I’m so excited to introduce you to our next brave guest, Ashley Stork, Owner of I Do I Do! Wedding Planning located in Birmingham, AL. Ashley & I have known each other online for a while, but we really bonded last month over some amazing breakfast nachos while we both attended the Savvy Experience in Scottsdale, Arizona. When our hearts melted over the sight of sausage gravy + loaded nachos, we knew that we were instant soul mates. Ashley also is a proud community manager of The Wedding Business Bosses FB group that I co-host with Kristin Kaplan. Without our leaders, the group wouldn’t be what it is. Ashley is here to share a little more about what truly makes up components of her life outside of being a wedding planner, including a struggle that many women face to overcome.
Hi, I am Ashley Stork, the owner & executive event planner for I Do I Do! Wedding Planning. I have always loved a wonderful executed party complete with all the perfect details that make it memorable. As I got older, I started to fall in love with weddings. I love every flower, every cake, every dress, each love story, & by far the way a groom looks at his bride as she walks down the aisle(I cry every time!). Our goal at I Do I Do! is to ensure your vision & ideas come to life & that is executed in a professional manner. We specialize in events with southern charm including classic & elegant elements. We would love to meet with you to chat about your upcoming event! I am a girl who loves a party, fashion, anything sparkly, fab food, my hubby & our 2 rescue pups.
Tell me about a moment when you were brave, and stepped out into your business?
Purchasing my business was probably the bravest thing I’ve done. At that time I was working an 8-5 job with no flexibility but I really liked it and I was in direct sales. We were preparing for Lee, my husband, to start back to school but going back to the 8-5 life was killing me. With the traffic some days I’d be in the car for 2 hours just trying to get to work. It was soul sucking. When the opportunity to purchase the business came along, it was a scary time. Lee was in school full time & had really just started to we knew things would be really tight if I made this move. He knew I was unhappy and knew I loved the wedding planning world. We just took a leap of faith together and here we are today! I learned alot buying the business and if I had to do it over again I’d do some things differently. There were some things that cost me alot of money that in retrospect I shouldn’t have spent. But when you have never done something before, you don’t know what you don’t know–much like what I tell our clients about wedding planning!
Why do you do what you do?
I love seeing a wedding come together start to finish. It’s a unique journey we get to walk with our couples on. Getting to help them prepare for their marriage ahead is really special.
What is your business super power?
While my first instinct is to say I am not sure what mine is, I think it is remaining calm and steady. Weddings are full of emotions from lots of people. There are lots of new relationships developing between families and the couple. My job is stay very calm when we get into stressful situations or tense conversations and help mediate. My background in Human Development & Family Studies helps alot in these scenarios. On wedding day we are told time and time again by clients & vendors that people are amazed at how calm myself and my team are. Like when it pours down rain when the forecast didn’t call for any of it and you have to create a plan B. We just do it. Serving our clients is what we do and we try to do it with a level head and a calm energy!
What in your life has allowed you to give what you give in your business?
People assume because we entrepreneurs set our own schedule we don’t work. That couldn’t be farther from the truth–I work more than I ever did when I had a traditional job. However, being flexible about those hours in my business allows me to serve & volunteer with organizations that are special to me which is a blessing. It would be really hard for me to keep up my volunteer work with a traditional job.
What is the hardest thing you have ever went through in your life?
Losing my first pregnancy.
What do you wish you could tell the world more than anything else?
That you matter, your story matters, what you have to offer the world is important so keep sharing, be kind and love one another.
What was the woman like that started her business, and who are you now?
The woman who started this business was so unsure of herself and what she had gotten herself into, now while some days I’m still unsure I have a much clearer vision of the path.
Share your secret to success!
I would say being grateful–gratitude is such a powerful thing. Being grateful for each season, each client, each moment even in the rough times.
Thank you so much for being brave enough to share parts of your story with us today, Ashley. Whether you are starting your own business or buying someone else’s already established business, it goes to show that both are brave decisions to make. Also, going through losing a pregnancy and still finding ways to wake up each day and fulfil your passion of helping others create their own futures shows just how giving and brave you truly are.