Aced Events is a wedding planning company based out of Norwalk, Connecticut. Earlier this summer, Arturo and I had the pleasure of working with Aced and its founder, Ashley Czaplicki! Let me tell you, this lady is an AMAZING wedding planner and beautiful human being. We loved working alongside her at Samira & Angel’s Greentree Country Club wedding in New Rochelle, New York this past July, and we’re pumped to share another wedding with her again next fall!
Ashley is an absolute blast, cares deeply for her clients, and most of all, she has a fantastic sense of humor (because hey, we all need a friend like that)! Wedding planners are such a vital part of the planning process and wedding day; among other things, they communicate with your other vendors (so you don’t have to be glued to your email inbox!), take care of the nitty gritty details (hello timelines!), and most importantly, they ensure you’ll be able to actually enjoy your big day!
I recently interviewed Ashley, and I’m so excited for Aced Events to join our Vendor Love blog series! I am ecstatic for you to learn more about this talented lady and all that she does to make her couples’ wedding day dreams come true!
Tell me a bit about you and your business! How did you get started in the wedding industry?
"I sort of fell into a rabbit hole and landed on my feet in the events industry! It's funny how life take you different places. I actually have a degree in broadcast journalism and had long thought I'd end up somewhere doing the news. Life had other plans! In 2010, I moved from Pittsburgh to New York City, and grabbed the first job I could find… I just knew that I needed to be in Manhattan. I had visited my now brother-in-law a few times, and the city had become part of my soul! Soon enough I landed as a receptionist on Wall Street.
Fast forward two years, and I had been promoted to office manager, and eventually started dabbling in corporate events. Event planning came so easy to me; it was second nature and felt like it was something I had done before in a past life. I loved it so much and wanted more! I found a roll on the Upper East Side at the second largest church in the city, which also happened to be Jackie Kennedy's parish (St. Ignatius Loyola), and I put on all kinds of different events in their stunning marble ballroom.
Somehow with hard work and kindness, the universe led me to my dream job working for the New York Mets. I'll never forget my time spent with Metropolitan Hospitality… it was everything. Let's go Mets! We did every kind of event at Citi Field; the list would be too long to rattle off, but my favorites were the weddings. A few years into my job with the Mets, I had my daughter Charlotte, and I decided that working almost every weekend and 12 hour workdays really wasn't my jam.
I had always wanted to have my own events business and I had no idea what I was doing from a marketing/entrepreneurial/business standpoint, but I knew two things: I was pretty good at planning weddings, and it filled my soul. My business name was inspired by my monogram, AEC (Ashley Elizabeth Campolongo, now Czaplicki), but it was a nickname that I picked up during my time spent with the NY METS and it stuck!”
What do you love most about being a wedding planner?
"Oh my! SO many things, ALL the things. My favorite part of the wedding planning process is the start of the ceremony. Wedding planning is a whole lot of coordinated chaos; it's like being a leader of a beautiful three ring circus. But when the ceremony starts it's quiet, and the world stops for those two special people that I've come to adore and honestly love, that’s the moment I sob and smile. That's my favorite part! And when the ceremony is over, it's back to crazy town! (A town I really love! Ha!)
I'm also addicted to the design. I pretty much live on Pinterest. I love to create a vision that a couple has living in their minds and bring it to life. The look on their faces, that ‘Ah!’ moment is priceless. More feeding of my soul! Designing is so much fun, it's like being a kid in a candy store for me.”
What should couples know about your process and about working with you?
"I like to have fun; my style is super laid back and personable! When you work with me we become like family. Weddings are personal! I'm sincere, positive, and super optimistic when it comes to everything in planning. I'm always like, ‘Why not?!’. I like to simplify things; at the beginning of the process I start off by saying, ‘There are no rules in terms of how many meetings we have together, or venue site visits, or number of phone calls. Whatever your wedding requires of me, it's unlimited. When you sign on with me, you get unlimited access and we have a good time!’ It's fun. We giggle and whistle while we work.”
What is your favorite part about working with couples who are planning their wedding day?
"I love to work with couples on their wedding day because they're so excited and inspired. They've both been dreaming of this day for years and it's something they'll never forget, ever. I think it's pretty cool that when they think back to their wedding day, I'll be in that memory somewhere and live with them forever in their most precious moments that they hold dear in their hearts. I mean, just real Nicholas Sparks vibes over here at Aced.”
What (or who) inspires your creativity?
"There are a few people that inspire me. #1 is my parents. They're the bees knees. My dad is so quick witted and business minded that I can't even handle his brilliance when it comes to building an empire and entrepreneurial ninja skills. My mom is a creative human who is so determined and leads her life with this positive energy that is just a force to behold. They really are the fabric of Aced because they made this entrepreneur who she is today!
I'm super inspired by Amy Shey Jacobs, the founder of Chandelier Events based in NYC. She's legendary in my book. She designed The Knot Gala this past year at the New York Public Library which I was fortunate to attend and it was INSANE. I've been following her ever since and she brings me great inspiration.”
How early should couples book you to ensure you'll be available for their wedding day?
"For full scale planning, couples should book roughly one year out. Partial planning can be booked 6-8 months in advance. Day-of should be at least 6 months as well. The earlier you can book ANY vendor that you love (not just Aced Events) go after them. It's never to early to book a vendor. Wedding planning goes fast and if you don't snatch up your dream vendors someone else will! Most clients tend to book me at least 6 months or more in advance.”
As a wedding planner, what is one tip or piece of advice you'd give a couple for their wedding day?
"Just one tip?! Ah! How about 3?
Do what makes you happy. Live the day and night for each other. Take a few minutes to step back, and look around at your guests dancing, laughing, and really take it all in.
Hire a GOOD photographer. My mother in law always says, ‘Pictures are all you have’. Now, of course, the memory of the day is going to literally live inside your mind forever, but the pictures are SO important.
When budget forecasting, place monetary value on what's most important to you! Not a huge fan of flowers but really want to create a lavish lounge or have that raw bar at cocktail? Allocate the funds in your budget to what will make you the most fulfilled. Prioritize what's important to YOU.”
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Ashley of Aced Events! What’s one big wedding design project you’re planning for your day?