Manhattan, KS - The wedding industry is nearly $60 million dollars strong in the United States, and there are nearly 20,000 weddings each year in the state of Kansas. To go even further, and bring these numbers closer to home here in Manhattan, Riley County has the 6th most marriages totaling around 800 each year.
Living in a college town, these numbers aren't too surprising for those of us who are just out of university and receive five or six wedding save the dates per summer. For Grace Stanfield however, she recognized a passion within that was deeper than just attending weddings.
"It wasn’t until I was an older teenager that I began to realize the planning that went into a wedding and the logistics. I would think critically about every detail - what worked, what didn’t, and how would I have done it differently." Grace shared with us. "By the time I was in college, a passion had been born."
Grace launched her own wedding & event planning company earlier this summer, named NOBB Weddings + Events. She recently graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Hospitality Management. "MHK has a tradition of supporting small and local business. I think Manhattanites will always choose a local business over a chain. I think it’s fair to say that since I was in high school, I always wanted to be a part of that. As my dream to run my own business grew throughout college, it was hard to imagine starting NOBB Weddings + Events anywhere else."
We asked Grace a few questions about herself and her passion behind NOBB Weddings + Events.
What can clients expect from an experience with you that may differ from other event planning services in Manhattan?
"My number one goal is communication. I think it is so important to be accessible. My personal phone number is on my Facebook page and I want clients to use it, even for initial inquiries. I think it is so important to communicate well throughout the entire process.
I also am passionate about being an advocate for the bride and groom. When you’re planning a wedding, there are a lot of voices giving input into the process, and I have seen firsthand what happens when the bride looks up one day and realizes her wedding isn’t hers anymore. My goal is to help a bride filter through the extra input and remain true to what her dream wedding should be like."
Who do you want to serve as a customer?
"My heartbeat is weddings, but I can and love to plan other kinds of events. I have an event coming up that is a surprise 10th wedding anniversary party, but I’m also donating my services to a non-profit organization to help them plan a fundraising event! While I want to focus on weddings, I want to grow to have a diverse client base!"
Tell us your passion behind NOBB Weddings + Events and how you got to this point:
"Weddings are, and always have been, a very magical experience for me. Weddings are really just a fun party to celebrate something bigger and far greater - a marriage. A marriage is a promise, a covenant, a binding agreement between two people. I have always been impacted by the weight of the covenant of marriage and the decision to intertwine your life with someone else’s forever, for better or worse, for richer and poorer, in joy or in sorrow. That’s so huge."
"I have decided to spend my life planning weddings because I believe in marriage. I believe that it is designed to last and I believe any marriage can endure the joy and the sorrow. I also believe this covenant, this promise, deserves to be celebrated."
In closing, Grace wanted to give a few shoutouts to those that have helped her get this far and continue to support her.
"Manhattan is such a unique community -- people are always getting married here. I’m hoping that by staying in MHK I can be available to the college students who are planning weddings while finishing school. I’m always thankful for the love MHK shows their business owners, and I’m super thankful for my parents supporting and promoting my brand wherever they go. The Fellow has also been a huge support and resource and being a part of this community is invaluable."