It’s Monday, which means it’s time to interview one of our great vendors on WeddingPlannerLove! Today we are featuring Odessa (aka “O”) from Oventz Inc. She comes to us from NYC – after spending some time in London. I’m a bit envious of her travels.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
My name is Odessa Hamilton, but you can call me “O” for short, since my name seems to mystify people. I am the President of Oventz, a full service, multicultural event planning company. We are always thinking about what’s next and what’s hot, producing unique and fabulous events that reflect the client’s style and budget. As you’ll get to know me, you’ll find that I am obsessed with all things creatively chic, methodical and economical! I’m a Wife, Mum and self-proclaimed fashionista! If you haven’t already gathered from my slogan “Signature Events Inspired By You; From London to New York,” I’m from London, but have worked across the world, in various States, and New York of course.
The full interview continues after the jump . . .
2. How did you get into wedding planning?
As the Director of Human Resources, handling grievances and letting people go wasn’t the highlight of my day, in fact quite the contrary. But the excitement was in planning corporate events, award ceremonies and training exercises… Hence, the natural transition into the fabulous world of events! Then comes my Big Fat Wedding in Chicago, which I decided to handle myself; figuring if anyone could handle it a planner could! However, I soon realized how very different it is on the other side of the spectrum, despite my knowledge of the industry (and a little of my husband’s help). It left me thinking that every Cinderella needs a Fairy Godmother to ensure their blissful nuptials don’t turn into a logistical nightmare. Thus, my conscious leap into Wedding Wonderland!
3. What’s your favorite part of the job?
Hands down, saving my clients money, and seeing their reaction when I tell them how much! I’m the ‘affirmative action of cheap’… I don’t care whose money it is, I want to save as much as possible and spend it all wisely!
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?
Have integrity and do in the dark what you would in the light! This industry is filled with an abundance of ‘planners’ that double-dip (i.e. get paid from the client and the vendor on the same event), thus blending the lines of loyalty. While not illegal by any means, it does have clients, potentials and even vendors questioning the veracity of your referrals. Yet, if you must do this at least be forthcoming about it from the offset. Stand above the rest and join the new standard! I learned that from my favorite book; “Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall”. Gold star if you can guess where that quote is from!
5. What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
My laptop is like my second child (or maybe a close cousin) – while I have designers, I love to design stationery, marketing materials and websites when I have the time… Believe it or not, somehow working has become my down-time!?!?! Figures!
6. Any great stories from working with a client?
It sounds idealistic, but all my clients have been a great story, and that why I love this profession; it brings an abundance of emotions and experiences… Laughs, fears, tears, bonding moments then of course the challenges of managing the ZILLAS – bridezilla/groomzilla/mumzilla/dadzilla/friendzilla – trust me, I’ve met them all, up close and personal! You may know them too!!!
Although, if I absolutely had to choose one, strange, but true; I’d probably have to mention the couple who took their engagement shoot in a graveyard and brought a live snake to their wedding… Some of the guests weren’t too impressed with such a slivery greeting!
7. What is your current favorite color combination?
Anyone that knows me knows I love rich blues. Blue is such an easy, classic color that stands the test of time, unlike many other color trends that come and go with the wind. What’s more, blue can be combined with practically any other color, either as a dominant color or accent, so your blue wedding will look nothing like your BFF’s blue wedding.
8. Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
Love decorative table boards in lieu of Placecards. They are distinctive, add to the décor and – drum roll – save the environment. Love candy buffets that double as a décor piece, and personalized treat for your guests, in replacement of traditional favors that end up in the bin or at the back of Aunt Betsy’s cabinet collecting dust!