20
Apr
11

guest star: Erin Patrick — events fashioned

Stitely Entertainment recently had the opportunity to chat with Erin Patrick, an event planner with a strong background in design. He was previously the VP at one of the largest event decor companies in Chicago, but has recently branched out to create his own company: erin patrick.

Stitely Entertainment (SE): It looks like you’ve got a diverse history within the wedding industry, how did you get started in the business?
Erin Patrick (EP): I got started in the industry some 20 plus years ago.  I was doing window displays at the time and started freelancing with some of the best companies in the industry.  I worked under the amazing Robert Isabell in NYC.  I then freelanced with Bill Heffernan and worked with Renee Van Rems.

SE: How do you go about designing a unique look or style for an event?
EP: When clients come to me for the first time, I try to find out what makes them tick. What do they really like and also what do they hate!  Sometimes that is the most important.  Knowing what to avoid is half the battle.  I like to generate ideas from their thoughts and start to create the vision right in front of them.  I am fascinated a lot on just how much creation I can generate just by drawing their vision out of them.  My clients are often salivating at this time.  I love it!!!

        

SE: What are some of the main services you offer and how do they set you apart from other competitors?
EP: I offer a full line of design management services.  From full service, to unparalleled day of services.  What sets us apart is that I come from a design background.  I am not here to just take notes.  I will start to build the look with the client from the start. Referencing colors, tones, textures.  I want the event to entice all of your senses.  The event should look, sound, taste, smell, and feel harmonious!  I am set apart from my competition because I can start the process from the inception.  I do not need to go to other people to get ideas, they are right inside my head.  I have too many ideas sometimes that it’s hard to sleep!

SE: How does your background in design affect your role as an event planner?
EP: I look at every project as fashion.  Your event must be fashionable.  That does not mean trendy by any means.  I often tell people to keep their trends in good taste.  Don’t over do it.  You do not want to look back at your event and say. “Why did I do that?”  Keeping your event fashionable is one of the most important aspects of my service.  Going into each event with those aspects allows me license to be honest with my clients.  They trust me!

SE: What part of your job do you find the most satisfying and most challenging?
EP: The most satisfying component to my job is seeing the whole thing come together that night.  It is such a buildup!  The most challenging is often times the rehearsal. No one wants to listen!


SE: What are some things couples should consider when creating a design/style for their wedding?

EP: Couples should look at their weddings as an extension of themselves!  What are their tastes? What would they never be associated with?  And most importantly…don’t listen to everyone else. Listen to the pros!  That is why they hire us!!!  We would not sway them.

SE: What is the craziest event story you can share?
EP: A bride never showed!  The groom looked at me and said what do we do?  I say we party!  The food was there, the flowers, the guests…everything was paid for.  We did just that.  The bride called me 4 months later and said she was sorry and that they would like to have a party.  They were married in a private ceremony and we had a large party for their friends.  Many of the guests walked in and said, “Erin, how the hell are you?”, like we were old friends.  I spent a lot of time with my therapist after that.

SE:Put your iPod on shuffle. What are the first three songs that come up?
EP: “La vie en rose” by Édith Piaf,  “Boombox”  by Kylie Minogue and “Blueprint” by Jay-Z

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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