Bliss & Bespoke | Wedding Planner Retreat


Earlier this week, we asked all of you what one thing you would love to outsource, either personally or professionally. For me, the list is long, but I find it so difficult to pull the trigger. Typically, handing that task off to another comes at a cost, but it’s proven time and time again that the small cost of outsourcing means a significant increase in revenue as we are able to focus less on the tasks we dread and more on what we do best!

To inspire us all, we’re looking to our incredible team of Bliss & Bespoke speakers for feedback! We love their suggestions and think you will, too!

What is one thing you’ve chosen to outsource, either personally or professionally, that has given you the ability to focus on what you do best?

Abby Capalbo: Professionally, I think the one thing I’ve outsourced and never looked back was hiring an accountant for my husband and I. It takes away SO much stress in so many ways. I also use Freshbooks for invoicing and that really helps consolidate everything in an organized fashion. Personally, we have a cleaning lady come once a month to really deep clean our house. We are big on the value of our time – and spending 4+ hours cleaning the house could be spent in more profitable ways.

Kristin Polhemus: I outsource most of the ‘making’ of things to my team; craft projects, alphabetizing, folding, stuffing, flower processing and much of the flower arranging.  Since I’m also the wedding planner during the wedding week, I have to ensure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed on the planning side, and that requires me to delegate tasks to those I trust most.

Anna Lucia Richardson: I actually have two things…personally is our Nanny Brittany…by knowing my son in in great hands, I am able to focus on work specifically during that time and then when I am home with him, he gets 100% of my attention!  Professionally are my employees and my Accountant.  Without them, I wouldn’t be able to focus on the bigger picture items of growing my business. There certainly comes a financial cost with all of these, but in the end, it has paid of tenfold for me and has actually allowed my company to be more profitable!

Lynn Easton + Augusta Cole: For our destination weddings we fly in a transportation manager who liases with local transport company!! Totally outsource Transpo!

Melissa Bigner: It’s not officially outsourcing (since we do so little of that), but having Della tackle social media and oversee blog direction/sales (even if i edit most all posts) has been a huge boon. HUGE. Otherwise, we rely on interns for a lot of things like fact-checking, scouting, and other routine office tasks. Being “in”terns, this, too, isn’t outsourcing per se…

Della MacNicholas: We don’t outsource but when interns can collect, curate, and export data, it’s a big help.

Emily Thomas + Lisa Kirk: The Southern Weddings Shop has grown steadily since it launched in 2013, especially with the introduction of the Southern Weddings Planner. For the first two and a half years, we cobbled together an in-house system to ship thousands of orders out the door, but just a few months ago we decided to move our shipping to a fulfillment house. It was a hard decision, as a huge hallmark of our brand has always been a scrappy, personal, bootstraps kind of vibe, but we finally realized that outsourcing something as mechanical as shipping would give us the time to focus on what we do best: connecting with our brides and creating meaningful content. Also, fewer paper cuts. So far, so good!

Jacin Fitzgerald: I don’t know if this is considered “outsourcing”, but when I made the decision to to limit my services to full service planning + design only, vs. partial or day-of, I found that I was able to really focus on my clients’ experience from start to finish vs. feeling pulled in multiple directions with way too much on my calendar. This not only made me proud of the service I was providing, but it also gave my clients an experience that was as celebratory as the big day and allowed me to focus back on my personal life again too. I’m a huge fan of outsourcing whenever possible – whether it’s welcome bag collation or paper goods design – the more I can hand off to other creatives, the more I can focus on making my business a success.

Caroline Lima-Benusa: This year I started outsourcing my blog writing and it’s working great! I always procrastinated the writing part, English is not my first language, it took forever for me to write a mediocre post. I think it is nice to talk about the couple’s story…and at some point I even stopped writing anything at all and I only posted photos. Anyway, I think it is important to talk about the wedding day, the kind of couple I love to work with, etc…so I hired a freelancer writer, I send her the info about the wedding/couple, the tone I would like the post to have, the things I liked the most about their day, etc. And she writes the most beautiful blog posts for me. Recently the mother of the groom came to me at the wedding and said that she copied the text from the couple’s engagement blog post to her scrapbook because she loved it! My writer also helps me with brochures and any kind of writing I have to do. Soon I want her to re-do my entire website.

