As an event planner focusing mostly on luxury weddings, I find when answering queries from potential clients that the same ones always come up , one being “what will it be like to work with you”. Now every planner has their own way, people have a perception that we are all clipboard wielding, blazer wearing and ear piece having characters like the movies portray . Whilst there are certain things you can expect from all of us in terms of what we should be able to help you with, how I support my clients on their journey is very much through open, honest communication and collaboration amongst other things. It’s easy for me to do the sales spin but what I thought would be of more value was to get a REAL ByChenai client to tell you about their wedding planning journey working with me. This first blog is an introduction to this client and some detail on how we ended up working together. It’s very important for me that I feel a good fit with my clients and vice versa, which is why working with this couple is such a joy.Introducing Jacinta & Jeffrey These two London based professionals have their wedding set for December this year at a venue in Essex (more will be revealed later) I’ve asked Jacinta or Jass as she prefers , to talk about their relationship, what led her to me and each blog going forward will talk about where we are in their wedding planning journey.
Please give the readers some background on you and Jeff: Jeffrey and I met in 2017 at his sisters birthday party. We didn’t actually speak to each other during the celebration, it was only at the very end that we said our first hello, established that we had taken a liking to each other and went on to exchange numbers. I later learned that he had seen me earlier on that evening and thought I was cute (Yaay). The moment I knew I fancied Jeffrey was when he was posing with the birthday girl (his sister) and I joined in with everybody who was taking pictures of the sibling-love moment. It was then I thought wow, he’s handsome. it didn’t once cross my mind that he had seen me out of all the other girls that were there that night, but it turns out he had!
We haven’t stopped talking since the day that we met, which again surprised me as I had found that consistency and intentional communication on the dating scene was a real struggle. Since meeting we have done a fair bit of travelling together. So far our favourite destinations have been Santorini & Barbados! Travelling together has helped us really get to know each other and we feel have us the opportunity to see if this relationship was something we could see ourselves long-term.
When did Jeff propose and how did he do it?Jeffrey proposed on the 23rd of March 2019, which was a few days after our 2 year anniversary. He planned a lovely day which consisted of a 5 course vegan dining experience at Vanilla black. I then was told we were heading to an art exhibition at a new gallery that had opened, unbeknown to me this was a little white lie to get us to St. Dunstan in the East garden, a location Jeffrey and our wonderful photographer had picked weeks prior. In this beautiful garden is where he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! I laughed so much because I was so nervous and honestly could not process it until later that evening where Jeffrey had arranged for my family and closest friends to toast to our engagement. It was when I walked in and saw everybody who had been in on it that I burst into tears and it finally sunk in!
Photos by Ben Achana PhotographyAbout the wedding….When did you start thinking about the wedding/agree budget etc?Not too long after the engagement, we agreed on a budget after we had viewed and set our hearts on our venue. Our rationale for this was we wanted to make sure the budget was built after one of the biggest costs had been factored in. We didn’t want our budget to restrict the type of venue we had, but of course we did have an ideal number in mind of what we would be willing to spend. Did you know straight away you would want a planner?Nope. Initially I was going to plan the wedding with just the help of a few friends who have always been great are organising events and use blogs and tips found on well known wedding blogs and real brides YouTube videos. However, once we had started the process of venue hunting and reaching out to potential vendors, the reality of how much admin management comes with wedding planning, got very real. With both Jeffrey and I’s busy schedules (work, being in the middle of buying a flat and social commitments) we decided to get an expert to come alongside and help us bring our big day together. We also both really wanted to keep stress levels down and enjoy the journey to “I do”. And what better way to do that than patterning with an awesome wedding planner?! Did you know anything about how wedding planners worked or what services they provided?Somewhat. I have a few friends who have recently started growing their event planning businesses and have planned a few big and small weddings. So from casual conversations with them I learnt a few things, however, I found that each service (dependent on the wedding planner themselves) differed. I have always thought and have now found out that wedding planning is a very personal service offered and a genuine connection between the couple and the wedding planner needs to be there for it to really work and essentially bring visions to life. What if anything/had you done so far in terms of arrangements?Before partnering with Chenai, we had only agreed on a date for the big day and had confirmed our venue. How did you find ByChenai?On Instagram, through a wonderful sponsored post that popped up on my timeline! What was the process like of booking her , what made you want to go with her?Once I saw her post, something about her caption completely resonated with me. It had such a personal tone, it was passion filled, yet still came incredibly professional. So, I decided to slide into the DM’s and enquire about her services. I received a response back in less than an hour (her work ethic is admirable!) and she let me know the services she offers, how shes works with her clients and proposed an initial consultation call. The call was great, Chenai explained everything in detail and we had all our burning questions answered. We immediately felt like we were in safe hands, there was a great rapport between Chenai, Jeffrey and I. It turned out to be a no brainer for us, so very soon after the call we emailed Chenai to let her know we would love to move forward with her and she expressed the same! A contract with t’s and c’s were sent over on the next working day with clear details of costings also and the rest is history. And there you have it. Please come back for the next blog where Jass talks to you about the vision for their wedding AND her wedding dress appointments and purchases at The Wedding Gallery & Andrea Hawkes