Hi there, I’m Ashley, the owner and lead planner of Ashley Nicole Events. A month of wedding coordinator based out of Chicago Illinois, I’m here to ensure that your wedding day is flawless. With over 12 years of experience (and serving over 200 couples) in the wedding industry, I’m here to make your wedding day dreams a reality. (Bringing a bit of humor, fun, and love of bagel bites along the way.)
More than someone to walk you through the wedding process, a wedding planner should be flexible to your needs, budget, and vision. We work to provide you the best boutique wedding coordination experience.
OUR PROMISE AT ANE
• We know you’ve been looking forward to this day your entire life and protect your investment.
• Clients are treated like family, keeping a connection long after the wedding.
• A Chicago-based boutique wedding firm, we specialize in a tech-driven planning process. (Done from the comfort of your couch.)
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?
I, unfortunately, had a wedding cancel at the very last minute. It was a destination wedding so it (the event) was happening regardless of a ceremony or not. People were in from out of town for this event. It was a sad situation all the way around. I had to help the vendors coordinate with the major change in the day. The entire atmosphere of the day changed. No one smiled, no one laughed. We had to flip the room from a ceremony to dinner. People got way too drunk. It was just not a good night.
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
I always tell my clients to complete an exercise independently and then discuss it as a couple. They would write down their top three priorities (food, music, season) and then see where they were both at. If they had matching or similar priorities, more of the budget could go to those things. Also, the number of guests and the time of year you get married have a significant impact on the overall finances.
If you had unlimited resources, what would your dream client and event look like?
Honestly, I love working with a couple that is laid back, fun to be around and wants a life together long after the wedding day. Not someone who is so focused on “out doing” their friend’s wedding. If money were no object, it would make the decisions a lot easier but the personality of the couple is more important (for me).
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
I love working with the same vendors. I essentially “get” how they operate and what they need to succeed. It makes my job easier working with a select group of people because I am confident that the client will have a rockstar team. When they bring in their own people (and I have not worked with them) it is a crapshoot. Egos can get in the way pretty quickly as some people never learned how to play nicely in the sandbox.
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea of setting up and starting to attract a client base?
I grew up in a family of business owners. My grandparents owned a flower shop for 40 years, my aunt opened a flower shop upon my grandpa’s passing and my parents own an ice cream store. Being a business owner is in my blood. I went to school for event management and I am now 100% living what I paid to go to school for.
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
To not compare myself to everyone else. I have rebranded 3 times trying to go with what everyone else is doing. I am now trying to be 100% me in everything that I publish. I am the only person on the planet who can serve clients as I do. There is something special in that. I am unique and I like working with easy-going unique clients.
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
Event planning is not for everyone. There are some days I question why I enjoy this so much. However, it is the hug at the end of the night from a happy couple that puts everything back into perspective.