Weddings: Invest for the Best
Keeping an anniversary date special and a stunning view of the Thames - for Sharon and Paul from Richmond, these were just two key things on the wish-list for their wedding after 11 years together. A year before the event, they were thrilled to secure their perfect Thames-side venue for 4th July, both Independence Day and their personal anniversary - then the venue started to move the goal posts – and the all- important date.
By September, protracted and time-consuming negotiations left the couple facing compromise or finding another venue altogether. But the disappointment made a complete rethink seem impossible. “We felt like we had already explored all the options and certainly didn’t feel like we had the time and energy to start again.” …
Technology Manager, Sharon, was more than just fed up and frustrated:
Why didn’t I think of a wedding planner before?
“Like lots of people, I had the preconception that wedding planners are only for celebrities and had never really given them a second thought. I honestly thought a wedding budget needed to be 6-figures before a wedding planner would consider helping and it was difficult to make a speculative enquiry. But the big hurdle is the emotional one: that it’s your wedding - a special day, your way, very personal, very precious and it’s hard to think of trusting anyone else with that.”
“If you’ve never experienced a specific wedding planner’s services, it’s very difficult to get a real sense of who the person you will deal with is or what exactly they do – or get reassurance that they will not simply take over. It was a chat with a colleague, where I discovered that Monet would be able to help me just in my venue search with no obligation, so I felt confident enough to get in touch.
“Steph and I had met twice and established a really good rapport before my partner, Paul, joined us to share ideas on themes, likes and dislikes. He liked Steph’s style of working instantly – I think that’s a mark of a really good wedding planner, when they can relate to both partners and not just focus on the bride to be.
“It wasn’t long until we were making the most of the Monet Weddings venue finding service; Steph not only came up with 20 venues between Hampton Court and Greenwich, but it was immediately clear that she knew exactly what questions to ask the venues too. During that process I was able to bounce ideas around and discuss other areas of the planning process that I didn’t know how to tackle and very quickly I signed up for a bespoke wedding planning service.We very quickly trusted that Steph had genuinely invested in us having our day, our way.
“Steph was so amazingly patient on that venue search. She was always smiling and her professionalism really kicked in when we were meeting with suppliers. She very quickly understood what was in our imagination at the venues and I could see her reacting instantly to get important points completely clarified.
“One of the main things is that Steph could see past the emotion and look objectively at the practicalities of everything. We looked at many venues together, but she also helped us to re-evaluate some of our early choices: practically speaking, moving the date wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; we tied a 1950s American theme to the Independence Day date and she helped us make some of our more informal aspects for the day work in a practical way for our guests and the venue.
“By talking things through with Steph, even the way we were able to handle the guest list evolved. We wanted the day to be relaxed and joyful for everyone and for each person to feel important. She could really visualise how venue space could accommodate the number of guests and our ideas.
“In this way, she gave me the confidence to look again at our original venue choice and see it in a different light. We’d become too emotionally affected by it all, but Steph was able to take the heat out of that conversation, so it no longer felt like a personal thing and that we were the only ones compromising.
“In fact, she got us back to the venue which we had wanted all along, driving a hard but fair package, yet dealing with things sensitively and in a balanced way.
Having Steph on board was empowering
“What Steph gave us was the latitude to explore ideas. With so much insight into all the different aspects of planning the day - from florists to how to make the day flow for our guests - we soon agreed a budget for Steph to manage to deliver the parts of the day she was responsible to deliver while I managed the overall budget, we regularly compared costs and quotes enabling me to comparing notes with Steph for a really helpful reality check.
“Steph managed to sensitively keep things on track and focussed on what we wanted. She would help us to be a bit more objective when we got carried away by a great find or idea. She’d gently take away the ‘urgency’ and give us the time to weigh things up alongside other things on our wish-list. “Do you really want to commit your money to that now? “ she would say. Her confidence and experience in the sequencing and timescales meant that we could enjoy the process of discovering and deciding upon things.
“Having Steph on board was empowering – we could just browse ideas, seek her opinion and trust that we’d get an honest answer, she just made sure that we’d make the decision when we needed to. In some cases we ended up with ideas that you wouldn’t call ‘on theme’ in the end every decision we made was a personal one and Steph’s process of using mood boards and pictures really helped ideas to gel.
Going that extra mile
“From sourcing a fantastic deal from the florist to paying attention to every aspect of the welcome and styling on the day, the Monet Weddings team were so attentive. Jen Austin worked with me to bring all my ideas into the themed stationery and print work, she seamlessly worked with Steph on the details for the day taking a really active role on the decor.
"Both of them were on hand and taking care of everything at the venue on the day – throughout the day – which was so reassuring for us. They were amazing, arrived dressed for the part, blending in to the background, quietly ensuring that the venue was stepping up to deliver the wow factor we had worked so hard on and which Paul and I had dreamt of. They kept the venue styling on track and the on-site team honest and to time. They worked so hard to keep everything smooth and make it all perfect - and I can’t help asking myself what else did Steph sort out beyond what we actually saw?
“Without Monet Weddings, I wonder if I would have had the time or capacity to deliver the level of personalisation and detail which made our day not just so very special for us, but so much fun and so enjoyable for our guests.
“Weddings are stressful things – even with all the help we had in place, it’s hard to suppress that element of doubt… is it going to be as good as we hope? How will you ever know what will go wrong, or have the appropriate recovery process at your fingertips? Steph and Jen seem to know all the secrets.
“The rapport and friendship, calm advice and direction throughout the process makes me look back and think that it’s not about could I afford a wedding planner, but more how could I afford not to? When you’re investing in your wedding day, I’d now say that you should consider a wedding planner as an investment in your day. How often do you commit to spending so much money one a single day, and try to organise it all single-handedly?
"Our experience is that the supplier sourcing completed by Monet Events more than covered their management fees. There’s nothing indulgent in wanting to enjoy everything on the run up to and during your Big Day and knowing that everyone is having a really wonderful time and feeling special. The level of service that we received from the Monet Team on the day alone was worth the money – our experience of Monet Weddings was that they definitely represented great value for money. “