From my experience, networking and good communication are the key for making your business grow.

Jossy Quezada

Wedding & Event Planner

Location: Perú

Becoming a wedding planner has been one of my best decisions ever. I’ve always believed that I was born to be a teacher and that was the only thing I could do but I realized that we have the capacity to find our real true calling; that we live in a world where we are defined by our work. I had already found my vocation but I was looking for my real passion.

Nine years ago I decided to change my full time job as an English teacher and started my own business in the wedding industry. I’ve always loved hosting events – I was the official planner in all the family, school, university and work celebrations.

What I like the most about organizing weddings is that you are the real witness of one of the most memorable moments in a couple’s life. You are chosen to organize, create and design their happiest memory and treasure that day forever. It’s not a job, it’s pure commitment. I believe that love is truly awesome and it has to be celebrated in a stress-free joyful environment.

During all this journey I’ve had the chance to meet wonderful couples , work with amazing professionals and share unforgettable moments.

  • Degree in Translation and Interpreting
  • Member of Belief Wedding Creators – International wedding community
  • Member of IADWP – International Association of Destination Wedding Planners

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced while planning an event and how did you overcome it?

Overcoming difficulties is part of the planning. You get used to having backup plans and managing deadlines but sometimes there’s something that reveals your real courage. I was in charge of a partial planning and the bride had already hired some of the wedding vendors in advance. The planning seemed normal and everything was running smoothly but the week of the wedding ( 2 days before) one of her main vendors, the caterer, had committed fraud and escaped with all the money.

When I realized that I had no catering I felt like it was the end of the world but had to react quickly, so I had an emergency meeting with most of the vendors that had already worked with that company. We teamed up and decided to host the event together. That day I learned that having good relationships with vendors is vital because most of them decided to help and run the event in no time.

The day of the wedding everything was spectacular, the decoration was stunning, all the vendors felt proud of all we did in just 48 hours. The couple felt really grateful, we cried of happiness and enjoyed their dream day. There’s nothing impossible when you are surrounded by a great team who holds you even in the darkest moments.

What are 2 trends in the event planning industry that you’re excited about?

Before this global crisis started, I’ve never imagined myself organizing intimate or small weddings cause in my country people are used to hosting big parties (up to 200 or 300 guests). However, I’ve realized transformation and adaptation are part of the business challenges so now I’m very excited about these types of events that have a different kind of magic. I’m very interested in small events, petit weddings, elopements and any type of sustainable event in which we can maximize the experience.

What are some tips for creating an elegant and memorable event on a tight budget?

When it comes to planning an event, budget makes the difference. We always dream on having a big budget to make a dream event but most of the time we have customers with a limited budget who look for an amazing party. Something really important is knowing the couples real needs and their essence – what kind of couple they are, what they plan to reflect in the wedding, and how they imagine their wedding experience.

It’s vital to prioritize the experience we offer the couple and the guests – focus on their real needs and not only on Pinterest ideas, choose personalization and not follow trends if it doesn’t define who they are, be realistic about their theme event and expectations. You can impress hosting an intimate event or a big one if you know your real needs.

How important are your relationships with vendors and what are some ways that you successfully cultivate and ensure good rapport?

Vendors are our best allies and building good relationships with them is crucial. This is not an easy task because these connections are built gradually through the years.

Personally, I think real connections based on a common purpose make the difference and keep a good communication with your vendors so that they know exactly what you expect from them. If you start working with them, meet them in person or virtually, tell them why you want them to be in your team, share your goals with them and help them to achieve their goals, be involved in the process and always keep in touch with them not only for business.

If problems arise, show how they deal with difficulties and give a feedback so that you both understand roles and responsibilities. Build trust with your vendors and value their work and commitment.

What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

I’m always looking for new opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Last year was a tough year for the wedding industry and we faced uncertainty and restrictions. For this reason I started collaborating with some international wedding sites and write for some of them. It started like a therapy but I found out I love sharing all my experience and it’s a way to renew my passion.

I’ve learned that we have the power to adapt and transform and say yes to challenges. This year I decided to join a Mastermind with amazing and brave women who are in the international wedding industry and start working together in finding our real purpose and envision new goals. I feel really excited about this new project that will foster all my creativity.

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?

Before joining the wedding industry I had two other business projects that I liked but I was looking for something else. I knew I wanted to start a business but I didn’t have a clear idea of what to do. I had been working as a full time teacher and really enjoyed my job but one day during a class observation one of my former bosses told me I’ve noticed you have real talent for organizing events – in fact I always volunteered myself for organizing birthday celebrations, baby showers, welcome or farewell parties. He encouraged me to try finding my passion.

At that time I had a friend involved in the wedding industry, a caterer, and she asked me to help her in some events and I realized that it was what I wanted to do. At the beginning I started working with some referred customers from a caterer but then I started meeting vendors and getting involved in the business so I started having customers on my own. I participated in showrooms, bridal events, joined some bridal magazines to be featured in interviews and launched my website and all the social media channels. The first two years were hard because I was teaching and organizing at the same time so it was a real challenge but then I started having more customers and had to quit and focus completely on my business.

From my experience, networking and good communication are the key for making your business grow. Having sustainable alliances with vendors, working together in the wedding industry, finding your right customer target, learning to delegate and work in a multi-skilled team. I decided to focus my target market on foreign couples who wanted to marry in Peru and have a memorable destination wedding experience. I think this gave me the chance to broaden my horizons, meet foreign colleagues and discover my real capabilities. I had the opportunity to participate in some international posts and have more visibility. Nowadays social media rules and is a great door to opportunities, gives you the chance to interact with potential customers and show your work everywhere.

Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you?

Whatever you choose to do in your life, do it with passion. I always say that passion rules my world and it’s my best source of energy. Fall in love deeply with your project, embrace it, work hard to make it happen, believe in your inner power and your strength to achieve whatever you want. I’ve learned that everyone has a purpose in life and we are in constant self discovery so just go for it, show up and spread your light to the world.

Jossy Quezada
Author: Jossy Quezada

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