Member Spotlight: Michelle Johnstone Clark of Waterlily Weddings

Michelle Johnstone Clark of Waterlily Weddings
February 11, 2020

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!

Photo courtesy Butterfly Photography

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!

Photo courtesy Studio Brown (left) and Paula O'Hara (right)

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?
Dogs

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?
Roulette

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

Share

About the Author

Aisle Planner Editorial Team
Aisle Planner Editorial Team
The Aisle Planner Editorial Team is a collective of creative writers, editors, and former event pros who obsess over weddings and special events—and the businesses behind them! Drawn to the details of their design and extravagant charm of their creativity, our team provides intelligent and straightforward articles with insights, practical tips, and expert guidance in putting Aisle Planner's "Power of One" behind your business. ...
Latest from @aisleplanner
Breaking News: @NatalyaDeSenaPhoto has joined our team of unbelievable vendor partners for the upcoming #apexboston on April 6th – 7th at @OlioPeabody. Natalya is a fine art wedding photographer documenting elegant weddings throughout Maine, New England, and various destination locations. After nine years in the corporate world, Natalya combined her passion for photography with her business expertise, jumping all in, heart first. Natalya's priority is to give couples a hand-crafted experience, providing them with not only a luxury heirloom portfolio, but personalized pieces of fine art. You can find Natalya's work featured on Over The Moon, Sonoma Magazine, Seacoast Weddings Magazine, Wedding Chicks, Weddings Boston, and The Knot. Grab your ticket today through the link in our bio! #TheAislePlannerExperience 📷 @elizabethladuca
🚨 GIVEAWAY ALERT! 🚨 AP|EX Boston speaker Keri of @alwaysyoursevents is giving away 2 tickets to #TheAislePlannerExperience in Boston April 6th – 7th (at @oliopeabody). Grab your business cards and comfy day-of shoes for two jam-packed days of expert advice, networking, and hands-on learning! You won’t want to miss out! Winners will receive TWO tickets* to #apexboston, reserved front row seating, and 50% off ONE ticket for their business bestie. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 12pm EST.⠀
⠀
HOW TO WIN: Check out the entry instructions on @alwaysyoursevents giveaway post! ⠀
⠀
*Tickets do not include transportation or accommodations. Tickets cannot be sold or transferred to another person. No refunds will be offered if you choose not to attend. If you fail to comply with the following statutes, Aisle Planner has the right to refuse your attendance to the AP|EX 2020 series. Instagram is in no way affiliated with this giveaway. Must be 18 or older to participate.
Learn how @lindsaydeanevents, @thepannikinbuilding, and @tbdsandiego planned and executed the industry event of the decade, Trending into the Twenties, on Aisle Planner. Link in our bio for the behind-the-scenes scoop!

#weddingindustry #sandiego #sandiegoweddingplanner
What's your favorite part of the creative industry? For Keri Ketterer Walter of @alwaysyoursevents it's the eager willingness of collaboration shared by so many vendors! "I truly love working one on one with my preferred vendors to harness talents and creativity to bring a vision from my head to paper and then to life as part of a couple's dream wedding. It's really a magical and rewarding process." Keri is hitting the #apexboston stage on April 6th to talk to us about leveling up your efficiency with Notes on Aisle Planner. Grab your ticket through the link in our bio! ✨ #TheAislePlannerExperience
As owner of @EverAfterEvents, Merilee Hennings produces unforgettable events across California with her pristine, classic taste and attention to detail. Read on through the link in our bio to learn more about Merilee's planning journey and her personal philosophies for doing it successfully! 📷 @the_grovers
SPEAKER ALERT! Top wedding planner Renée Sabo of @urban_soiree is hitting the #apexboston stage on April 6th to tell us how to seamlessly on-board your clients + vendors onto Aisle Planner. With more than a decade of experience in the industry, Renée knows exactly what it takes to design the wedding day her clients have always envisioned. Her heart beats for intimate, ethereal, and timeless celebrations, and she’s honored to have been recognized as ‘Best Planner’ by ILEA Boston and ‘Top Wedding Planner’ by Boston’s A-List! When she’s not working with brides and grooms-to-be, you can find Renée on her podcast @theconfettihour hosting candid conversations with the most inspiring guests or at @everydaycreativebos coaching fellow small business owners. We can't wait to learn Renée's top tips and tricks for successfully introducing Aisle Planner to your team and clients. Grab your ticket now through the link in our bio! #TheAislePlannerExperience