Business Profile: Ashley Skeie Events of Maple Grove
Jan 29, 2016 08:09AM
By Doug Erlien
Ashley Cook of Ashley Skeie Events
From birthdays to weddings to themed events, Ashley Cook loves to plan a party.
The Maple Grove mom has melted her event planning experience and unique creativity into Ashley Skeie Events.
“From the moment I decided to get into event planning, I knew that the end goal would be to own my own company someday,” she said. “I knew I would need experience first, so I worked for a wedding venue for three years and slowly started doing my own events on the side for family and friends.”
Cook officially started her company in March 2015 and has since provided her unique touch on many events.
“I do all kinds of events from birthday parties to weddings,” Cook said. “Weddings are my biggest event and I do those the most, but I have a secret love for birthday or themed parties. I love a good theme.”
From the initial contact, which allows the ability to gain insight as to what the client is looking for, to event day coordination, Cook leaves no detail unnoticed. Many times, it’s in those details that she finds her inspiration.
“My clients are trusting me with the most important day in their life and to see their faces light up when seeing their day come to life is why I love this job so much,” Cook said. “I can find inspiration through all kinds of things-whether it be from the story of how a couple met, their Pinterest board, or even just a color scheme that they like.”
When the entire process of planning an event can seem overwhelming, Cook suggests hiring an event planner to take away some of the pressure and stress that comes with a big day.
“You should be celebrating and focusing on yourself instead of worrying about party details,” Cook said. “My favorite part of working with a client is the day of the event. To see months and months of planning all come together is so fun. You can see something on paper but once your vision goes from an idea to real life is really rewarding.”
For weddings, the event planning process with Ashley starts with the first initial contact. Before meeting with a client, she sends out a questionnaire to learn more about them and their event. A meeting is set up to chat about their responses and answer questions about Ashley’s services.
For example, she may offer a variety of packages for a bride - the most popular being a full service event planning the day-of coordinator.
“Ashley was such a positive influence in our wedding. From our first meeting, she asked thorough questions focused on drawing out precisely what we wanted for our wedding, and remained very attentive to that vision,” said Lisa Chapman, one of Ashley’s clients. “At no point did she push her own agenda or make suggestions that conflicted with our own...it was really all about us and our vision for the day.”
When the wedding day came, Chapman says Ashley was “incredibly diligent,” working to take care of every detail from the time the couple arrived until after the last of the guests left.
“Amidst her efforts, though, she was never too busy to courteously listen and attend to any questions from our friends and family - we got several comments from our guests about this,” Chapman said. “From that first meeting to the wedding day, and especially the time in between, Ashley was always incredibly detailed in her planning and excellent at communicating/responding timely with us. She was a true partner in our journey, making the process easier for us and our special day all that we hoped it could be.”
For events such as birthday parties and showers, the process can include questionnaire and follow up meeting(s). After booking, Ashley works with the client - bringing her ideas combined with the client’s vision.
“I encourage everyone to hire an event planner. Mostly because it relieves so much stress from you on a day that you should be celebrating and focusing on yourself instead of worrying about party details,” Cook said, including resources to help save money, such as an inventory of rental items to help save on décor cost.
“I love meeting and getting to know all of my clients on a personal level,” Cook said. “By the time an event is over, I feel like I’ve gained another best friend! My clients are trusting me with the most important day in their life and to see their faces light up when seeing their day come to life is why I love this job so much!”
More information about Ashley Skeie Events: http://www.ashleyskeieevents.com/