Welcome to my new weekly series, Friendor Friday, where we meet local wedding vendor friends and learn what inspires them about working in the wedding industry!
For my first post I interviewed Terra Nickelson with Plan It Terra, a wedding planning service for couples who aren’t afraid to break tradition and make their wedding day one that THEY will truly love!
I’ll let Terra take it from here!
Hey! I’m Terra, a Missouri-based wedding planner and designer. I started Plan It Terra in 2019 when I realized that there was a need for a more custom-tailored and personal wedding planning experience. I provide a variety of design, planning and coordination services in order to meet a variety of needs. I’m not your typical wedding planner. I’m a vibrant extrovert with a get-things-done and make-magic-happen attitude and an unconventional approach to wedding planning. The events I help plan are one-on-a-kind with no cookie cutters to be found.
I’ve always wanted to work in the events world. I studied Fashion in college, and I had hoped to work for runway shows but I realized that I didn’t want to move to New York. For a few years after college, I was trying to figure out what sort of events interested me while holding a variety of jobs that focused on customer service and sales. After working on corporate events and weddings for different companies, I decided that it was time for me to start Plan it Terra.
I guess I have a few reasons for starting my own business. The first is that I wanted to define what personal and professional growth and success look like for me rather than someone else doing that for me. I’ve always been known as someone who “marches to the beat of my own drum,” and I wanted to allow my strengths and passions to flourish. Secondly, the wedding industry still tells a relatively non-modern narrative, though it is making leaps and bounds. Most images, blog content, traditions, and guides are all geared towards a traditional bride and groom couple.
I got married in 2019, and I didn’t identify with “tradition.” I come from a broken household, and there were certain aspects of traditional weddings that were off-putting to me. Then I thought about couples out there who don’t “fit the mold” of tradition; maybe they have a bad relationship with a parent, a parent has passed away, they don’t like dancing, they find bouquet tosses to be awkward….the list goes on. I wanted my business to connect with others that don’t necessarily “fit the norm.” Granted, I love working with what we see as traditional couples, but I have found that life is messy. Family is messy. We are all incredibly unique in our experiences, our interests, and dislikes. I wanted to help couples find a voice, to encourage them to plan a wedding celebration that felt like them and celebrated their marriage as genuinely as possible. I’m all about redefining tradition – what is the legacy you want to leave behind versus what legacy you’re trying to uphold. Your wedding, your rules.
When I looked around at what is marketed in weddings, I didn’t feel a connection. I’m this happy, colorful girl who loves red lipstick, bright colors, and culture. It felt like everything I looked at was soft, romantic, dainty details, and full of calligraphy . Maybe Joanna Gaines has been a big influence, I don’t know! Not that I don’t like those things or that I think they’re not pretty or elegant. But I thought to myself…that isn’t me and surely others feel that way.
Like I said, my couples are not all unconventional by any means. Being a Plan it Terra couple isn’t about having the coolest ideas, the most out-of-the-box decor, or being as “off-the-cuff” as possible. A Plan it Terra couple wants to redefine tradition, have a ton of fun celebrating their marriage, avoid as much stress as possible, and have a wedding celebration that reflects who they are as a couple and as individuals.
I get to work some pretty stellar and amazing vendors. I’ve built some really great relationships with other vendors who are so encouraging, so talented, and are very passionate. I told a florist friend recently that she will be the person who really pushes me creatively. The wedding vendor space is so amazing. I think that we all are not necessarily doing this for the money (of course, we need to be paid!), but each of us, in some way, is an artist, a dreamer, a passionate individual. It is great to be aligned with others who are working towards similar goals, but how we approach that goal looks differently and in a different role. When we come together, magic happens!
I have always been a connector, and I would say that I’m a lifelong learner. I am so captivated by people’s stories – of how they met, what lights them up, where they are headed in life, etc. Have you ever felt the energy or spark when a person’s face lights up when they talk about their future spouse or talk about their biggest hopes and dreams when it comes to wedding planning? It’s magnetic! I think everyone, no matter your style or your background, wants their wedding to be fun and fabulous.
On a super superficial level, I love hearing about the design/theme of the wedding. I just LOVE pretty details.
I really enjoy the day of the wedding. I think I’ve always found that I come alive on event days; you have to be on top of things, you have to that beacon of hope and light, and you have to want to serve others. When I reflect on a wedding day, my goal is to be that go-to girl for my couples, their guests, and the vendor team. If I can help make the day enjoyable and easy for others, that’s extremely rewarding.
Yes, I provide planning, design, and logistics services. But I would say that I provide more than that to my couples. For me, making connections with my couples, listening to their concerns, inspiring them to plan a wedding that celebrates them fully, and serving them completely is so meaningful. I guess I’m one part wedding planner, another part gal pal, and another part cheerleader. By no means am I a counselor, but I find that I am in a unique position to be a blessing to those getting married. I hear about all of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Beyond me helping a couple navigate the challenges of wedding planning, I also help navigate the challenges of finding a voice, finding a way to be true to who you are, and finding a way to authentically celebrate the union of two unique people…..almost like some self-actualization stuff. Ha ha! If at the end of the day I helped a couple realize the power of compassion, of defining their new legacy, and of celebrating their love as they see fit, then I’ve done my job well.
Oh man, I’m not really sure. My gut told me that putting together a wedding for Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) would be a whole lot of fun!
Thank you so much Terra! It was great to get to know your dreams and inspirations when it comes to providing a unique wedding day experience for your couples!
If you’d like to get in touch with Terra for your wedding planning needs, visit her website at Planitterra.com or visit her Facebook or Instagram page. To see an example of her work, check out THIS blog post featuring design and planning by Terra. Happy planning!
All images courtesy of yours truly!