Vendor Spotlight: Jennifer Matteo Event Planning

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We recently sat down with Sarasota based wedding planner, Jennifer Matteo, to get the scoop on her wedding planning style, what inspires her and the secrets to her success.
Tell us a little about yourself, Jennifer ... how did you decide to become a professional wedding planner?
I started officially planning events when I was 18,  I was the president of the Prom Committee at my high school.  After the dance we always had a big overnight party, I had so much fun putting it together that I thought about making it a career path!  I attended Cabrini College where I dual majored in Graphic Design and Studio Art.  When I graduated, I started doing custom invitations for weddings, private parties and events.  From there my knowledge of events and weddings grew to me coordinating the weddings that I was making the invitations for.  I fell in love immediately.  I so enjoy working closely with my clients to make their wedding exactly what they have pictured (as one bride told me “You did better than Pinterest!”  So I guess you could say the wedding industry just found me, sucked me in and with a little luck and a lot of hard work I will get to stay for awhile.  
What inspires you?

EVERYTHING.  Literally, everything.  Every morning my son, my dog and I go for a walk or jog to start the day.  I absolutely adore this time.  I get to clear my head and plan my day and take a moment to look around and see how beautiful it really is here.  From the color green of the grass or the blue of the sky to a pattern that I might see it all plays into my design aesthetic.  Anything can be the next inspiration for a wedding, a piece of fabric to my new favorite song, color, outfit or accessory.  All it takes is one key piece to spark my creativity and get me excited about my next project!  
What is your favorite part about planning a wedding?
The best part is when I get to show the Bride her wedding as a whole on her special day.  When she walks into the room and sees all the details executed perfectly down to how the napkin is folded it makes all the work worthwhile.  Seeing the look on the Groom’s face when he sees how happy his Bride is just gives me chills every time!
What one piece of advice do you give all of your couples when planning their wedding?
Hire a planner - no seriously, do it.  Weddings are a time that you should be happy and blissful and enjoying your engagement, not worrying about if you choose the right photographer or spending all your free time on Pinterest trying to figure out how to style your wedding in just the right way.  Whether you hire someone (hopefully me!) to simply help style your wedding or if you want the full planning package, you will so appreciate having the help of a professional along the way. 
What tips do you have for a bride to look and feel her best during her wedding?

Lead a healthy & happy lifestyle.  Try not to stress over the little things, that will hinder your sleep at night which can take a toll.  Take care of your skin, get a good quality moisturizer and beauty routine that will replenish your skin everyday.  The sun is so damaging - I know we all want a glow, but use sunscreen!  Try to eat right, not just so your dress fits but also so you feel and look your best.  In the end, your fiancé fell in love with you just the way you are - so don’t try to do a 180 for your wedding day.  If you worry too much about being that perfect size, or not getting a pimple - that is when you will.  I  know it is a super stressful time, but try to remember that your planning a party to celebrate the start of your marriage to last a lifetime, not just planning a party to celebrate a wedding that lasts one day.  
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

What free time?  I am a self diagnosed workaholic!  I do try to take Sundays to spend with my family.  I have an adorable (if I do say so myself) little boy who is so much fun, and a new puppy too (named Bob).  My best day is having the time for my husband and I to take the boys to brunch, maybe walk around at the farmers market or on the water somewhere and then relax by the pool for a little bit or grab dinner with friends.  Just being able to take a step back from my ever beeping, ringing, and buzzing phone is a blessing, but getting to spend that time with my little family is what life is all about!
You can get in touch with Jennifer by visiting her website.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 941-315-8212
Thank you to the following group of photographers for the beautiful imagery.  Katelyn Prisco Photography, Jason Mize Photography, Tiffani Jones Photography and Cat Pennenga