rather than sit down dinners. Small, intimate, well-done gatherings: 25 guests, a fancy house in the mountains, and a stunning 4 course dinner. Loving that Navy is so in right now as well.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I don’t love ice cream. Can I choose wine instead?
Where would you most like to tavel?
Anywhere I can SCUBA dive :) Indonesia/ Micronesia are on my list–but I hate long plane rides, so we’ll see!