When it comes to entertainment for your event, look no further than Entertainment Consultant Stacy Schnetzka with ECE (formerly EastCoast Entertainment). After 20 years in sales, read how she followed her passion for music and couple’s stories to where she is today!

Tell us a little about your company
ECE is the largest, full-service entertainment agency in the country, arranging unforgettable entertainment and producing custom events from coast-to-coast and around the world. From weddings and social galas to college concerts and business entertainment, we make each event a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

How did you get started in this business?
It definitely was not something I had planned; honestly, I didn’t even know this industry existed! I spent 20 years working as a sales professional in the chemical manufacturing industry. When that position ended, I spent some time reflecting on my life and how I wanted to spend the next half of my career. I actually found out about ECE through a Facebook post. One of my friends from high school (she’s now a partner at ECE) had posted a status along the lines of ‘Sitting here in my office, listening to 80’s tunes in bluegrass style…I love, love, love my job.’ That piqued my interest. I mean, who still loves their job after 20 years?! Even though I had no background in entertainment, I realized I had acquired a strong and transferable skill set as a sales & marketing professional. I reached out to her, and was hired on to ECE a month later!

What’s your favorite wedding story?
As you’ll see in the next question, I love the ‘story’ and there have been some beautiful ones shared with me. Of these, one particularly resonates. A couple this summer endured a lot of loss in their family during the course of their planning period. Witnessing their celebration was so extremely special as they are one of the most lovely and gracious couples I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Seeing them surrounded by so much love and support was simply beautiful.

Why do you like working with weddings?
I love people’s stories! My favorite part of the job is the consultation process with my clients. I enjoy learning as much as possible about my clients including how they met, their vision for their wedding reception, their favorite musical styles, and how I am able to recommend the best artist for their day. Every single day I have the chance to be a part of the biggest celebration of my clients’ lives, and how special is that?! Being able to work in such a positive environment is really inspiring to focus on the positive aspects of this life.

What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a couple and how did you resolve it?
With multiple events every weekend, I’m not always able to attend every event I book for my clients. There have been a couple of instances through the years when I’ve received a call/email about an issue, but building strong relationships with my vendor friends (venue managers, planners, etc.) has definitely helped with getting to the source of an issue. No matter how difficult the situation, I have found that people just want to know you care, you have listened to them, and you will work to find a solution to the problem.

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
Trust your professional team of vendors, and ask the questions you need to feel comfortable proceeding with them. I always encourage my clients to ask whatever they need to ask to feel confident booking with me.

How far in advance should couples book your services?
I would recommend a year in advance for your band, Consider booking even further out if the date is in May/June, September/October or if your desired band is popular and in high demand.

What inspires you the most / where do you find inspiration?  
People who never settle for average and are always continuing to improve themselves. I also tend to read a lot and listen to podcasts for inspiration/motivation.

What do you like to do when you are away from work?
Anyone who knows me also knows I’m hardly ever away from work…ha! But when I am, I’m most likely at a music-centric event! I love our town and am always out exploring the best that Richmond, VA has to offer.

What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a huge WWII buff. I’m obsessed with that era — everything from the history and political figures to music and style. Also, I am finally pursuing a childhood dream of mine to play the piano! I inherited an upright from a friend last year and decided to start taking lessons. I spend my lunch hour every Thursday taking piano lessons. It really is never too late!


Photo Credits: Alex C Tenser Photography