Kate Liu and Cindy Le
Sales & Advertising Intern and Content Marketing Intern
All photos courtesy of Aisle Ai Weddings
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a successful wedding planner behind the scenes? Finding the perfect wedding planner means finding someone who can understand the desired vision and interact with not just the happy couple, but the families as well.
Nancy Shen, CEO, and co-founder of Aisle Ai Weddings sat down with us to talk about her journey in the wedding planning industry and how her Asian American background has helped her connect with her clients.
What kinds of overall skill sets are you looking for when you have a job opening?
For the specific social media and marketing role, we’re looking for somebody who studied marketing or has [internship experience] in marketing. We’ve received a few applicants with lots of social media experience on their own or helping to promote local companies.
We are a business that is focused in the Midwest. While we do destination weddings and weddings in New York and Los Angeles, most of our weddings are in Chicago. So anyone that has experience in understanding the local market is super helpful.
What kind of people are on your team now? How do they contribute to making a client’s perfect wedding?
Everybody has professional training from assistant planners to planners. Everyone has certifications. We know everything from boutonnières to helping girls select wedding dresses with the different cuts and types of dresses - it gets pretty granular! We’re very detail-oriented. Everyone is quick to think on their feet, flexible and creative; we have a vision.
During the interview process, we ask the interviewees what they envision their perfect wedding is. It gauges that they’ve done their research and that they understand what the perfect wedding means.
[The environment] is very energetic and positive. Everyone has different personalities, specialties, and expertise. If you look at our website, you can see some of the different areas that we specialize in.
All of us, also, speak different languages so we have a multicultural play to Aisle Ai Weddings. That’s important because many of our brides are multicultural and the couples’ backgrounds are different. So we do a lot of fusion of cultures. We might integrate Mexican food and music with Irish food and music and blend it together in a way that feels organic.
In terms of personality, we want to make sure the person we hire is outgoing, be able to socialize with the clients, and interact with all parties. They have to be able to handle high-stress situations.
A person’s wedding is one of the most important events in their life. What’s it like interacting and collaborating with them to figure out what they want and then executing it?
Our initial consultation [with clients] is free. We sit down with the bride and groom and figure out what they’re looking for. There’s a questionnaire given beforehand so that we can understand their budget, their style. We take a look at their Pinterest boards.
Once we get an understanding of who they are, we then try to talk to them about how they met and see if we can find a theme to integrate into the wedding.
Contact with them is on a daily, weekly basis depending on the package they purchase. We have a lot of face-to-face interactions. We go with them through the walk-throughs and meeting with the vendors. We have them select their vendors and make sure to coordinate with all the parties involved.
This is kind of similar to a marketing campaign or some type of event. It’s a similar process when you’re talking to vendors, making sure everything’s within the budget, and making sure everyone knows what to do on the day of.
We get pretty involved with the couples and their families. Sometimes we have to solve internal drama. In the end, we feel very close to the couple. [My business partner] and I are good at keeping things under control and making sure the bride is calm on the day of the wedding.
Kate (left) is the former Sales & Advertising Intern for Asian Student Achievement and a junior studying Marketing. Cindy (right) is the former Content Marketing Intern and a junior studying Mass Media & Communications.
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Ei is the current Operations Intern for Asian Student Achievement. She is pursuing an Associate degree in Business Administration