Listen to the Podcast About One Sweet Day Events

Podcast for One Sweet Day Events

Podcast Summary

Courtney Haynes, the founder of One Sweet Day Events based in Ventura, California, shares her journey into the wedding planning industry with Shawn Grindle on Eventful Endeavors. Courtney’s passion for wedding planning ignited at a young age, inspired by a dream of owning a B&B that hosted beautiful events. Despite initially pursuing architecture, she found herself drawn to project management in construction, which honed her organizational skills and client interactions.

When her best friend’s wedding planning opportunity arose, Courtney embraced it wholeheartedly, realizing the similarities between project management in construction and wedding planning. She effortlessly transitioned into the world of weddings and discovered a fulfilling career that aligned with her long-standing passion. What started as planning weddings for friends eventually evolved into a thriving business as she gained experience and confidence in her abilities.

Courtney credits her supportive boss in construction for encouraging her career shift and facilitating her transition into full-time wedding planning. His belief in her capabilities and willingness to accommodate her burgeoning wedding planning commitments played a pivotal role in Courtney’s professional growth and success.

With a background in project management and a deep-rooted love for creating unforgettable experiences, Courtney Haynes has carved a niche for herself in the wedding planning industry. Her journey from childhood aspirations to established entrepreneur exemplifies the power of following one’s dreams and seizing opportunities along the way.

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.

Podcast Transcript

Shawn Grindle (00:25)
All right. Welcome back to another episode of Eventful Endeavors. Today we are chatting with another wedding planner. We are here with Courtney Haynes of One Sweet Day Events, who’s based out in Ventura, California, and, um, first of all, thank you for being here. I appreciate you coming on and chatting with me.

Courtney Haynes (00:42)
Yeah, thanks for having me.

Shawn Grindle (00:43)
So we always like to kind of start out the same way, which is asking how you kind of got into this industry, where you started, what made you get into wedding planning, how it all started. So tell us your story.

Courtney Haynes (00:54)
Yeah, so funny enough, I just always wanted to be a wedding planner since I was a kid. I don’t know why something about it was so fascinating to me. And my mom and I had this grand idea that we were going to have like a B&B, like a bed and breakfast, and we were going to have rehearsal dinner on Friday, host the wedding on Saturday, day after brunch on Sunday, and be these amazing planners of this beautiful cottage. And that was our plan. Fairy tale, of course, because, you know, growing up…

Shawn Grindle (01:21)

Courtney Haynes (01:23)
there’s not like a school you can learn to buy a B&B and host weddings. So I deviated towards architecture, which was something I was also really passionate about, but there was a school you could go for architecture. So I got into school. I was like, this is, this is great. I like this. I’m going to go with this. And I got hired as a construction project manager so I could really like get my hands and feet wet in the design aspect.

Shawn Grindle (01:28)


Courtney Haynes (01:47)
And project management was everything for me. I fell right into that role. I was very good at it. Something about handling the multi-projects, the emotions of the clients, the budget constraints, reading, writing contracts, hiring vendors. It was a great job. I loved it. Then fast forward to a few years into that job and my best friend was getting married and she said, hey, I know you always want to be a wedding planner. Plan my wedding. I’m gonna be super difficult and I’m not gonna pay you. And I’m like, I’m in.

Shawn Grindle (02:19)
I’m not gonna pay you.

Courtney Haynes (02:20)
So I started planning this wedding and what do you know, it’s the exact same job I’m already doing in my world of construction. And I fell into it so easily and I’m like, but I love this job and I’m happy here. And when I walked onto a construction site, every single day I had to prove myself that I knew what I was doing because I was young and I was a female. You come into this world of wedding planning and they’re like,

Shawn Grindle (02:29)

Courtney Haynes (02:46)
Oh, you already know everything. I mean, maybe not, but it was this whole different vibe that you got. So I did this wedding, loved it, learned a lot. Like, okay, so they’re vendors, not subcontractors. Okay, the timeline is only a day, not a three-year timeline. You know, there’s some things like that I quickly learned. And so I finished that wedding. And then the next couple of years, I did some of her bridesmaids’ weddings and I did some of our friends. And friend after friend after friend, eventually I started charging for it.

