I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know Heidi the owner of Seacoast Harbor Events over coffee this past season. Heidi is a true visionary. She specializes in elegant Private Estate Coastal Maine Weddings. She also plans gorgeous nautical New Hampshire weddings. She conceptualizes the weddings from start to finish with her clients. She is driven, hard working, and so sweet! You are one lucky couple if you are working with Heidi! I was able to ask Heidi some questions for my vendor tour….these are her replies.
1. How did you get into wedding planning?
The evolution of my business and becoming a wedding planner was really always on my radar. Planning parties and fun events in my family always made me excited, motivated, and I was the one who took the party to the next level whether it be decor, games, theming (which I adore), etc. My mother is a goddess when it comes to planning parties and designing flowers, so I am confident the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. At 17, before college, I started working for a high end bridal couture studio, and had my first sales and consultation gig selling amazing gowns, offering ideas on colors, design, concept, and above all else “falling in love with weddings”. When I was 19, the movie “The Wedding Planner” with Jennifer Lopez, came out. No, I didn’t start planning weddings after that, but it did encourage me to take a stab at the business to understand it and was offered to shadow and intern with a Premier Wedding Planner in the Greater Philadelphia area. I learned that I loved the business so much and wanted to do it tomorrow, but I also learned that I needed to gain experience in business, marketing, sales, and communication to really offer the kind of service I wanted in my own personal business. At 22, I wasn’t ready to start my own business. I was so fortunate to develop so many necessary skills through my career as Director of Sales, Director of Marketing, Sales Trainers, etc, which all eventually lead me back to planning events. In 2008 I helped plan my sisters wedding, and after that many friends, and outside friends. In 2009 I joined a company that I started planning corporate events, and when I changed careers to a company based in LA I continued planning all of their major corporate events, celebrity events, etc. In 2011 I planned my own wedding, and continued to plan weddings on the side after that since I just loved it so much! And finally, in 2013, my sister came to me and said, we need to plan dad’s 60th birthday bash. All I wanted to do was leave what I was currently doing, and plan parties/wedding full time, and in a flood of emotion I made the decision to start Seacoast Harbor Events and pursue something I have been working on for 10 years. In 2014 Seacoast Harbor Events officially launched with my dad’s birthday bash as the first party planned through the new company.
2. What is your favorite dessert?
So, I am not a dessert person…but I can not resist a dark chocolate sea salt carmel square or anything with coconut.
3. Best piece of advice for a bride and a groom on their wedding day?
Enjoy champagne, but don’t drink too much. This is one day that you are so high on emotion and energy that your guests are giving you, so enjoy it….really be present and be in the moment. I can’t express enough how you need to stand still, breath, smile, enjoy, and take it all in….my job is to handle everything else.
4. What are some of the benefits to hiring a full service wedding planner?
There are hundreds. Really, hundreds. But I will give you a quick bullet list.
Wedding Planning is a maze. Unless you have been through it once, twice, or fifty, you will get stuck, have to back out and try again. This wastes time, it is frustrating, and often gets you out of the “wedding planning spirit”. We have been through that maze, we know the roadblocks and never take you through them. You get the “speed pass” through your wedding planning process and get to stay happy, excited, and focused on the things you want to be focused on.
We are non-biased. Ok, this is not entirely true. We like to make sure our couples are crazy happy. But from the outside and from family and friends, we are the most non-biased of the group. This means I can easily offer suggestions (that the bride really wants) as non-biased ideas so everyone is in agreement. I can talk to family and possibly deal with issues that might be hot subjects in the family. I am the outside, non-biased, peacemaker, and counselor.
We are your worker bees, so you can be Queen Bee. Let me caveat this by saying, I have the most amazing, kind-hearted and down-to-earth brides. I adore them. But, you should be Queen Bee for a day, and the only way that can happen is if you have a dedicated team swarming around making sure all details are meticulously taken care of. Your photographer can not do that (he/she is focused on taking amazing pictures), your Caterer can not do that (they need to get amazing food served), and your venue can not do this (they are caring for the building, management, and all other building factors), and your family or mother should not do this since they should be enjoying the day with you as a guest.
5. How do you bring peoples visions and ideas to life? Do you use mood boards, draw pictures, have coffee once a month? What is your process?
Each wedding is different, as we work with couples where its a fit. When offering full planning, we will have an initial kick-off call/skype/ or in-person meeting to go through the list of everything they want, dreamed up, etc. This is a really fun call and filled with new ideas and dreams. This is also where we determine budget and attribution.
From there I am able to gather a direction for the wedding and start planning/booking. Here is my process and everything comes with monthly updates and budget updates.
Phase 1 (Date, Venue or Tent, Photographer, Caterer)
Phase 2 which is more design focused (Rentals, Linens, Floral, Lighting)
Theme/Design Board and Visionary Write-up (some drawing renderings used)
Final Checklist and countdowns
Final Layouts and timelines
We typically have many in person meetings, calls, and unlimited emails. Coffee is always heavily involved in planning.
In love & parties,
Owner | Chief Planner + Visionary