Learning from the experiences of seasoned (and successful) experts in the wedding industry is invaluable. That’s why we’ve asked Sarah Chancey of Chancey Charm to share some of the top lessons she has learned over her company’s 10 years in the wedding industry.
From wedding planner and business founder to mentor, she’s seen a lot and has a passion for helping other people succeed! You’re not going to want to miss any of our Q&A with Sarah today!
(Keep scrolling to see what she thinks is to
MEET SARAH CHANCEY OF CHANCEY CHARM EVENTS
Sarah Chancey is the founder of Chancey Charm — Wedding Planning & Design. She started her journey in the wedding industry a decade ago. “A clear vision for creative freedom, personal flexibility, and a strong desire to build a business I loved” — that was her goal from the start.
Chancey Charm began with Sarah planning weddings in her spare time and has grown into a national brand with over 30 planners in cities across the country. When it comes to her company’s success, the proof is in the publication. Their work has been featured in the top industry publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Green Wedding Shoes, Brides of Houston, and more! The Atlanta-based company has even been named a top planner by Southern Living Magazine.
Q&A WITH WEDDING PRO — SARAH CHANCEY
Sarah Chancey is driven to help others succeed and share the win. This is part of her mission as well as her latest business venture. That’s why we’ve asked her to share her insights from lessons learned to best-kept industry secrets and tips to inspire you in your own journey as a wedding pro.
Let’s dive into the details with 10 questions for 10 years in the industry —
1. How did Chancey Charm get started? Can you share a behind-the-scenes look at the timeline of your company’s journey?
After graduating with a degree in Interior Design from the University of Georgia, I was drawn to working in creative fields like catering, florals, and dabbling in photography. I was living in Denver, Colorado working in corporate marketing and events when I officially launched the Chancey Charm brand, right before moving back to the south in 2011.
Chancey Charm essentially started out with multiple locations from our first year, out of necessity — since I knew that a move was in sight. In fact, I even partnered with a planner in Atlanta before moving back home to get things rolling there. I remember selling her services in Georgia from Colorado. It was wild.
During my time in Denver, I was also working away on our site day and night, trying to figure out how to get new clients online. The journey to being found online and getting regular online leads took two years to take off. But, that’s essentially been the secret to our success.
After two years, we finally hit what I like to call “the sweet spot”, where we were getting online leads and word-of-mouth referrals. In my opinion, that’s what it takes to have a truly healthy wedding business.
Our success after hitting “the sweet spot” was so incredible, that I decided I wanted to replicate it in other cities. I believed that I had a formula that could help other women, and I felt convicted to share it. That’s truly the heart behind our expansion and why I launched the Wedding Planner Academy under the Chancey Charm brand. From there, the growth and publications have exceeded my wildest dreams. What an honor — I feel like I have the be
2. How did the Wedding Planner Academy program get started? What is your vision for the program’s future?
The Academy was born out of the resources I created to educate my own growing team. Sharing these resources with other new planners online started in 2014 with my first course.
The growth we’ve seen since then has been an unexpected blessing for myself and those who have joined. Initially, planners can join the academy with a free launch guide, from there they are invited to purchase my launch resource bundle and join our Facebook community. As we continue into 2021, I noticed a need for more 1-on-1 facetime with members and further conversations about growth. That’s why I launched the Wedding Planner Mastermind.
It’s been a fabulous addition to the Academy and a great next step for a planner’s journey with us. I’m looking forward to seeing its growth in the coming years, as there are a lot of fun opportunities for guest speakers and a growing resource hub for growing a planner’s business inside.
3. Chancey Charm Events has been going strong for 10 years. What is the mission behind the work? And has it changed over the years?
A few years into running Chancey Charm, I created two items. A team vision statement (inspired by a training I had with Chick-fil-a) and a personal mission statement (inspired by Laura Casey’s book – Make It Happen). I’m proud to say that those statements still prove true today.
Our team vision statement: To come alongside our clients and provide them with fresh designs and stress-free planning experience.
My personal mission statement: Helping women have a creative career that they love, with the freedom and flexibility to focus on their faith and family. (Originally, this was a vision for my team, it’s been fun to see this grow through the academy.)
4. What has helped you keep your passion for this work over the last decade?
Honestly, my team has made all the difference. In 2017 I suddenly lost my dad to cancer. The emotional spiral it left me in would have certainly ended Chancey Charm had it not been for my team literally carrying me and our business through that time. My team IS the reason why I am still in this — because we are in it together.
5. How has the wedding industry changed for the better in the last decade?
I’ve really enjoyed watching our industry embrace connecting digitally through online education conferences, Facebook support groups, and normalizing ways to work with clients online through zoom calls and real-time planning platforms. It’s expanding our capacity and connecting us in ways we never imagined.
6. Knowing what you know now if you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started your business what would it be?
Haha, wow, great question. I would probably tell myself to chill out. It will all happen, better than you image, but it’s going to take time. Take a deep breath and take a step forward every day. You’ve got this.
7. You’ve worked with and trained many planners. What is one character trait or skill that successful wedding planners have?
Organization and detailed communication is really what makes a planner successful. You can get help with the design, but a truly amazing planner is great at keeping both the client and the vendors on the same page every single week.
8. What is the most valuable tool a wedding planner can have?
The most valuable tool a wedding planner can have is a community of support to refer to as challenges in their business come along.
Our team has a slack channel where questions are being asked daily, and our Academy members have our Facebook community where 500+ planners are asking and answering questions for each other. It’s amazing to see these planners navigate this journey together with less stress because they have the support they need from other experienced planners.
9. What is the best-kept secret in the wedding industry that you wish more people knew about?
I think that a lot of vendors write off online leads as duds, man are they missing out. Your website and online presence matters, period. We get amazing leads every day online. So, collect those reviews, post the photos, and pursue publication. It matters!
10. The year 2020 was unlike anything the wedding industry has ever seen in recent years. What are the lessons that you learned from those unprecedented events? Did you come away with any new insights or plans?
We actually launched a new virtual design service during the pandemic, and it’s really been taking off for us. I think the market is making a huge permanent shift toward virtual meetings, designs, and it’s a fabulous time saver for vendors in big cities where travel and traffic take up so much time weekly.
HELP FOR WEDDING PLANNERS
Are you an established wedding planner looking to grow your business? Click here to learn more about Chancey Charm’s Wedding Planner Mastermind resources.
Interested in becoming a wedding planner? If you’re looking to get into the wedding industry as a planner, check out Chancey Charm’s free launch checklist guide here.
A special thank you to our guest expert Sarah Chancey of Chancey Charm Events for sharing her insights and lessons learned over 10 years in the wedding industry! Click here to learn more about Chancey Charm Events.
Written by Corrie McGee
Lead Image by Josh & Dana Fernandez Photography | General Photos Courtesy of Chancey Charm Events