Shawn Grindle (02:49)

Courtney Haynes (03:14)
And then that was like my big break. Like, okay, I can, I’m making money off this. Okay, cool. And my boss in construction at the time was very supportive

Shawn Grindle (03:15)

Courtney Haynes (03:23)
of that role. He was like, I want you, you want to do this job? You don’t want to be in construction forever. And I see that. And I’ve helped mold your project management skills and I want to see you flourish. So he let me leave early when I had meetings. He would let me skip work on Fridays when I had rehearsal. I didn’t work weekends. Really, he helped me, you know, get into this career.

Shawn Grindle (03:39)
Oh, that’s cool.

Courtney Haynes (03:44)
And then eventually it was enough that it was like, okay, like I can decide that I’m gonna try to do this. So I stopped working for him and I started working for another contractor that I could just do some consulting on the side. So I could do my job and consulting. And that took off for a few years. And then finally I was like, wipe my hands with construction, I’m full wedding planning and I’ve never looked back. It is just a high that I can never come down from and I love every minute of it.

Shawn Grindle (04:12)
I like that. So when did, so when exactly did one sweet day, when was that born?

Courtney Haynes (04:17)
So the name was born in 2010, but the first thing I did was 2006. So, you know, so I guess that’s 14 years this year, if that’s any of you remember. Yeah. Go ahead.

Shawn Grindle (04:21)

I think it’s interesting because, you know, I’ve heard a lot of similar stories for like wedding planners, like their first experience getting into it is like planning a friend’s wedding. But then I always ask them like advice they give couples and they say don’t hire your friends. So, so let me, I just think it’s interesting that that’s such a juxtaposition. Like everybody gets started that way, but they’re also like, don’t do it. Like not condoning it.

Courtney Haynes (04:45)

how you do it. It’s so true. And you know, years ago, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen me, but I always wear a name tag on wedding day. And I started doing that from the very beginning because people would come up to me and say, you are such a good friend setting up all these, you know, place cards. And I was like, oh no ma’am, this is my business, you know? And they’re like, oh. So I started wearing a name tag just so that you could show the representation that you are a professional in this job. So.

Shawn Grindle (05:02)


Courtney Haynes (05:20)
You know, the thing that I say about me though is like, I’m one of a kind. Like I planned parties and gatherings and social events my entire life. I’m the house that everybody comes to for gatherings. I host the holidays. I host every single party there is, you know, we make up parties just to have parties. So I’m that person that has always been in that role. So when I say I was the friend doing the wedding, I maybe was a step up and I also had some classical training underneath my belt.

Shawn Grindle (05:36)

Courtney Haynes (05:46)
But it’s true. That is good advice. Like, do your, read your reviews, make sure that you’re hiring reputable people that have been in the industry, know the ins and outs. And the things that I didn’t have back then was my support team. I didn’t have those backup, you know, photographers to call if something happened to my photographer the day of, I didn’t have that plethora of DJs that I could be like, Hey,

Shawn Grindle (06:02)

Courtney Haynes (06:08)
he’s losing his voice and I need someone else to emcee. Like, can we mash you up? You know, things like that. I didn’t have that back then. And I look at it now and I think, I don’t know how I did it. You know, that sounds like so scary to me. I have such a great community now that I can really reach out to. Not that I have to, but it’s that comfort.

Shawn Grindle (06:20)

Yeah, and we’ll get into that community in a little bit. Cause I do want to talk to that about that. But first, speaking of advice, like obviously we said, like, you know, do your research, do this, but what would be your, not like another like number one piece of advice for newlyweds? Like just got engaged. This is what I would recommend. Step one, do this or, or don’t do this, whatever it might be.

Courtney Haynes (06:49)
Yeah, I mean, I really feel like having a venue and having a date are very important. I feel like so many people come to me and they’re looking for coordination, but they don’t know anything about what they want because they haven’t done their research on the venues. And I do packages where I help them find venues, but I feel like more organically, the client can find the venue on their own, do some research or ask for some referrals, do that legwork, find something that suits you, book the venue, have the date.

That way, when you’re reaching out to people, you can confidently say, this is the date I’m getting married, so that person can check their calendar to make sure, okay, I’m in fact available. You don’t wanna fall in love with somebody like, Sean, I don’t wanna call you and fall in love with you and then pick a date and you’re like, I’m not available, but you can have an associate with, yes, of course, I would still love that. But if you want you, I’m a small business. So it’s like, what you see is what you get. And so if that date is already booked, I’m not available. So I definitely think.

