there's lots to see

weddings

engagements

give a shit

travel

Leah & Brad

Sodo Park Wedding

Chip & Karyn

Seattle Elopement

Rangefinder's 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography

Megan & Neil

Discovery Park Engagement

Give a Shit: Your Wedding Planner

We’re lucky ones today, lil bebes, because our guest Give a Shit-er is one of the top wedding planners in the Pacific Northwest, and she’s sharing her hard-earned and lighthearted wisdom with us! Meet Michelle…MichelleHeadShots-34

(Jenna Bechtholt Photography)

Name: Michelle Bernard, owner of Married with Michelle
Based out of: Offices in Seattle and Vashon Island
 
1) What do you give a shit about (what do you create?!)
I plan and design weddings of all sizes and styles throughout Washington– and beyond! My next out of town celebration will be a wedding in Italy next summer, at a villa/cooking school friends of mine own near Tuscany. I’m always up for a new adventure! My signature planning approach is all-inclusive; to truly partner with my couples for a flawless, personal experience.
 
2) What sets you apart in your market?
I established my business ten years ago (a whole decade – kind of crazy to think about!). I’ve grown a ton in my understanding of weddings and what they mean to each couple I work with, as well as my role as a planner and mentor– not only for my couples and their families, but also industry colleagues and aspiring planners. I love what weddings represent and helping couples on the journey as they start their marriage together. If I didn’t love what I do (and give a shit) I wouldn’t be in this industry; nor would any other wedding vendor if their heart wasn’t in it. Period. We work countless hours and pour our hearts into every wedding. I plan and design a limited number of weddings each year so that I can devote my time and attention to each couple and really craft that relationship and vision. The word “day of” coordinator is popular these days in wedding magazines and sites, but to me that really doesn’t exist. The benefit of having a professional on board starts well before the wedding day itself, and it’s that time and care leading up to the day that makes all the difference for the couple to relish not only their wedding day but all of the wonderful, delicious moments leaning up to it!

 elizabeth-kurt-43

(Matthew Land Studios)

3) Why should people give a shit about their wedding planner?
It completely depends on the couple if they will benefit from a planner. If you want to elope in Bora Bora, chances are you don’t need one. But if, like most of my couples, you have crazy demanding jobs and other big life changes that always seem to surround a wedding, then time is a big reason to have help. To have a pro on board to ensure a smooth, well executed day. There is also an important element that is emotional, not just logistical. I joke with my couples to think of me as the third wheel of their relationship during their engagement. To be a listening ear, cheerleader, counselor and calming presence in what can be an overwhelming time in their lives. I’m here so my couples DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Leave the nitty gritty to me and have a blast doing the fun stuff: make Spotify lists for music inspiration, attend a wine tasting (or two or three!), crack yourselves up at a dance class, go to New Orleans for a bachelor party, write your own vows… It’s these moments that I love knowing my couples are enjoying while I steer the helm. We do our best work when couples trust us to make their wedding amazing.

 elizabeth-kurt-184

(Matthew Land Studios)

4) What advice would you give to couples who are just beginning wedding planning?
SOAK UP YOUR ENGAGEMENT. Enjoy the moment. Don’t feel pressure to start planning the minute the proposal takes place just because Aunt Sue won’t stop asking “when is the wedding?!” Be true to yourselves above all else. If you want a wedding with just the two of you on a mountain, do it! If you want a wedding at the house you grew up in because its where you feel most comfortable, do it! The wedding is an incredible day, but it is just a day after all. Its the experiences leading up to it, the day, and the marriage to follow that create the magic.
On the day itself, my advice to couples are to take some time to really be present and grounded. Hands down my favorite experiences are the first time couples see each other privately for photos before the wedding begins (or heck, some couples get ready together! Again: DO YOU! There are no rules or wrong ideas!).  I also love the moments when couples pause, and I mean really pause, and look around the room at all of their family and friends cheering for them. Its pretty incredible.
elizabeth-kurt-35

(Matthew Land Studios)

5) What are you doing when you’re not working?
You can find me these days on Vashon Island. I bought a house this past spring on the island with my main squeeze Luke. He grew up on the island on a 5 acre farm with goats, donkeys, chickens… you get the picture! He’s a commercial fisherman in Alaska – we have pretty similar jobs right?!  We have been completely renovating the house from the studs up! Its been a fun, exhausting and rewarding process. Having grown up in Ballard and always lived in the city, its a big change to move to a rural island the size of Manhattan but with 10,000 residents and deer as my closest neighbors, where no one locks their door, friends pop over unannounced for a cold beer and to sit on the back deck and everything moves just a little bit slower. Its a welcome change and I love that I can be living island life, hop on a 10 minute ferry and be back in downtown Seattle. I have offices in Ballard and Vashon so you can’t take the city out of this girl!
I also love to travel. Last year Luke and I spent a month in Italy, the year before a month on the big island of Hawaii. My favorite two words might be happy hour, I have a loud very close Italian family and we all compete to see who can make the best spaghetti and meat balls, my three year old niece is the light of my life and unofficial intern. She tells me daily she will be a wedding planner when she grows up. I just keep telling her that Tee Tee (her name for Auntie) will be working for HER some day!
MichelleHeadShots-22

(Jenna Bechtholt Photography)

Michelle, you da bomb baby! Thanks for sharing why you Give a Shit!

Comments

comments

WE'RE AROUND