Whether planning weddings and working with fellow wedding professionals or talking with our couples and friends about our favorite things about Philadelphia, we always come back to the people who call our city home. We might be biased, but we think Philadelphia (and the surrounding suburbs!) are filled with some of the most creative minds. So, when we have the chance to meet someone new AND introduce them to you, we’re always over the moon.
Alli Santmyer is a local blogger, advertising professional, and pop-up clothing shop owner. Plus, Alli is also in the middle of planning her October 2020 micro wedding with her fiancé, Connor. She’s busy! As we were getting to know Alli more and discovering more of her content, we had an idea:
What if we start a new series that shares what it’s like to plan a wedding from a bride’s perspective?
We shared our idea with Alli, and to our delight she said she was on board!
Before Alli jumps into all of the planning details, like how she’s choosing her wedding professionals and how she decided on her venue, we thought we would start where we always like to begin – with an introduction.
Below, we’re sharing part 1 of our 10-question interview with Alli. Today, you can expect to learn more about her background, what her favorite and least favorite planning experiences have been so far, and more. Let’s jump in!
SB: Outside of planning your wedding, what do you enjoy doing? Also, describe your career!
AS: I love to do anything creative! I’m super into blogging, photography, graphic design – anything where I’m able to create. In college, I started my lifestyle blog called Allison in Wonderland and since then, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with so many cool companies such as Fossil and Old Navy. Creating content, whether it’s through writing or photography, is how I feel most fulfilled and excited about life! I also really love fashion. Around this time last year, I started my own pop-up clothing shop called Thrive Collective and spent the Summer and Fall bopping around to different weekend fairs and festivals selling clothes and building my brand and it was awesome! That’s been put on hold for a bit because of COVID-19 but I’m so excited to pick it up again as soon as I can!
As far as my career goes, I graduated from James Madison University a few years ago with my degree in Media Arts & Design and a concentration in Advertising. I started working right away at a local Philly marketing agency and stayed there for a little over two years. Working in a corporate environment that had a small-company feel taught me so much and I’m so thankful I was able to begin my career where I did. Just in the last few months, I made the switch to working in-house at a company, where I’ve been handling their marketing and communications. I’m definitely at a very exciting point in my life!
SB: What has been your favorite wedding planning experience so far?
AS: My favorite part so far has been finding our venue! I’d like to believe something I’m good at is creating an aesthetic – I’m super into it. So, for my wedding, the venue (and photographer) was the absolute most important thing for me because I had a very specific idea in mind of what I wanted our wedding to look and feel like. We went all over looking for the perfect spot and once we found “the one”, all my stress went away! I can’t wait to see it all come together.
SB: What about your least favorite experience?
AS: To be honest, I haven’t really had a least favorite experience. I’m a planner at heart so anything, whether it’s a trip or a party or my wedding (!!!), I’m all about it. I feel so happy and lucky to be planning my wedding with Connor!
SB: Describe how you have chosen your team of wedding professionals (so far!). What qualities do you value the most?
AS: Finding our vendors was a very time-consuming project for me. I must’ve come up with a list of at least 10 for each category – venues, photographers, florists, caterers, hair and makeup artists, everything! Especially because we’re planning our wedding in under a year, I wanted to have LOTS of options to work my way through in case they weren’t available on our date or couldn’t work with us for some other reason. It sounds so silly to say but in choosing who to go with, I’ve really valued kindness and honesty the most! The wedding planning process, although so much fun, is definitely a lot to handle so the professionals that are willing to listen to my vision and try their hardest to make it come to life have definitely stood out to us. All of the vendors that we’ve chosen for our day are incredible creatives who treat their clients as they would treat a friend and we can’t wait to see them all come together for our big day.
SB: If you had to describe your wedding style in three words, what would they be?
AS: Romantic, bohemian, elegant. Need I say more?