In today’s Chancey Charm wedding vendor highlight, Chancey Charm DC + Virginia Wedding Planner Alana Futcher is chatting with Washington, DC based Caitlin Wechtaluk of Third Clover. She’s sharing more about her business, advice for new brides, some of her stunning work + more below. Enjoy!
–The Chancey Charm Team
Photo Credits: Lauren Myers Photography
DC Wedding Vendor Highlight | Third Clover
Caitlin Wechtaluk of Third Clover
Maryland – Washington, DC Metro Area
What’s your area of expertise?
Illustration, Stationery, Invitations
First job you ever landed
Ha! So glamorous…my very very first job was in a restaurant in high school, and I’d come home smelling of rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes (that’s awesome on Thanksgiving, but not every day, guys!).
What brought you to the wedding industry?
Shortly after college graduation, (Go Hokies!) several of my friends started getting engaged, and I offered to design their Save the Dates or wedding invitations as an engagement/wedding gift. After about two years of designing for friends, I started receiving more and more requests to design invitations from their friends and their family members. Although I was still working in the corporate world at this time, I needed a way to make my design “hustle” legit in the eyes of the state, since I was now charging for my work. I established my LLC, and hired an accountant and business coach (Tom Barnhill and Business by Barnhill – whom I highly recommend!). That was almost 4 years ago, and I’ve since left my corporate job and now run Third Clover Paper full time from my home studio just outside Washington, DC.
A lesson you’ve learned the hard way in the wedding industry.
At the end of the day, the foundation from which you build your business is through the relationships. I am not sure if you could call this a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, but it definitely is easy to get deeply immersed in your expertise, your style, etc., but at the end of the day – it’s the people that you work with that drive the inspiration behind that. This is something that I learned early on in the corporate world, too. Thinking about the people that you are serving in the midst of the daily grind of day to day tasks opens your heart and mind to do your job even better, and with heartfelt purpose.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon
Living in the DC area, I love brunch as much as the next person, but I’m definitely a home body at heart. I love waking up on a Sunday and deciding to not go anywhere for the day, and cuddle up on the couch under lots of blankets with my husband and binge on Netflix or Amazon Prime movies (Bonus points if there’s something delicious in the oven!).
Best piece of advice to someone new to the wedding industry
At the end of the day, the foundation from which you build your business is through the relationships. It is easy to get deeply immersed in your expertise, your style, etc., but at the end of the day – it’s the people that you work with that drive the inspiration behind that. This is something that I learned early on in the corporate world, too. Thinking about the people that you are serving in the midst of the daily grind of day to day tasks opens your heart and mind to do your job even better, and with heartfelt purpose.
Best piece of planning advice to a new bride
My best piece of planning advice is that you do not – and should not – have to do it all. Meaning, when you look at your Pinterest board for Inspiration, your vision of your perfect wedding day shouldn’t be including every single detail on that board. Your wedding should look like and be inspired by you. After your wedding is over, do you want your friends and family to say “Oh my gosh, that wedding reminded me of Pinterest!” or, “That wedding was perfectly you and [your fiance]”? So, how do you do that? Take every little detail that you see on your Pinterest board and ask yourself why you want to include that detail. In asking why, make the detail more personal. Prune away some of the less important details to you (and hiring a professional to help with this is a great idea!), and your personal wedding vision will come to life.
Some words you live by
“Wake up, say a prayer, and hustle.” I have this in a frame on my nightstand and it’s a wonderful reminder in the morning before getting started for the day!
Best tip for balancing work + home life
This is something I did not do until recently, but if you work from home, having a door (or even a floor! ;)) separating your work space from your home space works wonders for keeping things physically and mentally separate. For years, I worked from our dining room table and while it did work for us at the time, I am so much more productive in a space that is completely separate from our home life. And, being someone who is high energy and easily distracted, having my office separate from everything else definitely keeps me grounded during the work day!
Best moment of your career with Third Clover
I’m not sure if I can say this was the very best moment, but I definitely did a little happy dance when I was asked to design the invitation for NY fashion week for an a-list bridal gown designer showcasing her final collection before handing over the reigns to her successor. I think my favorite moment of each project is when I’m able to watch my couples look at their invitations for the first time. I work with couples all over the country, but when I have the opportunity to hand off a suite in person, it’s the best feeling. It’s their first time seeing their names in print for the biggest day of their lives — all of the design decisions that they’ve made have come together–and it’s time to mail them to their family and friends!
Anything with pesto.
What’s your favorite aesthetic?
I love clean and crisp design, with a splash of personal heirloom details.
Intimate or Par-tay? What size wedding do you recommend and why?
Ah! That’s tough – I think the size of the wedding depends on how many people you determine need to be there for your celebration, and that’s unique to every couple. The best size is one where you feel like you can still love on your guests and make them feel special – some people are really good at doing that with 300 people, and others find a more intimate party simpler to achieve this. If it were my choice, I would go with intimate, under 100 people – and a lot of good food, wine, and bubbly.
What’s the first thing a newly engaged couple should do?
The very first thing that you and your fiance should do upon getting engaged is to ENJOY it! The questions will start rolling in from friends and family about your wedding plans, but you can’t ever relive the engagement period. Enjoy it for a period of time that you decide is enough, and then jump into planning! The first thing I suggest doing when diving into planning is to put together your guest list. This is the driving factor in so many of your wedding planning decisions. It’s likely the most difficult part of planning, but it will feel great to have that big task completed before diving into the details.