Shannon Gail Weddings & Events
How did Shannon Gail Weddings & Events get it's start?
I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I come from a family of business owners and went to school for Finance, so it was always a matter of what type of company I would start, not who I would go to work for. I originally thought it would be some sort of financial advisory, but when I noticed that couples were often spending $100,000+ for their weddings in Chicago without any formal financial advice, I quickly realized there was a niche for me in the market. My family manages a golf course and event venue, and I worked in various wedding- related jobs when I was younger, so the blend of background and opportunity helped me make the decision to start SG when I was still just a senior in college.
What has been your favorite wedding you've planned so far?
It would be incredibly hard for me to select one specific favorite wedding. For me, what makes an amazing planning experience is the couple, and the people that I've really connected with have left a lasting impression on me. It's not about my favorite aesthetic or venue, but the relationships I build. I have one client who lost her Mom during the planning, and another who got pregnant and we planned the entire wedding in just months. These experiences and times when people have really opened up their lives to me are what make them most memorable.
When discussing floral and decor with clients, how do you approach the conversation?
We love to know where floral and decor falls on the client's spectrum of priorities along with their budget first and foremost. From there, we discuss the client's overall vision for the day and even touch on things like their home decor aesthetic and fashion taste. Some clients have a well-developed picture in their mind of their wedding decor whereas others can only describe a general feel, so we like to start off with that foundation and facilitate questions to continue the development.
What has been your favorite floral or decor trend this year?
This year, we are finally seeing less distinguishable color palettes, and more of a focus on building layers and depth for a more unique aesthetic. Gone are the days of being able to rattle off your wedding colors quickly. You may easily see 10-15 various tones and colors in a wedding's floral to achieve a classic, romantic look, and we are loving every bit of it!
What trends do you see fading? What trends do you see emerging?
For years, the more traditional tall, domed centerpieces have been showing up less and less and we've been seeing low, lush arrangements, asymmetric pieces, and elongated vessels as the kings table, or rectangular table trend emerged. Now, we see that being taken even further with the use of different vessels to house plants and floral, whether it be geometric steel pieces, wooden platforms, or terrariums.
What is your biggest floral and decor faux pas?
I would say that, though it's not our personal biggest miss, the most widespread faux pas we see is clients trying to do too much in terms of decor on their own. It is absolutely paramount to hire a decor professional for your wedding day. Those clients who we see try to "save" by doing things on their own almost always end up running into issues of spending too much, not having the right pieces, poor product quality, etc.
What is the biggest tip you could give a client when beginning the planning process for their event or wedding?
It's extremely important to take the time to really comprise a solid plan before diving in to finding vendors and making decisions. Whether it be a wedding or other type of event, jot down your top few priorities as you see them in the moment. This could be anything from food to music to your outfit for the day! Whatever comes to mind, write it down. As you move through the stages of the planning process, always make sure to reference that list and give more weight (time, finances, etc.) to those elements. Don't be afraid to give less resources to items not on your list.