Have you ever thought about what your wedding day would be like?
Whether you will have a destination wedding or a traditional wedding in your hometown?
The colours of your bridesmaid dresses? The venue?
There is really so much involved to making sure that your wedding is one of the best day’s of your life.
When I got married, I will never forget how happy and blessed I was to have friends who were in the wedding and event planning business. One of those friends just happens to be who I will be interviewing in this blog.
IMC: Hello Alicia, it felt like yesterday when we met in University and now here we are pursuing our passions. Tell me, what motivated you to get into the Wedding Planning business?
Alicia: It’s an interesting question because I’ve had different motivations at various points in my life as an entrepreneur. I decided to become a business owner at a time when I faced unemployment. Planning events was something that I was drawn to. I produced my first event at the age of 16, in the community, without the help of adults, with only the money I made as a Library Page (the person who puts the books back on the shelf) as the financial backing for the venture. And I fell in love. But at the time, I didn’t understand that it was something that I could build a career doing. So while I studied hard, I continued planning events through various volunteer positions over the years. When the time came for me to start a business of my own, years later, it was just natural that event planning would be the business that I would start.
IMC: In your opinion, who should consider hiring a wedding planner?
Alicia: EVERYONE! I, myself did not fully understand the value of a wedding planner until I became one. Time is precious. Relationships are precious. Love is priceless. A wedding celebrates all 3. It celebrates the love of a marriage relationship and the union of families and friends and communities. It looks forward to the time that these people will share. As such, the wedding is one of the most important milestones in a person’s life. Hiring a wedding planner is like buying insurance for your car or your house or your life. It is much more than choosing flowers. You are creating memories that you and your loved ones are going to remember forever – whether good or bad. So it only makes sense that you would hire a professional to walk through that process to ensure that the day that you want to create can come to fruition.
Once I became a wedding planner I came to realize that if I am blessed to meet my match, then even I, as a wedding planner would hire a wedding planner. The reason is that I can’t imagine why a person would spend so much money and agonize over every detail and then not provide themselves with opportunity to sit back on the day and just enjoy and experience all of that hard work.
IMC: What makes “Your Best Day” Wedding Planning unique?
Alicia: As you know, Tanika, my company has undergone major re-branding and re-focusing in the last year. I have been asking this question over and over again as I’ve gone through a year long process of re-imagining my company and how it interacts with the world so that I can attract the type of clientele that exemplifies what is at the heart of this business. What I’ve come to realize is that my mission lies in creating, strengthening and rebuilding community. My company celebrates community. It celebrates the intimate bond between families, co-workers, friends, acquaintances and even strangers. We are all connected and Your Best Day Weddings & Events celebrates that connection. Simply put, our goal is to help people create their BEST DAY. Everybody deserves to have the memory of at least ONE DAY in their lives where they FELT their best, LOOKED their best, said ALL the right things, ATE all their favourite food, DANCED to their favourite music and were surrounded by their FAVOURITE people. We’re about helping people create a day of pure joy, where all is right in the world and there are no regrets. It is those days that get us through hard times and the challenges of life.
IMC: When planning a wedding there is so much to think about. In your opinion what should an engaged couple consider first? Can you list in order from most important to least important.
Alicia: I’ll give you my top 3:
1. BUDGET! BUDGET! BUDGET!
Everything starts with budget! Couples need to be honest about how much they want to spend vs how much they are willing to spend. Resentment comes from people not fully acknowledging their financial limitations so that they can adjust their expectations and set their priorities from the beginning. I truly believe that every couple can have the wedding of their dreams. That is determined by imagination, not money. but the options can depend on how much they are willing to spend.
2. Couples need to be clear on what’s important to them. I’m not talking about theme. The priorities determine how the budget is going to be allocated. If music is important but decor is not, than maybe you hire a band and skip floral centerpieces.
3. Couples need to ask themselves, “at the end of my wedding day, I want my guests to say…feel… experience…” – what is the EXPERIENCE that you want to create. I’m not talking about theme, I’m talking the feeling behind the day.
In my opinion, ALL decisions flow from the answers to these 3 questions. And, a fourth (lol) question that also determines everything all others and that, in my view, many do not ask until frustration has set in because decisions have been made -without taking these people into consideration is “who is important to you?” Identifying the most important people, usually family, in your life will help you determine what traditions need to be a part of the day.
IMC: What do most brides forget when planning their day?
Alicia: That it’s not just about them. Sorry to break to ya, hon! A wedding is much bigger than the 2 people getting married. The couple acts as a facilitator and host to the celebration. They are responsible for the union of a community and that celebration is about the community that they are joining. It’s not just about them.
IMC: Are there wedding guest do’s and don’ts?
Alicia: Do remember that you are a GUEST. It is not about you. It is about the community. Recognize the honour that has been bestowed on you by being invited to be a part of the community.
Weddings are expensive. Don’t tell the couple who they should invite. This is not an opportunity for your whole family to have a night out. If they decide, no kids, respect that decision and then you decide if you want to attend or not. Don’t tell them you are bringing your whole family when the invitation says you and “a”, meaning ONE guest.
IMC: What is the best way to ask for a monetary gift if this is what the couple wants?
Alicia: I am one of those crazy people who still strongly believes in etiquette. It is poor etiquette to ask for ANY gift. A gift comes from the heart of the giver. It is the role of the wedding party to get word out to those who ask, that the couple prefers that those who choose to give a gift give a monetary one. A clue that the couple can send to their guests is to not register.
IMC: What are the major differences between a destination wedding and a traditional wedding?
Alicia: The only real difference between a destination wedding and a traditional one is that you travel to get married and that your guests travel with you as opposed to traditional weddings where everything is done at home and then the couple goes on a honeymoon.
IMC: What is the best wedding advice you could give an engaged couple ?
Alicia: No matter what happens on your wedding day, the important thing is that you’re married. And for that reason, it’s perfect.
IMC: How can anyone get in contact with you?
Alicia: I should mention that I have a Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Planning division of my business called Your Enchanting Destination. I also produce events under the name The Event Chick so people can get to me through many different channels.
And as a gold sponsor for Marreme.com at the Toronto Bridal Show from April 11-13, I can extend to anyone who is getting married in 2014, we are offering 40% off wedding planning packages.
Your Best Day Weddings & Events
(416) 644-6461 ext. 2
IMC: That’s a great deal. Thank you Alicia for sharing your knowledge with my readers. All the best with business.
This has been another In My Chambers Interview©