Makers + Shakers - Meet Valley & Co. Events

A couple of years ago, over on Seattle Mamas, I started a series interviewing local powerhouses who started with an idea and turned it into a crazy reality.

It was so popular, I thought to myself, 'hey self, you should do the same thing, except this time, you should stalk some more of  your favorite bloggers from all over'. So, I created the Makers + Shakers Series: 8 Creatives You Should Follow.

The series was so popular, I decided to continue it with 8 more creatives!

This week, we are meeting the dynamic duo behind the renowned event planning and design house, Valley & Co. Events, specializing in fun and spectacular weddings and celebrations.

With their breathtaking events featured in every bridal and lifestyle magazine and website from Brides Magazine, Sunset Magazine to Better Homes & Gardens, The Land Of Nod and Style Me Pretty, husband and wife team, Aleah and Nick Valley, know a thing or two about throwing a party.

Read on and fall in love with our Seattle celebrities...

Valley & Co. Events pool
Nathan Cordova Photography
Please tell our readers a little bit about who Aleah and Nick are. 
We are kids at heart and absolutely love what we do for a living We plan and design weddings and special events for our clients at our company Valley & Co. Events. Bringing joy to others is our passion!

We are proud parents to our beautiful and silly daughter, Ava, and love to get out and explore the Great Northwest, our home. On any given day you might see us at Pike Place Market talking with local flower growers and grabbing mini donuts, sitting in our office hammering out details for 100-point budgets, reviewing rental orders and catering orders, sketching out designs, or collaborating on a magazine photo shoot or client campaign. We think it's pretty incredible to be in a creative business and that's what part of fuels us.

Chantel Andrea Photography
I've been a huge, huge fan of your amazing wedding and event styling for years! How did Valley & Co. begin? 
A: You are so kind, thank you! We started our company together in 2003 after working on events at our university for several student organizations. We both grew up with a passion for entertaining. I've always enjoyed watching my parents entertain, whether it was at their annual hat party, dinner parties, or really any special occasion, it was inspiring to see how bringing people together for celebrations, no matter how large or small, can bring such happiness.

N: After seeing us in action on various occasions and attending {or hearing about} our own wedding in 2003, our reputation of creating pretty amazing and fresh events in the Greater Seattle area grew quickly in several circles. We haven't looked back! Day in and day out we work extremely hard for our clients and pride ourselves on providing a truly unique experience that results in signature events.

Valley & Co. Events reception hall
C2 Photography
From working on fabulous events, named Best Wedding Planners in Seattle by The Knot, features in numerous publications from Better Homes & Gardens to BRIDES Magazine, working together as a husband and wife team and oh yeah, and becoming new parents, how do you balance it all? Or do you?
Balancing home life and our company is a delicate dance and it's always a work in progress. As we truly love what we do, it can be easy to get lost in talking about our client work, budgets, our the strategy for our upcoming events.

But we do know {usually!} when it's time to shut off and every afternoon we try to get outside and take a family walk to get some fresh air and help wind down from the day. Maintaining our email and communication with vendors and our clients is at the forefront of our days and we aim to create a schedule that allows for solid work hours followed by solid family time.

Valley & Co. Events garden event
Jenny Jimenez
Speaking of fabulous events, I know there are so many choose from, but which is your favorite and why? 
Over the years we have been blessed with totally remarkable clients that have dreamed up incredible celebrations. While we don't have one favorite, two recent events that stand out are a several-day getaway wedding to Palm Springs where guests all congregated on a cocktail-party wedding {Frank Sinatra style}, and a four-day San Juan Island wedding celebration where everyone traveled from far and wide to celebrate our sweet couple.

The weekend was complete with two bands, amazing food, a summer camp-vibe, and gorgeous details on the wedding day. It's great fun to be part of such memorable moments in others' lives!

Valley & Co. Events table
Chantal Andrea Photography
Readers see beautiful, styled photos but we rarely see what is going on behind the scenes or how things didn't turn out quite the way you planned. How do you handle having to kick into Plan B or Plan C? Do you have a 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' experience to share?
Being as prepared as we can be is a hallmark of what we do. Sure, unexpected hiccups arise when preparing for an event, but having a stellar A Team is also a key in keeping the ability to quickly think on your feet.

One November we had a wedding in San Diego at a beautiful hotel on the ocean. After weeks of sunshine, a storm was brewing off the coast. Our Plan B was to get a tent on the rooftop in case of drizzle, but that plan quickly became a nixed plan as the surprise hurricane-force winds picked up the tent on the roof and the linens on the set tables on the deck below for dinner.

Nick and the team up on the rooftop slashed the tent with a knife so that air was able to get through so it wouldn't go crashing down to the boardwalk below. We worked quickly {and seamlessly} with our team to move now-soggy chairs from the rooftop to the restaurant below, drying them as we went. We were able to smoothly call a back-up plan into action before guests arrived, luckily.

Needless to say, the storm passed during the ceremony and the rest of the wedding went off without a hitch. Always be prepared and have a Plan A, Plan B, C, D, and E. Especially in the Northwest where rain is always a factor you can never be prepared enough! This goes for sunshine, too. We also live and breathe by checklists for our event prep {and even photo shoots}. One can never do enough cross-checking!

Nathan Cordova Photography
I am inspired by things around me...a pretty pattern may spark an entire party theme. What inspires your creativity?
A: Each change in season strikes a chord with me. I love when springtime rolls around after a gloomy winter and the lilacs and cherry blossoms start to bloom. Mother Nature has such a way and I find great inspiration from our surroundings.

N: Travel inspires me, whether locally or abroad. Different foods, styles of service at restaurants, architecture, and cultural traditions are of great interest to me.

Valley & Co. Events Palm Springs wedding
Llanes Weddings
Do you have favorite blogs and/or websites you like to visit when you have a moment?
When we can steal away to catch up on some light reading, Style Me Pretty Living often tops the list for bookmark-worthy recipes and entertaining fun.

Valley & Co. Events fruit and veggie stand
Llanes Weddings
I love to ask everyone I interview: if you are stranded on a desert island and can take one item and one meal, what would they be?

A: I would have to say some incredible Dungeness crab cakes and a good book

N: A steakhouse dinner and sunglasses

And each other, of course!

Follow Nick and Aleah on  Facebook and Instagram. Thanks for sharing a little gorgeousness with us!

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