[INTERVIEW] Wedding Planner: “On the wedding day itself I’m there for a few crucial reasons…”
Today, our “Vendor Spotlight” features Bethany Bevis, founder of the wedding planning agency named Mode20. She’s here to talk about what a wedding planner can do for a bride and offers valuable insight for all other wedding planners. All the photos in the interview are taken from Bethany’s past wedding and all photo credits go to Nicola Dixon Photography.
Question: Bethany, many thanks for agreeing to do this interview with us. First of all, please let our brides know what are the duties of a wedding planner and what you, as a wedding planner yourself, can do for a bride.
Answer: Hi Mary, i hope you’re having a fantastic week so far. Thank you so much for inviting me to take part in this interview, I’m so incredibly excited! Every wedding planner is different, so I would recommend that your brides take the time to research and source all the available wedding planners and stylists in their local area, in order to make an informed decision. Here at Mode20, we specialize in providing only the highest level of personal attention and quality for each and every one of our clients. We know that no two weddings should be the same and take pleasure in providing and styling events that are truly bespoke and uniquely tailored for every single individual. Our packages include bespoke full planning, partial planning, on the day co-ordination, design and styling and expert advice consultations; as well as venue and supplier sourcing. Our packages are all very different, however we can handle any element of the wedding day planning process, to suit the individual clients needs and requirements. Our services include, but are not limited to, full budget breakdown and allocations, supplier payment schedules, venue and supplier selections, detailed wedding day timelines and gift list management.
Q: What made you choose this career path?
Answer: I’ve always been an extremely well organized and meticulous individual, but also very creative and aesthetically inspired. About three years ago, completely by accident, I found myself volunteering as an assistant corporate box manager for various sporting events and tournaments. Before I knew it, I was working at a managerial level and assisting with other elements of the events I was working on, such as the behind-the-scenes planning processes and run-ups to the events. I did that job for two years and absolutely loved it, but the creative aspect that I so desperately craved just wasn’t there for me. Eventually I decided to just take the risk and throw myself into wedding and private event planning and eventually, Mode20 was born. As they say, the rest is history…
Q: Tell us more about Bethany Bevis, the person behind the wedding planning business?
Answer: Something that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I work extremely hard every single day. In fact, I can’t actually remember the last time I had a day off! I’m meticulous in everything that I do – it’s almost an obsession and I’m an absolute organizational freak! I love Italian food, especially pasta dishes and English breakfast tea. I have a genuine passion for weddings and events and I absolutely love my job; there’s never a day when i don’t want to go to work. My passions are reading, music, traveling, spending time with my friends and family, blogging and enjoying some well deserved retail therapy every now and again, of course! I’m a typical Aquarius and my favorite place in the world is Italy.
Q: Why is a wedding planner a better choice than a DIY wedding?
Answer: Your wedding day is something that will only happen once in your life; you can’t go back and change it once it’s done. A lot of brides-to-be have some incredible ideas and wonderful concepts for their big day, however they can sometimes fall short when it comes to actually making their vision a reality. Wedding planning is a talent, an expertise in fact, and is not something that should be taken lightly. Good wedding planners are licensed and trained, come highly recommended and are usually very experienced in what they do, so trust them to their job and believe in their judgement. If you want your wedding day to be perfect, organized and managed meticulously then do hire a wedding planner.
Q: How would you describe the perfect client and the perfect relationship between you, as a wedding planner and your client?
Answer: I don’t have an ideal ‘perfect client’ as the thing that makes my job so fulfilling and rich is that I have the opportunity to work with so many different people, every single day. My job as wedding planner and stylist is to embrace everything that makes an individual different and to translate that into their final wedding day. What I would consider to be a perfect working relationship, between a prospective client and I, is a relationship where my client feels as if she can be completely frank, open and honest with me at all times; whether that be in regards to her opinions, feelings or worries. I believe in building strong and lasting relationships with my clients, making the planning process as enjoyable as possible.
Q: What is you biggest challenge?
Answer: It sounds cliche, but my biggest challenge is to satisfy myself in everything that I do. I’ve always been driven by exceeding targets and striving for perfection, so I find it truly difficult to ever fully satisfy myself, no matter how much of a good job I’ve done. I am incredibly hard on myself, a lot of the time, which proves to be a problem as I allow it to detract from what I should be focusing on, which is always being better than who I was yesterday. My advice to anyone in a similar position would be – don’t be so hard on yourself!
