Hi, how was your second week of the year? I hope you managed to carve out some time for yourselves, and if you haven’t, please put down your device and do now! There’s nothing more important than spending time with each other.
If you’re reading this blog together, one partner with another (as I wish you will at some point), you might know already that I am busy working both on 2016 (and 2017!) weddings and behind the scenes with my rebranding. I have just handed in the texts for the new website and I created them with the purpose of making your ‘shopping’ experience simple as well as informative. This meant, at some point, choosing to step back a bit and focusing solely on you, and your questions/worries/doubts. I have poured my heart and expertise in writing content that will make you feel accepted and understood, and guide you through the early planning decisions for your wedding. This left less space for me, which I was very happy with.
You see, I have this blog to speak to you weekly, to engage you in a conversation where my voice is more prominent. That’s why I thought one of the first posts of the year could be about the reasons why you should hire me instead of anybody else, to be your chaperone (or Virgil, if you wish to theme our conversation to an Italian masterpiece) in this adventure.
If you’ve just started out looking for the perfect consultant you will have noticed that every single colleague has lovely pictures of planned weddings on their websites and they display a great degree of expertise both in wedding planning in general and in planning a wedding in Italy. Finally, they all aim at planning a wedding that is truly yours. On paper, they are in short all equally valid professionals that you can trust with this pivotal role.
How should you make your choice then? By looking for the planner that has done more weddings that agree with your taste? By asking for estimates and comparing prices? By choosing a consultant that’s experienced in weddings in the location you’re interested in? You can choose whichever method you feel more comfortable with, although I would advise you to be careful about judging a planner’s style potential solely from their portfolio. If they plan weddings that are especially customized to each couple’s desires it might be that what you see is merely a reflection of the couples they’ve met until now, and not of their full potential. Even if you compared prices you should be very careful to make sure that the service lists are equivalent, too. A full wedding service could include some services for a planner that another will not list, thus accounting for a difference in pricing.
That being said, there are three main reasons why you should eventually decide that I’m the right person for you, beyond having a portfolio that you like and issuing an estimate compatible with your budget.
1. because you like me
I know, it sounds cheesy and probably very superficial, but the truth is that the relationship between a couple and their planner is a very close and at times intimate one, and to work well it’s vital that it’s built on trust. And how can you really trust somebody you don’t like as a person? Sure, you might trust their professionalism, trust that they have the expertise and skills you need. But there will come a day, very likely, when you will need to share personal and probably sensible information with your planner, and if they’re a person you like this process will be easier and it will feel far less stressful. How can you find out if you like me? Clearly by getting to know me. This is why I invest so much time and care in my preliminary consultations, allowing couples to ask me anything, and putting no time limit to the session. At the end of this meeting you not only will receive a full fixed price proposal, but you will also have a pretty good picture of who I am as a person, thus allowing you to make an informed decision.
2. because you share my approach to life and weddings
This isn’t a must, obviously. You’re not marrying me, so there’s no real need for you to share my political or religious views. For my part, I am committed to you and to my role at your wedding whatever your age, gender, religion (or philosophical approach), ethnicity, political views. But you might find yourself more at ease with me if you share my beliefs that all people should have a right to be married (I’m an outspoken advocate of marriage equality) and that there is no tradition, rule of etiquette or social convention that should trump your love for each other. Again, if you like me in all other respects you might not feel the need to share my philosophy, on the other hand some of you might feel like this is a defining factor in making your experience more pleasant.
3. because I’m an independent consultant not earning commissions from vendors and venues
Although I am not the only one to work like this, the large majority of wedding planners in Italy work on commissions. They will probably also charge you a smaller fee for some part of the wedding planning, but they make their living also by earning commissions from the vendors and venues they’re referring to you. This is in itself entirely legal, and a matter of personal business choices. I chose to be an independent consultant because I believe it clarifies my relationship with the vendors I might refer to you. By not earning commissions I expect vendors to propose their best deals and offers to you, and to feel like they are committed to earning your trust and making you happy. At the same time, this practice has allowed me through the years the flexibility of working with the vendors and venues which work best with the project, regardless of the relationship they had with me, if there was any. If you have been referred a vendor by somebody else, I will be happy to work with them (if they’re the right fit for your project), and if your wedding requires a unique vision and team, it will be my pleasure to research entirely new vendors and venues. I have an extensive and ever-expanding data base of professionals precisely because of this approach, and I think this is a great tool for couples who are interested in a one-of-a-kind celebration.
Finally, in a way this blog could also a factor in your decision. If by reading it you’re feeling at home, in the right place, understood and cared for, it probably means that we would make a great team, in planning your wedding!