I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love love stories! And being in the wedding industry, we hear some of the BEST love stories! Stories of two people, meeting, falling in love, and saying “yes” to the rest of their lives together.
But, there’s a different kind of love story, that doesn’t get told as often. At some point, we all fell in love with our business. Whether it’s creating beautiful floral arrangements, designing the perfect wedding invitation, planning an epic event, baking a work of art, being THE place to get married, or beautifying a bride, we do it because we love it. And I’m here to tell those stories!
Part 3: Hillary J Events
Meet Hillary, of Hillary J Events. Equal parts fabulous and genuine. The go-to girl for all things lovely, expert gift-giver, friendship match maker, and event planning queen. From bachelorette getaways, to intimate backyard weddings, to over-the-top wedding soirees. She does it all, and she does it with glam and class.
THE BEGINNING OF HILLARY J EVENTS
“Hillary J Events became an official LLC in fall of 2017. Prior to opening my own business, I worked in the nonprofit and corporate event sector, while simultaneously taking on a handful of contracted projects each year, such as private parties, weddings, and European holidays. Then, I was offered the awesome opportunity to build the wedding/events division of a new wedding venue! From developing vendor relationships to revamping the marketing and social media strategy, the experience was invaluable and a catalyst for the next chapter – making Hillary J Events my full-time dream job.”
HOW DID YOU KNOW WEDDING PLANNING WAS “THE ONE”?
“Looking back, it was such a natural progression. I grew up with a mom – “Tbaby” – who was the queen of throwing parties. And they weren’t just your average affairs; they were filled with thoughtful details. She was making signature cocktails back in 1999. But most importantly, she was always bringing people together. We had an open door policy, so naturally, our house became a gathering spot, a second home, and a place in which many special memories were made by so many people. Hospitality and choosing to approach life with a sense of gratitude and celebration were hallmarks of my upbringing and thus, became the heart of my profession. Just like my mom. acts of service is definitely one of my love languages and wedding planning is just that – serving the client and their guests.”
HILLARY J EVENTS INSPIRATION
“From a design standpoint, I am very much inspired by architecture, fashion, and travel. It’s not just the aesthetic of a person, place, or thing; it’s the story and the experience. As simple as it sounds, I really put inspiration from my daily life, which is why I am in constant pursuit of new spots and hidden gems in my hometown, and in my travels. If you look at my camera roll on my phone, you will find pictures of menus with inventive specialty cocktails, products with eye-catching branding, crown molding at a museum – you name it! Thus, when I work with clients to create their custom wedding or event design, I like to pull from their experiences – the people, places and things that are significant to them! By shifting away from Pinterest, you open the door to designing an event that is truly unique and a reflection of you!”
“As someone who believes in creating a perfect balance of minimalism and maximalism / modern and traditional, I am very much inspired by France – from the ornate details of chateaus along the countryside, to the enchanting charm of cozy cafes on every corner, to the juxtaposition of Paris’ breathtaking historical landmarks serving as a runaway for a fashion epicenter. When I dream, I dream of Paris (with a glass of champagne, of course).”
THE HJE CLIENT
“My ideal clients are refreshingly timeless. They value tradition and classic elements, but aren’t afraid to throw in a pop of the unexpected. They cherish their relationships with their families and dear friends, which shows how much they value providing a wonderful guest experience throughout the entire wedding weekend. If I were to describe HJE wedding days as a whole, I would say they are the epitome of all things lovely. They are beautiful without being stuffy, detail-oriented without being cliché, and most importantly, fill with authenticity, joy, and immeasurable love.”
YOU NEED HILLARY J EVENTS IN YOUR LIFE
“My booking process begins with a potential client submitting an inquiry via the “Weddings” page on my website. Upon receiving an inquiry, I send an introductory email in which to provide an overview of services and pricing. From there, I like to schedule a phone or Zoom call to get to learn more about the client(s) and their wedding/event, as well as determine the package and services that would be the best fit. After our initial call, I create a custom proposal for the potential clients to review. If the potential client(s) has any questions or feedback regarding the proposal, I am happy to answer any questions via email or schedule a follow-up call. From there, the final step in making it official is to sign the contract and submit their deposit via my online Client Management System!”
HILLARY – THE GIRL BEHIND THE BIZ
- I am an expert gift giver. I take great pride in finding very thoughtful gifts that hold some sort of significance. I even keep a note in my phone for when I think of a gift idea for a specific person – even if it’s 6 months from their birthday!
- My staples include watermelon, avocado, Prosecco, and San Pellegrino with a lemon and a lime (preferably in a big wine glass with ice). And snow cones in the summer time!
- If I hear September by Earth Wind and Fire or I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston, I make a beeline for the dance floor.
Check out more from my St. Louis Vendor Love series!