Interview of the Arab magazine 'Zafaf' about our Wedding Planning School
Here follows an interview about our Wedding Planning School with one of our wedding planners, Rebekah Serin. The interview is featured in an article in a recent issue of the Arab magazine 'Zafaf', the First & Only
Wedding Social Magazine in Kuwait and the Region.1- What’s the difference between the wedding planning Institute and some of the other programs offered by associations? The main difference is that in our classes you will learn the strategies of how to get clients according to their nationality, culture and budget. You’ll also learn from us the different ways of interacting with the client and therefore learn to build a business aimed at an International clientele. In the other programs offered by associations they want to give space to secondary elements such as the art of table setting, coordinating flowers and colors.2- Is wedding planning a career to start working?Surely it is an emerging career. We have been organizing weddings for 25 years and we have seen that in the last 10 years more and more tour operators around the world have opened departments that deal with weddings.This is due to the fact that the flow of tourism is influenced by events such as wars, natural disasters, etc… instead a marriage is a lifetime event for which you do not tend to give up.3- How much time does a student need to dedicate to the certified wedding and event planning course?You need to follow the Master course of 4 days plus 8 days of internship.4- Is your program accredited?For years our Master program has been recognized, to the extent that Event Managers from the most important hotels like Four Seasons, Westin, Orient Express come to participate.5- Can high school students enroll in your program and what’s required? Yes they can. We need a letter of presentation from their school.6- Will the certified wedding and event planning course give the skills needed?It will certainly offer the opportunity to acquire basic knowledge.7- What kind of income can people expect to earn as a wedding and event planner?The gain varies according to the country where one has practiced and depending on the market segment to which it is addressed. A wedding planner who works with clients from around the world can earn 30,000 to 60,000 euro.Naturally, it is sufficient to follow a very important client, like a recent Indian couple who married in Florence and had a budget of 8 million euro, paying an excellent fee to a wedding planner.8- How many weddings and brides does a typical wedding plan work within a given month or year?The perfect number of weddings to manage is between 15 and 25 but with a big wedding that takes a long time the number will not exceed 10.9- What’s a typical day like for a certified wedding and event planner? It depends on the season. In low season it revolves around responding to new clients via email/telephone, sending them proposals and information, planning, reserving services, etc…Also accompanying new clients to site inspections and meetings with suppliers. In high season it involves accompanying the clients to offices for the paperwork (if a legal wedding) and supervising all of the suppliers and being at the client’s full attention from beginning to end while they are in Italy for their wedding. 10- What exactly is the wedding planner responsible for in working with a bride? Does he choose the dress for example to the bride and help her to find a good hair stylist and a specialist in Make-up? How much can a wedding planner involve himself to improve the beauty of the bride on her wedding day? Can we describe the wedding planner as “an expert of beauty” in his own way? Surely the wedding planner takes care of every detail, from the care of the bride, like with relaxing massages and use of spa services to hair, makeup, nails, etc ... to helping her with her dress so that it is perfect. The wedding planner is certainly also a beauty expert but perhaps even more an expert psychologist because no one can be really beautiful if you they are stressed. The wedding planner’s job is to also keep the bride very relaxed and make her understand that everything is all set and that she has nothing to worry about for her wedding. This helps her true beauty come out.11- Is it the responsibility of the wedding planner to help the bride design her ideal wedding, to guide her in the right direction and to always look out for her best interest?The professional wedding planner knows how to understand the client and follow her passions and feelings in order to design her perfect wedding.The wedding planner helps the bride to choose the best suppliers looking both at the quality price-quality ratio, in order to respect the limits of her budget.12- What are the differences between a wedding consultant, wedding planner and a wedding director?A wedding planner to us is all of the above. The wedding planner must consult the couple at from the beginning to end, then plan properly and on the wedding day direct all of the suppliers. 