By: May A. J Halasa, WPICC, DWC of The Wedding Haven in Dubai, UAE
We are wedding planners focusing on organizing and coordinating unique and creative weddings an events all over the UAE, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Spain, France, Malaysia, Turkey, Caribbean, and Mexico. The Wedding Haven, is a Premium-level award wedding planning firm owned and operated by May Abu Jaber-Halasa. An expert in the field of destination weddings, May is certified by the Wedding Planners Institute in Canada (WPIC), and the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO).
We plan wedding in the UAE and abroad, and speak English, Spanish, French, and Arabic!
When working, interning or even studying, we often get extremely caught up in our everyday matters. Meanwhile, it’s possible we lose sight in the power our behavioral traits have in our workplace. It’s easy to forget the basics. To remind ourselves, we have put together a little reminder of the fundamental traits that make a wedding planner stand out!
• Independence There is a beautiful Japanese proverb that goes like this: ˜Send Your Beloved Child To A Journey.” One of the many interpretations it has is to be self reliant. Depend on others as little as possible, even when others have offered help. Know every detail necessary for your upcoming wedding, have all the necessary printouts and contacts on you, have with you extra snacks, tissues, stationary tools and whatever else you can think of. Have it ready/studied/double-checked. Look to yourself to answer the questions in your head, and if you still can’t figure it out, THEN go to others. You know that friend you had in high school who always had gum, napkins, a bazillion pens, hair ties and what else on them? Embody them! You know your job more than anyone else around you, and you know how to make it your own!
• Transparency This should be a cornerstone of every wedding planner’s job, whether it is applied when meeting clients, suppliers, or my employees. You started your own business to be your own boss – there is no right or wrong way to do things. Or is there? Of course there is! Who are we kidding? At the end of the day we need to work within a framework of respect and honesty with all those around us. There is a level of ethical professionalism that you should never cross, because it will only come back to bite you. You are working to build a business, and as many startups, we rely heavily on word of mouth, and on our reputation. If you believe you can handle all the requirements of a specific wedding, and dedicate your all to it, then go for it. However, if you have even a 1% doubt that the wedding is more than what you can take, then be honest with yourself and with your potential client. If you promise a client a winter wonderland wedding, with real snow, you better make sure you are equipped to handle just that! You work years to build a name, and one event can damage it all. So be honest with your clients, suppliers, and most importantly yourself.
• Make Sure You Want It Although I have personally never met someone who regretted getting into event planning, it’s completely natural to try something, and later discover that it was not the right fit. Circumstances change, markets change, and people change – that is only normal. However, if you commit to wedding planning, do it wholeheartedly. Planning a wedding consists of large numbers of attendees and a million and one things on your checklist, this kind of work involves a lot of hard work, high levels of stress, time away from family and much more – and a lack of commitment will only exacerbate the latter. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to yourself and others to give it your all. And to give it your all, you must want it with all of your heart.
• Conceal, Don’t Feel (Well, don’t feel right on the spot is more like it!) Controlling your emotions is a learned skill that will come in super handy as a wedding planner. I tend to wear my emotions of my sleeve, but I’ve had to work hard to try and channel them into some other aspect of my work especially when dealing with difficult clients and suppliers.
You may get yelled at, scolded, and made to feel like you don’t know how to do your job, but it is all part of the territory. This is not to say that you should accept any ill-treatment, but when tensions are high, it is your job to keep things from escalating. So keep your calm, speak clearly and maintain eye contact even when hell breaks loose. You’ve got this!
• Take what you can from every experience Not every single one will be a great one, but the moment you know you’ve learned the lesson it was meant to teach you, you’ll already be on the journey of self-improvement.