Oh, and OUR all time favorite outsource? Handing over the creation of our welcome gifts to the amazing gals behind A Signature Welcome! We are so excited about the gifts they’re putting together for everyone attending our next retreat!

What do you think? Are you feeling as inspired as we are?


Announcing our next Bliss & Bespoke!

instagrammosaicgold10We could not be more excited to announce our next Bliss & Bespoke retreat for women wedding planners! This experience and community has grown to be more than we ever could have imagined! We hope you’ll join us Monday to Thursday, October 26-29 for a week you will never forget! Head over  to our registration site to get all of the details and secure your spot to BLISS! Register!

See you in October!


Bliss & Bespoke | Wedding Planner Retreat




We love time spent with Melissa Bigner, editor of Charleston Weddings Magazine. She is truly a gem and always keeps us laughing. We loved reading through these insights from her world as magazine editor in this great city of ours – rumored to be second only to Vegas in destination weddings each year. Melissa has a great perspective to share with all of us on the industry, on building relationships with editors and putting down roots through collaboration and community. Hear what she has to say about finding balance, her move South, her great affection for Charleston and where she finds bliss…

What’s your bliss?

Oh no! Do I only get one bliss? I am really more a bliss buffet kind of person. The misty morning sun coming in through the oak allée at Hampton Park as horses are lead out of the stable. Being part of a me, Oscar (my pug-Boston), and Wade (my sweetheart) bed-and-sheets sandwich on a Saturday morning. Skype dinner with my D.C. sister and niece. Feeding ducks with my mom on a random Wednesday afternoon. Scooting to Brittlebank Park to catch the sunset over the Ashley River (dolphins!). Getting to go backstage at yet another amazing location for “research” and/or scouting here in Charleston. Sorting through fashion shoot images from Corbin Gurkin—how to choose? And always, stumbling onto yet another outdoor wedding here in town, thus getting to be an inadvertent guest and a witness to others’ bliss. On and on!

How do you find balance in your work and personal life?

See above. Since our focus is Charleston and celebrating what the city has to offer couples and families and the romance herein, the lines are very blurry. We have to be consumers to give consumers what they crave. You walk to the Marion Square farmer’s market on Saturday and ideas for weddings abound (scone and honey bar, anyone? How about a pecan buffet?). And you bump into industry folk everywhere in town; I can’t tell you how many times Leigh Webber has driven by and stopped to chat while I’m walking Oscar in my pajamas. But if you delight in what you do, and whom you do it with, the blur isn’t a bane. Plus, I have to remember living in a place like Charleston offsets the inevitable crazies of work if I open myself to the moment. Luckily, the Lowcountry, with its arresting marsh, beach, and waterway vistas, forces the pauses, and reminds me regularly there is so much more going on than my little missions.

Also? I’m really glad that the magazine is the brand, and not me! I think it’s tough when your name is the brand—you really have to separate the personal and professional then. The effort to make sure you’re living your life for life’s sake and not living it to document or share it has to be a priority.

What’s one pivotal decision you’ve made in your career?

Opting for the flip-flop lifestyle over the skyscraper one. I have worked on staff at big, national magazines and done the corporate thing. I took a side trip here after 9/11, and lived with my mom in an early 1800s house downtown for a few months. When I started interviewing in New York again, Mom asked, “What if you worked from here, freelancing for the same caliber of clients and magazines, but with palm trees and flip flops?” That what-if led to a year’s experiment, and ultimately a lifestyle change. Rocked my little corporate brain in the best possible way. Thanks, Mom!

Stay tuned for more from our inspiring lineup of speakers for Bliss & Bespoke 2014!