Shawn Grindle (07:35)

Right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Courtney Haynes (07:46)
Finding the venue is a good first step, picking that date. And then I can’t preach enough about just doing your homework on vendors. Pick vendors that have worked at the venue. Pick vendors that have been around a long time. Pick vendors that have great reviews. Pick vendors that you jam with. You get on the phone with me and get on a Zoom with me and make sure that my energy doesn’t freak you out. Make sure that you’re like, yeah, I vibe with you. You vibe with me. Let’s, let’s make this happen. I have.

Shawn Grindle (08:13)

Courtney Haynes (08:15)
people that do just hire me because of my reputation, which I am appreciative of, but maybe we meet and we’re like, oh, we’re kind of like, you’re really shy and I’m like really like energetic. And I don’t know, we jam, we’ve worked it out, but I would like to have that connection with my couples in advance.

Shawn Grindle (08:21)


Yeah, I mean these people, you know, all your vendors are gonna be They’re gonna be there your whole day of the big day and they’re gonna be talking to you Like you’re gonna have to communicate with them all of them in some capacity, you know So it’s good to have at least a couple conversations ahead of time. So

Courtney Haynes (08:43)
all of them. Yes.

Well, too. And the photographer is another thing that I like. Once you book your photographer, you’re looking at photographers. I highly recommend an engagement session with them because I mean, this person that is in front of you all day long. And yes, I’m definitely in front of you all day long. But the photographer is really like that’s intimate. And you want to feel comfortable with your lens. You want to make sure that the way that they capture you is a way that you’re comfortable being captured. When I got married, I’ve been married almost 13 years now. And I hired a photographer that I had worked with

Shawn Grindle (08:54)


Courtney Haynes (09:18)
one wedding, thought she was lovely, didn’t really have a huge group at the time, hired her. And let’s just say I was not happy. And I ended up in all of my wedding photos again on my little Nikon camera with my two best girlfriends. We got dressed up again, hair and makeup, made a bouquet, and went out and took photos on my Nikon because I hated the photos. In the nicest way, she was a good photographer, but I didn’t like how she captured me. And for example, I wore a strapless dress.

And a lot of the photos I look like I had no clothes on. I was like, who would have known? But then you go back and look at her work and you’re, oh, that’s how her work is. Okay, so that’s another thing. I’m like, even if you’re thinking like, oh, we’re gonna save some money and we’re gonna pull the engagement session out. I’m like, no, please go and sit with them and be comfortable, 100%.

Shawn Grindle (09:50)
I’m just…


Yeah, I did an engagement session and we just had a great time with our photographer and I was like, okay, this is the right move. Like this is great. And we ended up.

Courtney Haynes (10:08)

Did you actually use some of those photos too on your wedding day?

Shawn Grindle (10:18)
Uh, we have them there sitting in my house right now. A lot of the photos from the engagement, I’ve got them in frames over there. And we had some great photos come out. So we were very, very happy with that. But yeah, it’s a good point. I mean, you gotta, you gotta know what you’re getting into cause it’s important. So that being said, also like, do you usually, so you usually come in, uh, like people usually get you after they’ve got their venue and their date. So do you usually get a lot of like people, do you have a lot of brides that already have photography book or do you mostly recommend like, oh, these people that I think you’re going to vibe with to them?

Courtney Haynes (10:20)
You’re good.


Shawn Grindle (10:48)
Like where do you come in like most of the time in the process?

Courtney Haynes (10:48)
I, yeah, most of the time I actually come in between the six month and the one month kind of span. And they might hire me a year out, but they might only bring me on for the

Shawn Grindle (10:57)

Courtney Haynes (11:00)
month of, which is fine, it’s a good package. It’s very fast paced package for people that have really gotten everything together. I can come in at the end and I’m kind of closer. So I send recommendations, whether people hire me or not, I send out recommendations. So even if they,

Shawn Grindle (11:01)

Courtney Haynes (11:15)
send an inquiry on this date and like we have nobody hired. I had a girl recently like I’m having such a hard time finding a videographer. I sent her a quote for me but I was like here’s some amazing videographers that I worked with they’re all tried and true and the videographer one of them text me like hey thanks for the referral are you doing that wedding? I’m like I’m not booked for that wedding but I sent her your recommendation. I was like

Shawn Grindle (11:36)
Right Yeah

Courtney Haynes (11:37)
that’s so nice of you, like thank you. And I said, because maybe I’m not the right fit, but one of my people are. So I feel like I would like to share those reputable, you know, resources to people, even if I’m not the right fit. And I think that also sets me apart a little bit because I have some wedding planners that might listen to this and cringe. I mean, like, oh my God, you do what? But I just feel like I have a great network I wanna share. And that circled background, I wanna say that particular client did circle back and ended up hiring me. She’s like loved your people, loved you.

