Aiken Wedding Planner & Coordinator | Blush & Crew | Vendor Highlight Series: Mariah Shealy

I am very excited to begin a vendor highlight series on my blog! Featuring some fabulous creatives in the area, and so y'all can learn about their business! We're beginning with Mariah, of Blush and Crew! I'm so glad to call her a friend, and share with y'all her Q&A about herself and her business! For anyone that is looking for a planner, or wondering why you need one, and/or thinking of starting your own small business! Keep scrolling :) Thanks Mariah for answering these, and sharing with us!

  pc: 29:eleven photographer

pc: 29:eleven photographer

Tell us your name, the name of your business, and what service it provides!

My name is Mariah Shealy and I own Blush & Crew! Blush & Crew is comprised of two different areas - wedding coordinating and design. We do everything from full service wedding planning and wedding coordinating to invitation design, web design, and branding!

Tell us about yourself in one sentence!

I am a wife to my person  and a wedding coordinator and designer who lives in Aiken, SC; I love to run, travel the world with my husband, and am weirdly obsessed with the Bobby Bones Show. 

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I love all things interior design and enjoy decorating our town home when I am free. I also love to run, explore new cities with my husband, hang out with our lovely home group, and go to happy hour with my girlfriends.

What's your favorite thing about wedding planning and invitation design?

My favorite thing about what I do is seeing everything come together. I love nothing more than being able to see a love story come to life on a wedding day or seeing a bride and grooms' personality shown through their wedding invitations. I also love the opportunity I have to serve them where they are. Every couple is different and has different needs, but just knowing that I was able to help a couple during their unique process is so rewarding.

  pc: Alex Thorton Photography

pc: Alex Thorton Photography

  pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

  pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

What is your favorite travel destination?

I have two. My husband picked our honeymoon destination and took us to the beautiful Punta Cana. It was paradise everyday and so amazing. My second one was a trip I took to the West Coast 3 years ago. It was a planned girls trip to celebrate my college graduation. We visited Los Angles and San Francisco. and Joshua ended up flying out and proposing to me on this (said) girls trip. For real though, best destination ever. We spent an entire day driving the Pacific Coast Highway from L.A. to San Fran and visiting Big Sur, Bixby Bridge, etc.

When and where did you get married?

We got married on January 16, 2015 and had an intimate destination wedding at a golf course resort in Orlando, FL. 

Did you have a wedding planner or coordinator for your wedding?

Since I was into wedding planning, I planned the entire wedding - but I DID have a wedding coordinator. My number one goal for my wedding was that I wanted Joshua and I's family to not have to do anything. I wanted everyone to enjoy their time their and not worry about a thing! Our wedding coordinator made our wedding day possible!

What did you prioritze for your wedding day? Is there anything you would do differently?

We made sure that the entire day was everything we always wanted. Sometimes it's hard during the planning process because you have a ton of people telling you their opinions and what they did, but we made sure we did what we wanted to do and I am so glad we did! We wanted everyone that attended our wedding to have an experience from the ceremony to the reception.

  pc: Karli Ryan Photo

pc: Karli Ryan Photo

  pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

  pc: Ashton Kelley Photography

pc: Ashton Kelley Photography

What is your favorite thing to do on a date night/vacation with your husband?

We are oldies at heart. If it's a date night - I love a romantic dinner and then a movie at home together :) If it's a vacation. we love visiting small town cities. There's just something about them that makes them so charming!

How did you get into wedding planning/coordinating/design? What made you want to start your own business?

Blush & Crew actually started as an Etsy shop. I was working a big corporate job and wasn't very happy. My hubby encouraged me to pick up something on the side that was used as a creative outlet. So, I started making wall prints and opened up an Ety Shop. Six months later, I pursued Blush & Crew full time with making wedding invitation and paper goods. Several months after that, I expanded to wedding planning and coordinating! 

Do you have any advice for those who are thinking of starting their own business?

Believe in yourself and never take no for an answer. Sounds cliche, but running and starting a business is hard. I would have never made it if I didn't first believe in myself and kept going when things got hard. 

Is there anything you’ve learned from being a business owner that you are glad you learned even if it was hard at the time?

I know it's so cliche, but your time is valuable. It's a constant struggle of a business owner. For the first year of my business, my business ran me. I didn't have set business hours, I did a ton of work at little pay, and was finding myself with no time to spend with my husband. Work life balance is so important and is crucial to any successful business. I now realize that my time is valuable, my clients can wait, and being in the moment with my husband and family is so important. 

  pc: Karli Ryan photo

pc: Karli Ryan photo

  pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of what I do is realizing I am able to fulfill my calling through my business. One of my biggest goals throughout my every day life is just to help and serve others...and I am able to do that with couples throughout the wedding process. First looks, private bride and groom dinners, styled invitation suites, and pretty little details are some of my jams, though <3

How do you define success for your own business?

There is nothing I love more than looking into a bride and grooms eyes at the end of their wedding and saying goodbye and them replying "Our day was absolutely perfect and we couldn't have done it without you." I love knowing that I played a special part in their start to forever!

What are some goals you have for Blush and Crew in the coming years?

For my 2018 wedding season, I am trying to book half of my weddings in my hometown and surrounding CSRA (Aiken, Augusta, and Columbia) and booking the rest of my weddings in destination cities (Charleston, Savannah, Boston, Nashville, etc)

In your opinion, why do you think other brides should hire a wedding coordinator?

Great question! For one, I think it gives the bride and groom total peace of mind not only on the day of the wedding, but the weeks leading up to the wedding. And two, I have had countless conversations with either brides after they've gotten married or moms looking for coordinators a couple of weeks before the wedding. They will say "I thought we could handle every thing on our own, but the closer we get - the more I realize we need somebody!" or "I ended up letting a family friend or my aunt help out on the day of the wedding and then realized there were never able to be fully present on my wedding day." Having a day of coordinator helps everyone. It allows the bride and groom not to stress about small details on their wedding day. It allows moms to not spend the hours before the ceremony making sure everything is setup and all of the vendors are there, and it allows your family and friends to be fully present on your wedding day!

  pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

  pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

pc: Chloe Giancola Photography

  pc: Amy J Owen Photo

pc: Amy J Owen Photo

Thanks so much for joining us on our first vendor highlight series! To check out more of Mariah's business, head on over to Blush and Crew