“Incredibly busy” is how Leslie Wiseman describes the hectic pace of the last several months.
She is owner of Love Affair, an event planning business that combines both the analytic and creative sides of her brain.
“The computer science is the logistics, and the theatre is the decor and design,” said Leslie.
Her background includes a college major in computer science and involvement in the many facets of dance and theatre. They came together as an idea for an events planning company when she happened upon planning a wedding.
“I did a wedding and just loved it,” she said. “I woke up the next morning and said, ‘This is it.’”
She came to the Seacoast from her hometown of Binghamton, N.Y., in 2001, starting her first events planning business, The Wedding Belle, 13 years ago.
As its name implies, it was focused on weddings. After 10 years, she decided to branch out and created Love Affair. “That allowed us to open up to all types of events,” said Leslie.
Indeed, her business plans weddings, corporate functions, dinner galas, and birthday parties to name a few. Love Affair is the in-house event planner for Smuttynose Brewing Co., based in Hampton, N.H., and for Portsmouth Catering Co.
A good chunk of the business is still devoted to weddings, according to Leslie. Her busy season starts in late April/early May and extends through the end of October.
This calendar year, she and her staff — one full-timer (lead planner and marketing manager Elise Parham) and four seasonal part-timers — will have handled about 50 events.
She offers a package of options for clients, each detailed on the web site. In general, customers can plan the event themselves, and Love Affair will carry out the plan. Love Affair can help plan and design the event. Or Love Affair, as Leslie said, “will take care of everything, from soup to nuts.” The latter includes all of the vendor contacts, contract negotiations, timeline, logistics, design and decor.
In talking about her business, which she co-owns with wife Jennifer Wiseman, Leslie describes a go, go, go pace. Most weeks, she and Elise are out of their office more than they’re in it.
That’s one of the reasons she relies on — and appreciates — the customized service she gets as a full-time member of the Cooperative Venture Workspace.
There are deliveries to handle, customers who are dropping off items.
“We can’t be here all the time. We have to be out and about,” said Leslie. “Having someone pick all that up has been really helpful.”
Love Affair, the Workspace’s first member when it opened in spring 2016, occupies an office suite that is part of the range of services and memberships available at the workspace.
Amenities like parking for customers, a cafe, diner-style booths, and four high-tech conference rooms (each with state-of-the art display boards and conference calling) make the Workspace a perfect place for Leslie to meet with customers.
“I love the conference rooms and the technology that they bring,” she said.
With her business established, a lot of work comes by word of mouth, and customers who used her for one event, return to her for another event.
“I do their weddings, then they want me to do their corporate events,” said Leslie.