Shawn Grindle (12:05)

Courtney Haynes (12:06)
and a call and you know it’s all one big happy family.

Shawn Grindle (12:09)
Yeah, and I love that. And I do a similar thing. You know, I was going to save this for a little bit later, but I think it’s a good time to jump into it. Even me, doing dueling piano, our biggest competition is live bands and DJs because we’re the music of the day. But even me, if they’re not in, I have DJ friends, I’m like, well, if you want to go the DJ route, this is who you should talk to. I’m still down to help the couples and I’m still down to even throw that to somebody because I still want things to be good.

Courtney Haynes (12:15)
I’m sorry.

Shawn Grindle (12:37)
And I think that’s what a lot of people don’t realize about the wedding industry that don’t work in it is, you know, it is for the most part, there are exceptions for the most part, it’s a lot of people kind of building each other up, like, as opposed to tearing it down. And I know, um, you know, you’re heavily involved in NACE, which for those that don’t know is the national association of catering and events, which is designed essentially around that concept. So talk a little bit about that, how you got into it, what your guys, um,

mission is essentially, because we haven’t talked about it yet on this podcast.

Courtney Haynes (13:09)
I’m so impressed by you because the symbol NACE, a lot of people don’t know what it stands for. And so I started saying in my welcome speech, like, NACE, it’s the National Association for Catering and Events because people don’t know what it is. But essentially, I’m part of the Ventura chapter. There’s over 40 chapters across the country. And the mission is really to bring education and networking to local vendors. And so I really got into NACE.

in the beginning because I wanted to expand my resources and meet the people that I maybe wouldn’t otherwise get to meet on a monthly, yearly, daily basis. And so I started coming to these meetings and I’d be like, oh, I’ve heard of that photographer. And then I would like go and talk to that person.

And so then they saw something in me. They’re like, oh, like you would like know a lot of people and you have great energy and like, do you want to plan a meeting? And so I play in the meeting and then they’re like, great. You’re now on the board of directors. I’m like, okay. But I’ve stuck with it. And honestly, it has helped me grow in my business, not because of the referrals, because I feel like I didn’t join needs for the referrals, but I got into it for the sense of community.

Shawn Grindle (14:07)

Courtney Haynes (14:20)
And something that we really were working on last year is community over competition. Like it doesn’t matter that there are 10 planners here, we’re all friends, we all network. And if I’m not available for a date, I send people to these planners. And we’re also working on giving back to the community. Last year we did a couple of great community service efforts where we did like a back to school drive, we did a canned food drive. And that warms my heart too, that we can be doing something with the voice that we have.

Shawn Grindle (14:38)
Thanks for watching!

Courtney Haynes (14:50)
to not only do education and networking for our local community, but also to give back to that community. So I love it. I just got back from conference. We went to an amazing conference in Virginia and met people from all over the world that do NAIS. And it was so exciting to like other people, like this girl from Chicago. And I met people from Seattle. And I was like, wow, it’s not like, it’s not just our group, but our group only spans so far, but it’s nationwide.

Shawn Grindle (15:05)


Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t realize that like, you know, I’ve had people when I’ve recommended other people they’re like, Oh, do you like make money off of that or something? I’m like, no, I really don’t I’m just like this is what it is. Like I know these people like if you’re gonna do a vent like I’d rather you do It right, you know, like I’m not I’m just it takes two seconds to send an email if you’re not booking me at whatever you know, but here you go, like, you know, and then it’s it is kind of that like

Courtney Haynes (15:33)

It’s so true. So true.

Shawn Grindle (15:44)
because then people help you out. It becomes a, just a, it’s a network, it’s a community, and it’s valuable, and I think it’s, if you are a brighter groom and somebody does do that, I think that is a, like, take the recommendation, because they’re not just doing it to do it. They’re not, you know, I really think you should, people should reach out to those people.

