Michelle Johnstone Clark is the Founder and Lead Planner of Waterlily Weddings, Ireland’s most experienced, talented, and passionate team of destination wedding planners. Michelle has created a professional and passionate team to ensure she offers couples the best possible service. They motivate and challenge each other each and every day to create the most spectacular wedding day for their clients. Read on to learn what's in store for Waterlily Weddings in 2020 and how Aisle Planner helps keep them organized and on-task!
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
I'd been working in corporate events in Dublin, Ireland for many years and loved it. I thrived on the creativity, organizational demands, and pressure of producing events! I had a close friend who ran a number of hotels and insisted that I consider becoming a wedding planner!
Why did you start Waterlily Weddings?
To switch my passion, skills, and experience to be involved in such a milestone event in people’s lives was a huge privilege, which I was both excited and terrified to do. The wedding planning industry in Ireland was very small 14 years ago when I started out, but I knew exactly the niche I wanted to carve out from the beginning. Ireland as a destination wedding venue specifically targeting Americans escaping to Ireland for the wedding of a lifetime! I knew from day one I wanted to have offices In Ireland and the U.S.—which Is what we have now!
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want to?
Aisle planner has been a godsend! We have office in two countries and three time zones and having a shared client management system is invaluable. It keeps us incredibly organized!
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
The rolling budget is a very helpful tool for us and our clients. The payment reminders help a lot too!
If you weren't the Founder + Lead Planner at Waterlily Weddings, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
A ballet teacher was the next biggest passion of mine!
What are three things you never show up without on event day?
Our Aisle Planner PDF printout of all contacts for the day, two cell phones (U.S. and Irish), and comfortable shoes! We average 12 kilometers over 10+ hours on any given wedding day!
What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding and event planner?
Imagine your clients as your best friends. The ones that you've had since school. The ones you know nearly better then they know themselves. Listen to them, remember what's important to them, and make their dream a reality!
What’s your trademark in the client or event experience?
Passionate with an incredible attention to detail!
Is there anything you are particularly excited about working on this year?
We're partnering with a destination travel specialist this year who'll be able to assist with guests' travel plans and even the couple's honeymoon in Ireland!
Just for fun
Three things you wouldn't board a plane without?
Fluffy socks, water, and noise cancelling headphones!
I’m dying to take a trip to...
I'm hoping to take my family to New Zealand and Australia this year. I've lived there twice in my life and am excited to share the country and its adventures with them! Hiking a glacier is also on the bucket list!
Dogs or cats?
If you owned a restaurant, what food would it serve?
I'm a vegetarian so great veggie food! Also, if I could have a restaurant that just sold bread and the best coffee, I'd be in heaven! The Irish girl in me loves nothing more than Irish Soda Bread and Kerrygold Butter!
What skill would you like to master?
Playing the harp
What’s your go to casino game?
What song do you know every word to?
"With or without you" by U2
Favorite book of all time?
Anything by Irish author Ross O'Carroll Kelly!
Non-work related hobbies?
Ballet, running, or DIY projects—I'm happiest with a nail gun or paint brush in my hand in my spare time!
On my days off you can find me…
On the sidelines! I have three boys and our free time is mostly spent by the karate mat or on the side of a football, soccer, or lacrosse field.
If you catch me out and about I’m always wearing…
You can never go wrong with Ted Baker. He's my go-to!
Want to see more from Michelle? Check out her website waterlilyweddings.com!
Hero photo courtesy Siobhan Byrne Weddings