Whether she's meeting with excited couples or discovering the latest and greatest in current wedding design, Tamara Nicole, owner of Simply by Tamara Nicole, can often be found creating innovative weddings for couples surrounded by light, laughter, and love.
Voted top wedding planners by Seattle Bride Magazine, and having their work featured all over the globe...the SBTM team believes they're the luckiest gals in the world. Why? Through each wedding they create, they have the unique chance of pouring their hearts, souls, and passion into planning and designing every detail (big and small!) for their client's dream day. With over 170+ weddings planned, and countless new friendships over the years with past clients, they’ve loved every moment of it and continue to offer designer services with a boutique feel for brides who dream of an unforgettable day.
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
It's funny how things work out. I originally went to the University of Washington in pre-dental, and majored in Biology. I then got accepted to NYU's Dental School, but felt very unsure in my heart about things. I decided to take a year off to work, save money, and make absolutely sure that's what I wanted to do. Funny thing was, I met this handsome man named Andy on a double blind date in July, got engaged the following March, and married in September—so change of plans! Yes, you're right, I'm one of those wedding planners who had so much fun planning their own wedding, it led me to eventually starting my own company. But I'm exactly where I was meant to be!
While we were engaged and getting married, I also had a side craft/home décor business. This was my first "business" and although it didn't work out (was so much work for little ROI), I learned so much about not only running a business through this venture, but also some great design skills to carry over into weddings and events.
Why did you start Simply by Tamara Nicole?
I wanted to create an experience for my clients. We all know wedding planning can be a lot, and I wanted to make it enjoyable for my clients, giving them one unique wedding that their guests will remember forever. Not just a pretty wedding, or a trendy wedding, but one that exudes their personalities, relationship, and love. I love getting to know people and feel like I'm just their best friend planning alongside them for their big day. At SBTN we're big on being personal and really creating that fun relationship with our clients that lasts long after the wedding. But let's be real, we also love making things pretty for them too!
If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?
This is a tough one. I'd love to see more diversity in so many ways. I feel like everyone wants their wedding to look similar (what's on trend or all over Instagram at the time). I'd love to see more original, fun, and unique ideas for design, but also would love to see more diversity of couples in featured weddings on the big named blogs and magazines. I feel like this is getting better, but we have some work to do here as an industry.
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want to?
I love having a one-stop-shop for us and our clients to work together in. It makes the process clean, smooth, organized, and fun. Being able to truly customize each client's experience in Aisle Planner is great, as each wedding's needs vary from couple to couple.
What's your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
The checklist of course! It's our main place to work from and it makes our clients relaxed knowing everything is all there and has an order to it. I'm also loving the floor plan feature now, so I don't have to go to any other sites to get things done. Thank you!
If you weren't the Owner of Simply by Tamara Nicole, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
This is a tough one! I think being a life coach would be fun. I mean I'm an enneagram 7, the "cheerleader," and love to help, inspire, and motivate others, and see them succeed. I think that comes in handy with wedding planning as well!
What are three things you never show up without on event day?
- My emergency kit for sure! We use something from it during every wedding no doubt. Always comes in handy!
- Coffee. We always start the day with a coffee run not only for our team, but for the couple as well. I mean we're in Seattle right?
- A change of shoes or two, because even with comfortable flats, being on our feet for 10-18 hours a day (depending on the wedding) is a long time. Changing my shoes can help with comfort, and prevent blisters!
What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding and event planner?
Keep it about the clients. It's THEIR big day. It's not about us, our brand, or our anything. It's their one day and our goal is to make it as amazing as possible for not only them, but their family and guests as well. We're a team with all of the vendors and it's so important for us to all pull together for the common goal.
What’s your trademark in the client or event experience?
I think what sets our company apart is our custom personal approach to all of our clients and our love for design and finding fun, unique ways to bring out the clients through each and every detail.
Is there anything you're particularly excited about working on this year?
We recently added our 5th team member, Jenna (in addition to myself, Claire, Nicole, and Elle), who was actually one of my fave past brides years ago. She's such a great addition to our team, we really are lucky! Also, we've been doing floral design for a few years now, but this is the first year we're offering it as a stand alone service, which we're really excited about!
Just for fun
Three things you wouldn't board a plane without?
Chocolate, a good book (I love to read!), and a notebook to brainstorm and write ideas in. There's just something about being way up in the sky, away from all responsibilities, that helps clear my brain and great ideas come.
I’m dying to take a trip to…
Really anywhere, we love to travel! Next on our list is Ireland and Scotland.
Dogs or cats?
I love all animals, but I have a special place in my heart for dogs. We used to have four rescue pups (Westies!), but unfortunately they get older fast and we had to say goodbye over the past couple years. We're looking to add a couple more dogs to our family soon!
If you owned a restaurant, what food would it serve?
Ooh maybe Vietnamese fusion food? I love pho and Vietnamese coffee. I could eat it every day and not get tired of it. But of course we'd need to find a fun way to create cocktails to go with the meals!
Non-work related hobbies?
We love to travel, go one long hikes in the mountains, kayak, all of the fun outdoor things. Once the kids are older I'm excited to take them skiing!
On my days off you can find me…
Playing with my kiddos, brunch or happy hour with friends, on walks or mini hikes with my husband and kids, or at the gym!
If you catch me out and about I’m always wearing…
Likely jeans with black booties and a black or blush top!
Want to see more from Tamara? Check out her website simplytamaranicole.com!
Hero photo courtesy Blue Rose Pictures