Kaitlin Ford of Pocketful of Plans is a force. In the face of the pandemic, this mother of two continued on in her work by figuring out ways to help out in her community and by showing love to couples who had to make drastic changes to their wedding plans. In the words of her nominator Amandarose Szezorak;
"She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met! She is a mother of two runs a full-time successful business and daily inspires everyone she meets! During our Covid time together she and I have done many calls to see how we could help our community during this time. She came up with the idea of us photographing 10 couples who were affected by Covid to give them the gift of photos to honor their wedding day because so many were affected by Covid. Some of the couples we met were no longer able to financially have a wedding, some couples lost their job, some couples lost family members during this time who are no longer able to be there for their wedding day, some couples canceled their wedding altogether. She Is incredibly humble, worldly, and supports every type of love! She is totally underrated in our area and I think people need to know who she is and why she is so good at what she does! I really want people to value her and appreciate her and realize that she offers so much to our wedding industry!"
We talked to Kaitlin about her incredible work and how she believes we can 'Show the Love' in these changing times.
What was the hardest part of continuing on with work during the pandemic?
I had a lot of weddings cancel early on in the pandemic and a lot of couples that were just heartbroken and didn’t know what they wanted to do but knew they wanted to get married. Since the area where I operate has had very strict restrictions since day one of the shutdowns we have had to move a few weddings to other locations where we could safely and legally have weddings. Just helping couples get through it one punch at a time is really how we moved forward with planning.
What was the most rewarding part of continuing on with work the pandemic?
I feel like I really connected with and got to know my couples even better during this time. I feel like we were all going through something so hard and unknown and we could really connect over it. There were times we cried together and times we laughed together and we got through it together.
How did you come up with the idea of photographing 10 couples who were hard hit by the pandemic?
It just kept feeling like 2020 was getting worse and worse, on top of the pandemic we were facing many people realizing how much social injustice is in our country for the first time. I was speaking to my photographer friend, Amandarose Szezorak of AGS Photo Art about a styled shoot. We both wanted to find a couple that had been affected by the pandemic so they could have some beautiful wedding photos. But as we were talking and planning, I thought, why don’t we give the gift of some special photos to more than just one couple?! We decided to partner with Kim England of Fleurs Du Soleil to make us a couple of bouquets and we ran a giveaway on Instagram. We had so many amazing couples apply, they told us their stories about their background, how COVID had impacted their lives, livelihood, and wedding. Many of the couples were essential workers, who had to postpone because they were more worried about exposing their friends and family after their work on the front lines. What resulted was a beautiful day on the Monterey Coast and 10 couples that got some beautiful photos to treasure from 2020 despite the fact that most did not get their wedding as planned.
What motivates you to keep going in your business?
My amazing family. I am really lucky to have an incredibly supportive family and two incredible young children that motivate me to build a life and business they can be proud of. My mom and I work together, she is my unofficial business partner and wedding day super-hard-worker and I am lucky to have a mom that continues to work hard all the time to love, support, and help her family. That is what I want to give my children too.
How have you balanced motherhood and your work during the pandemic?
Is there such thing as balance during this pandemic?! I actually gave birth to my son in April 2020 and being at home with a toddler, a newborn, and attempting to help my couples navigate this all at once was easily one of the most challenging, both physically and mentally obstacles for me. Honestly, motherhood is hard. This pandemic has put a spotlight on how hard it is to be home with kids, and that is actually somewhat relieving. I think that everyone has been a little more compassionate for moms and women in general because we bear so much weight that our counterparts do not. This is not to say that men aren’t contributing and I am really thankful I have had my husband home during this to help because honestly, I have so much respect for single parents, I have no idea how they do it.
What is your signature/niche?
I really specialize in creating unforgettable and meaningful experiences for couples wanting to focus on their most important people. I focus on helping couples prioritizing and customizing their day so they don’t get stuck on the to-do list but actually enjoy the process and have an experience their guests and them can treasure forever.
What is your advice for any budding entrepreneurs/business owners in general?
Work hard and be nice to people. It is honestly simple. People remember how you make them feel. I can’t tell you the number of times that people have told me they are used to people in the wedding industry being really mean. We are in the business of love, so you should radiate kindness and love.
What are you most looking forward to in this coming year?
Finally getting to help my couples that could not celebrate in 2020 have a wedding and celebration. While we have come to terms with the reality that it will not look anything like what they imagined we all have high hopes that it will be wonderful regardless of how small or different, they finally get their moment to share their love with their most important people!
How did Aisle Planner help you accomplish your goals in 2020?
This year was crazy and being organized was essential. With date changes, cancellations, and the RonaCoaster, as I like to call it, having all the information about each wedding in one place was invaluable.
How does Aisle Planner help you run your business?
I love systems and processes. Once I finally invested the time and energy into understanding Aisle Planner’s different features it has really helped streamlined my process. I am more organized and efficient and as my business grows into a business with new team members I can easily share the systems and processes with them.
How do you feel that you and/ or other wedding and event pros can ‘Show the Love’ during these times?
I think we can all agree that this past year has been difficult for everyone, no one has been completely unaffected by it. I think leading with compassion and kindness has been invaluable. We have to look at the circumstances of cancellations and postponements from not just our point of view but also the couple’s and be compassionate. We are all navigating unknowns and dealing with immense stress, you can still run your business like a business and be kind and understanding in the process.
Hero image courtesy of AGS Photo Art
To see more of the couples Kaitlin and her team captured during their Monterey Coast Photoshoot click here: https://picti.net/enixQ