I love what I do – I just haven’t been able to do it!
This year has not been for the faint hearted. I have gone through several change of heart cycles about thing I love to do.
The thing is I haven’t been able to do the thing I love for almost 18 months. Just in case you don’t know I am a destination wedding planner who is about to make the leap to virtual destination wedding services provider!
At the end of 2019 I decided that 2020 was going to be my last year of destination wedding planning. I had a bumper year lined up, some very big weddings on Lake Como, Ravello and Tuscany. I was looking forward to an eclectic mix of wedding styles, international clients and working with some amazingly talented wedding professionals.
March 2020 changed all that. I sent out cautionary emails to say please watch this “pandemic” thing and got a very mixed response. Some couples immediately took the decision to postpone, others were of the view that it would all blow over and held fast to their 2020 dates in Summer and Autumn. Well we all know what happened then.
Things just fizzled out
I saw my “best year ever” dissolve. With an international guest list and countries that were not taking the pandemic seriously meant that border restrictions impacted guest numbers.
Weddings became smaller or they just plain fizzled out – couples too were experiencing a change of heart.
All these things were telling me I had made the right decision – it was time to retire my hand luggage!
I realised I had given myself little time to assess, I was in Superwoman mode trying to get dates for weddings in 2021, checking availability with venues and suppliers and tracking what was happening beyond the normal planning duties all with the aim of keeping couples from despair.
All these things became a daily habit: checking flight information in different countries, entry requirements, quarantines. When I look back I should have taken time to pay attention to what I was feeling and that was to let go – the pandemic was beyond my control. Truthfully, that scenario was never going to happen.
What’s the situation today?
I have no 2021 weddings. All events have either been further affected by Covid (Delta) or couples have said enough is enough and cancelled and who can blame them?
I feel like a broker rather than a planner
Wedding planning has taken on a very different focus, it sounds a little extreme but the role morphed into that of a damage control broker not always a nice position to be in. Sometimes this was against a view that numerous phone calls and emails to present the couple’s position on why they should have their money refunded were not chargeable services. I wanted to shout – how do you think I am surviving!
What are my future plans?
My change of heart now has clarity; rather than close down Accent Events Limited, I am changing the focus of the services I offer. My aim is to provide remote support in key areas to destination couples but without the on-site presence. What?
You may think that is a strange decision as being in the middle of the action on the wedding day and seeing the couple’s reactions is definitely one of the adrenaline kicks I have thrived upon for the last 14 years. So why not continue?
There is a bigger risk for UK-based planners related to travel. Too many short notice changes have the potential to rock the boat too close to the wedding day. I certainly do not want to be that person who adds stress at such an important time.
I have a particular set of skills
Great line – so I am going to use it! Well services actually, that I think will best serve couple who want to do their own planning.
Destination Wedding Consultations – 90 minutes
Tailored consultations for destination wedding couples – I have focused on Italy for the last 14 years so this will remain my feature country for locations, venues and wedding professionals.
Each consultation will last 90 minutes and can be either tailored to suit the couples priorities and questions, or it will be designed to cover all the important considerations for couples at the very start of the destination journey who wish to plan their wedding themselves but do not know where to start.
Civil Weddings and Church Wedding Paperwork
I will provide guidance and step by step guide as to what to do with organising the paperwork based on the couples personal circumstances.
Expedite Apostille Service/Premium Service
For those unforeseen/emergency situations! Accent Events is registered for the walk-in service at the FCDO in London to obtain same day Apostilles on documents.
This is an emergency service if documents need to be re done OR if you have a short time frame between the issuance of documents in the UK and getting your documents to your destination country to meet the necessary requirements – no need to wait for them to be delivered by post!
Creative Wedding Design & Styling
When it comes to the design theme for the wedding day there is a high chance that couples will experience overwhelm.
There is an abundance of inspiration out there, it can be easy to be drawn to what has been done before rather to those little things that make us smile, laugh or take a moment to appreciate just what we have! Be more you than a published blog.
From my own experience of working with stylists for photo shoots there is so much more involved than the end result. Styling is seen as the “fun” aspect of wedding planning. Behind that comes a deeper intent.
For the couple the decisions about the look, feel and experience they wish to create is an equal collaboration and will help couples connect to what they really want – listening and paying attention to their true selves.
The consultation will tease out what matters, and we will go wide on sources of inspiration to curate the desired environment. Tangible objects for textures, words and lyrics for emotion, sounds and music for the mood, aromas for sensory association, all things that make life together interesting.
I love doing this aspect of wedding planning. It allows for relaxed chat about all those things that daily life and routine often squeeze out of our conversations.
I have a plan
Part of the change I wish to achieve is all about evolving space for a better and happier environment. Organising and maximising what is available is my thing and skills I got to use a fair bit.
I feel very lucky to be connected to work where creativity and vision are key to living experiences. I hope I get to meet some of you reading this and help you on your destination wedding adventure whether it is for guidance, expertise or creativity.
Look out for more of what is to come on my Insta grid!
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