"Wedding planning is all fun and games until you realize you have no time, no sleep, and cannot think of anything else."
A little bit about me, Erin Rice
A quick, short history for you, so you know a little bit about who I am! I was born in southern California and moved to Oregon when I was 10. I've been here ever since! It never fails to amaze me how I can drive 15 minutes out of town and be in the gorgeous countryside. It gets me every time (California is NOT like that!). I went to college at Western Oregon University, to become a teacher. I didn't end up doing that. I worked for two years at a restaurant before working for a park and recreation district. There, I helped with child care for ALL ages, I was part of lots of teams and committees for various things, I purchased a LOT of supplies for a lot of different programs and made some really great friends. I also completed a Master's degree while working full time! After 14 years, and a pandemic, I felt like I was done there. So I quit...and a few months later, this business was born. I have so many skills I've gained over the years, and this business has me learning even more! It's a constant eduation!
How long have you been planning events?
I have been planning events for the last 20 years, on the side of whatever full-time work I was doing. I have always loved hosting people, and I've done a few bridal and baby showers. At my previous job, I helped plan several employee luncheons and holiday parties, with about 100-150 employees attending. I was the lead for planning the events a few times! I also helped plan, setup and run several community events with a committee, where thousands of people would be in attendance. That helped me set up timelines and stay organized! In the summers of 2021 and 2022, I became an on-site wedding coordinator for a local venue, with 5 weddings each summer. In 2023, the first full year of my business, I had 11 weddings, one gala, one fundraiser, one memorial service and one surprise birthday party!
What is your philosophy on event planning?
I love being able to make your event go smoothly! When I'm on site, I'm "on." That just means I keep in mind that I'm working for you, to make an extraordinary event go well! Granted, things go wrong with events all the time, but that's part of why you hired me - to problem solve those issues so you don't have to!
I want to get to know you, and anyone joining you in the planning process, so I can help with realistic, but still dreamy, goals for your event. Whether you want a wedding that feels like a comfy backyard party, a formal gala with a fundraising aspect, or anything in-between, I want you to feel heard. I want to be the one to lighten your load, lessen the stress and help you be a little excited while drafting your event!
I believe in strategic planning with attention to details - what your guests are going to notice, and what they aren't. We gotta keep them talking about how awesome your event was! Organization, flexibility and communication are cornerstones to designing an event and working with all vendors that are brought in.
Why did you get into event planning?
I have really always loved event planning. I am extremely organized, have a great attention to detail , an eye for what matters, and I love helping people. This translates so well into event planning - staying organized with all the different aspects that go into an event, making sure details aren't missed (but neither is the big picture) and making sure people feel like their event was successful with my help!
Helping people makes me feel useful, and needed. It's in my nature! It gives me a connection to people that I might not normally connect with. I know that my help makes your life better. This business helps me feel like I am doing something real, something that really matters to people.
I've done the 9 to 5 thing (well, it was more like 8:30 to 5:30). I've worked for other people, like small business owners, and large organizations. I got real exhausted with the rat race. It may be okay for some, but I'm done with it - I want freedom!
To me, freedom means I can work for myself, by myself, with clients that I want to work with, and coworkers, or business owners that I want to work with. I make my own schedule, which leaves me time for coffee on the couch, lunch with a friend, time with family, and vacations and travel! My goal is to make this business work around my life, so I can have more fun in the second half of my life than I did in my first. My business is more of a passion to me than working ever was, and I want to keep it that way. And really, I'm mostly just earning money to pay bills and travel! Ha!
Some random facts about me:
- I love my morning routine - I feed my cats, make my coffee and sit on the couch until I wake up completely!
- I am a huge reader! I paused for many years with college and work, but now I'm back at devouring fiction and I love it! (I even sell children's books through PaperPie!)
- I love cats. I will immediately stop to pet one. I currently have two - Peter (my senior boy at almost 17) and Georgia (my mad scientist kitten at almost 6). Wendy was 15, when I had to put her down in 2022. I've had all three since they were kittens. When I was a kid, we had Snowflake, Snickers, Smokey, and Tabby. Snowflake lived to be 19 or 20.
- I'm a random crafter. I've dabbled in acrylic painting, decor crafts, knitting, watercolors, quilting, crossstitch, lots of scrapbooking, craft kits and anything else that grabs my fancy!
- I listen to all different kinds of music - and I always have! I have an eccletic style and I'm always looking for new artists. Yes, I like Taylor Swift, but don't hold that against me.
- I watch a lot of true crime. I might be able to pull a Mary Ann and Wanda, if I needed to.
- I've never been married. Maybe I will some day. I love weddings! I love how CREATIVE they are now! I love seeing everyone come together to celebrate and eat.