This week we were lucky enough to interview Monique Wilber of Sierra & Sky. She had a lot of great things to say.
Wedit: How did you get your start in the Event Planning Industry?
Monique: 31 years ago, I took floral design classes at the community college and fell in love with wedding floral design. I added in planning and wedding day management, and I also saw a need for secular officiants. I’m all about authentic design, logistics, and realistic budgets.
Wedit: What is your favorite part of the industry?
Monique: I love it when a client comes to me with a realistic budget and says, I can’t have what I want for the budget I have. And, they say – I don’t know where to start – I need a field guide. I coax their vision from them and then have them focus on ranking their priorities. And then I give a dose of tough love, if needed, to help them make their own choices within their means. And to see that vision executed, a pretty ambiance, a happy day, and the memories that they make is priceless.
Wedit:What are your favorite wedding trends this year?
Monique: Authenticity. Not making all the bridesmaids look identical in the same dress and same shoes, but giving them a color palette and allowing them to choose a dress that they feel lovely in, fits them, and even wearing shoes that they already have. Not going for the luxe big flowers, but going for organic flowers, or seasonal flowers. Farm to fork catering, focusing on in-season, healthy and delicious foods, or ordering from the small Mexican restaurant down the street that you’ve always loved. Smaller weddings, truly authentic, with only the people that are near and dear to the couple’s hearts. Elopements and micro weddings, to have an intimate heartfelt exchange of vows at an incredible place for an experience of a lifetime.
Wedit: What is the biggest change you have seen since the start of your career?
Monique: Since 1988?! So much! For overall event planning, I have to say, it’s changing traditions. I haven’t serviced a church wedding in about 15 years. Wedding receptions used to be at church halls, golf courses, and hotels. Now we see barns, wineries, breweries, restaurants, historic buildings, state parks, lodges, private residences, museums, urban lofts, and bed and breakfasts – as well as halls, golf courses, and hotels – serving as reception venues. I don’t see many garter tosses, bouquet tosses, or money dances anymore. I do see a return to traditions in the sense of the overall maker’s movement – people wanting to DIY crafty details, cook some of their food or desserts, and add homey games like cornhole, and reduce their wedding costs. Modern couples are seeking authenticity, rather than following the crowd.
Wedit: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Monique: You be you. Be authentic to yourself and who you are, while being thoughtful of other people. You don’t have to succumb to peer or family pressure about “tradition” or what is expected. Chart your own course and enjoy your life journey…to paraphrase Dr. Seuss: You’re Off to Great Places! Today is Your Day! Your Mountains are Waiting! So…Get on Your Way!