From the moment I signed my first wedding, I already knew that I couldn’t be a one-woman show. I’m a realist, so to me, it was just the law of physics. There was no pride issue involved, no thought that I couldn’t possibly ask someone else to execute the “vision” that I had. It was simply because I knew, even back then, that I couldn’t be in two places at once. It just simply wasn’t possible.
Since then, I have hired, fired, coached, mentored, disagreed with (sometimes actually fought with) and celebrated so many people that have come in and out of my business. I have created pockets of strategic teams and played into people’s strengths, thinking each of them as a contribution, sometimes naively. And as such, I’ve had my heart broken by people I trusted, and have been judged, dissed and completely disrespected by people, too.
Nevertheless, the fact still remains -- I couldn’t honestly say to myself that, in order for me to pull off extravagant, intricate and flawless events, I can't do it alone. And if any wedding planner tells you that they can be the sole eyes and ears on an entire event with larger than 100 guests, and still be able to execute it seamlessly, they are either flat-out lying, the event is INCREDIBLY simple, or there is something I have not caught onto yet!
Now, I don’t have a degree in human resources, but I do know what makes a great team member. And ultimately, finding an amazing team member is not unlike finding an amazing wedding planner to work with. It’s that sweet, sweet spot between having hard skills (like computer knowledge), soft skills (being interpersonal, having a sense of humour, etc.), work experience, and above all, chemistry.
Oh, chemistry. That elusive and completely immeasurable quality that you can’t really quantify. That infuriating “it” factor that you either have, or you don’t. You can love wedding planning and design, and the overall idea of it. But if you don’t have chemistry with your team, or chemistry with the people you want to hire for your day, then the job title might as well be useless.
You can be completely 100% skilled in what you do and have a resume that spans 10 pages because of the vast experience that you have (which are both important things to have, too!). You can be so enthusiastic that your bubbly nature smacks people in the face when they meet with you. But if my team doesn’t jive with my clients, or my clients don’t “feel” my team, then the chemistry is not there. And that is what I look for, above all else.
Thankfully, I have been blessed with some amazing people that I’ve instantly sparked this chemistry with, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team I have to see me through the 2019 wedding season. And by the way, they are super crazy talented, skilled and yes, they all “get it”, too.
Allow me to introduce the people that, if I turned around to do it all again, I’d hire in a second to plan MY wedding.
Photography by: MPSG
Alicia Saysinh - my calm, collected Sr. Coordinator who joined the team at the beginning of last year after coming to my studio with her fellow event management student friends to complete a school project. I was taken by her enthusiasm when she was the only one that contacted me afterward to thank me for my time, her mature capability to handle conversations and her immediate knowledge of the events industry even before actually fully being a part of it. This girl can put out fires 10 ft. high, and you would never notice that it ever bothered her (even though, inside, I am sure she feels different!). Her ability to keep her cool is just one of the many qualities why I chose her to be my right-hand woman.
Meghan Kelly - my bubbly, positive Jr. Coordinator who was also my intern finishing her stint at Durham College at the beginning of 2018. Even though she’s a good 12 years my junior, her common sense and quick business knowledge impressed me, and I knew I needed her to stay on the team. Without a doubt, I knew that this girl would find answers and take the initiative to solve problems that I didn’t even know were there. She’d find the blind spots that I didn’t even know I had. She’d be the one that will make an impression on clients just purely based on her work ethic.
Jenna-Marie Donnelly - my studio and social media manager that met in odd circumstances when I needed another set of hands to help run my studio during the busy wedding season. She also just so happens to be a candidate in completing her studies at George Brown in event management. She is the quintessential assistant, the support that everyone needs in their busy lives to make sure that the train keeps going, the one that will always ask you if you need anything else when you didn’t even think you did (and usually, you do).
Michael Skubic - the Jack of all Trades (or the Mike of all Trades!) is my husband and very first “permanent” assistant back in 2009. I can’t say enough about this guy, and probably shouldn’t, because you’ll get either bored or nauseated. But let’s just say, if there is a gap that needs to be filled, a task that needs done, Mike will step up to the plate. Think of him as the forever delivery driver, set up guy, floral cleaning assistant, and sounding board to everything business related.