Designed Dream Events, located in the GTA, is an award-winning wedding and event planning and designing company. We pride ourselves on being in the top event industry for over 10 years and having successfully planned and coordinated over 300 weddings and events! For us quality is always more important than quantity. For that very reason, we never overbook ourselves and ensure that all of our clients get a personal touch and attention they deserve!
We have a team of 8 talented ladies – each of them brings their knowledge, background and personality into the company, making it so unique. Our talented team also speaks the following languages: Mandarin and Cantonese, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, and German.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenges that we’ve faced in the past were working with not the right vendors. Vendors who were unpunctual, irresponsible, unreliable and just not caring people. They can completely screw the big day for the couples. Therefore after learning from that experience over and over again, we pick our vendors extremely carefully to ensure that those people who we recommend to our couples will provide the best service, product and care that one can wish for.
What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?
At this moment during these challenging times I am only excited about everything getting back to some kind of normal. I am excited for my couples to have their big day in the way they have dreamt about, to have parties again, where dancing will be allowed and where no masks will be worn. We all miss those times so much.
In terms of the trends for 2021, I see the trend of small and intimate weddings and the trend in elopements within Canada and abroad. I see a trend of people treasuring the fact that they are actually getting married over the look of the wedding. It is all about feeling now more than ever and this is really amazing!
What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?
One of the ways to create an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget is to incorporate lots of DYI projects into your event. If it is your wedding, then think of some ways to create your own favours, centrepieces, maybe find a friend who can bake you a cake or make a cupcakes tower as an alternative to the wedding cake, maybe ask another friend to be your MC for the night and the list goes on and on and on.
We all know that venue is one of the most expensive parts of the wedding planning. Look at the other options around you, maybe you or your parents own a cottage that can be used as the wedding venue, maybe there is a nearby park or a beach area that you can rent and build a tent there instead of a traditional venue. We all started to be more creative with the venue options during the COVID times, that is for sure!
How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?
Having good relationships with vendors and venues is one of the keys to success. It takes time to build good rapport with vendors. It takes a few events where you can work with them in order to see if those are the right vendors that you want to surround yourself with or not; whether in the difficult situations these people will save the day or screw it. Once this rapport is build, these relationships will last for a very long time and your clients will always benefit from them.
What inspired you to launch your own company in the event industry? How long did it take from initially having the idea to setting up and starting to attract a client base?
Since I was a child I enjoyed putting events together, from the small concerts at my home for my parents, to the friends’ weddings when I grew up. This passion has followed me throughout my entire life. My professional background is in marketing and project management, which goes hand by hand with event management and planning.
After moving to Canada in 2008, I realized that there is a Wedding Planner profession, which I never knew about before, so I started to dig in and to do my research. After I realized that this is exactly what I would love to do in the future, I registered for the WPIC (Wedding Planning Institute of Canada) course, graduated, received my certificate and right away registered my Designed Dream company. That was back in 2010. It took me about 4-6 months from the initial idea to setting up and starting to attract potential clients.
What’s the first event you can ever remember planning and how did it go?
I will never forget the first wedding that we have ever done. It was a 500-people, cultural wedding with lots of entertainment elements, tons of vendors and complicated decoration. But nothing is ever easy in my life, lol, so I was ready for the challenge. The key is to have the right team by your side and the right vendors.
It was not the easiest wedding that we have done – some things went wrong and we had to solve problems on the fly. The itinerary got delayed because of so many moving parts in the entertainment, but generally it went well and the couple was extremely happy (they knew that this was my very first wedding and trusted me from the initial consultation, because I was completely honest with them). I will never forget that wedding that taught me so many lessons, which I am grateful for!
What are some things you wished you knew before starting your businesses?
There are many things that I wished I knew, but at the same time you can never know enough! There will be mistakes and there will be disappointments, there will be lots of lessons learned and sleepless nights, there will be struggles and headaches, there will be people that will turn their backs to you or walk away from you. There will be a lot on your path, but nothing good comes too easily to us, it is a learning process and a work in progress. Therefore, it is hard to say what would be things I wish I knew before starting my business. But, definitely I didn’t expect that having a business is a 24/7 job. This idea of being an entrepreneur sounded like a more relaxed and more flexible job to have, but in reality you work non-stop and your brain doesn’t stop thinking even when you are sleeping! 🙂
Having said that I have never regretted that I quit my 9-5 job and became an entrepreneur. I wouldn’t change it for anything!!
Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?
Thank you so much for including me into your interviews with the Event Pros!!