From welcome cocktails to wine tastings to scenic boat tours of the city, our couples are becoming more creative and excited about making the wedding festivities several days long.

Nicole Hensley

Founder and Owner

Location: Chicago, IL

Through countless meetings with engaged couples during my time as a Catering Manager, I learned that most had three things in common: They were stressed, they were not experiencing their engagement as they had envisioned, and they needed help. After being asked to take on the planner role by several of these couples, I realized my career path had been laid out in front of me. Storybook is focused on helping couples solve these three problems and the many more that they encounter during the planning process.

Since our opening in late 2014, we have helped over 200 couples plan their wedding and tie the knot! We have quickly grown into one of Chicago’s leading and most sought-after planning companies, have designed weddings worldwide, and have most recently taken our talent to Mexico and Italy.

We are proud to continue to offer our couples an intimate and personalized planning experience while promising the expertise of an event agency. By allowing the time to dedicate everything we’ve got to our couples, we can guarantee them the experience they imagined and the wedding day that they could’ve only dreamed of.

What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?

We love the newer trend of expanding the surrounding events of the wedding, beyond the rehearsal dinner and brunch! From welcome cocktails to wine tastings to scenic boat tours of the city, our couples are becoming more creative and excited about making the wedding festivities several days long. The wedding day does go by in an instant, so being able to expand it in little ways makes the memories grow deeper.

The other trend we love is fun and creative interactive stations at the wedding. From champagne carts to making your own ice cream bars, to custom cocktails and donut walls. Moving from the standard dessert experiences has been so fun!

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

This is the most important (aside from our internal team relationships) area that we focus on. WE rely on having thoughtful and meaningful relationships with our vendors. Without them, we cannot make any wedding day successful.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

We are so excited to be entering into 2020! We are celebrating our five year anniversary in December of 2019 and will be rebranding and relaunching with an entirely new brand, logo, and website.

We are also officially creating our international wedding sector into its own brand as it has been so successful!

Our team has grown to a solid team of 5 and the passion and momentum surrounding our team is so thrilling! We cannot wait to see what 2020 brings!

What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?

I have always been a go-getter and leader. I dreamed of being my own boss and making a change in other’s lives! For those who know enneagrams personalities, I am a solid 1!

When I fell into the wedding industry back in 2012, there was no way that I would be able to avoid being in such a fast-paced and fulfilling industry. So, I opened in December of 2014 and we sold our first weddings within days of opening. The reason for this is because we had a hard push on social media and myself and my first planner (We opened as a team of 2) loved networking, so many of the contacts we had established before opening were already aware of the news.

WE continued to grow consistently by paying attention to social media and developing vendor relationships.

What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?

I wish I knew how much work running the business would be. In the past couple of years, we have expanded to a team of 5 and I have begun taking fewer and fewer weddings myself so that I can refocus on the growth and development of our brand and the team.

There are so many moving parts to running a successful business and things constantly need to be updated and worked on. So having the space to get it all done is super important.

Nicole Hensley
Author: Nicole Hensley

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