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Meet Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Event in Marietta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marilisa Schachinger.

Marilisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Mark Twain says, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life” and I can honestly say that while the last 6 years in the event industry have certainly involved work, they have felt far from it! After graduating with degrees in Advertising & Psychology from the University of Georgia, I began working at one of the southeast’s top catering companies, Epting Events, and discovered that orchestrating details behind the scenes and on-site felt like a natural blend of the two fields I studied in school– honing my problem-solving skills while being trained to guide, coordinate and create.

From intimate social dinners and large university alumni tailgates, to destination weddings and 500-guest corporate galas, I gained logistical skills and mental toughness necessary to manage deadlines, expectations, budgets and more. A desire for deeper connections with clients led to a slight career change where I began to focus exclusively on weddings with one of the most prestigious wedding planning and design firms in Atlanta, Chancey Charm, where I executed over 50 events over the course of three years.

Training under Sarah Chancey was an incredible opportunity to learn more about leading clients through the design process so that the aesthetics enhance the overall experience.

I launched Martel Event, a full-service wedding planning + design firm, a year and a half ago to pour my expertise and eager heart into my very own clients, and have been working ever since to provide a truly unique and fun experience for their engagement season!

Has it been a smooth road?
While my path to owning my own business has been relatively smooth, every small business has to overcome obstacles. I had built a great networking base in Atlanta while working for other companies, but quickly found that starting my own company meant beginning the networking process all over again to get my name out there. Since my business is heavily referral-based, I had to be sure to reach out to past and current contacts. I also just had my first baby in March so navigating the balance of managing my business from home and being a new mom has certainly been interesting.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Martel Event story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a full-service wedding planner and designer, working with a select number of couples per year. Often brides wonder if a full-service planner + designer is the right fit for them, especially if they want to be involved in the planning process. My role and purpose is always to guide with gentleness and ease, never to commandeer someone’s vision because the foundation of my process is the bride & groom’s love story. My intention is to come alongside their planning journey to ensure that an honest celebration takes center stage, and that the aesthetics enhance that. In other words, I am fully aware that this is an extraordinary life event with the utmost meaning (not an 8-hour-long photo shoot). From the start of the planning process I guide couples in both logistics and design to make certain their event runs seamlessly and represents a beautiful depiction of their relationship and style.

Since my background of event experience was built on logistics, it is why I prioritize those needs to my clients before diving too far into design. We discuss the anticipated guest count with the dimensions of the venue, outdoor space or tent, ensuring size and quantity of tables, chairs, food stations, bars, etc will allow for best flow both practically, aesthetically and financially.

The design process begins with talking to couples about their relationship, their family traditions, favorite date spots, quirky pets, their personal style and much more. We collaborate together on key words that portray how they want to feel, vision boards for the mood they want to set, and overall priorities so I have the best understanding of what’s most important to them. From there I create a custom design plan complete with inspiration images, color palette and layout of the entire event. Throughout the process we hone these details until the final product outlines all of the selected aesthetic elements- from attire to flowers, paper goods to linens, decor and lighting to place settings, signage, favors and more. The design plan is also shared with the curated team of vendors to ensure everyone is fully equipped to bring the couple’s vision to fruition.

I thrive on being able to offer a planning experience that alleviates stress so my couples have time to truly enjoy their engagement and focus on the most important detail of all – building the foundation to their sacred marriage. In offering this tailored experience, I only take on 4-6 events per year. My clients know from the beginning that I am not working a wedding every weekend and that when I’m not working a wedding, I’m savoring time with my young family! I think brides are grateful to relieved to know they are getting so much time and attention to their special day, which helps sets me apart from other planning studios.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The wedding industry is extremely cyclical. I’ve seen wedding photographers shift their focus to commercial work and a new batch of photographers join the Atlanta wedding scene. I think it’s exciting to know there is always new connections to make and partnerships to build! I have also noticed more planners offering floral design and I think brides love the idea that one vendor is not just building their design but executing it to completion. Weddings have completely shifted from the DIY-route to more formal, traditional affairs (thank you Kate Middleton!) so I imagine in the next 5-10 years, depending on the state of the economy and celebrity trends, things may shift again to simplified, but thoughtful, intimate gatherings.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Anna Shackleford
Amy Arrington
Andy Brophy
Odalys Mendez

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