Today’s wedding planner interview is with Ron of New Zealand Wedding Packages, based in Nelson, New Zealand! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
I am a wedding celebrant and have been involved in the wedding industry for nearly 20 years. I have also owned a wedding directory website and more recently started New Zealand Wedding Packages with a team of local wedding professionals.
Read the full interview after the cut!
The New Zealand Wedding Packages team consists of my wife Rachael, who is also a wedding celebrant, Virginia Woolf, photographer and Milo and Kimberley Couldren who operate a yacht charter business called Gourmet Sailing. We have had the occasion to work together in the past at different weddings and enjoyed working together so much we decided to offer ‘the team’ to other couples. One of the greatest things we appreciate about each other is our “can do” attitude, our sense of fun, love of people and desire to do things to a high standard.
We decided to showcase the best our location has to offer by creating a number of packages that couples could choose from. Often when couples comes from other countries they don’t have the local knowledge or contacts to find the best service providers. By providing the packages we have used our local knowledge and experience to provide the best services and experiences. Of course couples can customise the packages to suit their desires, and myself and our other planner, Kymberley, will help make it happen.
I believe that we live in one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places on earth, and combined with the fact that it is easy for anyone to get married in New Zealand, makes this the ultimate wedding destination.
How did you get into wedding planning?
I have always been involved in planning as long as I have been a celebrant due to the fact that couples will ask for advice and recommendations on various services. On occasion, couples from overseas have asked if I could organise various services for them, which I have done on an informal basis.
During this time I have also owned a wedding directory website which allowed me to build good relationships with many wedding service providers. My contacts, local knowledge and experience was something I felt I could more formally offer couples and so I decided to become part of New Zealand Wedding Packages.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is meeting the couples, and working with them to create an experience they will never forget. There is an immense satisfaction in being part of this important step in their lives, and the friendships we form often go beyond the wedding day.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?
Having seen many weddings, and being involved in the planning, the biggest learning has been to always have a positive attitude and calm demeanor. Couples quickly pick up on a planner’s stress or panic, where the biggest contribution you can make is to help them feel calm and to enjoy the day. Things will go wrong, but couples will remember how you made them feel and how easy you were to deal with before all the things that didn’t happen, or weren’t right.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
When I am not working, I make the most of the natural beauty of the Nelson region and enjoy mountain biking on the many trails we have, or enjoy a day on the golden sand bays of the Abel Tasman National Park. The outdoors is never far away!
Any great stories from working with a client?
We had a couple from England travel to New Zealand as it was a dream for them to be married here. In fact, it was literally a dream where the groom saw himself in a lighthouse, standing by a window with the curtains blowing in the breeze, and there by him, on a bed lay his then girlfriend. He knew he was to marry her and he wanted to do so in a lighthouse!
When they contacted our team about getting married in the Nelson region of New Zealand, they told us about their dream and asked whether we knew of any lighthouses in the area they could go to. Fortunately, Nelson has a historic lighthouse near its port which was the second permanent lighthouse to be built in New Zealand and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. It is the only lighthouse in New Zealand people can go into, and the perfect wedding venue for our couple.
Together with our other team members at Gourmet Sailing we organised to take them by yacht to the lighthouse, and unbeknown to them, decorated the interior to look like their dream – complete with a bed covered in rose petals, and curtains billowing in the breeze.
When it came to the day, a storm had blown in and the seas were rough. The captain of the boat advised us that we wouldn’t be able to travel to the lighthouse that day, however, there was potential for a window of opportunity in the middle of the day. With fingers crossed we waited, and in answer to our prayers the weather cleared for a few moments to allow us to cross. Although the weather was far from sunny, the result was some amazing photos of the lighthouse and the dark sky – photos full of symbolism and promise.
This was the first wedding we did as a team and it cemented our resolve to continue to work together to create more memorable weddings like this. The couple were hugely appreciative of our efforts and touched by the extra effort to make this a real dream wedding!
What is your current favorite color combination?
I am seeing a lot of blues, silver and black, using shiny materials, which look amazing.
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
I don’t get caught up too much in trends but rather focus on what is a true reflection of the couple’s personalities and relationship. If the trends they use were fashionable 50 years ago, but the couple is aged in their 70’s, then that is totally ok. What I would rather see left behind is couples trying to make their wedding so fashionable that they lose who they are and their personality in the process.
Thanks Ron! For more about New Zealand Wedding Packages. please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide Profile or head straight to their website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Ron? Add them to the comments below!