We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Sofer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
It was a huge stepping stone to start my own company and be on my own. For most of my adult life, I had worked for a corporation. My healthcare was paid for. I had a 401K. I knew where my rent was coming from. It was easy and predictable. I did not think of myself as someone who could start my own business. Until I was in my late 30s, I had always played very safe. Fortunately I had a great group of friends and mentors that listened to me as someone who can play big. By stepping into their listening of me and who I can be by setting my mind to achieving my goals, I was able to take the jump from working in a Beverly Hills restaurant for years to working for a wedding planner to starting my own business in 2008. For years I shared by dreams with friends. They see me now as the person who could make my dreams of being a premier wedding planner happen. They are proud of me as they witnessed me becoming who I am today. When I want to do something creative, I find a way to make it happen. I had jumped in not knowing what my life would look like today. If someone told me 12 years ago you will be planning a half million dollar wedding, I may have been hopeful and said oh wow that is cool, and back then it would have seemed like a pipe dream. My friends inspired me to take the risks I have taken within my business. Together we have created our goals and listened for our goals to be fulfilled. I can credit the success of my business to my friends who have listened to me as winner and my 5 star vendors who give so much.
What should our readers know about your business?
What sets me apart from others is that I am not the cookie cutter planner that plans every wedding the same. All my couples are very different from each other. No 2 couples are alike so why should they have the same style wedding. When I begin working with a new couple I am committed to finding what they want, what they imagine for their wedding, and what their style is like. I always have what is important to each couple at the forefront of each wedding. I discover what matters to the them and communicate that to the vendor team. I love discovering who they are and what they like and remind them of what they told me in the beginning. Seeing their vision come alive is what is exciting to me. One of my favorite parts of the wedding is walking each couple through the reception area before the guests have even seen and having them experience what we created together. It is such a privilege to be chosen as a couple’s wedding planner and I don’t take it lightly that they have chosen me. This is the reason that put so much care in the planning of the wedding. Both me and the couple have to be a match for each other. I don’t take every wedding that comes my way, as I am able to take a select number of couples each year as I am committed to giving my all to each and every wedding. Of course it has not always been easy and there are challenges along the way. With every wedding, I have learnt to listen to what my clients want and bring that into the planning of the wedding. I have learnt to maintain a high level of integrity in the planning of the logistics of each wedding. If something arises on wedding day, I am prepared for it. I always set up my couples that if something does happen, I always have their best interest at heart. No one is perfect! And even though it is my commitment to always deliver perfection and be “Super Woman”, I know I am not and it is my commitment to always deliver excellence and joy. A couple of years ago, I was telling my coach how I had to be perfect. He told me to take on being excellent instead. With that slight adjustment I was able deliver the service that I care about with every event. It was a 20 person event over a 3 day weekend. I got to know each guest by name so they felt welcomed and known. This is what matters to me is that they always feel welcome and appreciated.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities. I have always been a “city mouse” having been born in London. When guests or a wedding party come into to town, I aim to give them a luxury experience. 1. Favorite restaurants. Katsuya, Rooftop at the Waldorf, Drinks at the Roosevelt, The Maybourne for lunch, Sunset Plaza, Perch, The Terranea. Red Bird 2. Shopping. Century City, The Grove 3 Hikes. Temescal Canyon or the Pacific Palisades 4 Museums. LACMA, the Getty, or the Petersen Museum 5 Theatre. Wallis Annenburg or the Pantages 6 A spa day of course would be in the mix perhaps at Four Seasons or the Terrenea I can also set up a private customized tour of LA with one of my favorite tour guides Anne Block of Take My Mother Please.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have the best vendor partners in the industry. They all make me look amazing and they always over deliver to all my clients. They give the best care and love to all the events I do and I am so proud of everything they give my clients. I am honored to have the best team along side me. I know I can count on them and my couples have loved having them part of the team,
Photography Credits Next Exit Photography Andrena Photography Wild Whim Photography