Photo: Melanie Duerkopp Photography
When you hire a wedding planner, it's typically for the whole wedding she-bang. With that in mind, wedding planners Amy Nichols and Kate Whelan came up with a revolutionary idea last year when they created The Poppy Group, a boutique planning service in Northern California that specializes in month-of coordination only. We sat down with the duo to dig into why they think this service is needed and who should use it.
Great minds think alike.
Nichols was attending a wedding-planning summit when she heard other planners chatting up month-of-only services. "I thought to myself, 'California needs that!'" Nichols says. But the owner of Amy Nichols Special Events knew she couldn't launch a new business alone, so she contacted Whelan, owner of Kate Whelan Events, and was happy to hear she'd been kicking around the same idea. "Having a partner has been very rewarding and enables us to both really use our strengths," Nichols says.
The Poppy Group was made for hands-on brides.
Each with their own full-service planning companies, "of course we see the value of a planner who can help you from start to finish," says Nichols. "But many couples want to do the majority of the planning themselves — or at least attempt to!" So Nichols and Whelan created The Poppy Group for those couples, who are eager to select their venue, caterer, décor and more on their own, then turn over the reins to a pro in the month before their big day. "It allows for a buffer," Nichols explains, "so that they can be present and enjoy their wedding day."
Photo: Elle Jae Photography
It may be month-of planning, but they'll get to know you way before that.
The team begins talking over timeline creation, reviews floor plans, confirms vendor details and deadlines two months before the wedding date, so the bride and her beau can go totally hands-free at the 30-day mark. "We're able to execute a wedding day successfully by being involved at least a couple months out," Nichols explains. "No planner should simply just 'show up' on the day."
It's a learning process.
While Nichols and Whelan founded The Poppy Group and have a heavy-hand in orchestrating each event, they're not actually the planners who show up on the big day. They're using this new company to train junior planners in stellar wedding service. "One of the things I find most enjoyable is training and mentoring the junior planners," Nichols says.
This dynamic duo complements each other.
"We both bring different skill sets to the table," Whelan explains. "My technical background is an asset to our event consultants, offering them a suite of tools to make them more efficient, while Amy's insight and connections have proved invaluable to The Poppy Group's rapid growth this first year." The pair communicates with one another, their team and clients using Google Drive, DropBox, and more.