Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from across the country with many different levels of experience. If you would like to featured, just download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature the fabulous Brandi Reiland today!
Name: Brandi Reiland
Business Name & Location: Soiree Weddings & Events based in Boise, Idaho
Number of years in the business & in the industry: 6 years
What is your typical day like?
Oh boy, it changes. I’ve really been working on setting certain days for working on different parts of the business. Mondays are just madness, as it’s the one day I stay home with my 3 year old. I normally try to wake up extra early to finish up the blog entry that day (if I haven’t finished it that weekend), because the kiddo will be up by 7am. Then we spend a few hours on breakfast, playing, and if it’s in the summer months, we’ll be doing all the house chores that didn’t get done over the weekend. Around nap time I can get back to some emails (my clients are trained- they know right around 1p they’ll hear from me on a Monday). For the rest of the day we try to be home and I’ll just do research for blog posts that week. It’s really all I can squeeze into a Monday these days. The rest of the week I try to keep a pretty good structure to get it all done.
Tuesdays & Wednesdays- Appointments and working on client files. Wednesdays I also try to dedicate a couple of hours in the morning to blogging, and will do a lot of my running around for clients these days too.
Thursdays- My interns come in on Thursdays, so it’s strictly office work and I try my hardest to not have to take an appointment, until after-hours.
Fridays- I’m usually alone in the office these days, and is also one of the days I can be in the office super early, so I try to blog in the mornings, work on the books, and close out (job cost, file the final invoices, etc) any files the interns or girls may have plopped in my inbox on Thursday. Then I try really hard to schedule some marketing in- a lunch with a vendor, research gift ideas, etc. If I have time I try to set up my calendar for the next week..but often it doesn’t work out as well as I would like.
Sundays are usually pretty lazy around the house, so I spend much of it researching and finishing any blog posts that didn’t get done during the week.
How did you get started in the industry:
It’s really cliche, but it was after my own wedding. I had just blown back to Idaho from living in Seattle for about 2 years, with dreams of my urban loft wedding. I had a really hard time finding what I wanted or finding vendors that were willing to look outside the box for me. So, after nearly getting fired from my day job for spending too much time on my own wedding, I decided to put myself through a home event-management course to get started. My wedding was in September of 2005, and my shingle was hung by January of 2006. I spent the first year of my business just marketing and took my first paying clients in 2007. Though the business had been open since 2006, I still had a day job as a loan processor until the market crashed in 2009…and I was forced to treat my little business as a real, breathing, functioning business. Since then I’ve participated in several business mentorships, try to make it to at least one event planning conference a year, and really pay attention to the books. I’ve seen the business grow leaps and bounds!
Where do you find design inspiration?
I used to solely look at only wedding blogs, and I’ve since realized it was actually squashing my creativity. I find looking at interior design and lifestyle blogs and magazines actually work better for me- Elle Decor is fabulous, Martha Stewart Living, Rue Magazine, and blogs like Elements of Style, Fabulous K, and Everything Fabulous are some of my favorites. Looking at publications like these have really helped me think outside of the box- like bringing flokati rugs into barns for a lounge area, or taking DIY projects to a glamorous level fit for a wedding. I enjoy the creative part of wedding planning much more since I’ve started following things other than those dedicated strictly to weddings.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
I love Think Splendid, Sage Wedding Pros, and The Business of Being Creative by Sean Low, and now that I’ve found the Planner’s Lounge this will be a great resource too! Jasmine Star and Justin and Mary also feature some really sage, often personal advice, which is what I’m drawn to, because what they’re addressing tend to go for all small creative business owners.
Brandi, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and 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.