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 photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Samantha Dockery today!
Name: Samantha Dockery
Business Name & Location: Bliss by Sam Wedding and Occasion Planners in Chicago, IL and Durham, NC
Years Working in the Event Industry: 9
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: 9
What is your typical day like?
Typical day is emails!! emails!! emails!! I wake up in the AM to see the responses to any I sent out the night before. And the last thing I do is check them again before going to sleep. In between that time, I’m constantly keeping up with incoming messages on my phone. Communication is key to event planning. My clients know that if they need me, and if I’m available, I WILL answer. This gives them confidence that I am always here for them. There is no typical day for me – this is a do-what-needs-to-be-done job. I do try to schedule all meetings for the week on one given day so that I’m not in and out of the office. We’re off on Sundays on Mondays so I like to schedule Tuesdays as my in-office day to catch up on messages and weekend fires. Wednesdays and Thursdays are great meeting days. We have planning software that reminds of us what tasks are due for completion for each client so that is the guide we use to ensure all events are ‘on task’ as far as the planning process.
How did you get started in the industry?
I started planning events while pursuing my nursing degree at East Carolina University. I helped plan events for student organization on campus. However, it wasn’t until I became engaged and started planning my own wedding that I realized how much I LOVED to plan events, especially weddings.
I then went back to school and earned my Masters in Business Administration, combining my new business-savvy skills with my pediatric nurse experience to give way to Bliss By Sam in 2005. Bliss By Sam is my passion, becoming one of the largest event planning firms in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area.
Where do you find design inspiration?
Inspiration comes solely from my clients. I have what I call a ‘Vision Meeting’, an in-depth meeting to discuss with my clients who they are as individuals, as a couple, and their vision for their wedding day. We then work together, and with reputable designers and vendors, to design and plan a day that matches the client’s’ preferences, personality and budget.
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
Samantha, 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.