Where it all began
“When I was in my last semester of college at UNCW, I was assigned to interview someone in a profession that I would be interested in pursuing post-graduation. I must have been watching Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner because I honestly have no idea where the idea originated. I ended up interviewing a wedding planner in Wilmington, and after our 2 hours of Q&A in her office, I immediately called my dad: ‘I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP!!’ I was ready to take on the wedding planner world with ZERO experience!! This ‘all in’ excitement is typical for me. In pretty short order, I had an internship in Raleigh with a wedding planning company. My love for the industry took off from there.” – Founder Nicole Conder (below)
Believe it or not, Premier Party Planners – that idea that originated from a college assignment and started a business – is now celebrating its 10 year anniversary.
In three short years, Nicole was ready and Premier Party Planners was born. “When I started my business, I remember thinking ‘Let’s see what happens?’ At the time I was working an unrelated desk job that allowed me free time to meet with my clients and execute weddings on the weekends. Eventually I reached the point where I couldn’t take on any more wedding business. Again I thought, ‘let’s see what happens’ and I left the ‘real’ job (as a certain family member called it) and started pursuing Premier Party Planners full time.”
Tara Ruffier (above and below) joined Nicole in 2014, and added another element to the Premier brand and services. Nicole: “Having Tara on board has been an enormous blessing. I didn’t even know what we were missing! I say it all the time, ‘Tara is our rock star!’” And not only is Tara a planner/rock star, her own wedding in Forest Hall at Chatham Mills was exceptionally planned, executed and an absolute party for everyone. It’s pretty sweet when what you do for a living intersects with one of the biggest days of your life.
Anna Claire (below) joined the Premier team just last year in 2019 and is that magical combination of bubbly personality, curiosity and eagerness to learn and jump in to help. She is the team’s go-to assistant and is training to be a lead planner in the future. Nicole is excited about her ability to connect with others and knows she’s going to be amazing once she’s ready to go.
The Business is Legit!
Over the last decade, as the business grew, so did our team’s expertise, our network of vendor connections, and our ability to deliver dream weddings to brides in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and well beyond.
Premier has successfully planned weddings at The North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh), Duke Chapel (Durham), Market View (Raleigh), The Merrimon-Wynne (Raleigh), Walnut Hill (Raleigh), Old Lystra Inn (Chapel Hill), Chatham Station (Cary), Bay 7 (Durham), Rose Hill (Nashville, NC), Brier Creek Country Club (Raleigh) and many other venues, be they trendy, nostalgic, industrial chic or wholly traditional. Attention to detail on the day is a must of course, but we are also interested in who the bride is, what is her vision, where is there room for creativity and what level of engagement a bride needs from her planner. All come into play and we relish these roles.
The Next 10 Years
We value our enthusiasm, solidarity, skill and work ethic, and find that our clients value those elements too, as we continue to grow. Melanie is the newest face to the Premier team and is going to be an amazing addition for future wedding days.
Nicole: “I can’t wait for everyone to meet her!!
It has been such a joy to see how things have taken off and expanded over the years. We continue to get referrals from our “frend-ors” (aka, the vendors we love more than life!) and previous clients. We have even done multiple family weddings! When one sister hires us, often the next sister wants us too, and that is the biggest compliment we can receive. My team and I absolutely LOVE weddings and love being a part of someone’s happiest day! We never take that for granted.”
Cheers to 10 Years of Premier Party Planners and to the next 10…. and the 10 after that!