I hope your week is going great and if it isn’t… well I hope you choose to do one thing to shift your perspective that will allow you to see something good around you! I am so excited to share with you a new installment on the blog called… drum roll, please…. Behind the Curtain. I know, I know…. you already read it in the title but humor me here.
Over the next few months, I want to pull back the curtain on some amazing jobs in the wedding and event industry so you can get an inside scoop! Kind of like when Dorothy realizes there is a man behind the curtain in Oz. But don’t worry… there aren’t any fibbers or liars here ;).
For the record, you may know it all. But, for those of you who are just starting out on planning a wedding/event, these blog posts are going to be so much fun. If you are reading and you are in the industry, this is a great opportunity to meet someone else and create that community over competition that is so important to our success!
Intros please, Maestro.
First up is one of my dear friends, Nicki Korman. We live 5 minutes away from each other and work full time from our homes. Which means, we get to take mental health breaks at Starbucks and our favorite store Lord & Lady! Collaborating on our social media planning has been the latest of our adventures together and it is so refreshing to have a friend to encourage you while you are navigating the rocky waters of algorithms. (I’m sinking most of the time over here) Nicki is the Owner of Toast of the Coast. She loves people so well and I’m excited to share her with you today!
I’ve asked her to answer a few questions for you today! If you have any other questions for her… follow her on Instagram and shoot her a comment or DM!
Who would people say Nicki Korman is?
I hope people would say that I am first a follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, that I am someone that doesn’t take myself too seriously and can always laugh at myself. I am an extrovert and love to be surrounded by friends and family. I am competitive and a perfectionist. Those two qualities serve me well in business and I fight to find a balance personally.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by friends, the people that I do life with. I am thankful for a diverse group of friends; moms, not moms, single, married, business owners, retirees, creatives, all chasing dreams! There are pieces of each of them that make me better and fuel my ambition in each area, finding the balance between faith, family, work, and fun.
What’s your Favorite book?
I love Harry Potter. I’m a Gryffindor and don’t try to argue otherwise.
How long have you been a wedding & event planner?
I have been in the hospitality/event industry since working at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, in college, but started working with brides when I began my career in 2009 in Atlanta at Bold American Events, in catering sales.
When did you know you wanted to do this full time?
I have worked in events full time since college, but I knew wedding planning was the right fit when Jon and I got married and decided to settle in Amelia Island after spending a few years in Atlanta and Athens. There was an opportunity to partner with Lindsay, of TOAST, and open TOAST of the Coast in this area.
Favorite color pallets right now?
I am having fun with some rich colors this fall! For so long we have seen the blush, greens and whites, and neutrals, but my brides have been excited to introduce hues like wine, cranberry, copper and midnight.
Do you have a trend you’d like to see go away forever?
As special as it may seem to have “Aunt Sally” bake your cake or “Cousin Sue” help with flowers, weddings are really about honoring the people closest to you and having them contribute by providing something is no way to honor them. Leave it to the pros and let your loved ones enjoy the day as an honored guest. You will actually save money in the long run by trusting people that do this full time by cutting out errors.
How many weddings have you been a part of planning?
Math has never been my subject. I was a part of nearly 50 weddings a year with Bold for almost 5 years and now TOAST of the Coast takes 8-10 full-service weddings a year. Feel free to get out your calculator.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Managing expectations. I am planning someone’s “Big Day” and I want to make sure they are blown away and it’s everything they want. It’s super important to keep expectations in line with what the budget will allow and what makes logistical sense. We truly want this to be the best day ever for each of our clients and I find that a little education goes a long way to set everyone up for success!
On the flip side, what is the most rewarding part of your job?
I am a people pleaser by nature, so I love to see everyone dancing and making memories in the beautiful atmosphere we have worked so hard to bring to life. The flowers, food, and all the thoughtful details are meaningless without the people filling the space and enjoying the experience of it all. I work hard to create an experience that allows couples to look back on the rough days and move forward with joy, remembering why they love each other and all the people supporting them!
Is there any advice you’d give to people starting out in the industry?
Work in as many different aspects of the industry as you can! My experience in hotels, catering, venues, design and customer service are what make me a great planner. I always tell potential clients that I didn’t wake up one day and decide it would be fun to plan pretty parties, I literally started at the bottom and worked my way through each aspect of the industry so that I am an expert and understand what each vendor needs to do their job well.
What stands out to you the most when working with new vendors? Good & Bad.
Good: Overall professionalism, prompt responses, punctuality is big with me, willingness to work as a team. We are all humans, so there are bound to be mistakes and that is ok as long as you have a team of great people willing to work together to cover for each other and be flexible.
Bad: The opposite of all those things. I will never work with you again if you are so focused on your own job that you begin to compromise the work of those around you.
Do you have any secrets for future brides you can share?
Have fun! Don’t become so stressed that you lose sight of why you are doing this. Enjoy every second because it is over in a blink. Of course, the best way to do this is to hire a team of professionals you trust and truly enjoy being around!
Tell me what do you love most about your home office?
I have my own wedding images displayed on the wall behind me. Remembering my best day ever, helps me create yours!
What’s one of your favorite parts of the planning process?
I love putting together custom welcome amenities. It’s so much fun to see the wedding “brand” come together in a tangible way. The intentionality behind the gift makes guests feel anticipated and welcomed the moment they arrive. I still value The Ritz-Carlton’s, three steps of service, and our welcome amenities are the perfect Warm Welcome!