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Ask the Experts: Meet Local Consultants at the High South Wedding Expo on Sunday, March 20

By Jessica Isaacs | jessica@highcountrypress.com

Find this article and others like it in High South Weddings magazine.

Consultant Meris Gantt
Meris Gantt

Event planners are the behind-the-scenes superheroes of nearly every community or private get-together we enjoy in the High Country. In the days and months leading up to our special occasions, they’re the folks working hard to make them happen.

Wedding consultants and event planners boast years of experience and a vast understanding of what it takes to many any event special, which makes them an invaluable resource to anyone who’s getting married or coordinating something big.

They’re connected to an expansive variety of local vendors in the area and they’re ready to make those connections work for you.

Weddings and Event Consultants

We got together with two of the area’s premier wedding planners for a Q-and-A session that will help you hash out your concerns and start the wedding or event planning process on the right foot.

Consultant Elizabeth Hempfling
Elizabeth Hempfling

Meet Elizabeth Hempfling, owner and principal planner at Events by Elizabeth Ashley, and Meris Gantt, lead planner for The Whole Shebang event services. They’re both board members for the local event services network, High South Event Professionals, and they’re both here to help you every step of the way.

Meet them in person this weekend at the High South Wedding Expo from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday at the Boone Mall, along with many of the area’s preferred local vendors — like Boone Photo Booth!

In the meantime, read below for more information and check out The Wedding Resource Center in downtown Boone.

Get more advice from these local experts in the High South Weddings magazine.

Here’s what Elizabeth and Meris have to say to anyone planning a wedding or other special event in the High Country:

What does a consultant do?

  • Elizabeth: “The primary responsibility of a wedding consultant is to take care of the client and their overall needs and wishes. It is their role to create bonds and communicate on the back end so that everything results in happy clients, happy vendors, and a successful event.”
  • Meris: “Wedding consultants are here to make the planning process as enjoyable as the wedding itself. It’s all about knowing the client well enough to be able to read their mind, know what they want, and make decisions on their behalf without having to bother them with all of the tiny details.”

Why should I hire a consultant?

  • Elizabeth: “As consultants, we are heavily involved in the wedding industry itself and we work hand-in-hand with our local vendors. We can handle the logistics of bringing all of the elements together. We can help you with things you might not even be thinking about, like which caterer would be the best for your venue and which photographers know the best overlooks and the best time of day for lighting. Planners give you valuable insight because this is what we do every day and we have the connections to do it. And, we’re awesome.”
  • Meris: “Most of our clients live out of town and have no idea who to hire for a High Country wedding. Wedding consultants can help couples navigate the confusing world of local venues and vendors to ensure they get lined up with the right team that fits their style and budget.”

Why should I get married in the High South?

  • Elizabeth: “Visually, with the majestic beauty all around us, everything is so gorgeous. I’ve lived here my whole life, so I can also say that we have some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.”
  • Meris: “Aside from the gorgeous weather, cool summers, and pastoral setting, the High Country is a warm and inviting community. The feedback I get from clients is about how impressed they are that all of the wedding vendors up here are team players — always willing to pull together to make every event a success,” Gantt said. “I think we have a really unique group of professionals up here that are hardworking, honest, and always put the client first.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you have for brides planning mountain weddings in our area?

  • Elizabeth: “Really give a lot of consideration to the time of year that’s best for you and make sure that you hire professionals that will work as a team to take care of you. Also, make sure you have fun. Enjoy the process, because you’ll only get to do this once. It really needs to be special so you can walk away with good memories.”
  • Meris: “Have a rock solid bad weather plan. I know we all want a perfect, sunshiny wedding day — believe me, that’s what we want, too. But, when that doesn’t happen, we want to have a plan B that still puts a smile on every face.”