This interview was made possible by our friends at Guidant Financial:
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Nicole Keesler received her master degree in elementary education and after struggling to get a job, she decided it was time to change careers. Having spent a majority of her time watching wedding shows and loving everything wedding, she went back to school and got her certification in Wedding and Event Planning from the Sheffield School.
Nicole saw a need in her area to have a place where couples could go to get the tools they need to plan their wedding and someone to assist in bringing their vision to life. She combined that with a place for the bride to find the right dress and accessories without having to compromise because of the price point. She’s been a consignment store shopper for years and knows that you can find great new and once worn clothing at a fraction of the original price.
Creative Elegance Weddings offers Wedding Planning, new and once worn bridal gowns and accessories, invitations and tuxedo rentals.
MO: Did you have an ‘aha’ moment when you decided to combine your love of weddings with your passion for consignment shopping?
Nicole: I knew that I wanted to plan wedding, but I was not sure that in my area it would keep me busy all the time. So I thought by combining the two businesses, I would be able to still keep busy and plan weddings at the same time.
MO: What can a client expect during their initial consultation with you?
Nicole: I like to find out more about their wedding, what they want it to be like and what they expect from me. That way I can let them know what I can provide for them. It is very important that we establish a comfortable relationship right at the start. Planning a wedding is one of the most personal things you will ever do. You want someone you feel comfortable with for the whole process.
MO: What are some of the key elements of planning a beautiful and elegant wedding on a tight budget?
Nicole: Knowing what parts of the wedding are most important to you and which things you can let go of. There are things you may want to splurge on and equal that out with things you don’t need to spend as much on. If you spend some time shopping and doing some research, there are so many ways to make an impact without breaking the bank. The hardest and most important thing is to set a budget and stick to it. It is so easy to get caught up in getting things and you may end up with things or services you are not even going to use.
MO: What are some bridal trends that you’re currently excited about?
Nicole: I love the simplicity and beauty of weddings. I think a lot of brides get caught up in what they see on the internet, shows and in magazines. They see something beautiful that they want but then the reality of the budget hits. I firmly believe that you can make use things that don’t cost as much and still have a beautiful look. I also like how brides and grooms are really putting their personality into their weddings and making it all about them as a couple.
MO: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning a wedding and how did you overcome it?
Nicole: My first wedding was an outdoor wedding in July and I really underestimated how involved the set up would be. After that one I felt so much more aware of what it takes. The wedding went great but as soon as I got in the car on the way home I cried because I was so tired and overwhelmed. That experience also showed me that I still love what I do because even after that, I wanted to do it all over again.
MO: Can you share how you’re exploring the possibility of providing the use of bridal gowns and accessories for brides in need?
Nicole: I am looking to start a non-profit that would give the brides the use of gowns and accessories for their wedding. I have had so many brides come in that even with my lower prices, still have trouble affording a gown. I want them to be able to have a gown they feel beautiful in that they don’t have to worry about paying for. I am also exploring the idea of putting together a “wedding in a box”. It would include everything the bride needs to put her centerpieces together with a look that it simple and elegant. Well let’s just say it, a wedding that combines value with style.