We were so lucky to spend some time learning about Renée Sabo of Urban Soirée for our very first blog post in our 5 Minute Spotlight Blog Series! Read more about her and her business in the Company Snapshot and interview questions below! Stay tuned for more posts, we will be featuring a different wedding professional each time!
COMPANY SNAPSHOT: Renée’s love affair with weddings started out as a high school dream that quickly evolved as she pursued a career in the industry throughout college and beyond. From rentals to planning to catering, her diverse experience has touched every corner of the industry and has led to her role as a multifaceted leader for event professionals everywhere.
Today, her award-winning company, Urban Soirée®, delivers elevated and romantic celebrations through full-service wedding planning and design for couples on the East Coast and destinations worldwide. Renée’s success with Urban Soirée® has earned her and her company numerous accolades, including being named as the Best of Boston® 2020 – Best IRL Wedding Planner by Boston Magazine.
When she’s not busy bringing her clients’ dreams to life, she’s committed to providing quality education to the industry through her podcast, The Confetti Hour, where she shares insight and fosters candid conversations with experienced wedding creatives. Her devotion to the future of the industry extends to her role as President of ILEA Boston.
What is unique about your business? My business has layers to it, but at the same time is completely centered around my first true passion: Weddings. It is not as common to find a planner who only serves the weddings in the industry. While I have a career that has given me insight and experience in many different facets of the event industry, I really wanted my company to focus on my love for wedding celebrations and I am proud to have created a niche as a full-service planner & designer, taking on a limited amount of clients per year in order to give them the highest level of customer service. In addition to planning weddings, I host and produce a podcast that supports the wedding community and is an added revenue stream in my business, and I am a wedding industry speaker!
How did you pick the name of your business? It’s funny, I get asked this all the time! I went back and forth between naming the business Renée Elizabeth Designs or Urban Soirée® because I loved the word Soirée. But really it came down to the fact that I loved the word Soirée. I am known to be a city gal and so Urban felt like a natural fit!
Tell us a little bit about your background in your career prior to starting your business. I began my career in Columbus, Ohio with an internship at a local chamber of commerce as their Special Events Intern. After graduating college, I started an entry level inside sales position for a large event rental company. After just a year, I realized I really wanted to be on the planning side of social events and I wanted to live in a bigger city that had more job opportunities for weddings specifically. I moved to Boston to obtain my MBA and during that time, I really dove into my career within the Boston event industry and had the pleasure of working with two luxury wedding planning firms in the New England area, in addition to her roles as a Catering Sales Manager at the Hyatt Regency Boston and Social Catering Manager at the New England Aquarium. Flash forward 10 years later and I am excited to finally be running my own business!
What is a memory you have from a past wedding that sticks out in your mind? I have so many incredible memories from past weddings, but I will say one that specifically always sticks out during my journey as a business owner and wedding planner on my own would be sort of a horror story so to speak – I had gotten my couple down the aisle and typically in the planner world, that is when you can take a moment and sigh of relief – we did it! They are down the aisle and they are getting married! Well about fifteen minutes into a gorgeous catholic mass, believe it or not, our priest faints! My heart quite literally skipped a beat. It was at least 20-30 minutes before the paramedics arrived, guests were trying to be as patient as possible and everyone was so worried! Thankfully, the paramedics were able to help — just in case, we were able to locate another priest who ended up assisting the main priest to finish the wedding. It was a wild experience and just shows you that you have to be ready for crisis management at ANY point in a wedding day. The wedding must go on!
If you had to give just one piece of advice to couples planning their wedding, what would it be? While it isn’t the fun part of planning, I always recommend doing your research on an approximate wedding budget before selecting your venue and really understanding the wedding market and vendor options! No matter your budget, a wedding is an investment, so I also think it is important to prioritize the areas that feel most important to you & your partner. That way, you can invest in what’s best for the both of you!
Headshot photography credit: Shalyn Nelson of Love, The Nelsons
Series of three images photography credit: Stephanie Vegliante
Looking for more info on other local wedding professionals? Join us for our virtual expo live online now! There are giveaways available, including mini-moons, AND every participant receives a magazine digitally and in the mail!