Courtney Haynes (16:01)
I can’t, like I don’t get any type of kickback either, nor do I want it. Like I want people that are tried and true in the circle and to build up our community. And I’m thinking too, isn’t that how we met? Is through name? Okay, full circle, getting to meet people that we wouldn’t otherwise have met, you know, I mean, maybe one day down the line, we would have worked together, but yeah, fast forward to that, love it.

Shawn Grindle (16:05)

Yes, we met through NAZE.


Sure. I’ve met a ton of people from NAIS and I’ve worked with several of them now and I’ve referred some of them and vice versa. So it’s been, you know, just for me, it’s been a great kind of thing, you know. So I love that, yeah. And like I said, planning a wedding is difficult, but you know, if you find vendors that are just willing to help you out, like especially at the beginning on that first phone call, you know, I ask people to this day, I mean, they’re booking music when they talk to me, but I’m like, I always end my phone calls. Is there anything else you’re looking for?

You know, I always ask people like, what else are you still looking for something? Like, I know a lot of people like, you know, I know where you’re getting married. Like, what are you looking for? I can shoot you some contacts that I think you’d get along with. You know, I always try to end all my conversations that way. You know, just to help. Yeah.

Courtney Haynes (16:52)

I think that it builds up our community and too, like, again, we know that the people that are going to show up are going to do a great job. And that’s also a reflection on us. So it’s all one big happy circle.

Shawn Grindle (17:20)
Yeah. And if you do book me, I want, I want the people I know there. And it’s more fun for me. It’s way more fun when I find out I’m doing a wedding and I’m like, wait, you’re on that wedding. And they’re like, yeah. I’m like, oh, great. This is gonna be awesome. I’ll see you next week. You know, um, cause when your vendors are getting along, it’s also an easier day for you. So I do, I think it’s fun when all the vendors kind of know each other and you have those teams that have worked together many times. Um, so

Courtney Haynes (17:24)
That’s more fun, yes.


Shawn Grindle (17:46)
it’s good.

Anyway, so let’s get back on to wedding stuff. Let’s go back to wedding stuff. So talk to me about, because you’ve been doing weddings for a while. You said your first one in 2016. So over the course, 2006, which is, I don’t even want to say it. Oh man, that’s almost two decades ago. So that’s crazy to me. But in that timeframe, obviously a lot of things have changed. You know, we’ve now got TikTok.

Courtney Haynes (17:51)
Ha ha!

No, 2006.

I think it was like eight.

It was about a few years ago, yeah.

Shawn Grindle (18:16)
Instagram and all this stuff where people can pull all these ideas from Pinterest. So over the course of those many years, like what have you seen change in like terms of wedding trends, like things that maybe used to happen and now don’t or used to never happen and now everybody’s doing? What are some of those things you’ve noticed?

Courtney Haynes (18:34)
Well, I go back to that very first wedding. I have pictures of the wedding cake. It’s where it still had the stilts that came up in between each tier. And it has a lot of like lace and frill. And I sometimes will have, you know, post that photo and be like, taking it back. Like, this is what your cake looked like 18 years ago. And you look at the cakes now that are just like super sleek and modern or like just a very like watercolor. I mean, the cakes definitely have been one of those things.

Shawn Grindle (18:43)

Courtney Haynes (19:03)
changed a lot. Definitely the fashion has changed a lot over that time as well, which I think for the better. Trends that I feel like are happening now, one of the biggest trends we had last year and it’s carrying into this year, is that audio guest book. People like, yes, the phone. You’re part of that interactive experience on wedding day.

Shawn Grindle (19:08)

The phone? Yeah, the phone. The phone.

Courtney Haynes (19:27)
that people like that and to have a phone that they pick up for anyone that doesn’t know. It’s an old school rotary phone. You pick up the thing, the phone, the receiver, sure. See, we all have cell phones now. You pick that up and you leave a message and you’re like, hey, Jenny and Bobby, thank you so much for having me at your wedding. I’ve had the best day. You’re so great. Okay, love Courtney, bye. And you hang up. Well, the fun part about that is then that’s pre-ceremony and then there’s cocktail hour and then there’s after cocktail.

Hey, it’s me again. I just wanna say this is a great party, okay, bye. And then it’s like going, and then at the end of the night it’s like, oh my God, you hear the dueling band, those are so great. Like the messages, you can record several messages up to 10 hours. So hilarious that has been the evolution and then you send it in and then they basically send you a recording of all these messages. So that’s a big trend that I couldn’t even imagine that even like five years ago, because five years ago we’re all under the Polaroids. That was the guess.

