Most ladies dream of the perfect wedding day, using tools like pinterest to piece together their vision. Unfortunately, perfect rarely happens without the help of a professional overseeing those little details that their Pinterest board didn’t mention. Enter Sarah Campbell. Sarah is the founder of Pollyanna Events, a unique DIY wedding planning company. Essentially your Pinterest board found it’s real life counterpart. Sarah is not your average wedding planner, she was on the path to becoming a lawyer when she went through the wedding planning process herself. Like any good lawyer she fights for her client and makes sure they get what they want.
1. Sarah, you have accomplished what every corporate person has dreamed of. You were able to leave your legal job to start your own wedding planning company, what inspired this change?
I was fully investing in becoming an attorney. I wanted to change the world! The entire process of becoming an attorney started to become so overwhelming, not enjoyable, and started taking a financial strain on my life. And I knew this was only the beginning. I talked with my friends that had already gone through the process and literally every single one of them told me not to do it - it wasn’t worth it. It was then, that I took a step back and realized I may have to throw away everything I went to school for. But, before I started to freak out and think of all of the negative things that could happen during this change, I got engaged and began channeling my creative side. I had always been very crafty - took a lot of art classes in school, and generally just enjoyed making and customizing things I came across. So, my friends began asking me why I didn’t just becoming a wedding planner. I never really thought that was a thing. Before you knew it I was asking my soon-to-be husband if he was ok with me throwing my career out the window and starting my own business. His response was “If it makes you happy”. It was then I knew, whatever this journey entailed, I could take it on!
2. What was the biggest learning curve from planning your own wedding to planning others? Do you have any tips for staying calm, cool and collective leading up to their wedding?
The biggest learning curve was finding out that I was like everyone else. What I mean by this is, when you are planning your wedding you think you can do it all and still enjoy the process. Truth be told - that’s not how it works :) I learned the hard way when I did not hire a planner because I thought I could do it all. Now, the goal is to try to get people to understand what it is really like planning your entire wedding without a planner vs. knowing when to hand it over to the professionals so you can enjoy your special day.
Don’t look at what can go wrong but rather are you surrounded by professionals that you can trust to help run your big day so you can enjoy it. This is the ONE day where you get to be pampered and have everything done for you - so enjoy it!
3. What is the best part of planning a wedding? Can you notice a difference between people who have planners and who don't?
I’ve said this a million times and I will say it again, seeing my clients faces when they see their day come together and are surround by all of their loved ones. It really just melts my heart that I was able to bring everything together so they could have ONE day all to themselves.
You can always tell if a wedding does not have a planner. I have heard so many horror stories from other vendors it blows my mind. I have also attended some weddings that didn’t have a wedding planner it it really doesn’t compare. Whether the flow of the day is messed up, guests don’t know where to go, the wedding party is announced out or order and with the wrong names, or your guests get the wrong food orders - the list goes on.
4. If you were to talk to your 21 year old self, what advice would you give her?
I would tell myself to slow down, enjoy the ride, and not to take everything so literally. Everything that happens in life is not the end. I would tell myself that this is just the beginning and I have a lot of living to do and a lot to experience. And do not for one second, take anything for granted.
5. Where do you draw your inspiration? And how do you keep it organized?
Honestly, I get my inspiration from all over! Sometimes it happens when I least expect it - when I am strolling all over the city, from meeting to meeting and pause to take it all in, I suddenly see something that inspires me. I try to keep an open mind all the time. I feel when I can let my mind wander, it provides me with great material to continue to run my businesses and be a better person.
My life is a chaotic organized mess. When you run two small businesses that require you to travel all over the US, have a husband, two small dogs and friends and family to attend to - life is always, to a certain extent - unorganized and chaotic. I am a type A person or type A+ as my husband would say so I am an organized person to say the least :) But as organized as I am, I am always looking for way to improve my organization as my business grow! My main source of organization is list making. I have a calendar on my phone and a calendar in my day planner. I keep both at all times and have everything I do listed in both along with many lists to keep me on track each day. It’s a lot of discipline but it works for me.