[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]
YOUNGSTOWN — Endearing Events, a boutique wedding and event planning, coordination, and design studio, is determined to help couples plan their fairytale wedding — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angela Gossard, owner of Endearing Events, said all current clients with weddings through June 10 have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients, save for one couple, have moved their weddings to a later date.
According to Gossard, many couples still want to have a big celebration at a later date, but she predicts that if the spread of COVID-19 continues past summer, the majority may opt for an intimate ceremony.
"COVID is so fluid, so it's so hard right now to understand how it may impact your wedding day in the future,” she said. “It’s just taking it day by day and being as prepared as you can.”
Gossard said her job is to reassure her clients as they navigate wedding planning in the era of COVID-19.
"Working with a planner right now is vital because we help navigate this crazy industry on a normal day, let alone when this is happening,” she said. “It’s something that we couldn’t plan for, but, now that it’s here it's all about staying optimistic during this time.”
Gossard graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2014, and knew she wanted to start a creative business in Youngstown.
"I always loved planning events. I initially started out with smaller-scale events,” Gossard said. “I was planning something at my house and was like, ‘Oh my god, I'm actually good at this, it comes naturally.’
"So after looking at some things I got my certification in wedding planning.”
Endearing Events was established in February 2018 with the support of Gossard’s husband, Dan, who she described as her logistics manager and backbone.
"I think when you own your own business and you have seen it from the very first thought and how it’s grown … there's really something special about it. So for him to have seen that and gone through it with me, I think he's just as committed to the success of anyone's wedding as much as I am,” Gossard said.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Gossard has also brought on two associate planners.
Endearing Events plans roughly 12 weddings a year and offers a variety of packages for engaged couples, allowing as much involvement in the wedding planning process as the couple wants.
Services include 90-day coordination and management, partial-service wedding planning and full-service wedding planning packages.
Among the Endearing Events services: They can contact vendors and confirm details; create a detailed wedding day timeline for the bridal party; assist with save-the-dates, invitations, menu, and program wording and design; and a plethora of other services.
"All of our packages we are on-site for your wedding day the whole day,” Gossard said. “We’re your advocates.”
Endearing Events also offers à la carte services so couples can opt to choose the specific services that meet their wedding needs.
À la carte services include RSVP management, assistance in the design and delivery of welcome gift baskets, preparing and delivering welcome guests gifts, rehearsal dinner planning, honeymoon planning, addressing and mailing invitations, assembling favors, coordinating and cleaning up at wedding venues and wedding website management.
"Pretty much anything that needs done, we will assist with,” Gossard said.
Endearing Events also offers decor rentals for items like candle holders, chargers, dessert serving sets, cigar cutters and more to meet both the aesthetic and practical needs of the wedding and reception venue.
Gossard said she builds a relationship and rapport with her clients by keeping in constant communication with her clients.
"I don't expect them to be experts. They've usually never done this before. I'm supposed to be the expert so I really just guide them the best I can,” she said.