Meet the Planners {Ashley}

Not only is Ashley a Simply Elegant Planner, she is the company’s owner! Yes, she is the head of our happy little wedding planning family. Simply Elegant is the result of her blood, sweat and tears-of-joy, and we couldn’t be more grateful!

And she is a bride herself! Check out her engagement photos here!

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What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? I really enjoy helping others. The positivity surrounding a wedding draws you in. I really wanted to be a part of the happiest day of people’s lives. I enjoy helping people and taking stress off of people’s shoulders.

What is your background? My father is an entrepreneurial business coach. He always taught me to add value to others. The idea for Simply Elegant came about when I found a need for couples of all economic backgrounds to have access to a wedding planner. We’ve modeled our business after this idea of value-added accessibility and the idea that absolutely everyone can benefit from a planner on their wedding day.

What do you like to do in your free time? My free time typically consists of going out with family, friends, and my fiancé Nathan. I enjoy sitting around a table and playing board games, sharing delicious food, and having wild conversations. I’m also a huge fan of taking time in my mornings to relax and wake up and spend quality time with Nathan, who isn’t really a morning person, so he needs my help getting started!

What are a few fun facts about you?
I studied psychology at Hamline.
I never get to the end of books, I always begin another one first.
I often got into trouble in school for talking too much.
My parents are my heroes.
Minnesota is my favorite place on Earth.
As soon as I get home I put comfy, snuggly clothes on and give Nathan weird looks when he doesn’t. We call them house pants.
I have a high pitched voice I use only when talking to my cat, Tibbers.
I believe everyone should do something they love. Which is why I created Simply Elegant.

Meet the Planners {Jenny}

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What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? I loved planning my own wedding and took care of every detail. I always thought I would make a great wedding planner and would love it. I’m so excited that my dream has become a reality!

What is your background? My main area of expertise is corporate events. I planned training events for a medical device company for over 6 years and have planned many other corporate events throughout my career. I am so fortunate to have met Ashley and am honored to be a part of Simply Elegant!!

What do you like to do in your free time? I love spending time with my family. My husband Jim and I have 2 kids – Lauren is 9 and Maxwell is 4. Being a mom is the best thing ever! I really enjoy having conversations with my kids and getting their perspective on the world. They have a lot to say 🙂 We also have a dog and a cat – so our house is full of activity! I sell jewelry with Premier Designs and do home shows as often as possible. I also take dance classes every week. The ladies group that I am a part of does jazz and tap and we are in the dance studio’s recital every summer! I have amazing friends and try to spend as much time with them as I can.

What are a few fun facts about you?
I grew up in Marshall, MN – so I’m a small town girl at heart.
I am VERY close to my family – my parents visit often – they are the best grandparents ever!
My sister and her family live in California and I try to visit as often as possible (but it’s never often enough)!
I LOVE all types of music.
My degree is in Veterinary Technology and I worked in the field for about 4 years before making the jump into the corporate world.
I love to laugh and try to find humor in everything!!
I am always taking pictures so I can capture special moments…that way those moments can live on forever.
I love wine – especially red.
I am interested in people and want to know their “story.”
I am very organized and I make a lot of lists…I like to check things off when I finish them.
I try to always be “present” and enjoy each moment!!

Meet the Planners {Cait}

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What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? It involves my three favorites : pretty things, being helpful, and love

What is your favorite part of the job? I love seeing all of the unique ways each couple personalizes their wedding. My favorite weddings are the ones with lots of personality and I think it’s so fun getting to know quirky things about my couples and then seeing those reflected in their big day!

Tell us about one of your favorite weddings you’ve worked on. I don’t have one particular wedding that stands out (I love them all!), but I have to say my favorite part of every wedding is the father-of-the-bride speeches. I get choked up every time!

What is your background? I studied Art History and Psychology at Minnesota State University and also earned my certification in Wedding and Event Planning through QC School. I started out in the wedding industry working at Carlson Craft, making wedding stationery. I’ve taken what I’ve learned at Carlson Craft to Simply Elegant, and work with our brides on invitations and decor styling. In addition to Simply Elegant, I also work at Luxe Bridal Couture.

What do you like to do in your free time? In addition to Simply Elegant and Luxe, I also work at the Animal Humane Society and I have my own little brood of pets at home! I love to craft and watch girly movies and listen to girly music. When I have the time, I love to travel and see the world.

What are a few fun facts about you? I have been to over 16 countries, but I’ve never been to Canada. I’ve taken China Painting lessons. I’m an only child. I wish I could still dress like I did when I was 6 years old. I’ve had the same best friend since 2nd grade. I don’t like peanut butter.

Meet the Planners {Kristin}

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What made you interested in becoming a wedding planner? I love being part of a wedding day, it’s such a special day! It is so fun to help with the planning and see the whole day unfold.

What is your favorite part of the job? I love getting to know the couple, and then seeing all of their expectations and visions come alive on the big day.

Tell us about one of your favorite weddings you’ve worked on or a funny story from a wedding. There was one wedding where the Groom had accidently spilled his coffee on his new wife’s dress. How she handled it was amazing, she smiled and said that’s ok. Then she and her mother went to the bathroom, put the dress in the sink and washed it off. She hardly missed a beat!

What is your background? I began in the wedding industry on the photography side, with Coppersmith Photography. I still do some wedding photography when I can.

