Well, that’s convenient! I happen to be one of those! Before you jump into hiring a wedding planner, though, you may need to know exactly who you’re hiring. Allow me to introduce myself.
Hi! I’m Lindsey, a teacher-turned-wedding-planner and perpetual dance partner with middle child energy and a sprinkle of boho spirit. And I will make the best moment of your life feel like the best moment of your life. And when I say moment, I don’t just mean the day of your wedding, or the wedding weekend; I mean the entire experience. Whether you look back on your wedding one month or five years after the fact, those memories will include the planning process (whether you loved it or not). Those decisions and conversations that you agonized over with your partner, or parent, or best friend, or florist, et cetera for hours upon hours will be woven throughout the fabric of that day.
But don’t worry: I’m here to sprinkle my magic fairy dust throughout your entire planning process so you don’t have to look at photos of your reception and be reminded of the drama your seating chart caused, or hear your wedding song on the radio and think of the tiff you got in with the vendor who was supposed to provide that certain type of lighting for the dance floor. I’ll help you make the process of planning fun! And stress-free, so you can pave the road for a long and beautiful marriage knowing you’re supported and standing on solid ground.
Now, can other wedding planners help you to create a stress-free planning process? Of course they can. But without honking my own horn (honk, honk) I think that I bring a certain je ne sais quoi that elevates the experience to another level.
Like I said, though, you need to get to know your wedding planner before you can decide whether they’re the best match for you. So, here’s my elevator pitch:
I grew up in Hudson Valley, New York, as the middle child sandwiched between two sisters. If you’re a middle child, you know the politics that come with that role, with both your siblings and your parents. This has prepared me for ANY wedding challenge or situation ahead. Long story short – I can talk the talk.
Part of what made me love love and truly believe in the beauty of marriage was watching my own parents living their day-to-day showering each other with love and unconditional support. So much so that I had no idea that wasn’t the norm — and that it was the exception — until I was much older. Despite being a huge tomboy (my mom used to say I’d somehow get out of the tub still dirty) I’d always dreamed of and talked about my wedding.
My parents fostered a household where they led by example and exhibited kindness, love, and acceptance of all humans (much before that was viewed as the norm). They were also extremely passionate, driven, and stood by their own convictions. I truly believe that it was these values that eventually gave me the courage to take their lead and start Wildflower. My dad, coming from a very modest background, opened his own law firm in upstate New York, and eventually became one of the top lawyers in the state. My mom changed careers in her 40s, just after having a baby and still maintaining her role holding down the family. Hustling and hard work is in my blood. Kleidmans don’t see limits, only goals to achieve.
Anyway, that’s enough blubbering over my fam…
After graduating high school, I moved on to the University of Connecticut to get my degree in education. I met my now-husband Ryan during my Master’s year, and after a few years of living in NYC with my older sister (you know, rite of passage and all that) Ryan and I settled back in Connecticut. We moved into our first apartment together with our first baby and love of our lives, our dog, Opie. (Yes, I’m one of those people that refers to my dog as my baby.)
I began teaching at an alternative school aimed to help students that the mainstream high school system failed. Although you may not see the direct parallel between behavioral teaching and wedding planning, the 10+ years in that role have greatly prepared me for dealing with all of the craziness that is the wedding world.
Crafting lesson plans is similar to building timelines and dealing with wedding logistics. Classroom management is basically the same as dealing with a drunken bridal party or a sassy family; if I can manage a room of 20 sixteen-year-old boys, I can handle anything.
In my program, a lot of times teachers are the only adults that these children see on a regular basis that they can talk to and feel safe with. This job has reinforced my philosophy of leading with kindness and empathy in all situations. Whether I’m in my classroom or standing next to a bride on the day of her wedding, I’m a shoulder to cry on and a rock to lean on, and I’m the perfect marriage of professional and caring in times of need.
After a few years of teaching, though, I began to lose my passion. I’m the type of person that needs to be inspired and in love with what I’m doing each day in order to feel aligned — I can’t just punch the clock. I was feeling so lost. So, after months of bemoaning my life and how much I hated my job, I sat down on my sister-in-law Dara’s couch and the idea of Wildflower was born.
After that couch session, the fire was lit under me in a way that I had never felt before, and I haven’t stopped feeling it since. Creating something out of nothing has been more fulfilling than I ever thought possible. And while Dara is no longer a part of the team (sorry — no tea there, click here to read why) I’m still going strong to bring both of our dreams to life.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how I went from teacher life to wanting to professionally plan weddings, here’s the skinny:
Once Ryan and I bought our house, we began hosting all sorts of events and throwing parties, and I spent most of my free time designing and decorating my house, and quickly fell in love with both events and design. I had a natural eye for it that I’d never explored before, and I was loving the opportunity to express my creativity. When Ryan proposed and I began to plan my own wedding, both of those creative elements came together and I loved the process. And I was sure that every other bride-to-be did, too.
Until my older sister got engaged, and began to plan her wedding 10 weeks apart from mine. She hated the planning process and was absolutely drowning in the details. So, I stepped in to help her, and found that I wasn’t overwhelmed or panicked in any capacity (even while still planning my own wedding simultaneously), and that I was in fact excited! I was truly in my element, and that’s when it clicked for me.
“This is what I want to do.”
So, fast forward a little while, and you’ll see me sitting there on Dara’s couch, making it happen. Keep fast forwarding until you reach the now — January 2021 — almost completely booked for this year and swiftly coming up on booked for 2022 as well. And I’m pretty freaking proud.