Sincere apologies for the lack of posts from the past 6 weeks - it has been a little bit crazy. But a good crazy! Being a business owner, you can never be too thankful for being busy - am I right?
A selection from our Instagram from this past 6 weeks! To keep up to date with us in real time, add us @envision_weddings!
Now that things have died down a bit, and we are officially saying goodbye to summer (although it really doesn't feel like it outside. I have yet to turn off my air conditioning), I have some time to reflect on lessons that I've learned this past summer with all the beautiful weddings we have had the pleasure to coordinate.
First things first - we have some AMAZING clients! We have been so blessed to have wonderful couples to serve this year, the kind that we would be HAPPY to call friends even after the wedding and beyond.
But even with amazing clients, there are lessons to learn. Some of them are hard lessons, some of them are just things to note for next time. As an entrepreneur, you can't ever stop learning. And I'm sure over time this list will grow to epic proportions!
1. The power of boundaries - I love my couples; really, truly do. And I do appreciate their families and the outpouring of love from them that I see on the wedding day. However, the amount of stress that I see being placed on the bride and groom from the families sometimes breaks my little heart. As much as I respect traditions and culture - please don't get me wrong, I come from a pretty standard Chinese family myself - I can't emphasize enough that the bride and groom should really think about what they want for their wedding, and someone should always be in their court to fight for this!
2. What one might think is simple, is 90% not the case - I get this time and time again. "But Kim, I booked this venue/caterer because I wanted it to be simple." or my favourite, "I want to DIY everything because it is more simple/cheaper than hiring a decorator." Except for some rare occasions, weddings are generally not simple. Whether it's a party of 50 or a party of 500, the logistical elements are still the same. You still need to have a floor plan, a schedule, a plan for inclement weather, various different photo options, figure out dietary restrictions, figure out seating, figure out at what point the photographer will be there to capture the most important parts, how long certain things take to shoot, etc. Those aspects don't change! And unless you have at least 12 months to DIY everything from your centerpieces to your corsages to your placecards (I have written a whole other post on this) - simplicity is a myth!
3. Teamwork is incredibly essential - while I claim to have the best event planning team in all of Toronto (=P), it is equally important for us and the couple to be on one team as well. And what are the most important elements when working with a team? Communication. Respect. Responsiveness. Clear expectations. Encouragement. Gratitude. Humour. Just like any other relationship, a client-vendor relationship needs to encompass all of the above in order to work properly. We all need to strive towards one goal, put egos aside, cut the drama, and get the job done.
4. On that note - when it's crunch time, there is no time for arguing. Too often I see vendors be territorial and lose sight of the end goal: to make their clients happy, and execute the paid service that they have been requested to perform. On a wedding day, everyone should be laser focused on performing to the highest of their ability and ultimately providing the best possible service they can provide - and preferably, without pissing off their fellow vendor. We are all in the same boat, people! Let's just work together and create magic. :)
5. Internal communication makes all the difference - part of the reason why I claim to have the best event team in the GTA, is also because we spend lots and lots of time conversing amongst ourselves to make sure there are no communication gaps. Everyone should know what each other is doing on the event day; there should be no confusion. Teams should always be one front, with the same level of standards and the same motivation.
6. Get an amazing poker face - under high pressure, high stress situations, it is all too easy to freak out. Especially if you're tired - which, admittedly, we have been for the past couple of weeks (we aren't robots!). It's easy to lose it on someone that is getting on your nerves, especially a guest that just doesn't understand that we don't control the air conditioning system in the venue and no, we can't turn it up for the fifteenth time. Part of being experienced in the events industry, however, is to develop a fantastic poker face to show everyone - especially the bride and groom - that everything is under control. Meanwhile, we are paddling like crazy under water (the duck analogy). But, from the past couple weeks, I have seen how this has been helpful!
Wedding season isn't over yet - and I am sure there will be lots more lessons to add to this list. Stay tuned!