Q: I understand that you are more than just a wedding planner. What other services do you offer?
Answer: Here at Mode20, we offer a wide range of event management services. As a company we are able to plan, manage and style proposals, engagement and anniversary celebrations, birthday parties, work events, sports events, fundraisers, corporate events, product launches, surprise parties and baby showers. I also run the Mode Wed Blog, where I post daily wedding related content. I love being involved in industry styled shoots and I try to contribute as much as I can to local wedding magazines, directories and blogs. I’m social media obsessed too, so I do juggle a lot.
Q; Have you ever dealt with what everyone calls a “bridezilla”? How did that turn out for you?
Answer: Thankfully I’ve yet to come across any ‘bridezillas’, however if I did I would just be firm, honest and supportive in order to resolve the problem quickly and effectively. I think it all comes down to selecting my clients carefully; I never commit to working with someone who I don’t like as a person or get along with. That sounds to be a very odd piece of advice, however it’s always served me well. Once I’m committed to a wedding, I have to deliver no matter what the circumstances are, so I ensure that I carefully select my clients in order to avoid any future problems.
Q: How do you convince brides they need a wedding planner at their wedding?
Answer: I never, ever try to convince a bride-to-be that she absolutely needs a wedding planner as truthfully, a lot of brides just don’t need one. I try to focus on doing what I love, enjoying my job and the journey I’m on, helping and assisting individuals and potential clients whenever and however I can and just allowing the right clients to find me. My advice to any aspiring event manager would be to never push yourself or your services onto potential clients; they won’t take kindly to it. If a bride wants a wedding planner, she will seek one out so just focus on targeting yourself, your business and your brand towards your ideal bride and she will find you!
Q: And what exactly do you do on the wedding day?
Answer: On the wedding day itself I’m there for a few crucial reasons. My main duty is to manage and co-ordinate the day itself and to ensure that it runs smoothly. This allows the couple to fully relax and enjoy their special day, without the pressure of having to manage the running of the day. I assist and help suppliers and the venue if they need me, dress the venue and often prepare the newlyweds honeymoon suite for them. Mode20 staff also come armed with a luxury emergency kit, which is designed to handle any wedding day emergency!
Q: What have you found from your own experience, what freaks out brides the most when it comes to planning their own wedding?
Answer: Many brides just feel overwhelmed by the amount of elements their is to organize in time for their wedding day. When you’re a trained wedding planner, you can sometimes forget that most people haven’t done this before – whereas to you it’s just another days’ work. i find that lots of talking, regular reassurance, organized client files, plenty of databases and charts and a good old notepad all work wonders for brides. They love to talk, so do lots of that and make sure you’re always armed with plenty of visual reassurance, which is easy to understand and follow.
Q: Describe an emotional moment that you had while being hired to work at a wedding.
Answer: I try not to let my emotions get in the way of my work too much, as it can detract away from my overall focus. The incredible and overwhelming support that I’ve received from the wedding industry as a whole, especially from fellow local suppliers, has heightened my emotions on more than one occasion! The wedding industry is an incredibly kind one and I’m so grateful for that, so much so that I can get quite overwhelmed at times.
Q: What should brides look for in a wedding planner?
Answer: It’s very simple, brides should look for someone whom they both like and trust. Picking a wedding planner is like choosing a new best friend, you need to make sure that you trust their judgement, are drawn to their personality and instantly feel a connection with them. Never, ever settle with a personality that you don’t like, it just will not work. If you want to get to know them slightly first, before arranging an initial meeting or consultation, then follow their blog, watch some of their YouTube videos, follow them on Twitter and Facebook and exchange a few emails with them. This will allow you to get to know them a little bit first, before you take the plunge…
Q: One last piece of advice for our readers?
Answer: Just enjoy the wedding planning process! Don’t sweat the small stuff, live in the moment and enjoy everyday of your journey as it’s only going to happen once. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, just take a few days out to re-evaluate, run yourself plenty of nice, hot baths and allow yourself regular breaks. Don’t feel a duty to impress other people or accommodate anyone else other than yourself and your significant other, remember that this is your day.