Graduate Feature: Alyssa Lebreton
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a wife and mother of two girls, Rayne (8) and Harlow (6). I currently live in a small, unorganized township with a population of only 200 people.
I’m an organizer and an artist at heart. I am a big fan of lists and DIY projects. It all started while being a student council member in elementary school. My love for organization and creative products continued throughout high school and even after I became a mother and wife.
When I’m not working, you can find me at my daughters’ gymnastics or dance classes, or at the lake, usually fishing.
Why did you decide to become an event planner?
Living in the tiny community that I do, I had never considered an event planning career as a valid option. So I became a hairstylist. But after becoming a mother, I loved planning my kids’ parties and I also loved planning my own wedding. I decided to follow my dream and become an event and wedding planner!
You plan many outdoor events. Do you advise for aspiring planners on planning outdoor events?
Outdoor weddings and events are my favorites! I love using the natural, rustic beauty of the environment as the backdrop of my events. However, planning outdoor events does require you to consider more factors, such as acquiring electricity and finding bathroom alternatives.
So, to events planners aspiring to work at outdoor locations or venues, here’s my advice. Be prepared to work with many different vendors, know your surroundings, check the weather (often), and always have a plan B!
Ashlyn Hale Photography
Was it difficult deciding to start your own wedding planning business in a small town where the demand for wedding planners is low?
I was definitely hesitant since I don’t plan your typical “hall” wedding or event. I was especially nervous that my target audience wouldn’t be found in my local surroundings. Thankfully, my community has proven me wrong!
I travel to wherever my event planning clients need me; therefore, I am not limited to my small community. I have traveled for weddings up to four hours away and would go further if need be without hesitation!
What’s the biggest challenge with starting your event planning business in a small town and how did you overcome it?
Natasha Liard Photographs
The biggest challenge for my event planning business is the small number of vendor options due to my community’s low population. This is especially true for offbeat clients who are looking for something a little different. Thankfully, the ones we do have are great. But the options are still extremely limited.
In order to overcome this challenge, I’ve learned a few things:
- Thoroughly explain my client’s vision to my vendors so they can best accommodate my client with what they have
- Establish great relationships with local vendors and research outside vendors to give my client a variety of options
Why did you enroll in an online event and wedding planning certification course?
Ashlyn Hale Photography & Marie-Pier Valiquette Photographe
Before finding QC Event School, I had never considered taking online classes. I always thought that it would be too difficult for me as I’m more of a hands-on learner.
But being a full-time mother, having a husband who works shift work, as well as working part-time myself as a hairstylist and part-time at my daughters’ school, having time to go to school wasn’t really an option.
Once I found out that QC Event School offered online event planning courses where you work at your own pace, I immediately knew it was going to be a perfect fit. And I ended up liking the course so much that I finished it much quicker than anticipated!
Although wedding season is far from over, what’s your game plan for slow season?
I don’t intend to step away from planning and coordinating weddings or events during the colder months. Thankfully, some clients prefer winter weddings and our winters are beautiful! However, business is much slower during that time, so I definitely plan to take some of that time to focus on developing the business aspects of my company.
Was there ever an event planner job you hesitated to take but was glad you did afterward?
Not yet. Although I was a little nervous for my most recent wedding. I planned, styled, and coordinated the wedding, all while being a bridesmaid and living a few hours away! But in the end, even though the experience was challenging, it was immensely rewarding.
Natasha Liard Photographs
What do you have in store for the future of your event planning business?
Destination weddings! I love to travel and would love to be able to plan destination weddings in places like Bali or Spain.