When planning a wedding most couples are entering a world they are unprepared for, and very uneducated about. They have no one to talk to them about all the details that weddings entail, and which vendors are a good fit for their personality and taste. It’s one of the reasons I normally suggest having a wedding planner, or day of coordinator… much like the fabulous Heather Gear from The Graceful Host.
1. Tell us a little bit about Heather Gear…
I was born in LA, but raised in Minnesota….so I’m a bit of a Midwestern-Valley Girl. I have been married for 7 years. A typical Saturday night in the Gear household involves homemade pizza, a carefully chosen bottle of wine and relaxing. I love black licorice. My latest favorite color is yellow. When I’m working I like having a scented candle burning, music in the background and fresh flowers nearby. I’m addicted to the over use of exclamation points!!!! My favorite go-to outfit: dark denim trousers, a simple shirt and a fabulous vintage coat. When I cook I make a huge mess, but I think in order to make tasty food it must get a little messy!
2. How did you become a wedding planner?
I used to work for a large corporate fashion merchandiser. I planned entire collections and the live productions and shows to showcase. I slowly started to burn out from the corporate environment; I didn’t get the freedom to really get creative. Wedding planning was a slow and natural progression; once there, my friends and family all commented on how they always thought I would make a great event planner…always a good sign!
3. Describe your style
Clean, crisp, timeless.
4. Show a picture from a favorite wedding that you’ve planned
This was really hard to chose…I love this shot because it’s something the guests don’t see….the relief and joy on the bride and grooms faces as they walk down the aisle. I’m normally the first person they see and I cherish that moment. This bride happened to be wearing my necklace with a brooch attached…she had a jewelry emergency and we “made” something custom and special for her (photo courtesy of Diana Deaver Weddings).
5. What inspires you?
God, nature, architecture, magazines, people.
6. What inspires your wedding designs?
The couple really is my true inspiration. I would never want to design something that didn’t evoke their style or personalities to their guests. I ask to meet them in their homes once to get a sense of their lifestyle. I also ask the bride to send me a few inspiration pictures of a look she likes.
7. How do you keep your designs fresh?
I rarely pick up an actual wedding magazine. Instead I have subscriptions to numerous fashion, home and food magazines. I also play with color. I hate the typical 2 color-scheme wedding. I always try to add another color, tone or metallic color to add more dimension and texture.
8. Do you plan events besides weddings?
Oh yes! I love showers (bridal and baby). Anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, vow-renewals….any reason to celebrate really! I’ve always wanted to help plan an engagement…hint, hint!
9. What makes you different from other wedding planners?
I’ve been told I really listen to my couples. I strive to take their vision and expand it into something enjoyable for their guests. My company really focuses a lot of energy on the guest experience…we want the bride and groom to look (and feel) like gracious hosts!
10. What would be your ideal wedding?
If I planned my own wedding again it would be a brunch under a tent in my backyard. There would be flowers everywhere, a variety of mimosas and live musicians playing everything from bluegrass to jazz. It would be a higher-end version of the Sunday brunches we host frequently. I would encourage guests to take their shoes off and lounge in the grass or hang in hammocks. I would even have stacks of newspapers and magazines for people to relax and read. We would keep the guest list small and intimate and hand out fabulous thank you baskets for everyone to take home with homemade goodies and momentos. Then I would go home and take a nap!
11. 3 things you can’t live without:
In no particular order:
1. Coffee first thing in the morning.
2. My husband.
3. A giant handbag.
12. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
“This too shall pass.” Someone said this to me when I was in High School. At the time I thought it sounded so grown up. But now it’s just a simple statement, a reminder really that nothing lasts forever….good and not so good.
13. What is the best advice you can give to an engaged couple?
Two pieces of advice really: 1. Be really picky about who you invite to your wedding. Make sure they are people who have had an influence on your lives and will continue to influence your marriage. 2. Don’t spend all your time with your fiance on wedding details…continue doing the things you love to do together, or take up a new joint hobby. Keep nurturing that relationship!