Today’s weddiing planner interview is with Anna Laudanska & Stavriani Zervoudaki, Head Wedding Coordinators of Crete for Love, based in Chania, Greece! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
Crete for Love started 5 years ago offering mainly small weddings planning services. Today, we manage the organization of a wide range of private events covering intimate moments such as engagements or elopements to large weddings of 200-300 guests, where many vendors and high-end logistics’ support is needed.
We are Anna & Stavriani the vibrant duo that recommends, put together and manages the perfect team for each event. We both live in Chania, Crete, Greece and we love to show the beauty of our region as well as the whole island to our couples and their guests.
Read the full interview after the cut!
We have experience in working with the multitude of venues and “unexpected” locations. Anything that serves the needs of our couple for their perfect day will be presented and explained in the most explicit way. We advise on the romantic and fun elements of the wedding, including the decoration, entertainment and the more practical factors that cannot be avoided while planning a destination wedding, including budgets, payments, and civil / Greek orthodox wedding documents.
We are locals, but our international roots and experiences allow us to see beyond and further in order to implement visions and needs that each couple has for their special moment. Anna is Polish and Stavriani is Greek. We are both partners in business and true friends in life. Our services are always customer oriented and focus on the respectful approach to individual requirements. We want our couples to feel special and we are always grateful for their trust.
How did you get into wedding planning?
Our experience in the sales departments of different sectors has played a major role along with several years of working in the managerial teams of prestigious hotels of the island. How could we use our knowledge towards creativity & development? We wanted to take the business and philosophy of local hospitality into a fully customized level, showing the best that Crete and Chania have to offer. And so, we did.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Being a destination wedding planner connects you with a variety of cultures and traditions. It is a constant process of learning and facing challenges. It never gets boring!
It gives you the space to master your personal and professional skills on each level. The feeling of development is precious. On top of that, we are huge fans of the local traditions and flavors that our couples are intrigued to embrace for their Big Day. We are proud to be part of local, Greek and international cultures.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?
In the wedding planning business, it is important to know your market’s capacities & offer realistic services to your guests, that you can try prior to the wedding day. Take the extra mile and visit the person that will offer your suggested service, let them know how you work and explain your vision for the wedding day – you will end up with a strong cooperation and with a happy couple!
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
We both love traveling and reading. Good wine and well-served high-quality cuisine is our obsession.
Any great stories from working with a client?
Every wedding is a live experience and there are always some things that may surprise you. Great stories come from some temporary failures that were overcome and solved on the spot. Weather conditions are always hard to predict and work around when it comes to outdoor events. At one of our recent weddings, we had to face an apocalyptic sandstorm where almost all décor objects were literally flying! The only thing that stayed in place was the wedding arch – it was a miracle, probably hypnotized with our constant eye supervision and prayers. It took us 2 days to remove sand from our ears!
What is your current favorite color combination?
We live in Crete; full of olive trees, long coasts, and wild mountains. Earth colors, ochre, shades of blue and green always work for us.
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
We would love our brides to become braver on palette selections & dare to break the trio white, off-white & blush pink. As much as we love the olive tree concept, we would love our brides to become more colorful. Crete and its wilderness definitely allow for more playful combinations and, why not?
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning?
Set up your priorities from the very beginning and make a decision on the budget minimum maximum you would like to devote to each part of your wedding. As much as the tangible costs are one of the most important factors influencing your decisions, try to take into consideration other elements as well: communication with the vendor (cheaper offers make equal long time to receive reply), quality of services, range of offered choices, credibility and proper acting on the day of your wedding.
Try to work with the best local planners and vendors. They know their land and its options best, while their suggestions are (most probably!) based on their experience, and not on their internet research! You do not want to work around theories and people who are far from the place of your wedding.
Define your priorities: Knowing what is most important for you or least important helps your planner make oriented questions & provide suggestions according to your vision.
Set realistic goals: You choose a destination for a reason. Keep this in mind and work around that! Do not set unrealistic goals, like having a Hollywood wedding in a small Cretan village that you can hardly locate on the map, as you will be most probably disappointed.
Meet your planner: Make sure you meet your planner in person or through skype before booking with them. Wedding planning is a long procedure and trust is very important; it is considered easier to trust a person you have met before and have a feeling of a real face that stand behind all arrangements on the spot.
Have fun! : Wedding planning should be a fun, creative & enjoyable experience from the beginning until the wedding day so make sure you enjoy your choices all the way: it will be worth it!
Photos by: Andreas Markakis
Thank you, ladies! For more information about Crete for Love, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile.
Do you have any questions or comments for Anna & Stavriani? Add them to the comments below!