Meet the Planners :: Beth Helmstetter

Friday, October 10, 2008

wedding planner

Company Name: Beth Helmstetter Events

Number of Years in Business: 4

Website: bethhelmstetter.com

Blog: bethhelmstetter.blogspot.com

How did you get started in wedding planning?
I started out planning events at a nonprofit organization planning fundraisers, golf tournaments, etc, when I need some extra money to pay student loans. I found a part time day of wedding coordinator position for a private estate in the Midwest. I never knew this job would be such a turning point. All of the sudden, every passion I had in life including food, design and decor, art/photography, servicing clients and romance were all rolled up in one fabulous job. It was all over from that point on. I sought out a full time position with the Grand Wailea Resort on the island of Maui and then went out on my own a couple of years later.

If you had to start over what one thing would you do differently?
I would recognize the importance of playing up my natural talents rather than trying to be like the other planners out there. I am not an over the top, headset wearing, clipboard carrying type of planner. I tried to be for the longest time, but in the end, I just felt like I was a fraud and drawing so much more attention to myself. By allowing the guests to see the behind the scenes drama, I also felt it stole a bit of the intimacy of the event.

Now, I'm not knocking the headset wearing, clipboard carrying planners out there because when I'm on a big property or have a huge production this is a necessity, but in the end, I found the type of client that seeks me out is the one who has an equal amount of disdain for the over-the-top approach and instead wants a beautiful, yet approachable event full of intimacy and charm with me far in the background making sure it is so. I guess, the point is there is the right client is out there for every planner and it took me the longest time to realize this.

What's your favorite item in your emergency kit?
Safety pins. So basic, but I have yet to have a wedding where I didn't need at least one. Bandaids or blister healing pads are number two on the list for all of the ladies wearing new shoes.

What is the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Be selective of your clients. When I first heard this advice, I thought the planner was crazy, but since then, I have learned that a year plus is a very long time to spend with someone when the chemistry just isn't right. While, it is rare that I turn away business, I am definitely much more aware of the red flags and can now at least anticipate issues that may arise

What two people (past or present) would you have as guests at a dinner party and why?
Probably my husband and my best friend. Not very ambitious, I know, but my business takes a lot of my free time and I would love a relaxing evening with no thought of work surrounded by the people I love the most.

What are your three favorite blogs besides thesmartplanner.com?
Style Me Pretty, Hostess with the Mostess and Simply Stated: Celebrations

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