Every little girl dreams of the perfect wedding, the white dress, the elaborate party and most importantly leaving her guests in awe! But...it takes a lot of hard work and stress to create this amazing event. What if someone could take this stress away and you could still have the Wedding Day of your Dreams?
At A la Carte Occasions everything from photography to flowers can be designed, planned and arranged, with a professional photographer and experienced event planner at your beck and call – it’s easy!
What inspired or motivated you to become a Wedding/Event Planner?
A la carte Occasions is owned and operated by both Kim Bolton and myself, Amanda Kopcic. Nothing compares to the beautiful outdoor setting we offer and we were inspired by personal events in order to broaden our horizons and begin a business that allows the public to enjoy it with us. I have been a wedding and portrait photographer for 5 years and teamed up with Kim, an event planner and display coordinator, to offer brides the opportunity to have the wedding of their dreams. We know how overwhelming wedding planning can be and want to help brides by taking that stress from them.
Tell us the day in the life of a Wedding/Event Planner.
The day in the life of a wedding/event planner is like being on a merry-go-round. Consistent competing deadlines, time sensitive agendas, inquiries, consultations with both vendors and brides, sourcing new ideas and commitment to detail, keep us both busy and creative. From early morning to the late hours of the night, we are on duty to ensure the event runs smoothly and adheres to the schedule set out by the customer. We remain in constant contact with our brides/grooms overseeing budget limits, ensuring consistencies with theme and style, and share an overall passion for the work we do.
Why should someone hire an event or wedding planner?
Hiring a wedding planner, in simple words, gives the bride and groom more time to enjoy the process. There is so much that goes into planning a wedding! A planner is already aware of what needs to be accomplished and how to execute those demands straight through to the wedding day. Imagine if you could draw out your big day but not have to worry about all the little details? How wonderful would it be if one of the most important days in your life could be accomplished without stress? Planners allow for the bride and groom to truly enjoy their wedding and replace stress with memories.
What are your favourite events to organize?
Kim and I are romantics! True love, new beginnings, bliss and joy, family, friends, and a great party; what is there not to love about weddings? We are rewarded with great enjoyment being a part of this process. We even tear up on our couples’ special day.
What special skills do you need to be a successful wedding/event planner?
Organization and time management are a huge component to wedding planning. Knowing your numbers to keep on or under budget is also a large part of what we do. Creativity, compassion, good negotiation skills, flexible and a strong work ethic make for a successful event planner.
What are the advantages of working for yourself?
Because we chose our career, we work in a field we both love. In turn, we work all kinds of different hours in order to balance our own personal lives. Working the days we want to and taking time off when needed. We can work as many hours in a day without being restricted to open or closing timeframes.
What are the disadvantages of working for yourself?
Finding down time! When you work for yourself you tend to always bring your work home and your mind never rests. So finding down time seems to be a challenge at times.
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
Greatest challenge... I'm not sure. We both really enjoy planning and haven't come across any huge challenges yet that we can't overcome together. This is when having a partner really pays off as you are never alone.
What are your greatest achievements?
The glow on the bride and grooms’ faces on their wedding day is by far, the highest reward. Knowing that the wedding the bride dreamed of since she was a little girl has finally become a reality, and that we played a role in creating that, continues to make us strive for better.
How do you ensure work life balance?
I think this is a challenge every self-employed man or women deals with. We tend to chat about wedding details on both work and non-working hours so sometimes we have to tell ourselves, ok let’s just have family time tonight and chat about this in the morning. It’s not easy though as we are very involved and get excited about each and every one of our couples.
Who are your customers?
Our customers vary. We get first time brides, second time brides, business and corporate functions, family reunions and seminar retreats. We revel in the variety our venue affords us as we are not limited to the number of guests we can entertain in a single event.
What advice would you give to someone starting a business?
The first thing I would say to anyone wanting to start their own business is get all your information ahead of time. Make sure to know what you are getting into before doing so and stay organized.
Name one thing that you could not live without in your business?
Our computers! We live on our computers for almost everything related to business. It’s the easiest way to keep in contact with our busy brides and vendors as well as researching for new and upcoming events and ideas.
What is your favourite or most popular product/service?
Favourite - Our "All-Inclusive" Package! With this service we take care of every aspect of a wedding from start to finish. We can provide photography, venue and planning all-in-one. This is where we differ from the competition, and allow for the bride to sit back and let us do everything that she requests for her big day! Popular- Photography is such an important aspect of a wedding. When it is all said and done your photos symbolize an eternal keepsake of the wedding. Being a photographer for over 5 years myself I can tell you that doing weddings is both challenging and extremely rewarding. The challenge is to capture the purist of moments and the reward is cataloguing them for the bride and groom to treasure.
What is your ultimate goal - and has this changed from when you started?
Our ultimate goal is to give our couples the wedding of their dreams, stress free. There is so much stress in people’s lives. This is one thing we feel they don't need to stress/worry about.
If anything, this motto has only intensified our desire to grow and develop more.
Does the internet help you in spreading the word about your business?
Yes, we find the internet is a great resource in spreading the word about our company. Social media along with other online directories have been a huge help. The internet opens doors to future clients that may not have heard about us through regular media.
How big a role does Social Media play in your business?
Social media plays a large role in our business for new clients. People these days live on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. That being said we try and keep our social media updated on a regular basis to keep current and future clients informed about what we are up to.
Looking for the Wedding Day of your Dreams? Then why not pop over to A la Carte Weddings, they have the ability and inspiration to make your day truly special, they will create memories that will last a lifetime – totally stress free!