I am so excited to share with you today's installment of 7 Questions. Carendylyn "Rendy" Watson of Le Tez Events was kind enough to answer a few questions about her event planning business and the skills she has obtained as a wedding planner. I have known Rendy for years and I can personally attest to her professionalism and keen attention to detail. It is clear to see from her responses, she is no lightweight when it comes to event planning. Anyone who can pull off a wedding AND a 50th birthday party in the same day, for the same client, is a true savant in the logistics department. Go ahead and read her full interview to get a sense of her planning style and a few tips for your own big day. Also, be sure to check out more of Rendy's work on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram pages. Happy planning!
1. How long have you been in the wedding event industry and how did you get your start?
My "official" involvement in the wedding industry began when I started out as a sole proprietor planning my first contracted wedding on December 14, 2013 in Fredericksburg, Texas. I was so thrilled that my first wedding was a destination wedding.
This was my first trial, so to speak, of not only having a contracted client, but also the start of building relationships with other wedding professionals; learning the business; and learning more about the wedding industry.
Prior to that, I served on various committees to help execute fundraising events. Out of this, many of my friends and colleagues praised my ability to manage events. This gave me the motivation to begin my career as a wedding and events planner.
2. How do you determine a bride/couple's sense of style? What questions do you ask to obtain an understanding about the look and feel they would like for their big day?
I have a questionnaire that I created to help guide my conversation with couples; however, this questionnaire is usually secondary. My primary focus is to listen to the couple describe their ideal wedding day; therefore, listening is essential to determine their sense of style.
After a bride and groom share their vision with me, I then use the questionnaire to fill in the gaps. Some questions or requests include them telling me about how they first met and their love story; their individual hobbies and those as a couple; the percentage of out of town guests; their family dynamics; preferences for entertainment and dining; and the style of venue to name a few. These details provide me with a great foundation to create and execute the couple's ideal wedding day.
3. What is the biggest misconception brides/couples have about event planners?
I believe the biggest misconception that brides/couples have about event planners is that we work to get them discounted vendor services or other perks, and that is not the case. Brides and couples should know that many event planners have a preferred list of vendors that they love, trust, and respect based on their quality of work and professionalism and that these vendors are not to be used to "get a deal."
4. What is your favorite part of any wedding?
My favorite part of any wedding is seeing the joy and contentment on a bride and groom's face when they finally get the time to sit down and take it (their big day) all in. I usually use this time to ask the bride and groom how they feel and if they need anything. This moment reassures me that I was able to execute their vision above and beyond their expectation.
5. What has been your most challenging assignment to date? What made it so challenging and how did you execute it?
One of my clients hosted their wedding day and 50th birthday celebration on the same day! The wedding occurred during the day and the 50th birthday celebration was that evening at the same venue. The wedding included an eco-friendly theme with a traditional ceremony followed by a "cake and punch" cocktail reception while the birthday celebration provided for a more heightened atmosphere with a DJ and dancing.
The most challenging aspect was ensuring that the wedding and birthday had its own unique style, so we implemented a different approach with the food and beverage menu, entertainment, and room setup ...and guests. Yes, guests. Many of my client's friends who attended the birthday party had no idea about the wedding, so it was more of a surprise for them and vice versa: the wedding guests were told about the birthday celebration at the end of the reception. It was a great day of revealing so to speak.
In addition to having a thorough logistics timeline, I believe that exercising clear communication and a team-player attitude with all of the vendors, especially the venue, allowed my client's expectations to be met above and beyond what they anticipated. It was a very long, yet rewarding day.
6. Do you work with brides on a budget? What is your best advice for those budget brides wanting a stellar look for less?
I provide all of my clients with a very detailed itemized budget for all expenses they should expect to incur based on the budget amount they provide me, whether it's $15,000 or $75,000. This style of budget works best for my cost-conscience brides, because the budget provides the percentage of overall budget with the suggested dollar amount of what they should spend on a certain expense.
This helps me strategize with my client in the areas in which to cut cost and the areas to maximize on. So, my best advice for brides looking for a stellar look for less is to strategize and accept which areas they need to cut and which areas to maximize on. I call it a give and take process. For example, if a bride prefers fresh personal flowers and floral décor over a plated dinner, I would suggest a cocktail-style reception to save on cost so that they can maximize their dollars on fresh flowers.
7. Do you have any design or event ideas that you have brewing in your mind that you would love for a bride to let you try out (e.g., a special ceremony ritual, a design concept, etc.)?
What a great question! I am in love with 1940s and 1950s films, so I would definitely be intrigued to design a wedding using the timeless and classic fashion elements from these decades. Think bridesmaids in swing dresses and short gloves and a bride wearing a sweetheart neckline gown that converts to strapless! Many fashion elements are on a comeback, so it's definitely worth considering.