We had the good fortune of connecting with Abby Gallagher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abby, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success, and I know this will sound cheesy, is being true to myself. My personality has been one of the main selling points of my brand. I love logistics and creative designs, but more importantly, people hire me because I am fun and easy to get along with. Wedding planners are in a unique position as vendors since we are consistently working with our clients, sometimes upwards of 16 months in advanced. We become very close with each of our clients, and I love making sure we enjoy every meeting, whether in person, on the phone, or a zoom call- it’s OK as a professional to have a laugh, crack a joke, or have a deeper discussion that isn’t just about the DJ or flowers. Even when it comes to referrals I receive from other vendors, one of the greatest compliments I receive is usually directly from my vendors- that our team is a joy to work with. I think that Wedding Planners get a bad rap sometimes for being edgy, dramatic, bossy, and overall frantic (from what I’ve heard). We love our vendors, and we’re calm, friendly people. There’s a balance between getting your work done and being highly organized, and having a blast while doing it. Our vendors feel comfortable to approach us and we make their lives easier (and more fun) the day of. This is a key reason why I believe we get so many referrals from not only direct clients but also fellow vendors.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business, Blue Orchid Events & Design, launched 5 years ago- it is a wedding and event planning firm that specializes in logistics and design. I offer 3 main event planning services: full planning, partial planning, and day-of management which is booked depending on which stage of planning the clients are currently in. It was not an easy journey. Before I launched my business I was a Chief Stewardess in the private, luxury yachting industry- traveling the world on million dollar mega yachts tending to the CEO’s and celebrities of the world- including their parties on board or at their estates. After 5 years of yachting, I decided I wanted a slice of my own freedom, a puppy, and normal land-based boyfriend. 🙂 I took a massive paycheck cut, took a huge risk with not having any business background, but through sacrifices and pure will power grew my company to where it is today. I could not be more happy with that decision. My brand is built around my background serving the rich and famous- the level of detail I have been trained to see, is directly applied to my clients weddings and events. My next step (once COVID is a far memory) is to launch a Destination Wedding service and focus on worldwide planning both at estates and on yachts.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have a few new favorite spots (that I absolutely miss right now living in the pandemic) which includes Wednesday nights at Rhythm and Vine when the crowds aren’t bad. I love their converted airstream bar and cozy outdoor environment with lounges and tables with their incredible craft cocktails out of the airstream. If my friends and I are feeling like getting a little dressed up we’ll either go to Del Friscos off of Los Olas or either the Lobby Bar or Sparrow located inside the new hotel the Dalmar. I absolutely love how lively, artistic, and modern that hotel is- there is usually live music in their gorgeous Lobby Bar or if not, head up to Sparrow for one of the only true rooftop bars in Fort Lauderdale with stunning views and great cocktails. I’m a sucker for Mexican and Indian food too- if there’s time I’d take them to either El Caminos or Bombay Darbar. If the next day we’re up for a lazy beach day- I would absolutely go to Park and Ocean off A1A. It’s once of the few bar/restaurants that has an Old Florida feel in Fort Lauderdale- has excellent food (try their fish tacos), is super dog friendly, and is directly on the beach so you can walk on over with some vino-to-go with your pup to the dog-friendly beach (only Saturdays and Sundays) and take a swim!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shout out to Amber with Oh My Occasions who has been an incredible colleague, friend, mentor, and also humble enough in this competitive industry to truly live by the phrase, “community over competition”. She’s an extremely successful planner and business owner who always takes the time to check in and support other growing planners and vendors. I find that incredibly inspiring and she deserves a massive shoutout.
Carolina Guzik Photography https://carolinaguzik.com/