Today we meet Melanie Eubanks, founder & creative director of Lemon Drops Weddings & Events. By growing up with a family who loved to host guests, entertaining has been a part of Melanies' life since she was a child. Her love of decor, planning, and cooking inspired her to create Lemon Drops Weddings & Events.
Melanie is blessed to have her husband James share in her love and vision for weddings and special events. He works as a co-founder and lead at Lemon Drop along with their unique and diverse team who have the incredible talent and skill to diligently serve each of their clients, making wedding and event dreams come true!
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
Growing up in an Alabama home where my parents loved to entertain - whether it was a small dinner party for six or a Christmas celebration for 200, the love of entertaining has been in my life since I was a child. My love of decorating, planning, cooking for events, and eventually helping to plan my niece’s wedding inspired me to enter the industry.
What inspired you to start Lemon Drops Weddings and Events?
After my niece came to me for help planning and designing her wedding, I realized how much I enjoyed it and that I had a natural knack for it. With encouragement from friends and family, and then helping a good friend’s daughter with her wedding, my husband Jim and I decided to create Lemon Drops - named after a delicious lemon drop cake that I love to make!
If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?
I’d probably change the divisive competition between vendors, companies, etc. We’ve always said we value community over competition.
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want?
We love that the invoicing aspect of AP gives you the ability to get so detailed, both in the description of individual line items and the numerical/clerical details - the tax, discount, service charge breakdowns - as well as the payment schedule. We feel we’re able, to be honest, transparent, specific, and detailed oriented with our clients, ultimately making them feel comfortable.
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
We definitely like the invoicing as previously mentioned. But we also really like the ability to track information via the lead format, as well as how easy it is for clients to make payments online.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a wedding and event planner?
I’d want to tell them how much hard work it is! Albeit, it is very rewarding hard work. It’s definitely not just a ‘hobby’. It takes a lot of commitment, working long hours and on weekends. But as I said, in the end, it’s so incredibly gratifying to make our clients' dreams come true.
What do you think will change about the weddings and special events space over the next five years?
Well, considering the current coronavirus world we’re living in, I think we'll continue to see smaller, intimate weddings, outdoors or at private residences, or in backyards. I’m sure elopements will be on the rise as well.
What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding and event planner?
I think greatness in this industry comes from having a flexible philosophy; being able to change or fix things on the fly, adapting, and relating to people and situations. Personality is key, and so is being able to work with others and their unique personalities.
What lights your creative fire?
My creative juices start flowing when I get to create something unique or different. I love new challenges and any opportunity I have to expand my skill set or try new things while learning everything I can in the process.
Is there anything you are particularly excited about working on this year?
Given the state of the industry, and the world in general right now, I’m mostly excited to be getting business back! The summer months are usually slow for us here down in Florida, and even more so this year with coronavirus. I’m excited that the fall wedding season has picked up and we have a lot of great weddings and events on the books for the fall and into winter!
Just for fun
I’m dying to design a wedding or event in…
Greece because of the beautiful backdrops of the white and blue buildings against the Mediterranean.
What’s one trend you think should be left in the past?
Any of the kind of ‘tacky’ beach trends like gaudy seashells or sand in the centerpieces - we can get a lot of that here in Florida!
What’s one trend you hope to see more of?
More dried flowers and other dried elements in bouquets, centerpieces, arrangements, etc.
If you could go back in time, what’s one thing you would change about your wedding?
I ended up trying to save a little money on my bridal bouquet. If I could go back in time, it would be bigger and bolder.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever created for a wedding or event?
We made a huge octopus using thousands of flowers for a special concert with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band! (see below for a surprise...)
During your time as a wedding and event professional, what’s the biggest mistake you've made and how did you recover from it?
I think I can be too generous with my time when it comes to planning and/or coordinating. We always want to go above and beyond, but it’s important to set boundaries and limits.
Hero image courtesy of Greyhouse Films
Want to find out more about Melanie and her team at Lemon Drops Weddings and Events? Check out their website: www.lemondropsfl.com