Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Fairbanks & Gabby Greenleaf.
Hi Amber & Gabby, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
We met 12 years ago while working together at a local wedding planning firm. We always felt a connection as friends, but also shared a vision of what we hoped to see in the future of the company. By the time the owner sold that company, it felt natural to stick together and build what we had always dreamed about—using the experience and inspiration we had accumulated over the years.
That vision turned into Banks & Leaf (a name derived from a snippet of our last names Fairbanks and Greenleaf). We were inspired by our new venture, but we were also in uncharted territory. We were experienced planners, but B&L was a new company. We set our focus on luxury designs, destinations, and service—while taking the necessary steps to be more authentically connected with industry peers who embodied kindness and excellence in their craft.
These relationships fueled our momentum towards the goals we envisioned, and we are forever grateful for the guidance, support, encouragement, and belonging we received from our community. We owe so much credit to our industry friends for helping us develop the brand we hold close to today.
Today B&L is a full-service design company that serves couples in the luxury wedding market in Colorado and in destination locations. We’re typically best matched to couples who value the beautiful and personal experience of the celebration in every aspect of the weekend. We do so much more than connect clients to excellent (and reliable) vendor teams.
Our deepest value comes from our ability to design using all the senses, and we want couples to sit back and trust that we will handle it all. We believe that couples should enjoy being involved in the fun parts of planning while we work behind the curtain to create magic for them.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
So many people told us that starting a company with a friend was a bad idea. We felt confident in this decision but we get it! It’s not always easy, and we would be lying if we said we never had a disagreement on how to handle a situation.
Like any close relationship, we’ve had to really put the time in to figure out how to make this work successfully. Especially in the early years: figuring out each other’s strengths and “who should do which task” was a process of trial and error. Now we feel more like a well-oiled machine, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t always evolving and continuing to redirect as our business grows and our personal lives change. It’s funny how much a business partnership is like a marriage!
We are so similar in many ways but ying & yang in other ways, which really does benefit the company and our clients well. Never once have we wished that we would’ve gone on this journey alone. Doing this together and having a person to turn to with each decision is such a comfort that we never stop appreciating.
We’ve been impressed with Banks & Leaf, 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?
We specialize in full-service wedding planning and design. We’re both very involved and in the know on the back end of each wedding, but typically we take turns being the lead planner with a couple. They will primarily only work with one of us throughout the planning process and then we both try to be at each wedding together on the wedding weekend.
For those who wonder what a wedding planner actually does, a portion of our work is being a vendor communication liaison for the client, gathering proposals and contracts for each vendor, attending and guiding in all the essential meetings, and conceptualizing, creating, and working with the vendor team to execute a personal event design.
Our designs usually include custom design pieces, and we are often hired for tented or transformative-type weddings. We want our clients to feel they have a friend during this process while still feeling the white glove service of planning business.
Beyond that, over the years we have dedicated a huge part of our brand to building a sense of community in the industry. We have hosted industry appreciation parties, and we were lucky enough to plan several industry retreats before the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
While large industry parties are always fun, we wanted to gather people in a more intimate way and feel like we could get beyond speaking about work and truly develop friendships with people in our industry.
We brought a small group to Santa Fe and Austin and kept the focus on nurturing on a personal level rather than hiring speakers or continuing business education. We came out of it with such a deeper bond with the people we work with and it’s truly become a part of the foundation we work from.
What makes you happy?
For Amber: My sweet little family is my favorite. My husband and I have a 7-year-old son and an old cranky cat and those three make my whole world better. Other things that make me happy: are rainy days, gardening, travel, tea in the morning, date nights with either my husband or friends, French bistro music, antique shops, creative outlets, cheese plates, and cookbooks.
For Gabby: I see the giving and receiving of good cheer to be one of my favorite and most important things in life. Spending time with my two boys and watching them grow up and being excited for them at each step makes me happy. My husband and I spend a lot of our vacation time in Austin visiting our two families – lots of cousins and seeing them in a big happy family brings me joy.
- Website: http://www.banksandleaf.com
- Instagram: @banksandleaf
Laura Murray Photography, McKenzie Coyle Photography, Alp & Isle, Rachel Havel Photography, Bare Root, Scarlet Gilia, Floriography, and Sperry Tents