Interview with Crista Tharp from Tharp Events – Wedding Planner

I have recently been talking with some of the different wedding vendors that I have worked with quite a bit about doing an interview with me for brides to get a chance to get to know them and what they do.  I have to say that I find that there are so many different things that go into a wedding day and one of them is working with NICE people. :)  So if you are in the wedding industry and you aren’t nice…please find some place else to go and ruin someone else’s day.  Ok…enough of that…I don’t like wasting energy that way.  One thing I have always looked for in working with other vendors is that being there for the bride and groom is the #1 priority as well as working as a team on the wedding day itself.  So if that means that I have to do something that is a little outside of my “job” description then so be it.  So one thing that is very important to me is when I work with people who share my view that I am not any more important than anyone else there that day.  Everybody gets along so much better when that is a shared theme for the day. 🙂

So I start off the interviews by talking with Crista Tharp from Tharp Events.  I have worked with her on numerous occasions from Kokomo to Indianapolis and have always been impressed by her professionalism and her love of weddings…

What would be your favorite part of the wedding day?

Actually, I have a few “favorite” parts.  The first would be when we are getting the reception set up and you can see the Bride’s vision coming to life.  That’s when I get excited.  Second, is when everyone is down the aisle and the ceremony is in full swing.  I love being able to sit in the back and watch the beauty of two becoming one.  It gets me every time!  And third, at the end of the evening when the party is winding down and I watch as happy guests leave and see the joy on the Bride & Groom’s face.  I know they are starting off on a wonderful journey together and I was given the chance to be there at the beginning!

 What is your least favorite song from the reception?

I love most of the music played at weddings, even the traditional stuff like CELEBRATION and YMCA.  I am noticing that couples either love them or hate them.  To me – it is celebration music.  However, I have also noticed a big jump in rap and more raunchy songs.  Maybe it is the mom in me, but I just don’t think that stuff is really necessary to have fun. – especially if there are kids there.

 Do you have a crazy wedding story that you would like to share with us?

Oh – I have so many to choose from!  I had a wedding a few years ago where the mother of the Bride was a very strong personality.  This is always a bit difficult to deal with because you want to be respectful yet protect your Bride at the same time.  This mom was adamant about several details on the wedding day – most of them things I advise against.  But at her insistence, the 2 year old Ring Bearer had the actual rings on his pillow.

I can still see it so vividly in mind.  We were all lined up in the back getting ready for the procession into the church.  I was across the room helping a guest and I looked at Sam (his name is changed to protect the guilty) as he was untying the rings.  As I crossed the room quickly he put his hand (which held the rings) up to his mouth.  By this time, the Bridesmaids and others in the line see what is happening.  All at once about 12 people were loudly whispering, “SAM”!  This must have scared him so much that he swallowed the rings.

Luckily, there was a guest that was a doctor and Sam was just fine.  The rings however, would not be available for the ceremony.  We had 2 guests offer up their rings for the nuptials and all was well.  The moral of this story: Listen to your wedding planner!

What do you know now about being an event planner/coordinator that you wish you knew when you started?

This is actually a hard question.  When my husband is asked what I do, he usually responds by saying, “she works with emotionally unstable women.”  While that is funny, sometimes it rings very true.  I don’t think I ever realized when I started just how seriously SOME Brides take this day.  I’m not saying it isn’t important because of course it is.  But I have watched as this industry glorifies Bridezillas and promotes the “it’s all about me” philosophy.  Some Grooms and their families feel as if they have been invited as an afterthought.  I wish I would have known how much “counseling” I would actually be doing.  I think I did some of my very first Brides a disservice by not knowing that upfront.

If you could plan any celebrity wedding (past or future) who would you want?

Great question!  My choice wouldn’t be your typical celebrity, but a celebrity to me nonetheless.  I would LOVE to do a full military wedding.  I really shine when I am working with real people, and real stories.  I can’t think of a more breathtaking wedding than one done with full military honors.  These men and women sacrifice their lives for freedom –everyday!   I can envision how stunning a wedding like that can be, not only celebrating love but service.

How would you describe your “style” or what you do? 

When you talk to wedding or event planners/coordinators there are definitely two distinct focuses.  You either consider yourself a designer where you focus on the look or theme or you are a planner where you focus on the process.  Both are able to create unbelievable events.  I am a planner.  What that means to me is, yes, I will create your platinum wedding in your budget – but I will help you through the planning process so you enjoy it, retain great relationships with your family, and focus on the incredible party ahead – your marriage.

Tell me one thing that you would love to see come back or go away with weddings?

I touched on it before, but I would love to see this “Bridezilla effect” go away.  For some reason SOME Brides feel they are able to take a vacation from being a human.  I would like the focus to return to the family and the meaning behind the vows.  Maybe I’m just old fashioned.

Thanks Crista!  You can contact Crista and Tharp Events through her website at


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