Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara LeClaire.
Hi Tara, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hello! My name is Tara LeClaire, I am the founder and CEO of Tara LeClaire Weddings. Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about me! I am an Air Force wife with two amazing teenagers. My husband recently retired after 23 years in the Air Force, my son attends Charleston Southern University to become a pilot, and my daughter is a junior at Fort Dorchester High School. I am originally from Richmond Hill, Ga, and have lived in Charleston for the past 11 years. Before becoming a wedding planner, I worked for youth services with the Air Force for 9 years and moved all over the world with my family! A few years back a sweet friend of mine asked me to coordinate her wedding since she knew I had managed several events for the Air Force in the past. It was then that I fell in love with weddings! For 6 years I was a freelance/contract coordinator all over the Low Country until I started my own company three years ago. Although I am a Georgia girl at heart, I have found my true place in Charleston! I love everything about this beautiful city! (Minus the traffic) I enjoy how each venue and wedding is so unique. No two events are the same and it makes every day so much fun! It is also why I pride myself in being flexible to a couple’s needs.
In 2017 I applied to the Culinary Institute of Charleston for Hospitality and Tourism and graduated Cum Laude with my associate’s degree in 2019. I also received certificates in Event Management, Hotel Operations, and Food and Beverage Operations. Since graduating I have had the honor of being asked to be a member of the CIC advisory board! While at CIC I also received the Easton Porter Scholarship and interned at Cannon Green where I became an event manager for 3 years along with planning my own weddings. Thanks to my many vendors and past client referrals, I have been booking faster than ever and have 76 weddings for 2022! I truly enjoy what I do and helping couples with their special day! In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family on the boat or watching movies and I am excited for all to come!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has been an eventful road for sure! Nothing is smooth when the military and kids are involved. It’s always changing and needs constant adaptation. This has also made me very good at handling pop-up situations in my career, I have had my fair share of mishaps making each wedding a learning experience. The biggest obstacle was the same for most, COVID. My business was finally in full swing in October 2019 just in time for things to shut down in March of 2020. Everything was canceled and postponed but we were able to rally and recover and still makeup nearly all of the wedding dates that were changed. Coming into this career at an older age was also an obstacle at first, (not as tech-savvy as my millennial peers) but now I have embraced it as a blessing and perfect life timing.
We’ve been impressed with Tara LeClaire Weddings, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I specialize in wedding planning and coordination. I offer services from elopements to full planning! Day of coordination has become my biggest request for services. It allows clients to plan the weddings they are hoping for and then we bring their vision to life! I do love the full planning aspects because it makes the day more seamless when I plan from the beginning. I pride myself most on my team. (Including my own kids who love to work with me) They are all wonderful and I could not do what I do without them! Some are past brides that fell in love with the industry. Several were interns with me from the College of Charleston and stayed on board, and others are college and high school kids eager to learn and help! I am lucky that I have not had to hire out staff. Everyone has either approached me, or I offered them jobs based on their abilities. I get compliments on how wonderful and efficient they are after each wedding! Knowing that they do such amazing work when I am not even there is one of my best accomplishments as a business owner.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Community over competition
- Day of Coordination $1200
- Partial Planning $1995
- Full Planning $3000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.taraleclaireweddings.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/taraleclaire_chs/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/taraleclaireweddings/
Palms and Places Imagery
Sarah Beach Photography