How did you two meet?
Eli: A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.
Candi: I guess that's Eli's way of saying he wants me to tell the story... The short version, online. And OKCupid, so not even one of the "serious" sites ;) But there is a longer version to the story, which I won't go into here. Ask me at our consult, and I promise to tell it! It's a good one.
How long have you been planning events?
Candi: Altogether, it's been about 5 years. I began planning events at the University of Washington and started Thrifty Events and wedding planning 2 years ago.
Eli: I've been Candi's day-of assistant since she began Thrifty Events. She is the creative one and I'm the muscles. I'm a construction project manager for my "normal" job, which is detail-oriented like event planning, but for construction. When Candi wants decorations hung, or heavy stuff moved across the room, I'm there.
Candi: He's basically a forklift, and yes, we have thought about making that his nickname on the job.
Any other nicknames?
Eli: Bruce Wayne. You can probably guess the other one.
Candi: Our initials are CRB and ERB, so sometimes we actually call each other "curb" and "herb". It confuses a lot of people when they hear it for the first time.
Why did you start Thrifty Events?
Candi: My sisters and friends inspired me, or should I say convinced me. I've always enjoyed event planning, but it turns out I might be one of the few. It was about 2 years ago that my younger sister and I were planning my older sister's bridal, and then later baby shower, when my sister confessed how much she hated event planning. I was surprised to say the least since I thought we both were having a good time planning out the invitations, looking over excel spreadsheets of RSVP responses and timelines, and decorating the venues together (turns out, it was just me having fun), but I accepted her disdain and moved on. It wasn't until about a year later when a colleague and friend also pointed out that my enthusiasm for event planning was a bit higher than most peoples', and I realized then that I should pursue this passion. So here we are. I began Thrifty Events with a lot of support and encouragement from Eli, and have been loving it ever since!
What makes you different from other wedding planners and coordinators?
Eli: You - our clients make us different. If you want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on weddings, there are many planners out there that can spend that money to make a great event. At Thrifty, we understand that life in the greater Seattle area is expensive and money gets tight. We also understand that your wedding may not be the only thing you're saving for and putting money towards. We will work with you every step of the way, helping you remain conscious about your budget, without letting it get stressful.
Candi: On top of that, we're not going to nickel and dime you. Our packages are all inclusive and we don't limit any of our clients on meetings, or your time working with us, regardless of which package you book. The more we know about you and your wedding plans, the better your event will be, so bring on the phone calls and meetings, we love getting to know you! We also don't limit the number of hours we're on site the day of the wedding, and there really is no task too big or small for us to tackle.
What do you like most about event planning?
Eli: Hearing how happy people are with how their wedding day turned out. Whether it's as they dance the night away or when we do a debrief after they're back from their honeymoon. To hear people had a good time, enjoyed themselves, that their family, friends, and guests had a good time, and that we were able to make their idea a real thing is very cool.
Candi: I can't pick just one, so here are my top 2...
1) Getting to know my clients. I love hearing about their ideas and traditions, and looking over their Pinterest boards together. When I get a chance to meet their wedding party, children, and other family and friends. And especially when I get to have a tiny part of their big day. I'ts so meaningful to get to know someone well enough to put together the event that they've only ever dreamed about. And at the end of the day, knowing that they've truly enjoyed themselves and that everything turned out just the way they had hoped ultimately keeps me going in this profession.
2) I also love setting up for an event. Taking an open space and seeing it transform into a completely new atmosphere, one that is like nothing that's ever taken place in that space before, is a highlight for every event.
What do you like to do when you're not planning events?
Candi: This will sound stereotypically PNW, so let me preface by saying I grew up in Indiana where everything is quite flat. So, now that I live in Seattle, I enjoy skiing, backpacking, and hanging out on Lake Union. We also have a big German Shepherd named Stout, who is quite the love bug. On a rainy day you can catch us all snuggled up and binge watching some Netflix together.
Eli: Much like Candi, I'm a Midwesterner from Wisconsin, so I love my Badgers and Packers. When I can, I will try to catch a game here and there. We recently bought a house so I have been spending a lot of time doing some upgrades and building some new things at home. I like to go backpacking in the spring, summer, and fall when time allows, and snowboarding in the winter. I also love Crossfit.
Candi: I'll just state for the record that I am a Seahawks fan... we're a house divided!
Eli: Hands down brats. Oh and cheese. Did I mention I'm from Wisconsin?
Candi: Is sugar considered a food? :) Chocolate and any type of dessert. I do understand the irony with Candi being my name, but I don't care, I have such a sweet tooth!
Both: Coffee. Did we mention we've fully adapted to being Seattleites?
Any advice for someone planning a wedding?
Candi: Don't be afraid to think outside of the box. Traditions are great, but if they are causing stress, or if you have an alternative idea, it's ok to break away from them. Do you want both parents to walk you down the aisle? Awesome! Do you want a pie buffet instead of cake? That sounds delicious! Do you want your wedding at dawn during the sunrise? I'm not typically a morning person, but I promise I'll be there setting up at 3:00am! There's no bad ideas during the planning process, so find what feels right to you and go for it. Sometimes that means sticking to what you know, but sometimes that also means trying something that's off the beaten path, and both are great options.
Eli: Elope. Kidding! I would suggest reminding yourself every once and a while throughout the planning process to keep things simple, though. And hire a planner, or at least a coordinatior. Check out Candi's blog about us hiring a coordinator. Even if you are the most organized or creative person, you're going to want help on that day. It would surprise you how much there is to do on the actual wedding day, and you'll definitely want someone there that's dedicated to handling everything that arises.