13- What happens after the student finishes the course? Do you help him to find a job? Some of the most talented students have found work with us, while with others we helped guide them to create their own business, while still others we have routed to other operators and competitors.14- How long do the students have to complete the certified wedding and event planning course?The course includes lasts 90 hours including participation at weddings as an assistant.15- What can student enjoy the most of being a wedding planner in the future? And what are the most challenging aspects of being a wedding planner? What happens in case of emergency?The profession of wedding planner that caters to an international clientele is really fascinating because it has to do with people of completely different cultures and because the wedding planner takes on a number of skills ranging from directing photography and video, to all kind of event interior design, and from food & beverage to music.An important part of the course is guiding future wedding planners through quick problem solving. In fact, the wedding planner often finds themselves faced with unexpected or emergency situations due to errors by suppliers, or nerves by the bride or unforeseen weather or even fighting between the two future spouses.The technique of QPS (Quick Problem Solving) consists in finding in only about 5 minutes all the solutions to a problem and covering them all at the same time, choosing after the favored one the best one. 16- Why should couples hire a wedding planner? Can you give me an example of where hiring a planner can be really effective?Couples underestimate the time and the difficulty of doing it all themselves. For two people that have a lot of time for meetings, site inspections and research, it is possible to think of organizing a wedding in Italy on your own. It requires both the bride and groom to have many hours and days to travel and study in search of venues and suppliers and to communicate with them. For a wedding the average is at least 500 hours divided in many days. But the best part is that:The surprise is still around the corner and therefore it can be that not even after the second visit to the venue it becomes known that the day after the wedding the bride and groom have left the villa before noon because of the arrival of other customers or a new event. This may not be acceptable and therefore another trip is needed to find and confirm another venue.It is true that for a Catholic wedding, the priest or the diocese of the couple must send the documents to the local priest or diocese in Italy but it happens inexplicably that the documents get lost or they lose a part of them and therefore they have to start from scratch.It happens that the photographer remembers when its too late that he was already booked for another wedding and that he is sorry for the fact that he has to send an assistant (not always true. Imagine your photo package is for 1000 Euro and two months later he gets a bigger service for 3000 Euro that only he can do.) In the meantime the other photographers that the couple met are busy and they have to come back and find another spending an enormous amount of time and energy and money.Many buildings and churches in Italy are more than 500 years old and therefore it is always possible that there is a need for a last minute restoration or that there was a long planned renovation that the couple was not told about right away and then this discovery results in the need of finding a new wedding location. 17- How do planners really add a couple’s personality for a wedding?By listening carefully to what the couple is looking for, understanding their backgrounds, culture, and style. A wedding planner has to make it a truly fun and relaxing experience- the whole process-from the first day of planning to the last minute of the event itself . The planner has to gain the client’s trust and then put in his/her passion and true artistic abilities. 18- What’s the first step? Is there a rough order or process of how things should work with a planner?The wedding planner has to call the client and listen to what he/she wants and if they don’t want to talk on the phone, ask them to write out whatever they can in an email. The wedding planner needs to first understand what the couple is looking for and then he/she can begin consulting the client. 19- Do you see any trends in the industry at present or with your current clients?Clients have become much more demanding than 5or 6 years ago and are looking for authentic experiences. That's why the number of symbolic weddings has diminished and true civil marriages here are on the rise.People do not have the desire to start a new life together with a fake ceremony knowing that they have already been married days earlier.20- What are the words of advice and tips for brides and grooms planning their wedding? And for those who want to be wedding planners in the future?Entrust their wedding to an expert wedding planner means to drive away any stress from ONE of the most important days in their lives. This helps to live it in the best way and remember it forever with joy.Being a wedding planner means making people’s dreams come true and adding joy to people, it is not just a job but a sort of mission. Representing one of the most important and memorable days in people's lives is a wonderful feeling. Being remembered for making someone’s dreams come true is fulfilling and unique.
Editor in Chief of www.weddingsitaly.com Creative director and editor in chief of Regency Event Group.