Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from around the world with many different levels of experience. If you would like to be featured, download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Missouri wedding planner Beth Caldwell today!
Name: Beth Caldwell, Director of Events and Senior Events Coordinator
Business Name & Location: Chaumette Vineyards & Winery, Ste. Genevieve, MO
Years Working in the Event Industry: 2
Business Facebook Page: ChaumetteWinery
What is your typical day like?
As a venue coordinator, my days in the office and events days are so entirely different, but they both start with the same thing: coffee! If I’m “in the office”, that could mean I’m answering emails, composing catering event orders, or communicating with couples, but it could also mean that I’m making sure we have enough 60” rounds in the barn, or enough wine glasses in the ballroom.
My events days are completely different – I pretty much don’t step foot in my office. I will arrive about five hours before the ceremony is set to start. I do a walk-through of the venue and make sure there is nothing major to be done before the staff arrives. Once my staff arrives, we start setting up chairs for the ceremony and reception, put down our linens, china, flatware, glassware, etc. Then I start to place décor.
After those tasks are complete, I help everyone through the ceremony, and after the ceremony is over, I help the couple keep on track with the wedding day timeline. I like to communicate with the DJ and photographer, as well as the couple, to make sure everyone is ready for the next event.
Many couples we have here elect to not hire an independent wedding planner, so I act as their planner in many ways: helping with décor ideas and placement, suggestions on vendors, communicating with those vendors, menu planning, and creating the wedding day timeline. It is always appreciated though, when they do hire a planner – the more help we have to achieve their perfect day, the better. I love meeting wedding planners and forming great relationships with them – it only helps us both when we can bounce ideas off each other and recommend each other’s services.
I am an events coordinator, which means I coordinate many of the weddings and other events we have here, but I am also the overall events director here at Chaumette, which means I need to make sure we have the proper equipment and small wares at each of our different ceremony and reception locations when needed.
Regardless of what my tasks are for the day, most are long days – but seeing the event come together and everyone happy totally makes those 16-hour days worth it!
How did you get started in the industry?
Kind of by accident! I owned my own restaurant with my mother for several years. When she decided to retire, I just happened to hear about this job opening at a local winery. I spoke with the owner, and just weeks later, they hired me. It really is my dream job. I love making people happy. I love the staff here, the guests we see in and out every day, and helping couples make their vision of their most special day come to life. I have never felt more comfortable or at home at any job, than I do here.
Where do you find inspiration?
The people around me…we are always bouncing ideas off each other. There are also countless websites and blogs to refer to and draw inspiration from.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
Google Calendar and Google Drive are absolute essentials at our company. We have an entire events team that needs to be on the same page all the time. We are all making appointments and booking our venues, so communication is key. I can’t tell you how many different calendars I have programmed….the different colors for the different calendars are a wonderful option to have. Google Drive is how we share our files with each other, and without it, things would be so much more difficult.
We also have a wonderful marketing director, who keeps me completely in tune to all the different social media sites and possibilities for us online.
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
Well, my son has grown up and just recently left the house – he just joined the Marines. (Can you say “proud momma”!?) My EMT/firefighter husband and I enjoy spending time together when our busy schedules allow. I love to cook, and have learned so much from our Executive Chef and Sous Chef here at Chaumette. One of my absolute favorite things to do is read a good book while sitting on the swing on the front porch of my historic home, and of course, this scene would include either a good cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
Beth, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and a day in your life. If you are an event planner and would like to be featured, download our questionnaire today and email it to us along with a photo. If you aren’t sure about being featured, take a few minutes to read how it can help your business.