Elite Events is a boutique event planning company creating luxury planning experiences for their clients. Erica Simmons has owned and managed Elite Events for 3 years and the business was established 13 years ago. I cannot wait to share more with my readers about Erica and Elite:
Tell us about Elite Events
At Elite Events, we believe in quality over quantity. Each wedding we produce is a labor of love, so we only take an exclusive number of clients assuring that each event is truly awe-inspiring. The heart and soul of Elite is to approach every event with creative minds and open hearts.
As modern romantics, we love to tell your joy-filled story with swoon-worthy details that are uniquely YOU, truly infusing your personality into your event. The heart and soul of Elite Events is to approach every event with a creative mind and open heart. Our philosophy and experience combined with a passion for all things fabulous allows us to manifest the perfect vision of your special day and bring your dream to fruition.
We are a boutique planning company and really hone in on creating events that are bespoke to each and every couple. We only take one event per day, so when you book with Elite, you work with me, not an assistant. I love having my hands in each aspect of the day and taking on a limited number of clients to be available for each of our couples. We really take the time to get to know our clients, both as individuals and as a couple. We really look at each event as a chance to tell the clients love story, we want the guests to walk in and say “wow this is SO them!”. It truly can’t be replicated, and we pride ourselves on curating details inspired by the couple so that each event is distinguishable from the next. One of our couples got engaged in Puerto Rico and wanted the magic of Fortaleza street brought into their day, so we had parasols with greenery installed in the ceiling. I love using stories to inspire our designs, it is truly so much more than a pretty centerpiece. The difference of luxury is all in the details, so each and every decision is meticulously accounted for and ensure that the vision is carried throughout the entirety of the event.
I also really love to focus on the planning experience, this is supposed to be fun, people! So we strive to create a joyous and celebratory process for our clients giving them a luxury planning experience. To me, it is just as important that the clients enjoy the process of working with us as much as they enjoy their day!
Why did you get into weddings?
I started with events in academia planning symposiums, donor events, etc. It was certainly fun. I actually started at Elite as an intern (major Drake moment started from the bottom now we here, haha!). I fell in love with weddings being that each couple was unique and there is a certain intangible feeling of joy and anticipation in the air that you don’t get in academia. I truly fell in love with being apart of an experience that was truly magical for the couple, guests, and family. I feel so much joy and excitement from wedding days and always view it as an honor to be part of the start of two people’s journey.
What do you wish people knew about wedding planning?
I wish people knew how much was done behind the scenes. It may seem like most of what we do is on the day-of but that is not true. About 90% of our work is done prior to the event and behind the scenes. We correspond with our team of creative partners just as much, if not more than the client. The magic of what we do is very team-oriented. There is no way I can do what I do with the standard of integrity I do it in on my own, so communication is absolutely key.
What is the average amount a couple can expect to invest in your services?
I would say around $4,800. While we do offer wedding management packages for couples that need heavy assistance day-of, most of our couples are full planning.
How far in advance should a couple book you for their event?
While our average is about 12-18 months, there is no perfect timing. We have had some people book 24 months out, and a full-on design and production client book 8 weeks out!
What advice do you have for a couple looking for someone like you?
Truly get to know your planner before you choose who you are going with. Even if you don’t go with us, go with the person you click with most. It’s a long relationship for an incredibly important day. Again, this is supposed to be fun, so you should enjoy who you work with.
Aside from that, really do your homework and ensure they have the experience you need. there are so many planners popping up, and of course everyone needs to start somewhere. But ensure you are digging into more than social media. It can be incredibly deceptive with styled shoot or stock photos, which look very professional but creating a stylized shoot and coordinating a wedding day are two very different ball games. Also, some vendors are sneaky and post photos that are not their work, so ask to see FULL galleries of events they have produced and pay attention to the details. Book with someone who cares just as much about their business as their brand. I see too many vendors focused on the appearance of their brand online that are shortcoming day-of the event.
Anything that I left out you want our readers to see?
Again, I just can’t emphasize enough building a strong event team that you’re excited to work with! Trusting your gut is always essential and booking with the people that make you feel excited.