Event designer: Crystal Anderson MacLeod
We're pleased to feature RSVP Event Design owner, Crystal Anderson MacLeod. She graciously sat down with us for an interview about event design, work-life balance, and some of the memorable moments of her career.
Crystal is a 3 time national award winning event planner whose work has been featured in the magazines Wed Luxe and Wedding Bells. Additionally, her expert advice has been shared with listeners on CBC Radio, CTV News, Global News and in the Star Phoenix. With a background in fashion, fine arts, and certification from the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and the Protocol School of Washington, Crystal has continuously turned dreams into reality by successfully executing over 300 weddings and corporate events. Crystal possesses a blend of professionalism and friendliness, which combines with her expert “To Do” lists in order to make her every client’s savior on their event day. Crystal loves hearing a client’s vision and taking it to the next level and beyond. Creativity and the “wow” factor are brought into each event, uniquely tailored to each client’s style and expectations.
How did you first become interested in wedding planning?
Becoming an event planner had always been a lifelong dream for me. After I lost my first husband to cancer I began to make some significant changes in my life and had the realization that life is truly short. I knew that I had 3 important goals to achieve - to become a Mom, to find love again and to own an event planning company.
I contacted Tammy Forrester who was the owner of RSVP Event Design at the time. We met, hit it off and instantly clicked. I began working for her and within a year we became business partners. We were partners for 3 years and I eventually bought her out becoming the sole owner of the business.
I am happy to say that the realization I had 10 years ago truly changed my life and I have achieved those important goals. I am happily remarried to my husband Marc, we have a beautiful 4 year old son named Anderson and my dream of owning a successful event planning company has come true with RSVP Event Design.
Tell us what the most rewarding part of your day is.
You have to have a real love of helping people to survive in this industry – first and foremost. When the clients tell you that they had the best day of their lives and that you made everything so stress free – that is an incredible feeling.
How do you find the perfect work-life balance?
What is that? I put my heart and soul into everything I do and I believe that is why I have been successful as an event planner. That can also be to my detriment however. Work – life balance is a constant struggle and I try very hard to not bring work home with me. I am blessed that I get to do what I am passionate about but it is difficult to leave that passion at the office at the end of the day.
I have an incredible team in place that allows me to relax in knowing they are executing our events to the same high level and standard that I do. The RSVP Event Design team allows me to have a life outside of work and without them I would be completely lost.
….And the most memorable moment to date?
Winning 3 National Awards since 2010 at the Canadian Event Industry Awards in Toronto has been pretty memorable. Each time we are nominated I say “well, it’s an honour to be reconginzed but we probably won’t win”. Then I am completely shocked when we win! We are competing against some very large event planning companies in major cities like Montreal and Vancouver so it’s a great feeling to know we are recognized as competitors on a National level.
What trends are couples incorporating into their weddings?
I recommend that clients do the opposite and stay away from trends. I firmly believe that if you choose what you love and what speaks to you then your wedding will be a true representation of you as a couple. So the best trend is really no trend at all.
How do couples differ from previous years?
I think that our client’s time is becoming more and more precious. Everyone is busy and has a lot going on, myself included. The majority of our clients know what they want but they do not have the time or always the expertise to execute it. It is becoming more and more common for clients to say “this is what I want, this is my budget now please make it happen”
How does technology play a vital role in wedding planning process?
Pinterest has been both a blessing and a curse. I too love browsing through the beautiful photos and amazing ideas but what they call a “DIY” project is most often not a do it yourself type of endeavor. It is one thing to create one cute favour tag or create a single paper flower for a backdrop but it’s quite another to recreate said item 500 times. The amazing stylized shoot in the middle of a forest for 8 guests is fun to look at but chances are your wedding is not happening in the middle of a forest nor does it only have 8 guests.
We love when clients share their Pinterest boards with us as it gives us a great jumping off point in terms of their style and the look they want for their wedding. We also love sharing our creativity and ways we can take those beautiful Pinterest images and make them personalized and unique to our clients and applicable to the budget and resources available.
Thank you for joining us today, Crystal. We loved taking a peak into your exciting career as an event designer.
Check back soon to see what Crystal will be sharing with our readers in the near future!