Erin always had a knack for leading and organizing so it was no surprise that she naturally fell into the world of event planning. Once she cracked the code on wedding planning, there was no stopping her. And after years of success in the industry, in 2020 – the year of no-weddings – Erin launched the Wedding Kickstarter, a revolutionary wedding planning concept that is catching on all over Massachusetts and beyond.
Erin’s first job in the events field was at the premier Rafanelli Events, a Boston-based high-end agency. She worked as a production assistant and quickly rose to the top of her field, planning world-class events such as Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and events around Obama’s inauguration.
For years, Erin wanted to start a consultancy for weddings that focused on the beginning stages of the wedding planning process but was feeling too tethered to the security of working for a high-end planning agency. She was also nervous that the other planners might see the launch of her business as a threat because their clients would compete with Erin’s less expensive alternative. But, one of the anecdotes she recounts is the story of collaboration, partnership and support that she’s been blessed to experience. “I don’t know if it is because of the new perspective our industry has gained from being hit so hard by the pandemic, or simply a beautiful trait of human nature, but I’ve felt nothing but cheered on and supported by the industry planners in Boston. I’ve loved how we can all collaborate, share advice, and lean on each other for support during this crazy time.”
So, with the support of her peers and colleagues, Erin took the leap toward her lifelong dream of creating a business based on passion but built with boundaries, so she could plan gorgeous weddings but run the business around her own life. She wanted to help prove that women can be mothers and successful business-owners at the same time. She said, “I hope more children can see their parent as a successful business founder– and a present mom.”
Throughout her career, Erin kept noticing a major disconnect and gap in the market. She saw either fabulous full-service planners who charged over twenty percent of a client’s wedding budget or day-of coordinators who only got involved in the planning process about a month before the big day. Erin wanted to create a business that would cater to people who don’t need a full-service planner. She explained, “I wanted to create a kinder and more accessible niche within the hospitality industry. One that offers a quality service under an affordable model, ensures vendors are referred with integrity, freelancers are paid what they are worth, and where everyone is respected.”
The Wedding Kickstarter concept is intended for couples who need a quality plan and access to expertise. Erin creates custom wedding blueprints to get the ball rolling and make the rest of planning a breeze. The secret sauce: a four-week collaborative process broken up in phases to help create a custom budget, a custom timeline, identify key vendors and venues, and a day-of timeline. As Erin describes, “I am a wedding accountability coach, cheering my clients on from the sidelines, and ensuring their wedding planning process kickstarts them well ahead of the curve…so they can spend more time plotting a honeymoon escape and enjoying their engagement with their true love as they look ahead to the greatest celebration of their lifetime.”
Her goal is to build relationships, take the hard part off the couples’ plates, give couples confidence in the process and decisions and save them time and money.
The pandemic showed us that life does not always go as planned, that time with family and friends is the most precious thing we have. One wedding trend from 2020 that is here to stay is that couples are diving deeper into crafting celebrations that reflect their values and what is most important to them. With weddings booming again this year, couples are now looking for that one-on-one personalized support in finding available vendors that cater to their specific needs as well as customizable approaches like The Wedding Kickstarter.
Creating a business during a pandemic did not come without challenges. Erin explained the importance of making decisions from an inspired place and staying true to her overall mission even as other projects popped up and tried to distract her.
While growing The Wedding Kickstarter, Erin learned that when you set boundaries, stay confident, show gratitude and create a company that you’d want to work for, anything is possible. On top of continuing to scale The Wedding Kickstarter, Erin hopes to embody what it looks like to be a female business leader and a present parent.