“Playing Mother Hen”
“I love love, and it shows” is what any woman wants to hear from the second most important person on her single most important day of her life. This statement, this quality, beams from one of Tampa Florida’s most talented wedding planners around, Tara Tulle. As I sat and chat with her over coffee about what it truly takes to become a renowned wedding planner, I learned that performing the tasks of organizing for what is all of one day for most, isn’t the only hat worn during the big show.
“I always knew I would be in the wedding and event planning industry” says Tulle as she sipped her grande mocha peppermint cappuccino topped with froth and caramel. “It started very young. Actually in highschool I was the class president and student government president so I planned the homecomings. I planned all of the proms, just me and a couple of people that I found who would listen to what I say,” she mentioned.Learning this told me that wedding planning not only came effortlessly to Tulle, but it was more of a personal attribution that she’d developed and it was imbedded in her personality. She said “Planning just came very naturally.”
Tulle shared how growing up, her friends would always refer to her as the “Mother Hen” because she was always taking care of everyone. Tulle grew up in East Smyrna which is a very close nit community. She refered back to her young adult life in her home town saying how small it was and mentions “Everybody got married very early, so before I even moved to Tampa for college, I already had 10 weddings under my belt.”
Tulle was raised with four siblings, so being the middle of five children with the youngest two significantly younger, she was a natural nurturer. She tells “I’m empathetic to a fault” therefore taking on the role of the towns wedding planner was one hat she was oh so comfortable with wearing. The instinct and giving qualities of Tulle’s personality placed her into the perfect fit of a profession and with that, she decided to take her talents into business.
So I ask, what does it truly take to become a successful wedding planner?
What is your most important role in that big day, and Tulle assured me that “Brides look for you to hold their hand.” She stressed that “this is the biggest day of their life” and in knowing this she had to utilize her talents to make someone else’s day a dream come true. Tulle has shared her life in marriage with her best friend thus far for almost ten years and shares that her experience as a bride matured her outlook as a business woman for the best. She mentioned “You don’t really really get it until you’re in their shoes.” This is where Tulle received a lot of her developed outlook on her job as the hired “Mother Hen” of that bride’s day. She lists the essentials of a great wedding planner as, “1. They will be sympathetic to their bride 2. They will need to understand a bride 3. They will need to see the other perspective.”
The three qualities mentioned by Tulle were developed overtime with life and it’s changes in her life. Tulle explained “Only until I had my child, did I have this huge epiphany.” Over the course of her life after college, she gained a plethora of experience through working as an event coordinator for corporate companies and mentions that she found her creativity through those events because of the ability to play with the event’s budget a bit more, but after it was all said and done, Tulle’s heart lies in her private business… with weddings. She says “Imma Hopeless Romantic, what can I say.”
From this interview I took that a wedding planner is not just an employee for a day or two. She is your rock in a hard place. Tulle says “You must play Switzerland and deal with emotions. You have to be flexible and handle the bridal party, the family, the bride, and all of their opinions.” She says “Brides forget why the day is happening” and as every brides wedding planner, it is important to juggle, be a nurturer, be organized, and to ask the right questions to keep them in their moment. “This is the biggest day of their life” Tulle stresses, and it is only right that it be a memorable one.