Hi there ladies & gents-Savannah here!
Over the last 100 blog posts, we’ve featured different brides, trends, interns, and much more! But one person we’ve never featured is the lady that is behind A.Caldwell Events, Ali Fisher. Ali is such a wealth of knowledge about the wedding industry, etiquette, design, and logistics, that I thought I would interview her to get her take on some wedding related topics!
Savannah Johnson: What or who inspired you to join the event planning industry?
Ali Fisher: I have a background in hospitality, so event planning has been a great way for me to use my hospitality training and my organizational and design skills. I also really like problem solving, and, as we all know, there’s plenty of problems to be solved during the wedding planning process.
SJ: At what point did you decide to open your own business?
AF: After being in the event planning industry for several years working for other people, I realized there was a better, more efficient way of doing things. I wanted to create a complete, stress free experience for guests and clients.
SJ: What is your favorite step in the planning process?
AF: I really enjoy the first consultation with a couple. We map out the overall image they want for their wedding and their budget and we start to piece everything together at that time. I love that they are (usually) recently engaged and so excited to start the planning process.
SJ: What is your favorite moment on the day of a wedding or event?
AF: I think every marriage ceremony is important and special, so I love to be able to watch the two people who I’ve just worked with for months and months take that step of total commitment. I’m also a total sucker for watching the groom’s face as the bride walks down the aisle.
SJ: Where do you draw your inspiration?
AF: Travel. I love the challenge of translating an overall feel of a place into an event. I also really love different patterns and textures of textiles. One of my favorite things is when a bride comes to us with a swatch of fabric and I can expand upon that to create an overall design.
SJ: What is the most important advice you would give to brides and grooms?
AF: Enjoy the process. You only get to be an engaged couple once in your lifetime, so don’t let it go by the wayside.
SJ: Is there any advice you would give to the parents of the bride or groom?
AF: Offer support when asked, but let it be the bride and groom’s big day.
SJ: What are your favorite trends?
AF: Overall, I don’t like anything super trendy. I prefer a classic look that a bride and groom will look back on 5, 10, 20 years down the road and love it just as much as they did on the day they were married. A few things that I love at the moment that I think will stand the test of time are black and white color schemes with pops of color, metallics, and abundance of greenery.
SJ: What is something in the wedding industry that you could live without?
AF: Sparklers. I think they are adorable in theory, and they really are pretty in photos. However, we’ve been burned (literally) and had guests clothes catch on fire before, so we’re very hesitant when a couple tells us they want to have a sparkler exit. Drunk people + fire = bad news.
SJ: What sets you apart from other event planners?
AF: Honesty. I would never set a bride up for failure. I truly want brides and grooms to enjoy the planning process and to have the wedding of their dreams, but I always want to respect their budgets and make sure we stay within those parameters.
SJ: Obviously being in the event industry, there are lots of long nights and weekend work. How do you balance your work life with your marriage and social life?
AF: You have to make an agreement with your husband that at a certain point you have to turn it off. I’m probably one of the only wedding planners in Charleston that has a clause in their contract that we won’t work on Sundays. I think it is extremely important to have at least one day per week dedicated to God, family, and friends.
SJ: Okay, so here are a couple questions that are a little less related to the event planning industry. You said earlier that travel is one of the ways you get your inspiration. If you could choose one place to vacation at for the rest of your life, where would it be?
AF: Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida. I grew up going there on vacation with my family, so its like going home each time we visit.
SJ: I know it is hard to choose just one, but what is your favorite Charleston restaurant?
AF: It would have to be Oak Steakhouse. Not only is the food and service amazing, but it has sentimental value as well-my husband and I went on our first official date there.