Samantha and I met by chance through our mutual love for Instagram and community. We shared a passion for weddings, simplicity, and business. Ironically, we had worked together before without even knowing it at a wedding she was assisting with. I was nervous to meet her in person, because of her lengthy resume and talent, but after a chat over cider I knew her visions aligned with mine so well and we would soon be working on great projects together.
She is based out of Hood River, living with her husband and one year old son on a family orchard that goes back for generations. She has been privileged to work with brides from all over the country who fly out to Oregon to get married in one of Hood River's many amazing venues. In addition to being a rockstar at wedding coordination, she also excels in interior design. To get to know Samantha a little better, check out the Q&A we did below!
- In three words or three small phrases, who are you?
Thoughtful, meticulous, and dedicated to details
- What piqued your interest in working as a wedding coordinator?
My formal training is in Interior Design and took a small break from that while we expanded our family. I had planned weddings for friends and family but took the leap professionally because it allowed me to be flexible with my time and it offered more creativity than Interiors did. I really enjoy learning a couple's love story and weaving that story throughout their day. I love curating unique moments from the moment guests arrive to your exciting exit. I carry a lot of my technical background into the events I plan by providing a structured framework of details to help ensure everything is executed flawlessly.
- What is the meaning behind StruckSured?
The definition of 'structure' is "1. construct or arrange according to a plan; give a pattern or organization to." Being a formally trained Interior Designer, I love to plan and organize things. I also love to problem solve. I believe that the details of an event are what drives the overall experience or the story you want to tell. I also want my clients to feel assured that I care about their day just as much as they do; it is an honor to be asked to join them in their journey. The name morphed out of my passion for these things and a fun play on words with my last name being Struck.
- How do you utilize your skills as an interior designer to elevate your clients' wedding experience?
I think what sets me apart is my technical background and skill set. I provide a very detailed CAD layout of the venue with seating, stations, and circulation areas. I also use my project management experience within my communication and management of vendors. I provide a comprehensive guidebook that includes a detailed timeline and contact information for each vendor. The guidebook also includes the visual inspiration and expectation for each vendors part which leaves no room for error. I, quite literally, immerse myself in your day, from entrance to exit, and make sure all the details are arranged.
- Do you specialize in a certain type of wedding?
I specialize in luxury, destination weddings primarily in the Columbia Gorge. Because of the tremendous amount of time I invest to make sure the details are thoughtfully planned, I am situated at the higher end of the market. I do a very limited number of weddings each season because I prefer quality to quantity and like to dedicate time for each couple I work with. When I talk to prospective clients, I always ask what it is they are expecting from their coordinator. We would be a good fit if you are looking to curate an experience that is so special and unique that it immerses your guest in the journey to your day. That being said, it is difficult to execute that level of detail without being involved for a large part of your engagement. With clients who don't know where to start with the decor or clients who have a high level of design, I prefer to work with them from start to finish and plan for 12 months.
- Do you do the planning and coordinating yourself?
Yes. Because I only do a limited number of weddings per season, I am the one to personally plan your day.
- Any pre-wedding rituals?
The week before I personally call each vendor to check in and make sure they know when they are expected to arrive and to review what they are expected to bring. I also send out the final workbook for each of them to review the layout and their details. The day before I review all the information, check in with the couple, pack my wedding day essentials kit, and take a long relaxing bath. The morning of, I first check in with the bride and go treat myself to a good cup of coffee from a local coffee shop. I make sure to eat a big breakfast and pack a quick lunch. Then, usually around 11:30, I take off for the venue to ensure I am the first to arrive on site and remain there until I am the last to leave.
- Why Community over Competition?
The wedding industry is cut throat and divisive but I believe there is room for everyone. I stay rooted in knowing who my couples are and where I sit in the market. This makes it easy to know which vendors align with based on where I sit and what I expect. This also allows room for supporting other planners because they may cater to a different clientele and I am more than happy to refer couples to them should they decide they would be a better fit for their budget. There are planners who specialize in Day-Of coordinating and there is a definite need for that. I don't see them as a competitor since they offer a completely different service. Furthermore, I have great relationships with vendors who work at different price points. I am more than happy to steer clients in the direction that fits their style and their price. Again, I believe in supporting each other and allowing us to grow and learn from each other. Knowing who you are and what makes you unique in what you have to offer allows you to see your peers unique skill sets and assist in connecting clients to them if need be. Some of the sweetest comments I have are from inquires who I have connected with other planners. Really, at the core of each planner & vendor is the same desire to make your day special.
- What is your dream or vision for StruckSured?
My dream would be to maintain the perfect balance of Interiors & Events. I thought about giving up events at one point and couldn't bring myself to do it. I just love, love. I feel so privileged to be a part of telling your love story. I also have also enjoyed pursuing editorial event styling with Katie and am excited to see what comes of that.
- What is the most important piece of advice you have for brides?
Be true to yourself. In an industry that is inundated with pretty centerpieces and invitations, stay true to yourself and who you are. So your favorite colors are deep jewel tones and you want to get married in the summer. Go for it. Do it. You don't have to do what is trendy. You want to be able to look back at your wedding and see yourself woven throughout all the details.