Johanna knew from an early age that she was meant to be a wedding planner. She loved organizing, and planning parties and events. Pair that with weddings, and Johanna knew it would be a perfect fit. Prior to graduation from Central Michigan University, Johanna served a six-month internship at Castle Farms. She promptly fell in love with the Castle, and knew it was where she was meant to be. Years later, Johanna now spends her days planning events, assisting bridal couples, and serving as the Castle’s Wedding Planner, a service offered exclusively to Castle couples. She prides herself on being highly organized, and enjoys being in charge of weddings.
Johanna is a Certified Wedding Planner through the Association of Bridal Consultants. “Planning a wedding can be very stressful. I take care of all the details, which is great for the bride and groom. They can relax, and I do all the work.”
As a Wedding Planner, Johanna’s responsibilities include working with the bridal couple from the very beginning to the end of the wedding process. She researches vendors, assists in the selection process, offers décor suggestions, attends vendor meetings (with or on behalf of the bride and groom), and reviews vendor contracts. It’s Johanna’s job to serve as a professional intermediary. If a bride has ten DJs in mind, Johanna can easily whittle down the list to the top three, and present the bridal couple with estimated bids, significantly cutting down on the time they would have spent doing the research themselves. While Johanna can make referrals and recommendations, bridal couples ultimately are the ones who make the final choice. Come wedding day, Johanna is busy attending to the set-up, plus decorating the ceremony and reception areas. And it’s Johanna who is there to assist the bride and groom, soothing anxious nerves before, during and after they become man and wife.
One of Johanna’s most rewarding moments in her career occurred when she planned and coordinated a Castle wedding within a two month timeframe. The couple booked the event, and Johanna quickly got to work. “Eight weeks isn’t a lot of time to plan a wedding, so I was excited for the challenge.” Exactly two months later, with Johanna looking on, the bride walked down the aisle of the Knight’s Courtyard to marry her groom. The reception that followed in the West Garden Room was an elegant affair, resulting in happy guests and a very grateful bridal couple.
During her years of wedding planning, Johanna’s found that trends change as time goes on. “The look of weddings is changing. Simple elegance is becoming very popular.” She’s also happy in her role as the Castle’s Wedding Planner. “I like being able to coordinate on-site weddings. I’m familiar with the layouts of each room, and can easily convey what will and won’t work to the bridal couple. If they have a certain color scheme in mind, which wouldn’t necessarily fit with the lighting and room theme, I help guide them in the right direction.”
Johanna is a pro when it comes to wedding planning, which means she’ll use any means at her disposal in order to achieve the perfect look for the perfect day. For one styled shoot showcasing a winter wedding, Johanna brought in her capable assistant: her beloved 3 ½ yr. old French bulldog Sophie. “She actually behaved better than I expected,” said Johanna. “Normally she’s pretty sassy, probably because she’s spoiled rotten. But Sophie loved being in the photo shoot. She was happy.”
Make that ‘happy times two”. Sophie spends her days happily lapping up doggie treats and dealing with her newfound fame from the occasional photo shoot. Meanwhile, Johanna’s happy living out her dream job at Castle Farms, making other people’s dreams come true.