Brooke Salitore is the founder and creative director of RSVP Events. She is a certified, award-winning wedding planner located in Tyler, Texas. She and her team of wedding experts provide full wedding planning & design services, from saving the date to happily ever after. RSVP Events is sure to make their clients' special day everything it is meant to be.
What inspired you to enter the wedding industry?
I was so blessed to be able to stay at home while our three children were little. After 11 years, when our youngest started kindergarten, I was ready for a new challenge. I re-entered the workforce part-time as a corporate event coordinator for a financial firm. I discovered all my previous years of volunteering and planning church, school, and community events made me a natural at this job. I was able to get 5 years of great experience with a variety of events such as corporate retreats, client appreciation parties, educational workshops, etc. As word spread that I was an event planner, I started getting inquiries from family and friends to do their events on the side. In 2016, I decided to take a leap of faith and started RSVP Events full time.
What made you want to start RSVP Events?
At first, I was going to concentrate on corporate event planning since that was my background and comfort zone. However, I quickly realized how much I loved the creativity and joy in helping clients celebrate milestone moments. Once I completed my first wedding, I was sold. I knew in my heart that this is what I was meant to do. It is an honor and a privilege to play a small part in someone's love story. Engagements are such a magical time in a couple's life, so full of hope and excitement for what the future holds. Every wedding I'm reminded of that. This job is long hours, hard work, weekends, problem-solving and stressful. But it is also extremely rewarding. I never take for granted that it is these moments that families remember forever. It's these moments that bring generations together and create new memories for lifelong friends. What a gift it is to help facilitate, manage, and execute these moments for my clients.
If you could change one thing about the weddings and special events industry, what would it be?
I would love to change the public perception that the wedding industry is a racket or that it's too commercialized and overly priced. 99% of the vendors I know are extremely hard-working, conscientious professionals that go out of their way for couples. Most of these small businesses undercharge for their services in an effort to stay affordable for clients.
How does using Aisle Planner help you deliver the client experience you want to?
Aisle Planner helps me present the "unknown" to clients in an organized and user-friendly way. Most people will only plan one, maybe two weddings in their lifetime. So, this "unknown" of how to start and what to do is easily explained using AP's software. You can see anxiety shift to excitement as you walk clients through the process for the first time. Their confidence level and trust in me as a planner are immediately enhanced.
What's your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
This question is like asking me what's my favorite ice cream flavor... I love them all! I've noticed my brides are super impressed with the layout & seating, but my favorite is the timeline feature. I have DJs and photographers who often tell me my timelines are the best! Thank you, AP!
What're three things you never show up without on event day?
- My emergency kit because you feel like a hero when someone desperately needs a safety pin, band-aid, or hot glue gun.
- My phone charger because you have to be accessible even at the end of the night for that limo that needs directions or is running late.
- An extra pair of shoes because it's a long day.
What’s your personal philosophy on becoming a great wedding and event planner?
I try and treat every wedding as if it were my own because in a sense it is. It's my responsibility to make sure things run smoothly. It's my brand's reputation on the line. It's my relationships with clients that turn into referrals and help my business flourish. A great planner has to believe in and wants to celebrate Love!
Is there anything you are particularly excited about working on this year?
I'm especially excited for my brides who've had to postpone their weddings due to the pandemic. This has been such a difficult and emotional time. When they finally get to walk down the aisle it will mean more than ever.
Just for fun
What’s one trend you think should be left in the past?
I use to be more opinionated on this, but I've learned no matter how over a trend I am or how many times I've seen it done before, chances are it's still new and fun for the couple and their guests. So, if it makes them happy, I'm happy!
Your favorite shoes to wear on event day?
Still trying to figure this out. I can't tell you how many different brands of black flats I've gone through searching for one!
If you could plan any celebrity’s wedding, who would it be?
Patrick Mahomes. He's from my hometown, also a Red Raider my alma mater, and is such an inspiration to young athletes everywhere. I would love to represent East Texas!
If you could go back in time, what’s one thing you would change about your wedding?
This is ironic, but I would have been more involved. My amazing mother really did all the planning. I was 8 hours away focused on graduating college just 9 days before our wedding. At the time, I had no appreciation for all the thought and love she put into making my day so perfect. If I could go back, I would gift my mom a wedding planner!
During your time as a wedding and event professional, what’s the biggest mistake you made and how did you recover from it?
I feel the biggest mistake I made was not working for a planner before starting my business. There was a huge learning curve. It would have been so beneficial to see the ins and outs of another business instead of starting from scratch.
Want to find out more about Brooke, or RSVP Events? Check out their website www.rsvpeventplanning.com