Shawn Grindle (20:01)



Courtney Haynes (20:25)
That was the big thing that everybody did the Polaroid guestbook and my assistants would cringe because the amount of trash that comes out of that, you know, like every 10 pictures, you’re opening more film and then people don’t leave it or they take 10 photos or they walk away with the camera. So I think I’m happier with the audio guestbook a little bit. And then.

Shawn Grindle (20:34)

Yeah, I love it.

Courtney Haynes (20:48)
And then we’ve been seeing a lot more of like the live musicians at weddings too, whether it’s somebody like you that’s coming in and doing the dueling pianos, or where we’re syncing up a saxophone player with a DJ or a trombone player with a DJ and doing those just those live elements that I feel like have becoming really popular. And I don’t know if that’s just because people are like, this is cool, or if it’s something that they’re seeing on TikTok. I’m not personally on TikTok because I worry about how much time I’m gonna waste on TikTok.

Shawn Grindle (21:01)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

We are. I don’t do it.

Courtney Haynes (21:19)
But Instagram, I do Instagram and I post a few times a week, but there’s definitely so much content out there that’s great. I do try to hone my clients in a little bit on some of that stuff and explain to them the difference between Instagram and like a real wedding. And part of our jobs is to educate our clients. So I had to do that a lot more recently with the evolution of Pinterest and whatnot.

Shawn Grindle (21:38)

Yeah, because sometimes when you see something it’s like that Instagram verse reality thing that is going around it’s like, okay Well, what they’re not showing you is this You know, so that happens

Courtney Haynes (21:47)

Exactly. And the cost involved in things like that. Sometimes I just have to break it down with cost alone and they’re like, I had no idea. Okay, let’s move on to the next thing.

Shawn Grindle (21:57)


Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. But I mean, yeah, it’s been interesting. It seems like everything’s a lot more modern. I love the phone. The phone things are my favorite. I did not do one and I regretted it. But my friend did one and it was a blast. Like I recorded like four messages. And he actually had a bunch of us. He had a bunch of us over like, like a week after their honeymoon or something. He’s like, do you guys want to come have some cocktails? I’m like, listen, all these messages. And I was like, I don’t even know what I said. So I do.

Courtney Haynes (22:14)

The Inquisition

Shawn Grindle (22:30)
And then it got to mine at like the end. Like my fourth one was just real casual and it was just meeting like, hey, this is Sean, can you call back? I just wanted to see if you wanted to save a bunch of money on your car insurance by switching to Geico. And I hung up. And I was like, why did I send that? But it was so funny. Yeah.

Courtney Haynes (22:49)
is so different, you know, it’s not the same like, thanks for having me, you know, like, I always struggle because I feel like I should leave a message for my clients at some point, but there’s a lot of stuff happening on wedding day. So to like pull aside and be focused on like a message that conveys like my, you know, appreciation for the couple or whatnot. I usually say something, you know, short and sweet like that. So I’m not sure about, you know, here’s so much money on car insurance, but it’s funny. And they’ll remember that over a lot of others.

Shawn Grindle (22:53)


Thank you.

I don’t know. I, it was, and there, that was not even like, there was a lot of goofy stuff. It was very funny, but I do love that. And I love that things are changing in that kind of fun direction. So people are all about the experience, you know, just let’s make it fun.

Courtney Haynes (23:20)
I’m sorry.

about experience. And that also with that we’re getting rid of bouquet toss, we’re getting rid of garter toss, we’re doing less and less cake cutting even. We’re kind of skipping through that so we can get to the dancing, we can get to the photo booth, we can get to those more interactive experiences. Which is you know I personally like, I think that some of those traditions are fun in the right context and some of them are just a bit dated. And when the client asks like is it okay to

Shawn Grindle (23:33)





Courtney Haynes (23:58)
There is nothing that you have to do. You can do everything upside down and everyone’s going to be like, cool, no one’s going to even question it. And that makes them feel more comfortable. Like, okay, I’m like, let’s think outside the box because for me, I want to think out the box for them and for all of us to just do something different and creative.

Shawn Grindle (24:06)

Yeah. And speaking of which is a perfect transition. What would you say is the most unique thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding? Like something that was really individual to a certain wedding that you’ve not maybe seen again that was just super unique.

Courtney Haynes (24:30)
Man, that’s gonna, I’m gonna have to rack my brain on that one. Nothing is coming to mind that is like super stand out as unique.

