Have you seen Harper’s Bazaar’s Little Black Book? It’s an incredible who’s who of luxury wedding planners across the continent. And it just so happens that a few of my favorites are on this incredible list.
With the most recent iteration just recently being revealed, I thought it was the perfect time to chat with one of the incredible teams gracing the list: Firefly Events, a team of incredible women with offices coast-to-coast:
What’s the Firefly story? (the who’s and when’s and where’s)
Teissia: (Owner + CEO) – I started Firefly in February of 2009 from my studio apartment in Los Angeles, CA. I had been planning fundraising events for a nonprofit as part of my role as their Development Coordinator and while I loved the organization I worked for I didn’t feel totally fulfilled. About a year into my time at the nonprofit I began helping my friends plan their wedding and I knew instantly that that was the corner of the events industry that I wanted to be a part of. It was the first time in my life that I was able to combine all my passions into on job; insane organization and structure coupled with design and creativity as well as a very large interpersonal component. I had always wanted to start a business of my own and I realized through that process with my friends that I wanted it to be a wedding and event planning company. A year later I drove to the County Clerk Office and officially registered Firefly Events as a local business. I then put my website together, quit my job at the nonprofit, and got started! It began with word of mouth. Friend of friends, etc. I even got a couple on Craigslist! They were lovely. From there things just started to take off.
Fast forward eight years and we now have an office in New York City (where I am located) Los Angeles, and Jackson Hole Wyoming. The New York office opened in 2011, when I decided to move across the country to live close to my two best friends (best decision I ever made!). At that point I hired my first employee, Alia Wilson (who now heads up the LA office), and not so long after we moved into our first office space in downtown Manhattan. Several years later I hired on employee number two, Gabriela Ardaki. In 2015 we decided it was time to reopen the LA office so we found a lovely home at the unique Space in downtown LA. Shortly after the move to LA we hired on Eliza Stickney, employee number three! And just this December Eliza opened our third office in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that will service all the Rocky Mountain States. The four of us make up the core powerhouse of Firefly, but I also have a lovely group of part time employees who work with Alia in LA and a slew of lovely interns and freelancers that round out the team.
Growing the business has been an amazing adventure and an exciting learning experience. I knew nothing about weddings or business development when I started Firefly, but I can proudly say that I am now a master of both.
I have truly enjoyed helping create a smooth and enjoyable process for my friends and clients over the years – as I believe that planning a wedding or any event shouldn’t become a stressful and unhappy process.
How many weddings do you do a year? What makes that number ideal?
Eliza: We aim to stay between 12 – 15 weddings per year. This is our sweet spot. It’s so important to us that we are able to be really hands on with each of our clients and give them all an equal amount of attention and dedication.
With multiple locations and planners, you can produce a wide variety of weddings; what’s the hallmark of a Firefly wedding?
Gabby: Creative elegance. Innovative and interesting ideas coupled with sophistication and…elegance. Nothing stuffy; very accessible, just refined and tasteful while also being new and different.
Your instagram feed is a constant source of inspiration for me. Where do you get your inspiration?
Teissia: Thank you!! That is what we hope for, with our Instagram and event profile. It is hard to say that we get our inspiration from solely one source. We are lucky enough to be a part of an incredible creative community throughout not only the US, but worldwide and we are often looking to them for inspiration. At least once a month we also aim to get out of the office and find inspiration in the cities we call home- I call these “Inspiration Days”. Whether that be checking out window displays in SoHo, attending a play, hiking, or visiting a museum we find that these days are some of our most inspirational. New ideas can be found in the most unexpected places.
What’s your favorite city for a destination wedding?
Eliza: This is a very tough question – we have planned weddings in some of the most wonderful locations all around the world, including places like Morocco, Jamaica, and Mexico – to charming destinations stateside such as Charleston or Aspen. Each location we get the opportunity to work in shows us something that the last did not, so it’s hard to pick ONE favorite. That said, we are big fans of Tulum, Jackson Hole (hence the new office), and Santa Fe New Mexico.
What do you wish you’d see couples do more of in weddings?
Teissia: Don’t sweat the small stuff. With every client that chooses to work with us, our overall goal is for them to truly enjoy the planning process. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of everything and we always encourage our clients to really relish in each step along the way.
Pinterest is a polarizing word. How does Firefly feel about Pinterest?
Gabby: Ah, Pinterest. We have mixed feelings about it. It is certainly a blessing and a curse. While it is a great way to gather ideas, it can become overwhelming and steer people in too many directions at once.
Wedding traditions seem to be in transition. What traditions do you hope last and which ones could you do without?
Teissia: I would start by saying that traditions are different for everyone. We always like to tell our clients that if it means something to you, you should absolutely do it and if it doesn’t say “no thanks”. If I was going to get married tomorrow I think I would nix the cake cutting and bouquet toss, but keep the first dance.
What can a couple expect when they work with you?
Teissia: Couples can expect not only a seamless planning, design and execution process, but also a lot of emotional support. Planning a wedding can be very challenging on many different levels and we make sure to assist our couples in all areas. We dedicate ourselves to our couples whether it be over a span of a year+, or for as short as a month. We are each personally invested in creating a one of a kind event and memorable experience for each one of our clients.
What’s your favorite dancefloor song?
Teissia: Currently UPTOWN FUNK – Bruno Mars
Gabby: DON’T STOP BELIEVING – Journey
Eliza: I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY – Whitney Houston