“You need to listen to what the bride wants, this is not your wedding. You have to bring her vision to life.”
I had the pleasure to interview Lisa Bauer of Tartan Weddings. Tartan Weddings is a premier destination wedding planning service that offers unique wedding experiences in historic castles of Scotland. Founded in 2018, Tartan Weddings was born out of a love for Scottish castles, traditions, and the incomparable beauty of the Scottish countryside. A native of Scotland, Lisa Bauer decided to combine her event planning skills with knowledge of her home country to help guide couples to create the wedding of their dreams. Tartan Weddings strives to preserve Scottish wedding traditions such as: Quaich, handfasting, bagpipes, kilts, Scottish country dance and more.
Thank you so much for your time. I know that you are a very busy person. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I’m originally from Scotland. I was born in Glasgow and grew up in Crimond, a small village in the North East of Scotland. I went to Aberdeen University and graduated with an MA (Hons) in Psychology and then went on to Northern College and graduated with a postgraduate certificate in Primary education. I moved to NYC in 2001, I have two girls ages 12 and 9 from my first marriage.
How did you get involved in the event planning industry?
After planning my own Scottish castle wedding at Dalhousie Castle from NYC, August 2017 I realized that Scotland is way less expensive when it comes to weddings. Prior to starting my own business, I worked with illustrator and entertainment expert Cathy Graham to execute events.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Tartan Weddings is a brand new company and there is always something exciting to work on. I am constantly adding new companies and castles to my arsenal of Scottish vendors. I’m also excited about starting conversations with my first potential clients. It’s all very surreal to me to finally start this business!
What are you most proud of?
I’m the proudest of my children. It was a hard being working single mum for many years without having family in NYC. I’m also proud of my Scottish heritage. Yes, we are a wee country but we have a lot of pride as a nation.
I know your job is not easy. What drives you?
The end game motivates me. I am very result oriented and I seeing it all of the hard work come together. I find it all very satisfying especially seeing the look the client’s face and being a part of such a big day in their lives
Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career similar to yours?
Try interning at a wedding planner or event agency by gaining experience working for some high profile and somewhat difficult people. Learning how to manage them is key! This type of work of pleasing people and working under pressure is not for everyone plus wedding planning takes many hours, this is not a 9–5pm. That means there is a lot to do during the evenings and weekends!
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
I still like to meet with people face to face, it’s still like that in Scotland. I am the face of Tartan Weddings and wanted to put myself out there and went to numerous bridal events to speak directly to vendors in Scotland. Also, Instagram is a great way to meet vendors to start relationships, you get to see their work via photos and videos.
Which skills do you think are most important to becoming a successful wedding planner?
1. You need to listen to what the bride wants, this is not your wedding. You have to bring her vision to life.
2. It’s important to be able to communicate clearly.
3. Organize your time and plan ahead. Working last minute does not work and it usually causes more headaches than it is worth!
4. Be realistic! You are one person and need to learn how to delegate to get things done.
5. Keep calm and be able to troubleshoot issues without causing stress. In the past I have fixed problems without the client even knowing there was one. You’re the one who will solve the problems so you must always have a plan B, C and D.