Shawn Grindle (24:37)


Have you seen the, I did this at mine, just I had never seen it. Have you seen the 360 photo booth?

Courtney Haynes (24:51)
Yes, 360 photo booths are pretty rad.

Shawn Grindle (24:54)
Yeah, I’ve seen a few of those nowadays and I’m like, oh, those are pretty cool. But yeah.

Courtney Haynes (24:58)
They were brought, it wasn’t for a wedding that I did, but I was helping out another friend, part of the community as we help each other out and another planner was down and assistant and I came to help out. And they have one of those live painters at the event. And so the, you have like, she got there really early and she basically painted the ceremony space and painted all the trees and the chairs and the background and everything like that. And then she records as the bride and groom come down.

Shawn Grindle (25:04)

Oh, that’s cool.

Courtney Haynes (25:26)
and then she records the entire time they’re up at the altar. And then she takes a lot of photos and she basically paints them in during ceremony. Then people go to cocktail hour, she moves into the reception, does final touches. And then once her painting is done, she does the reveal for the couple that’s, you know, walking in for Grand Entrance, maybe after first dance, they come over and do a reveal. It was amazing. Absolutely.

Shawn Grindle (25:42)
That’s awesome. Sure. I’ve never seen that. That’s pretty awesome.

Courtney Haynes (25:49)
Oh, you should look that up, do live painter on Instagram or wedding painter. There’s a bunch of people that do it now. I mean, I’m sure it’s a bit costly, but super cool. Especially if you’re into art like that and you would hang, it’s a big canvas, I wanna say like, 536. And you can, I think that she asked the couple like which pose they would pick in her stills and they picked one where they were like their first kiss. And it was great, it was really beautiful. And I think that was something that they’ll keep for the rest of their lives.

Shawn Grindle (25:57)


Well, I’d call that pretty unique. I think that’s good.

Courtney Haynes (26:19)
It’s pretty unique. Yeah, I mean, that one definitely, I’m sure there’s others that will come to mind and after we get out this call, I’m gonna think of things, but that is the most recent. But that came to mind and that’s definitely a good one.

Shawn Grindle (26:27)
You’re gonna text me and be like, oh, this is what happened. Okay, I missed it.

Well, what about this question then? Cause we’re coming close to the end, but this is always my favorite one. And I feel like people have usually have more of these is, what’s the most like cringiest thing you’ve ever seen or something that went wrong? Or if you can’t think of something specific, a piece of advice of like, don’t do this because it’s going to be cringy. It doesn’t work.

You know?

Courtney Haynes (26:54)
Well, something that went wrong that I can think of that’s maybe more appropriate for this conversation, but since it’s COVID, what I personally notice is that clothes are not being made the same. There’s not as much quality control. There is a lot of rips, a lot of tears, a lot of malfunctions. And I know how to sew. I know, like I can hand stitch, thank God. I had recently where we had

Shawn Grindle (27:02)



Courtney Haynes (27:23)
cocktail hour and we were moving inside. And for whatever reason, the father of the bride reached down to get, pick something up and slit his pants from his crotch all the way through. Like, I mean, we’re talking, you know, 24 inches of, and the bride, she’s like, holy crap, like we’re going in and he’s still giving a welcome toast. Right? So we’re going in, we’re doing the first dance, he’s doing a welcome toast. So she was like,

Shawn Grindle (27:33)



Courtney Haynes (27:53)
Courtney like, hi, I’m like walked over like, hi, and she’s like, can you help my dad? And he shows me his leg and I’m like, oh yes, come with me. Well, I can’t exactly tell him to take his pants off. I literally have 15 minutes. I’ve already started bringing people in. I have 15 minutes to sew his pants and be ready to go for grand entrance and for his welcome toast. So I’m like, okay, just come over here. I get my thread out and I literally had to be on my knees stitching from his knee.

Shawn Grindle (28:05)

Courtney Haynes (28:20)
all the way up to his crotch. I’m like, we’re getting really friendly here. Like, Courtney, by the way, nice to meet you again. He’s like, stitched up pretty good. I did a pretty good job because usually you sew on the inside. I don’t know how much I had to sew on the outside. So I got it all stitched up and he was like, oh my gosh. And like my kind of like trademark name is Courtney, the coordinator. And so he’s like, Courtney, the coordinator saved the day. So he’s going and showing everybody showing his pants.

