Much like the couples for which they plan weddings, Paige Appel and Kelly Harris experienced a marriage of sorts when they merged their respective companies—Bash and Yes, Please—into a singular creative event-production and styling company. Considering that their list of common interests includes “confetti canons,” “crooked teeth,” and “funny jokes,” and shared dislikes are “Marriott ballrooms,” “stale cheese,” and “people who take themselves too seriously,” their unification was a match made in heaven. We caught up with the LA-based duo as they dished on their two-day wedding school and one-of-a-kind bridal show, as well as the recent boom in their chosen industry.
What inspired you to come up with tools and new ways for wedding planners to be successful, such as The Cream and WedPrep School?
We feel that community is important—in both life and work. To inspire others is also inspiring to us. We don’t see competition as a challenging obstacle; we see empowerment as a way to thrive in this industry. There’s room for everyone.
Tell us about The Cream. How is it different from other bridal shows?
It’s a really good party! It has one cohesive theme to it, one color palette, and one idea that everyone has to turn into their own. It’s a thoughtful gathering of a curated community and not just booths with books to look through. It’s creative, experimental, and loads of fun.
Why do you think the bridal industry has seen a massive boom in the past five years or so?
Options are unlimited now. It used to be a cookie-cutter industry, and now there are so many creative people thinking in innovative ways about their weddings that the sky has busted wide open with opportunity. The blogs have really helped this movement in getting the word and the photos out there about the options available now.
But with the proliferation of bridal blogs, Pinterest, etc., brides can feel bombarded with choices and inspirations. How do you suggest that they narrow down those visions and ideas?
We ask them to create a Pinterest board, and then we go in and edit it. We then create our own project board with a culmination of their ideas and our own take on their vision. Once they see how we envision the cohesive design, they usually let go of any residual inspiration that didn’t fit into the overall aesthetic.
What should a bride look for in a planner?
Comfort, creativity, and collaboration. We always say that our clients should feel like we are their brutally honest best friends and passionate advocates for their wedding day. If they don’t trust us, it never works out.
What kind of person do you think it takes to be a part of this industry?
A person with motivation, passion, a thinking cap, and the ability to understand the human experience.
Do you have any advice for planners that are looking to break into the field?
Be honest about your level of expertise and stay humble. You will learn something new with every client and every event.
What are your favorite wedding traditions to break?
The garter and bouquet tosses. Major snooze fest.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Our Labor of Love and Max & Friends Photography