With the popularity of Pinterest still on the rise since its launch in 2010, planning a wedding or special event has never been more accessible or imaginative. In fact, in a 2014 study, 70% of Pinterest users had created wedding-centric boards on the platform before even getting engaged. (Thank you, Secret Boards!) Not surprisingly, when it came time to actually planning a wedding, about 50% of Pinners decided they needed to be more realistic when it came time to doing those DIYs.

Gina Jokilehto-Schigel, Owner + Creative Director of Shi-Shi Events

It’s true, planning a wedding is not easy, and nobody knows that better than an event planner. Gina Jokilehto-Schigel, owner and creative director of Shi-Shi Events, sees this reality for couples often.

“I can’t tell you how many clients have hired us after they’ve started their process thinking they’d like to DIY but end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed about how much there is to do, when to do it all, and how to make things look they way they’ve envisioned,” she says. “A professional planner who brings invaluable experience to the process ensures you receive the best value for your money being spent, a savings of time curating all of the elements of your day, and a wedding day that exceeds your expectations.”

Exceeding expectations is exactly what she’s signed up for. Jokilehto-Schigel’s love affair with events began while she worked for an experiential advertising agency, planning VIP parties, product launch events, concerts and more for consumer goods clients.

“The design process is something I take great care in and feel tons of joy watching the day come to life,” she says.

And her love for design runs deep. Gina grew up surrounded by swatch books and color palettes of her father’s commercial interior design plans and learned at a young age that “the devil is in the details.” This adoration for design, understanding of color, and pursuit of the exquisite is the foundation for the broad concepts and intricate facets that create her clients’ weddings.

Each one of Shi-Shi’s events are unique and personal, a credit due to the collaborative approach they take with their soon-to-be bride and grooms.

“It’s very much a partnership,” Jokilehto-Schigel explains. “We’re like your ultimate concierge, here to guide you to your best possible wedding in a way that’s fun and easy!”

With a planner to help facilitate the details, a couple or a client can still be fully involved in all the details that makes a wedding truly their own.

So how are couples putting their personal touch on their weddings this year?


Here are five of Shi-Shi Events’ Top Wedding Planning Predictions for 2016!

Click photos above to expand.

1.) Decor and Design: For 2016, weddings are feeling more effortless but elegant, utilizing “lush, loose florals and luxe metallics – including one of our favorites, rose gold – and super dimensional tabletops layered with tons of texture and detailed place settings.”

2.) Food and Menu: According to Gina, wedding day menus are becoming more relaxed. “Everyone has done the wedding night filet, and I think the feeling is now ‘what can we do that’s interesting, that our guests haven’t experienced before?'” A fun idea: Try an ice cream sandwich carriage like the one pictured above.

3.) Venues and Spaces: Non-wedding venues are the new must-book wedding venues. “Clients are looking for spaces that really reflect their personalities and lifestyles over the traditional wedding space.” Think rooftop terraces, backyards, and art galleries, for example.

4.) Entertainment and Experience: “It’s important for the wedding night to unfold before the guests in unexpected and engaging ways,” says Gina. Try to switch up your music and events throughout the evening. (We recently went to a wedding where during cocktail hour, a caricature artists sketched a portrait of each guest. So great!) “By giving guests new activities or spaces to explore – or even adding a surprise performance to the evening – you’re adding layers to the level of excitement and connection with your wedding day that everyone will remember for years to come.

5.) Overall: Think intricate and intimate. As a whole, things are feeling cozier as guest list sizes are getting smaller – perhaps a relief for many folks. This way, “couples can provide those guests they do invite with the best possible experience.” Bottom line: When you’re saving money on quantity, you can spend more on quality.

Are you planning a wedding this year? Let us know how you are putting your personal spin on your perfect day in the comments below. Best of luck!

Photography credits (top to bottom): Outdoor table and headshot: Lauren Gabrielle | Ribbon canopy first dance: Dovetale Photography | Ballroom ceremony: Genevieve Nisly Photography | Bathrub bar: Emily Millay Photography | Trend 1: Michael Radford Photography | Trend 2: Jose Villa Photography | Trend 3: Bayly & Moore | Trend 4: Le Image | Trend 5: Julian Kanz