Today, it’s our great pleasure to introduce you to our logistics-minded, business-focused operations-extraordinaire and brilliant planner, Courtney Wolf. In short, this gal has GOT. IT. TOGETHER. With an amazing knack for the smallest of details, Courtney’s brides can rest easy knowing their big day is completely taken care of – from start to finish. Plus, we think you’ll just really, really like her!
What is your background, and how did you find your way into the wedding industry?
I graduated from Auburn University with a marketing degree in 2008 and then came back and completed my MBA in 2010. In 2011, while planning my own wedding, I realized that I really had a knack for planning, organizing and executing events. At the tail end of 2012, as a newly minted newlywed, several vendors expressed that I should seriously consider getting into the biz – I just didn’t know how. It was then that my wedding photographer, Julie Lowry of Chanterelle Photography, connected me to Julie Bunkley. As the saying goes – the rest is history!
You and Julie, owner and creative director, make an incredibly efficient team. Why is that?
Julie and I are truly the ying to each other’s yang. I don’t think you could find a better partnership anywhere and I seriously mean that! We have very different personal styles of accomplishing work, but they very much complement each other and we balance each other out. The chemistry that we have when working alongside our clients and vendor partners is something very special, and the tangibility of this relationship presents itself not only in the final product we produce for our clients, but also in their experience with us. At the end of the day, each of us have mad respect for the other and know that we each have the other’s back.
What is your favorite part of the wedding planning process? The most challenging aspect?
All of it! Is it okay to say that? Ha! Julie is the big picture creative genius, and I am much more of an operations whiz. We’ve joked about making me the COO (Chief Operations Officer) because I have a mean day-to-day planning process that involves checklists for my checklists and to do lists for my to do lists. Sounds exciting, right?! I really enjoy working with and getting to know our clients and serving them during such an exciting (and sometimes stressful) season, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that A LOT of it is challenging. We do not plan weddings in a vacuum. We manage and juggle lots of different personalities, communication styles, expectations, wants and needs within specific financial and time sensitive parameters. In fact, event planning consistently ranks as one of the top five most stressful career choices by U.S. News and World Report, but, if you know me, then you know I love a challenge and am not one to back down.
So far, what are some of the accomplishments you’ve achieved as a team?
Wow, we’ve come so far since I came on board at the end of 2012! Since then, we’ve expanded from our single location in Auburn to offices in Birmingham, as well as Atlanta. Our team has grown from Julie and me to an unbelievably dedicated and talented crew of seven planners. In addition to our planning team, we have an executive assistant and PR manager on board with us, too. Most recently, Southern Living (yes, the magazine!) named us a Top Wedding Planner, and Southern Weddings also included us in their shortlist of The Best Wedding Planners in the South. Speaking of Southern Weddings, they also graced us with the honor of designing and planning one of their editorials for this year’s 10th anniversary edition. It’s been incredible to have our industry recognize us in such a fashion. We are completely humbled and so thankful to get to do what we love day in and day out.
You were married in 2012. Looking back on your own wedding day, what is your fondest memory?
The day was so perfect because it had all of my favorite people in one spot…eating delicious food, dancing to great music, and celebrating Greg and me. My fondest memory is probably the ride from the church to the reception in the back of a vintage car. Everyone saw us off from the church, and as we pulled away I couldn’t help but think how surreal the moment was. WE WERE MARRIED! Like, WE DID IT! It may have been almost five years ago, but I can still remember so many details from that day so vividly. It was the best day of my life.
What adventures has marriage brought to you and your husband, Greg, in the five years since your wedding day?
Let’s see…we built our dream home from the ground up. Phew, that’s an experience! Then we got a Golden-doodle puppy, Murphy. And we’ll become an aunt and uncle to a nephew later this year. Oh, and we recently just made our first car purchase as a married couple.
You and your husband are really into traveling. Where have you been, and where are you going next?
We do love a good vacation! Earlier this year we took a ski trip to Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. It was the site for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. I hadn’t been on skis in 14 years, and now we can’t wait to go back. We’ve been to St. Lucia (hello, honeymoon!) and traveled to Austin, Cape Cod, New Orleans, NYC, Miami, Southern California, Hawaii and a few spots in between together. We’re headed to Puerto Rico next month for our anniversary. After that, I’m not sure where we’ll go – but we have our eyes on Europe – specifically Greece and Italy.
What is the best marriage advice you can give to a newlywed or newly engaged woman?
I am, by far, no expert on marriage. Just ask Greg. 😉 But, if I could share some advice, I would encourage newlyweds to consistently carve out quiet time for each other. No phones, no computers, no work. One little rule Greg and I have recently enacted is no phones/work for the first hour we’re both home together. We set a timer (it almost makes it like a game, ha!) and just enjoy talking, conversing, maybe having a snack and glass of wine together, walking the dog, or hanging out in the backyard, just kind of whatever.
Thanks, Courtney, for giving us a peek into your day-to-day life and your amazing work! Stay tuned to the blog to meet more of our amazing team members.