Kristina Allen is a WPIC Certified Wedding Planner & Coordinator, (soon to be) Certified Wedding & Event Designer and the owner of Elysian Weddings & Events. Dubbed, “PEI’s Passionate Wedding Planner” she started her business in 2016 and in three short years, has grown it into a team of eight coordinators, who, by the end of 2019, will have coordinated 100 weddings. Kristina is enthusiastic about seeing her clients through the best days of their lives and doing whatever it takes to make that happen, and teaching couples how to celebrate stress-free. She is also dedicated to creating a community of like minded vendors within the Wedding industry, whether it be through hosting mixers and industry nights, mentoring new vendors, or sitting on the board of I Do PEI.
1.What is the meaning behind the name Elysian Weddings & Events? Elysian means beautiful or creative, divinely inspired, peaceful and perfect; everything I want my clients to see and feel on their wedding days!
2. WPICC since? I took my first WPIC certification in Calgary in November of 2016 and moved to PEI to start my business shortly thereafter. I just recently attended the Wedding & Event Designer course in Toronto to further my certification.
3. Favourite part of the planning process? It’s hard to pick just one favourite part, I am such a list maker that I really just love the satisfaction of crossing an item off the clients’ to do list and the excitement that we both get from knowing we are one step closer to the dream day! Each couple is so different that each planning period is very different and my favourite moments vary from couple to couple, usually lining up with what aspects excite them most!
4. Please tell us some things you have learned over the years that have helped you grow: It took me a while to realize that not every couple was going to be my ideal fit and that I shouldn’t try to change myself to fit anyone else’s vision of what a wedding planner should look like and do. The couples that come to me, come to me for a reason and the experience that I can offer them – not because I should fit into anyone’s box! The relationship and bond I form with my clients is so valuable to me and I would never want to be anything less than myself with them.
5. Tell us about a challenge that you overcame that made you a better planner & business owner? I’ve faced a lot of obstacles in my three years between actual wedding day or vendor emergencies, personal issues including my divorce and living off a young business as my sole income, entering a market that wasn’t quite ready for me, and learning to balance my work life relationships.
My business grew quicker than I had ever expected and with that came a lot of growing pains and a lot of doing more than I could realistically tackle. In my first two years I spent many sleepless nights working my fingers to the bone just because I refused to say no – and if I’m being honest that does still happen, but I have learned to rein myself in more. There came a point when I realized that although my business was my passion, I couldn’t let it take over my life and that I would be a greater asset to my clients if I limited the work I took on so I could both devote more time to nurturing myself as a person but also giving enough to each of my couples – so I learned to say no.
As an entrepreneur, having to decide you are going to limit your work is a scary thought because it automatically creates a ceiling for your income, but I truly believe that it’s necessary to clearly define your limit and stick to that limit in order to succeed and grow.
I can very clearly remember the first time I turned down a client who’s wedding I could have physically done, but I knew it wasn’t in anyone’s best interest for me to be there. That was a monumental day for me because although a part of my heart was broken, I was also able to breathe a huge sigh of relief because the world didn’t come crashing down just because I had said no, which was a lesson I really needed to learn.
I have now been fortunate enough to be able to grow my team so that my business can continue to grow even when I have to set limits for myself, but now that I know I can take a step back, I will be able to gradually let my team take over more responsibility so that I can take a smaller step back each season.