We recently interviewed Academy student Katie Zac to get an insider view on exactly what it’s like to work on your first wedding. here is what Katie had to share with us…

You recently completed some sub-contracting work on a wedding with Academy Tutor Christine’s company I Do Crew, talk us through the job and what you have learnt? 

I actually got two weddings in one weekend with I Do Crew, one on the Friday the other on the Sunday. I was extremely nervous going in to the first one on the Friday, I had spoken with the bride a week prior and she seemed quite nervous which really threw me, I had to make sure I did the best job possible.

I arrived at The strand in Williamstown very nervous and left absolutely full of confidence. It was a small styling job, putting out bonbonierre, personalised menus and some small props on the tables. The brides sister was the florist and she was there putting the flowers together. She actually made a comment as she was happy to see I was adjusting the very roughly folded napkins on each place setting, the attention to detail was appreciated, I felt appreciated. The room looked fabulous and I was so proud of the finishing touches I had added to this wedding.

This gave me the confidence for the next wedding on Sunday, again a styling job where the bride was super, super organised. It took quite a long time putting everything together but again, I felt so rewarded leaving the room completely transformed by me. I did have a slight hiccup of the floor plan the bride had given me different to that of which the venue had set up. I asked if there were any other tables like the floor plan and was told there wasn’t. I worked with what I had and tried to match it as well as I could. Upon leaving I let Christine know, who then contacted the venue and asked them if they knew about the floor plan and that I couldn’t do it exactly to plan, thankfully Christine was very experienced and got on to this straight away. I should have notified them of this when I was there to make sure the bride was aware that I couldn’t display everything exactly as requested, a lesson learnt only from experience.

I also learnt that you really have to work with the venue, forming a relationship with the venue is the best thing you can do, as they will assist you as much as possible, after all we all want the same outcome, the perfect wedding for our clients.

Winning wedding jobs can be competitive and the idea of working on your first real wedding can be rather scary. Do you have any advice for other students considering working for another planner/stylist to gain experience?

Christine had posted about another larger wedding job on the Academy’s Facebook group. I contacted her as soon as I saw it which unfortunately was too late. She then informed me of the Friday wedding, sent me the scope of work and asked if I was interested. I jumped at the opportunity the more weddings the better. She then told me she had another job on the Sunday, I couldn’t say no, I moved things around and made it work. When speaking to clients now I can say I’ve done 2 weddings this year which sounds a lot better than none.

I was nervous and scared to work for Christine, as this is her brand, her business I didn’t want to disappoint her or let her down. She was great! Christine responded quickly to all emails and was always there for me. She had the confidence in me which helped me believe in myself. I think she also knew what I could handle because she was once in my spot with my very small amount of experience.

I would still take more opportunities for work if they arose and always check the Academy’s Facebook group for these opportunities. There is nothing greater than experience and you learn more and more with every job.

Katie working at Melbourne Fashion Week

How has your Academy course prepared you for working on these real weddings? 

The course has been great, I cannot preach enough how perfect this course is. I use all my learnings for weddings and in my every day life.

I use my pre consultation questionnaire from my unit project when meeting with clients. I set out proposals just like I did in my unit projects. I organise a planner kit with me, in case anything arises on the day just like we are taught in the course. The lingo used from vendors is no longer foreign to me as I had learnt it throughout my course. I can still hear my tutors words in my head of how she would approach consults and her personal tips for certain tasks and I use all this knowledge on the day to make sure everything is perfect.

The course is well set out and goes through everything that may arise in the whole wedding process.

What did you gain from your first wedding job? 

Confidence! First and Foremost.

Hands on experience, actually putting into reality everything I had learnt through the course.

I actually had booked a wedding that was 2 weeks after this work and I was more confident and organised, I believe due to this experience. Being confident makes your bride more relaxed and trusting in you.

I allowed the correct amount of time for all tasks, not chasing my tail and also felt comfortable talking with the suppliers and venue staff. Again without the experience I had working for I Do Crew I would have felt very nervous and would have unintentionally showed my lack of experience.

You can check out Katie’s wedding and events business at www.katiezacevents.com and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

If you’re interested in joining our student community and launching your wedding and events career with the Academy click on your nearest campus below to connect with our course advisors.

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