Last week we launched our new Tutor Profiles blog series, introducing Australian Academy tutor Lisa Macale. Here at the Academy we believe that the best way for our students to learn is by being educated and mentored by industry professionals and business owners. Who better to set you on the path to your career in weddings & events, than those who have already made a success in this wonderful industry. Studying with us exposes you to the knowledge and advice our tutors want to share from their own experiences, and I personally have benefited from the wisdom our UK Academy tutor Zoe has shared with me in my assignment feedback. So lets find out more about the fabulous Zoe Mckeown and her business Cherish Wedding Planning.
How did you get into the industry?
I started Cherish wedding planning in 2008 as a complete career change from teaching. I have 3 daughters and was looking for a job that was more flexible and in complete contrast to being a secondary school teacher. In 2010 I met Kylie (Company director) for a coffee in London as she was looking to expand the UK branch, and I have been working with her and the team ever since. I still run my own wedding planning business too and I find this helps me to give current advice about the industry and honest answers to student questions, which I think is important.
What is the most memorable event you have worked on?
One of the most memorable weddings I have supported a couple to create was based on a graffiti theme. The couple also had a keen interest in trains so chose a roundhouse as the venue right next to the train station for some more unusual photo’s.
It was a blank canvas venue and the couple used an event stylist to design and dress the space. I had worked with the couple and their extended family for over a year meeting once a month for updates. The planning was very much a family affair and this gave us all some great brainstorming time and also the opportunity to share ideas and make decisions about the best way forward. The roundhouse was very big so the designs needed to fill the space, the graffiti idea came about from a discussion with the couple about their passions. From some home art they created between meetings the colour choices emerged for the design and it was then followed through in all the décor. My main job with this wedding was to collate ideas and keep the planning process on track. But what emerged was that actually I also provided the family with set meeting times to come together and enjoy an evening of focused planning time. They were all busy professionals but by having a planner to pull them all into one location they were able to indulge in wedding chat without any other distractions, often over a glass of bubbly. The pictures attached give a clearer picture of the actual wedding day, it was stunning and had a really fun atmosphere – check out the monster cake. Everything went to plan, the groom was over-whelmed, the bride was calm and together they enjoyed the perfect day that reflected their personalities.
How has your experience shaped your business?
My philosophy for brides is that they should enjoy the ‘process’ of planning their wedding as much as the day itself. The planning time is longer than the actual wedding day will be, so it is my business aim to help them cherish that time as the preparation makes great memories too.