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 Arkansas wedding planner Kaitie today!
Name: Kaitie Gill
Business Name & Location: Sailboat Weddings, Central Arkansas
Years Working in the Event Industry: 2 years
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: 2 years
What is your typical day like?
I have a little boy named Lincoln who just turned one in August, so my day usually starts with morning snuggles and getting him ready for daycare.
Once I drop him off around 8am, I head back home and drink a strong cup of black coffee. Depending on my to-do list for the day, I’ll watch an episode of my current favorite Netflix show while sipping on my coffee. (Currently, I’m re-watching Gilmore Girls.) If I do have an eventful day, then my coffee is enjoyed while responding to emails or in a to-go cup.
I am still fairly new to the industry which is why I love scheduling times to meet people in the wedding industry and building my vendor network as a wedding planner. Having coffee or lunch with other local wedding pro’s or touring a venue are always my favorite days.
I’m an extreme extrovert so working from home can be challenging at times for me. At least once I week, I work at a local coffee shop if I don’t have meetings set already for the week. (Yes, I’m a coffee addict if you haven’t gathered.)
Wedding planning isn’t my only gig. I also run my own virtual assistant business and work part-time for a wedding company in Tennessee. My goal is to have my own wedding planning business and my virtual assistant business be my sole income by 2021. I love being my own boss.
How did you get started in the industry?
Before I get into answering, quick note… I was born and raised in Arkansas, but my husband and I moved to Tennessee for one whole year. We quickly learned Arkansas would always be home and where we wanted to plant our roots.
However, it was in Tennessee where I found my love for wedding planning. If it wouldn’t have been for us facing fears and moving to a state where we had no family (and in a different time zone), I wouldn’t be a wedding planner. It never ceases to amaze me how little things like moving can open doors you never thought you’d walk through.
I have a degree in Mass Communications and have always loved being the hostess of a party so when I told my husband, Ryan, that I wanted to launch my own wedding planning business, he was 110% supportive. His support is one of the main reasons that my business is successful.
Since deciding this is what I wanted to do, I began reading all the books on starting your own business. Planner’s Lounge was actually one of my very first resources. (I’m pretty sure that I’ve purchased all your wedding planner tools and read every blog by you’ve written, Debbie. ☺)
I became a certified wedding planner through QC Event School online. I hustled during my normal 9-5 job and stayed up many late nights learning and reading everything I could about how to establish a respected and legitimate wedding planning business.
I was blessed to have (and still have) a wedding planner mentor who has become a great friend that allowed me to shadow her and bounce business ideas around with.
What inspires you?
Most importantly, I’m motivated by all the possibilities that owning my own business allows me to have. One of those possibilities being when Lincoln is older, I want to be able to go on field trips and school functions (as long as he’ll have me) without the need to put in a notice for time off. Second, I like being the person that friends can call on during the week. For example, this past week a local florist needed extra assistance with deliveries and I was honored that she called on me to help.
Another inspiration for me is seeing other women rock and excel in their own business. It’s always nice to see someone in the wedding and creative industries quitting their 9-5 day job to transition to their wedding business full-time. It’s an inspiration because I know I’ll be there one day, too!
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
Naturally, Planners Lounge is a go-to of mine. I especially recommend it for wedding and event planners who are just starting out.
I also recommend listening to Candice Coppola’s podcast, keeping up with Jenna Kutcher (I strive for my brand to always be as authentic as Jenna’s!), Marie Forleo, Sasha Souza, and Kat Schmoyer.
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
I’m all about family! In fact, I named my business after my late grandpa. My parents and in-laws both live about 30-minutes from us. Lincoln gets to spend a lot of time around his grandparents, which is something I loved about my childhood. So, getting to see Linc grow up around his grandparents as well, brings me so much joy.
We live on some acreage, so we love riding our four-wheelers, having bonfires, and hosting game nights. We also love going to the lake and being your typical lake bums.
Kaitie, 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.