Meet Tasha from 'Toast with Tasha'

Good morning, Tasha! Tell us a little about yourself and your company!
I am a Seattle native, a die-hard SEAHAWKS fan and football season is my favorite time of year! Thanksgiving is definitely the best holiday. I love trying new restaurants and doing D-I-Y projects with friends. At least once a year my husband and I try to go to a music festival in a city we have never been.
I have been event planning for the past 7 years, coordinating everything from Weddings, Corporate Events, Galas, Fundraisers, Showers, Birthday Parties… you name it and I’ve done it! I love getting creative and thinking outside the box and I am never one to shy away from getting my hands dirty!
The goal at Toast with Tasha is to create events that reflect each couple, each person and/or business’ unique personality and style. I strive to provide a fresh approach in customizing each event and wedding to focus on planning a one of a kind bash!

How did you get into event planning? What drew you to weddings?
I started in corporate event planning but then a co-worker asked me to help them plan their wedding, and as they say, the rest was history! I just loved every part of helping them design their vision and see it come to life. It was such a blast. Ever since then I have been addicted to planning weddings, events and parties of all kinds.

What’s the best part of the job?
I would have to say my favorite part of my job is getting to know each couple and finding ways to get their personalities expressed in the design of their wedding day. I love being creative and the design aspect of each wedding or event allows me to do that.

What does a normal day look like for a typical wedding planner?
After waking up and getting my little one ready for the day, I grab a vanilla chai tea and start going through social media. From there I spend a few hours going through emails and following up with phone calls. Then I like to grab a lunch, otherwise I get so caught up and realize I skipped a meal. After lunch I like to start working on crafting design elements for the client. I personally can’t start this process in the morning. I find that my creative juices just aren’t flowing as freely. If there is a vendor meeting, I prefer to schedule them in the afternoons as that tends to be better for clients. After projects and/or vendor meetings, I go through emails again to make sure I haven’t left anyone without a response. Then it’s family time! I try to not check email, social media and/or take phone calls after 7pm. It’s important to me to make sure I can give my undivided attention to my loves!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and what advice would you give to a newbie in the business?
It’s better to start small. Often time’s new planners set high expectations for themselves and try to book a lot of clients right out of the gate. However, wedding planning and design takes a lot of time. It’s always better to give 100% to each client and have fewer clients, then to have a lot of clients but not produce your best work. Always remember that by producing an amazing day you will be more likely to have the couple recommend you to family and friends. Referrals are key in this business.

What are your hobbies & interests outside of work?
When I am not working I can usually be found hanging out with my husband and our daughter. We recently bought our first home and I found I have a love of decorating (which shouldn’t be a surprise)! We love to go on walks and discover new areas around our neighborhood. When I find time to myself I am either crafting or reading a book. Last year I was able to cross off an item on my bucket list: I read 100 books in one year!

Is there any good stories you can tell us about a couple you’ve worked with?
Last year a couple I worked with surprised everyone at the wedding, including myself, with doing a choreographed first dance. I say this was a surprise mostly because the Groom didn’t seem like he was much of a dancer. Oh how we were wrong. They had three of their favorite songs mixed together and totally rocked it. Everyone was on their feet watching and cheering. It was the first time I had seen a first day delivered like that. It was definitely a special moment for them. And that Groom could really bust a move! 

What is your favorite color combination?
Each season is different!
Winter: Pear Cream + Spruce + Apricot + Dark Chocolate
Spring: Seaweed, Seafoam, Apricot, Antique Gold
Summer: Rising Smoke + Seahawk + Ceramic + Muted Mauve
Fall: Deep green + Burnt Sienna + Dark Maroon + Bubble Gum

Any trends that you love?
I absolutely love everything Vintage Chic!

 

16. If there is a problem with a vendor anytime during the wedding planning process and wedding day do you handle the issues or do we?
17. What are the different planning packages you offer?
18. What aspects of the planning process are we responsible for?
19. Are you the coordinator who will be there the day of our wedding? Do you work with an assistant that will also be there on our wedding day?
20. In case of an emergency and you are unable to be at our wedding do you provide a backup planner?
21. When will you arrive and depart on our wedding day?
22. Do you stay on site after the wedding has ended to ensure everything is broken down and vendors have left?
23. Do you provide us a timeline and a floor plan?
24. Can we customize your existing packages?
25. Is the rehearsal included in any of your packages? Is a post-wedding brunch included in any of your packages? Or can these be added to a package?
26. When we will receive our contract if we book with you

What questions should a couple ask a wedding planner before hiring them?
1.    Do you have our wedding date open? Do you anticipate any issues with our date?
2.    Why did you become a wedding planner?
3.    What is the most challenging wedding you have worked with, how did you handle the problems related to that wedding?
4.    How are your communication and problem solving skills?
5.    How long have you been planning weddings? Do you have a business license?
6.    How many weddings have you planned and when was the last one?
7.    How many clients do you typically book in a year?
8.    How many clients do you expect to have during the month of our wedding?
9.    Is this your full time job?
10. Have you worked at our venue in the past?
11. Are we required to book vendors you recommend or can we choose our own?
12. Do you take a commission from the vendors you would refer us to? Or you get any kind of discount to use particular vendors?
13. Will you be at the vendor meetings and will you assist in reviewing the vendor contracts?
14. Do we pay the vendor fees directly to the vendor?
15. On the day of our wedding will you distribute final payments and gratuities to the vendors

27. Once we provide you will our budget, do you help us breakdown where monies should be spent and track that throughout the planning process?
28. What forms of payment do you accept?
29. What is the deposit due to reserve your services? When is the balance due?
30. Are there additional fees that aren’t in your packages that we need to be aware of?
31. What is the refund and/ or cancellation policy?
32. Are you able to provide us a list of references?

How far in advance would you suggest couples start planning for their big day?
It really depends on the couple. More often than not in order to ensure they are able to secure their first choice vendors, at least a year in advance of wedding date is ideal. The more time a couple is able to give themselves, the less overwhelming and/or stressful the whole process will be, and the easier on the budget!

When should a couple book a wedding planner?
If the couple is looking to have a wedding planner to provide coordination and design for the entire wedding, they should look at hiring the planner 10 to 12 months before the wedding. Hiring the planner at this stage of the process allows the planner to assist securing the best vendors for their wedding design. If they are looking for just the “day-of” services than they should hire someone about 2 to 3 months before the wedding. The “day-of” coordinator is just there to make sure everything is setup and runs smoothing so you don’t need as much lead time when hiring the coordinator.

Any advice or tips you would give to a couple planning their own wedding right now?
Couples should remember that this is their special day and should be a reflection of who they are. There are no hard and fast rules to weddings, whether they want to do everything traditional or if they want to beat to their own drum, either way it will be a day that they will never forget!