“Members Helping Members” – Words of Wisdom from Professional Wedding Consultants
As an organization dedicated to it’s members, ACPWC is continually looking for avenues to help you succeed in business. One of these is interviewing current members and sharing their success stories with you. This month we have had the privilege of interviewing two incredible members:
Jelena Crone of Bridevine & Branches shares her words of wisdom with us:
- How long have you been in business? 8 Years
- What area are you in? I am centrally located in the San Joaquin County in the city of Mountain House, CA, just 15 minutes away from the Tri-Valley area; the hub between the San Francisco Bay area and Central Valley regions.
- What have you done to stand out as unique in your field…your niche or specialty? I am an experienced wedding planner, a certified event designer, and a fully trained floral designer. I lead a team of 4 highly talented individuals who all play a major role in the successful execution of every event.
- What has made your business successful? Firstly, I thank God for any success that I’ve had, because without Him I wouldn’t be able to DO anything at all. Secondly, I thank my family (my husband and daughters) for being a support to me all these years as I grow my business. I really believe that many businesses do not succeed, because behind the scenes, running a business takes a lot of encouragement and emotional support. If one’s primary support network is not aligned with the goals of the business, it will be a major challenge to overcome. Thirdly, I believe that my success can also be attributed to the fact that I am willing to adapt to the environments I’m presented with. I network and focus on designing trends. I give amply, am genuine and pour myself into every project that I work on, and I am told that it shows.
- How has being a Member of ACPWC helped you grow? ACPWC is a great organization designed to train individuals seeking to become wedding consultants. The organization also provides ongoing training opportunities and provides a professional support network for its members. Being a member of ACPWC has been an encouragement for me, especially to see others build successful wedding planning businesses. The initial training program provided me with a solid wedding planning foundation. Through ACPWC, I have been able to tour venues, participate in workshops, serve as a mentor for new wedding consultants and network with other professionals. All of these opportunities have helped me to grow as an individual and professionally.
- What tools have been especially helpful to your growth? I’m a fan of social media, but I would say that I haven’t always been. At first it felt too complicated for me to learn with all that I had to do, but as I slowly got more comfortable using it, I’ve been able to grow my presence as a business, as well as generate awareness of the services my company represents. I also enjoy showcasing my designs whenever possible, especially since consumers that buy design-related services often love visual presentations.
- What advice would you offer other Wedding Consultants…or those thinking of getting into the business? The role of wedding consultant has many rewards. We get to travel to beautiful places and see amazing sites. We get to dream up picturesque concepts and be a support to couples in need. In many ways we can make our own schedules. We get to participate in one of the greatest celebrations of a person’s life. All of this is a dream come true for many professionals who only wish they could abandon their day job.
- Can you share one of your weddings with a signature twist? Please visit www.ceremonymagazine.com. Click on the SF Bay Area Edition and scroll to the “floral design” section. When viewing the full magazine, you can see two full floral design spreads by me (pages 88-89 & 124-125). Bridevine & Branches will be listed. You’ll also see a featured wedding by me under Bridevine & Branches in the “featured weddings” section (pages 214-215), along with my bio in the front of the magazine.
Our second words of wisdom come from Meredith Walker of Posh Events & Affairs:
- How long have you been in business? I have been coordinating weddings for the past 23 years. I started when a cousin asked me to coordinate her wedding. From that point on, I knew this was the career for me. I have been the wedding coordinator at my church for the past 10 years while continuing to secure clients outside of the church. I opened Posh Events & Affairs in 2007.
- What area are you in? Posh Events & Affairs is a full service wedding and private event management company in East Bay.
- What have you done to stand out as unique in your field? What is your niche or specialty? I’ve been told by a number of clients that we pay attention to the smallest of details. I believe every member of our staff possess a fundamental desire to provide the highest level of service to every client whether they are spending $25,000 or $250,000. I believe I am also very good at being very honest with my clients in a way that they are able to accept suggestions and directions without being offended.
- What has made your business successful? I believe my success is first contributed to the grace of God. He has opened doors that I could not have opened on my own. I also believe my success can be contributed to sticking to the beliefs and goals that I set for myself and my business. I am very selective of my clients. My sole focus is not just the potential profits.
- How has being a Member of ACPWC helped your grow? I believe part of my growth has been contributed to ACPWC’s constant efforts to educate its members. This is done through monthly conference calls and webinars with well know industry professionals, continuing education days, design workshops and venue tours. I am also fortunate to be a Board Member of the association.
- What tools have been especially helpful to your growth? The ability to network with other professionals within the organization has been especially helpful. Our members understand that there is enough business out there for all of us, so there is no need to hoard information that can be valuable to your fellow members. We share ideas, thoughts, latest trends, etc., that can help a peer in his or her business.
- What advice would you offer other Wedding Consultants, or those thinking of getting into the business? The first thing every person wanting to call themselves a wedding consultant or planner should do is get professionally certified. There is so much more to know about this business and industry that cannot be obtained without taking a professional training course. I don’t know of many people, who are looking for any professional service, that are willing to spend their money with a business that has not received professionally trained in that service. Mechanics, Hair Stylists, Doctors, Manicurists, etc. all require training. It’s the same premise for this industry. Certification validates one’s business.
- Please share a story of an unusual experience and how you handled it. In September of last year, I had a client come to me because her original wedding planner unfortunately had a stroke 1 week before her wedding, and the reception venue fell through. Both the planner and client were people I knew. So I took over the planning and opened up my backyard for the reception. We rented a tent, had a floor put in over the grass, had all of the rentals delivered the night before and her reception for 100 took place at my home. This was a very unique circumstance. (Photo on right)
Thank you fellow members for graciously sharing your words of wisdom with us. It is truly apparent that you have become successful in your careers. As Members helping Members, may we all continue to grow, share and succeed in our businesses.
Training is an essential part to every successful business. Watch for our summer course specials in an upcoming blog. For more detailed information on our professional training courses, please visit our website.