Shawn Grindle (28:24)

My god.



Thanks for watching!

Courtney Haynes (28:49)
Courtney, the coordinator sewed my pants. Like this guy will remember me for the rest of his life. So those are just things that, you know, you again, hiring a professional, not to say that sewing is a professional trade, but I definitely do a lot of sewing because I’m a wedding planner. Ha ha.

Shawn Grindle (28:52)


It’s a good skill to have. I actually know how to sew. I used to do theater and I had to work in a costume shop. I don’t know if I could have sewed this guy’s pants in 15 minutes, but I’m, and you probably, did you have the sewing kit all there? Like you, it’s in your go bag?

Courtney Haynes (29:17)
I’m here, just to like, you know, actually thread the needle and get all ready and then I’m on my knees and I’m walking my girls and like, okay, I’m like, this girl I need you to get all of the wedding party lined up in the hallway. And then this girl I need you to just tell catering I’m on time, but I’m bringing the father of the bride up. And then I need you to go and talk to the bride and like let her know that I’m sewing his pants and I’ll be right there. All one walkie talkies like you’re pretty, you’re pretty good at this. I’m like, yeah, thank you. Working on the fly. But also, my face never changes.

something could be on fire and I’m just gonna be like, okay, let’s get it handled. That’s something that I’ve learned over the years is to never show that anything is bad or good or ugly or you just keep going and everybody’s calm, it’s your calm.

Shawn Grindle (29:45)

Yeah. And because of that, I feel like there’s gotta be a lot of times that something went wrong at a wedding and the bride or groom never even knew about it. Like they would never know. Maybe they found out later, maybe they never found out. Or something, you know, it’s like they just don’t know.

Courtney Haynes (30:11)
There’s some things I will take to my grave that I will never tell my couples that it happened. And there’s been some things that we’ve shared that like, you know, they heard through the great find something and they’re like, thanks for handling that. We appreciate it. I’m like, that’s what I’m here for.

Shawn Grindle (30:14)

Yeah, that’s why you get a planner because if you don’t, you know, father of the bride could just be coming out with his pants ripped open.

Oh, man. I would have just been laughing, so I wouldn’t have even been upset if I was like that groomed up, just trying not to laugh.

Courtney Haynes (30:31)
I mean, you know, they probably would have safety pinned it and it would have been okay, but I think it would have been really obvious, you know, like, just not an appropriate thing. So I’ve

Just trying to, well, and the funny thing is, is when I got the gallery of photos back, there’s a picture of me, back of me, on my knees, next to the father of the bride, so I’m like, this is so inappropriate, but hilarious at the same time. It definitely looked like I’m sewing, like my hands coming up, the photographer’s like, I apparently just wanted to take a photo of me doing that, to document the coordinator saving the dad’s pants. I don’t know.

Shawn Grindle (30:50)

hahahaha so look

It is funny.



But it’s part of the day. I mean, it’s part of the story. It’s something you’ll look back on and be like, that was very, hopefully the stories you’ll look back on are like, maybe something went wrong, but it’s like, oh, that made it funny or made it fine. Like it was just a good memory, but hopefully nothing disastrous, because that’s never good. Good.

Courtney Haynes (31:13)

haven’t had anything crazy disastrous and I will thank my lucky stars and knock on wood for that.

Shawn Grindle (31:31)
Yeah, we don’t want that. We don’t want that. Okay, well, that’s basically our time. So before we wrap it up, is there anything? Anything else you want to mention anything else you want to say we’ll link to all your stuff on our social so people know where to find you how to get in touch with you. But is there anything? Anything else you want to mention any other last minute pieces of advice or anything?

Courtney Haynes (31:49)
Yeah, I think that’s it. I think that, you know, knowledge is power. And so, you know, do your homework, do your research, ask for advice, ask for help when you need it. And, you know, we have a great community out here in Southern California, so lean on your vendors as much as is needed. And I hope that everybody has an amazing wedding because they deserve it.

Shawn Grindle (32:07)
Yeah. Yes, I agree. Well, thank you for doing this, Courtney. And we’ll talk soon. I’m sure I’ll see you in one of the events pretty soon. All right. All right. Thank you so much. Have a great rest of your day.

Courtney Haynes (32:15)
I mean, thank you so much for having me.

You too. Thanks. Bye.

This interview was made possible by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos

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