Pure Ambiance Team. Photo by The Wedding Central
LJ Productions is proud to spotlight some of our most talented vendors and affiliates. Kisha Barner of Pure Ambiance Event Design is a great resource for not just wedding planning advice, but she can also tell you a thing or two about following your dreams. Get to know Kisha as she shares everything from how she got into event planning to how you can pull off your perfect wedding.
LJDJS: How did you know you wanted to be a wedding planner?
Kisha: Event design and planning wasn’t the career I always dreamt of. For a long time I actually wanted to be an attorney. As I got older I realized how long I had to stay in school and decided to pass on it. Regardless of what career I was considering, I always knew I wanted to have my own business (check!), wear nice clothes (check!), and carry a briefcase (does a cute purse count?). Two out of three isn’t bad!
I got a big promotion with a company I had been with for a few years, two days before I graduated from college! At first, I loved it… then, I didn’t. I dreaded going to work and didn’t like the way I was being treated. I remembered one of my business Professors telling us to always do what we love and to not chase the money because happiness is more important. I started thinking about what I was good at and what I enjoyed. I realized I was always planning things for people and enjoyed doing so.
The thought of playing such a big role in creating and executing the most important days in people’s lives excited me and was something I wanted to explore. I started helping family and friends with events they were having, took an online course in event planning, quit my job, and started Pure Ambiance. It was a bold and crazy move! It was challenging at first but thankfully, I love it!
Kisha Barner. Photo by The Wedding Central
LJDJS: What do you think are the most crucial elements that go into planning a wedding?
Kisha: Staying in budget, creating your guest list, finding the perfect venue, and creating a beautiful design that is cohesive and reflects both of you. All of these things actually go hand-in-hand, as they can all have an impact on one another.
LJDJS: What are some things people don’t focus on enough when planning a wedding?
Kisha: I find that some couples get so caught up in the details of the wedding that they forget that the marriage is what’s most important. They’re so focused on the details of the wedding that they bicker over details, which can cause unnecessary tension. Of course it’s important for everything to look beautiful and go smoothly, but I think couples should always keep in mind that making a life commitment to one another and expressing love is what’s most important.
I also find that some couples are so stuck on what their parents want or what their friends think, or what another person did at their wedding. At the end of the day, the things your parents want should be taken into consideration, what your friends think, shouldn’t matter and what the other person did, worked for them and it’s time to find what works for you. You can’t please everyone all the time. This is YOUR day! Do what is best for you and your partner. If you hate lilies, why should you have to go with them because your mom likes them? No offense moms! Give her a mini bouquet of lilies to carry down the aisle and go with the hydrangeas you’ve always dreamt of. Of course, I mean no disrespect to loved ones. I’m simply saying to remember whose day it really is, and enjoy it.
Table Design by Pure Ambiance. Photo by The Wedding Central
LJDJS: What are some of the major mistakes people make when planning a wedding?
Kisha: The most crucial elements in planning a wedding seem to be the areas where couples are most challenged. Many people have never planned a wedding before, so it’s completely understandable that they are not sure what to do. That’s where we come in! We would help take all of the guesswork out of the planning experience. Nevertheless, here are some tips on those problem areas:
Guest List – Create a guest list that is made up of people that really matter to you, like close friends and family. Don’t feel obligated to invite a bunch of associates, “just because.” This is your special day, so you should share it with those close to you. Always remember, the more people you have, the more people you have to pay for at the venue, the more tables you will need, more favors, more everything. So, less will save you more!
Budget – Figure out what your budget is before booking/buying anything wedding related. Find out if anyone in your family is contributing and figure out your grand total. Set your budget amount and leave a little room for just-in-cases. You should not spend more than 50% of your budget on your venue because you are almost guaranteed to go over with all of the other things you have to take care of – Photographer, Videographer, DJ, Florist, etc.
Finding the perfect venue – Do your research! Look at several different venues that fit your vision as well as your budget. Don’t get caught up in the joy of getting married that you book the second place you see or you settle for this one because it’s “nice.” You want to find the place that is perfect for both of you and one you won’t regret. I’ve definitely had couples come to me with their venue already booked and say, I don’t really like the venue, but we already put a deposit down. You definitely don’t want to go through that, so make a decision you’ll be thrilled with 10 years from now!
Design –There are so many amazing design concepts and ideas out there that it can be challenging to figure out the vision for your day and narrow your selections down. Overall, try to make sure that there is a cohesive design concept that is clear and used from start to finish. Don’t be afraid to take risks and implement an idea that is outside of the box… that’s part of what makes your wedding special. If you are budget-conscious and you have to choose between, let’s say… renting linens, renting chairs, or uplighting, consider what would make the biggest impact visually and go with that one.
LJDJS: What’s the best advice you can give couples who are getting ready to or are in the middle of planning their big day?
Kisha: Have fun during the process, enjoy your day, don’t sweat the small stuff, make sure you and your fiancé are reflected in your day, and finally… dance the night away!
Gwen and Bryan’s Wedding by Pure Ambiance. Photo by Joseph Lin Photography
Post by Izabella De Souza