Meet the Planners :: Sasha SouzaFriday, September 05, 2008
Name: Sasha V. Souza
Location: Napa Valley, CA
Company Name: Sasha Souza Events
Number of Years in Business: 13
How did you get started in wedding planning?
This is the longest story ever. I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version, so pull up a stump and get your coffee. My background was in theater and I was working for a National Laboratory in Internal Audit and hating my job, but it paid the bills better than theater. Then I became engaged and I, like many planners, planned my own wedding. It was long before the Internet or Martha Stewart Weddings, so I had to rely mostly on friends and family and the good ol' yellow pages.
Needless to say, I didn't have a great wedding. I left the wedding with a migraine and with a dress torn to shreds because they said they knew how to bustle it but were completely inept. Basically, the location completely dropped the ball and lost a lot of my wedding gifts, some photos of my husband and I, they parked my new car in the garage and knocked the side mirror off when getting it out of the valet, the linens didn't touch the floor . . . I could go on and on and write a whole book about that experience.
I started telling people what NOT to do with their wedding and who not to hire. I was the go-to girl for that info. I didn't have a business name but was still spending hours helping friends and friends of friends with their parties.
Randomly, I was looking to start a home-based business and was reading a book at the bookstore called 101 Best Homebased Businesses. Along with gift basket maker, medical transcriptionist and childcare center was Wedding Consultant. I was intrigued. I read more and contacted the Association of Bridal Consultants for more info. I took their at-home course and received my designation as a Professional Bridal Consultant. I basically hung out my shingle and learned HTML to build my own website, took out ads and started doing weddings. I guess, the rest is history.
If you had to start over what one thing would you do differently?
I would have hired Mellysa earlier.
What's your favorite item in your emergency kit?
Tough question! Probably the gaf tape . . . it solves a myriad of problems.
What is the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Be who you are and never try to be who you are not. I'd also like to add to that my slogan, "the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams".
What two people (past or present) would you have as guests at a dinner party and why?
John Stamos - it'd be more like a date, at least for me (don't tell my husband, although he wouldn't be surprised). I've got a little stalker thing going with John - he should consider a restraining order. I've had it for him for about 25 years. It's pretty bad; I can tell you a lot of stuff about him that I still remember after all this time.
Princess Diana - she was the epitome of style and grace. I think we could all learn a thing or two on how to handle yourself under pressure and scrutiny.
What are your three favorite blogs besides thesmartplanner.com?
I get the feeds of about 100 - 125 blogs each day so it's a challenge to knock it down to just three!
Go Fug Yourself - 'cause I can be a little snarky.
Snippet & Ink - Nobody does inspiration boards better than Kathryn.
Tastespotting - I have a weakness for beautiful food.