I don’t have to tell you, but Covid-19 hit the Wedding Industry hard; our livelihoods are built around people gathering together to celebrate. For a year, we didn’t have time to dream about the future of the venue, and our plans were limited to what was happening in the world at that moment as well as anticipating what might be happening 6 months to a year from that moment. We learned to pivot (…and pivot and pivot) and worked as hard as we could to make our clients’ and couples’ events as “normal” and stress-free as possible.
A year and a half later and the tides have turned in the Wedding Industry (you may have heard it referred to as a “boom”). Covid is still a reality and is by no means gone, but the world is opening back up and people are craving in-person connection – now maybe more than ever. For the first time in a long time, we have been able to dream big again for McAlister-Leftwich House, and I can confidently say that we are coming out of this season of business stronger and better than ever. The past couple of months have been full of behind the scenes changes at McAlister-Leftwich House, changes that were informed largely by what the experience of operating during a pandemic taught us.
We learned over the past year and a half that professionalism is of the utmost importance when it comes to the people we work with. Navigating the uncharted waters of a pandemic requires flexibility, attention to detail, clear communication, and the ability to hold the grief someone feels for what they dreamed of as well as the excitement someone feels for what they have. Needless to say, not everyone is gifted to do such a thing.
When it came down to it, we knew we wanted every single McAlister-Leftwich House couple and client to have a consistent top-notch experience from the moment they first set foot on the breathtaking porches until the very last rental is picked up post-event. It became extremely clear the only way to ensure this type of refined and elevated experience for our clients was to have someone exceptional step in to plan all McAlister-Leftwich House events.
Enter, Susan Hartle.
Susan is the new In-House Wedding & Event Planner at McAlister-Leftwich House. She brings over 20 years of Wedding Industry experience, most recently working at a luxury historic hotel and conference center (along with over 100 weddings and events during the pandemic).
We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Susan join our team and we are confident that the best is yet to come! Today, we want to take some time to introduce you to Susan and in a future post we will get you more familiar with what her role here entails. Hop on over to Instagram to say “hello” to the newest member of the McAlister-Leftwich House family!
Susan Hartle is a native of Virginia, where she started on her journey in weddings and events by opening a vintage tea room in a downtown historic home. As an entrepreneurial spirit, she quickly found a need and a talent for planning events for her venue and as an off site planner. In 2015, Susan and her husband Jim moved to Greensboro, North Carolina with their children making it their home and giving Susan the opportunity to branch out in the hospitality industry. Susan built a strong foundation for coordination and planning while working for both a private university and a luxury historic hotel and conference center, where she managed large scaled dinners, high profile fundraisers and galas whose details and demands prepared her to handle over 800 plus weddings and events. Even more notably, she managed 100 weddings and events during the pandemic with ease and finesse.
Susan’s passion for wedding and event planning is evident through her exuberance, enthusiasm and drive to create fresh and original ideas, while creating one-of-a kind events that are both efficient and enjoyable. She loves every facet of her career and when asked about her favorite part of her job, she says, “It is absolutely the lifelong relationships I build with my clients. Getting to know each couple while planning is something so personal and significant to me. Learning who they are as a couple, as well as individuals, gives me the tools to create a perfect day that reflects them both and that is extremely rewarding to me.”
Photography by Lindley Battle