22 Questions: Vendor Interview with Haley Brantley

Hello friends! It’s been a hot minute, but I am super super excited to announce this upcoming vendor interview blog series! Like most of you, I am often super curious about the BTS work that wedding vendors do for a wedding. More importantly, each person has their own role to play in the part of a couple’s big day and it is absolutely so magical to see it come together!

About 22 Questions

For the vendor interview series, each week I will be interviewing a wedding vendor friend or “friendor” in the industry and ask them 22 questions, (inspired by 73 questions by Vogue). Ever since I became a wedding photographer, I’ve been asked various wedding planning questions by my friends, and I’ve given them my best answers, however, there’s still so much more to learn! Luckily, I’m friends with a few guys/gals in the wedding industry that can help.

I will be interviewing wedding planners, floral designers, hair & makeup artists, DJ’s, cake artists, calligraphers, and videographers! This blog series will be great for anyone that is planning a wedding (check out my wedding timeline guide here for more wedding planning tips) and therefore, would like to learn more about the career and BTS work of a wedding vendor.

It’s no secret that as of this year, I joined an accountability group with 10+ kickass women whose careers span from wedding planners, floral designers, photographers, nutritionists, and calligraphers. We say this during every meeting we have, however, we found each other at the PERFECT time. Nothing like a global pandemic to bring a bunch of strangers closer together faster. Misery really does love company.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for sure, and above all, I’ve been really proud of the strides we’ve made together in building community. Being a part of this group has inspired me and given me the confidence to grow faster in my business than ever before. I love being surrounded by these ambitious and savvy women, who have been nothing short of supportive and encouraging during this tough time.

Today, I’d like to kick things off by introducing you to Haley Brantley, badass boss babe, co-founder of our accountability family, and owner of Hitched by Haley, a wedding planning & design studio, and first friendor in the vendor interview blog series! From the first moment I met Haley, I felt an instant connection by her warm, welcoming, bubbly, and hilarious personality. In leading our accountability meeting, I could tell that she’s also driven, ambitious, and definitely the gal that you want at your side on your wedding day. Read on to learn a little bit more about Haley!

1. Hi Haley, feel free to tell us a little about yourself and your business! 

I’m genuine, fun, and a good vibes partner to have on your wedding planning team. I started my planning career in Santa Barbara and have been lucky enough to work at some of the most gorgeous and exclusive venues in California. 

2. How would you describe your design style?

California Cool. Classic, timeless, neutral, clean, and effortless. Less is more. 

Photo credit: Amanda Crean Photography

3. What is your creative process? 

Above all, I take a few months to dive into our planning process to get to know you before I can make the best suggestions for design concepts and color palette. I want to know about you as a couple, so that I can help make sure it’s portrayed effortlessly on the wedding day through food, style, and feel. 

Photo credit: Bonphotage

4. How do you stay inspired?

I surround myself with positive people. I listen to a positive uplifting or educational podcast every morning. 

5. What are some trends you’re seeing right now in planning/design that you really like? 

With how many celebrations have been postponed this year, it warms my heart to see couples elope, no matter the circumstance, and it’s so romantic to me. 

6. How has COVID-19 affected the way you run your business?

Most importantly, our contract now protects us better should another Global Pandemic sweep the nation and postpone all the weddings. Yikes! One silver lining is we are feeling super resilient & tough! 

7. Any words of advice for those that are thinking about pursuing a career in wedding planning/design?

Build Community from the start, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey! 

FOR BRIDES

8. A lot of brides are beginning to plan for their weddings next year. What advice do you have for brides who are searching for a wedding planner? And when should they start? And what steps should they take to find the perfect one?

Start about a year out! Do your research and read their reviews. You should definitely make sure you vibe with them on a phone call because you’ll spend a lot of time with this person over the next year! 

9. What are some of the most common questions your brides typically ask you?

Budget is the main question that I get and typically people start lower than what’s typical because they just don’t know the wedding price tags yet! A great starting point is knowing that 50% of your budget should go to Venue, Food, and Beverage. 

10. What does the lead-up to a wedding day look like for you?

Final prepping and making sure I have all the details I need from the client and the vendors. I try to get lots of rest, healthy foods, and hydration prior to a wedding weekend because they are long days on our feet!

Photo credit: JBJ Pictures

Vendor Interview with Haley Brantley contd.

11. What does 2020 currently look like for you?

2020 looks like heartache with a side of crickets. I kid, in reality it looks like a lot of resetting / reframing / and lots of time to work ON my business which I longed for during the normal wedding season. 

12. Any pearls of wisdom for 2020 and 2021 brides?

2020 Brides – Bless you, you deserve all the Champagne. 

2021 Brides –  Stay centered in discussing a Plan B as you go along, and know your Vendors postponement processes before you go into contract. 

Photo credit: JBJ Pictures

Vendor Interview with Haley Brantley contd.

10 QUESTIONS QUICKFIRE (First thing that comes to mind) 

13. Favorite part of a wedding day?

Meeting your Families! It’s so fun getting to know you over a year of planning and then seeing where you come from! It’s full circle and we love it everytime. 

Vendor Interview with Haley Brantley contd.

14. What’s your go-to drink?

Always a silky delicious glass of red wine.

15. Favorite romantic comedy?

The Holiday

16. Cake or donuts?

Yellow funfetti cake is my weakness. Chocolate frosting. 

17. Pool or beach?

Beach! 

18. Sparklers or rose petals?

Rose Petals! 

19. What’s your favorite quarantine meal so far?

I almost want to say Top Ramen. But we have roasted up a beautiful Halibut from time to time!

Vendor Interview with Haley Brantley contd.

20. Favorite restaurant in the bay area?

Coqueta. 

21. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?

Go somewhere I’ve never gone. I love a Beach vacation, that’s where I usually get my reading for the year in. 

22. Next travel destination?

I’m dying for a long stay in Italy.

Parting words

I think we’re all deeply yearning for that vacation in Italy too. Thank you Haley for being our first vendor interview!

And that’s it for my vendor interview with Haley Brantley!

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