What do you like to do in your free time?  I spend as much time as I can with my son Jake, we love zoo trips! I love to go out and take nature pictures.  I love to run my dog almost everyday. I also do Muay Thai boxing, it keeps me sane!

What are a few fun facts about you? I have a big family and at holiday/birthday dinners, we almost always break out into song. Mostly Christmas songs or show tunes! I often keep my Christmas tree up until Valentines Day, and I start watching Christmas movies in September

Meet the Planners {Maggie}

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A little about Maggie
I am quirky.
I am creative in my element.
I am a nerd, who laughs at her own jokes.
I am a person who quotes Friends… A LOT.
I am a proud mommy of two cats! Yes, cats!
I am a dreamer of having children, visiting various parts of the globe, and meeting a Giant Panda – the world’s greatest animal!!
I am a planner of road trips – look out Grand Canyon!
I am a lucky girl to be the wife of a wonderful man! (awww!)
I am a romantic.
I am a person who has wonder and curiosity.
I am a lover of wine and fabulous shoes!
I am a concert goer and a captive audience at comedy clubs.
I am a person who understands that “it’s only a job if you wish you were somewhere else.”

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Augsburg College. I knew I wanted to be an educator when I saw that I can contribute to a greater cause.  I also knew that I wanted to be a part of a team that shares common interests, who are creative, motivated, and challenge each other but who also support each other.  I am very lucky to have found that group at Simply Elegant.

I have been immersed in wedding culture! My mother is owner of a custom made wedding gown business, my sister (also a planner) is a wonderful wedding photographer, and I have been known to sing a time or two at a wedding ceremony! Because of this background I find I am the lucky one in being surrounded by fabulous people that I use as part of a creative collaborative network.  But truly, we are the lucky ones who have the extraordinary pleasure of meeting you and helping support your dream in having a wedding that is simply perfect!

Meet the Planners {Katie}

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What made you want to become a wedding planner? When I got married in July of 2011, I planned and executed every detail myself. My husband, friends and family jokingly called me OCD and a control freak. I never denied it. I obsess about details, am a stickler for perfection and am habitually early, never late. I absolutely loved planning my wedding and afterwards thought “Maybe I would be good at that”. It took a year for me to realize that I really would be good at it and I wasn’t just caught up in the excitement.

What is your favorite part of the job? The people that I get to work with. I get to spend months and months working with couples to plan the most important day of their lives. Inevitably we form a personal relationship. We learn things about each other and it becomes more than a planner/client relationship. I can hardly wait for their wedding day but on the morning of I find myself a little sad that we will no longer be working together. I can honestly say that I truly care for each and every client that I am lucky enough to work with. What you don’t see behind the scene is me getting very emotional because you are marrying your best friend and I am so unbelievably happy for you.

Tell us about one of your favorite weddings you’ve worked on or a funny story from a wedding. I can’t say that I actually have a favorite wedding that I’ve worked on. I love each wedding that I work on because of the unique and individual nature of each. All of the planning boils down to one perfect day that reflects the personalities of the couple. I am fortunate to work with some truly amazing, compassionate and creative individuals. They allow me to see their ideas and be a part of their magic.

What is your background? I am so honored to say that Simply Elegant is my first foray into the special events industry. I have quite a bit of experience in the administration field with my previous job being the Accounting Department Manager for a non-asset based logistics provider. This last July I switched over completely to the events industry by accepting a position with The Traveling Photo Booth as their new General Manager.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to spend as much time with my husband and dog as I possibly can. My husband and I love sharing movies, concerts, cooking and even just relaxing on the couch watching TV. We love fitting in camping trips when we can spare a weekend off together and
recently took a two week vacation to Europe. Our 3-year old lab mix, Marla, is the center of our world.
We adopted her as a puppy as she is just about as spoiled as can be. Besides that, I enjoy a good book,
bicycling and spending time with my friends and family.

What are a few fun facts about you?
1) I am the tallest of the Simply Elegant crew. In fact, I’m the tallest in most circles. At 5’11.5”, my only friend taller than me is my BFF who is 6’2”. Height may have played a factor in our friendship 🙂
2) I have participated in the MS150 bike ride for the last three years. What is that? It’s a bike ride from Duluth to the Twin Cities that takes place over 2 days. I bike with my sister and can easily say it’s my favorite weekend of the year.
3) I have a tattoo of a hummingbird on my right foot. It’s not just any hummingbird, the image is taken from the CD cover of one of my favorite bands, Guster.

Meet the Planners {Kara}

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What made you want to become a wedding planner? I became interested in becoming a wedding planner after planning my own wedding. It’s so much fun to see a vision come together!

What is your favorite part of the job? Seeing the love, joy and happiness in the room. It’s such an honor to be apart of a family’s special day.

Tell us about one of your favorite weddings you’ve worked on or a funny story from a wedding. Anytime you have young flower girls or ring-bearers it seems to be a funny moment during the wedding. I’ve seen a 2 year old flower girl refuse to walk down the aisle as she was half way down it. She just sat right down in the middle of the aisle and the bride had to walk around her. It was actually really cute.

What is your background? Outside of Simply Elegant, I am the Director of a nonprofit in St Paul that supports families who have children that are receiving medical treatment in the Twin Cities.

What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I love to travel (15 countries and counting), scrapbook, send snail mail, go to concerts and sporting events, also hang with my husband and pets!

What are a few fun facts about you? In 2007, I almost became David Letterman’s nanny and even had an interview at his house! And I’m afraid of birds.