Growing up in an environment where everything was celebrated, Edina alumna and founder of Ringham Events Natalie Ringham says her passion for planning has been a part of who she is for as long as she can remember. “It was just always something that gave me energy that was a really fulfilling feeling,” she says. “I love putting the time into the back end of it and seeing the outcome.” Crediting her mother for her attention to detail and desire to put on showstopping events, Ringham would develop anything from elaborate birthday parties to a neighborhood summer camp for kids alongside her longtime best friend and now business partner, Katie Malcom. “I love the meaning and intentionality behind social events. They are always celebrating something special,” she says. “There is more freedom to dream and go big.”
Becoming a certified wedding planner through The Bridal Society as a sophomore in college, Ringham later went on to receive her degree in event management at High Point University in North Carolina and received a certification to become a master certified wedding planner in 2020. Upon graduation, she settled back home in Edina to launch her brand, Ringham Events, in the midst of the pandemic. Despite the challenges that came with being a recent grad and starting a business from scratch, Ringham was not going to let those elements steer her away from her goals of becoming her own boss.
Start of Something New
Instead of taking a big-picture approach for each wedding, Ringham works from the start to identify elements that are important to each client such as traditions and values. “The way that she gets to know her clients helps make the dream a reality,” says Abby Fischer, Ringham Events client and Edina resident. “It is really the forefront of every conversation that we had with her. All she did was ask questions about us like, who we were, how we are as a couple, what we loved, what we like to do together and what we want in our wedding.”
Though creating that Pinterest-perfect aesthetic is ideal for many, Ringham emphasizes the importance of incorporating these client-focused features to ensure a more personalized touch on the big day. “There are so many aspects that go into a wedding day that you might not remember but figuring out in the beginning what would be the most important, you’ll never forget that,” Ringham says about the typical material components of events. “If nothing else could happen and you walk away from the day, what would mean the most and what would be the most special thing?”
For wedding client and close friend Emmie Tkach, it was this approach that brought her the most joy on her wedding day. Incorporating faith-based elements like a unity candle and scriptural songs, hand selected by Ringham herself, Tkach says these components were what made her autumnal boho wedding feel uniquely hers. In addition to these personal touches, Tkach also says that Ringham’s efforts toward ensuring a seamlessly stress-free day made her services even that much more worth it.
Experiencing a power outage on the day of her wedding due to a storm the night before, the event set-up faced some challenges. Located on the second-floor loft of a barn, the reception was projected to feature large wood farm tables for the bridal party’s seating. However, no power meant no elevator service. With no easy way of maneuvering these heavy blocks of wood upstairs, Ringham was still determined to make it happen for the sake of the bride and her wedding day vision. Recruiting the groomsmen and their muscles, they managed to move the tables, with a bit of trial and error, up the small stairs to the reception space; right before the power turned back on (of course!). “It was probably not very important, but it was important to me, and she went out of her way to make that happen,” Tkach says. “I think wedding planning is such an emotional experience and to have someone who can celebrate the joys of it while still being the calm level-headed person in the storms of it is super important to have as a bride.”
Taking pride in creating fruitful experiences for her clients, Ringham says the most gratifying moment is seeing her hard work pay off. “My favorite part of the wedding day, which is why it is so fulfilling, is lighting the candles in the reception right before the first look from the couple because that is the picture-perfect moment of all the work and vision that they have put into it coming into fruition,” Ringham says. “It is that mood board coming to life.”
Say “Yes” to Less Stress
Planning any event can be stressful. Add in organizing a ceremony and a reception, combining two families and taking vows to last a lifetime, well, that can add up to a marriage of stress and anxiety.
Take note. There are steps couples can take in shifting the focus and maintaining perspective throughout the planning process.
- Exercise, especially in the open air.
- Take breaks to recharge.
- Delegate, so you are not managing it all yourself.
- Hire a planner to get a professional perspective.
- Stay organized with the help of a comprehensive checklist.
- Communicate because a good chitchat can do wonders.
- Keep perspective about what is truly important for the day.
- Carve out time for yourself to take your mind off things.
- Practice mindfulness through yoga or meditation.
- Let off steam, and be sure to have some fun. —gohen.com