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Launching a Wedding Business with Academy Graduate Stacey Gates

Here at the Academy, we do as much as we possibly can to ensure those of our students whose goal is to set up a wedding or events business are trained and prepared to launch their business with confidence. It is a very proud moment for us when we see our graduates take what we have taught them and embark on their career in the world of weddings and events.  But what does it really take to launch a wedding and event business? Today we sit down with 2017 UK Academy graduate and proud new business owner Stacey Gates to find out more about her experience of her wedding business launch process, her tips and advice for those of you starting out, and the exciting plans she has for her business.  So firstly let me introduce you to the lovely Stacey… 

launching a wedding business

“Based in the heart of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, Stacey Gates specialises in luxury weddings as a personal stylist & planner for her newly launched company Rose Gold Events.

Stacey has always been creative starting out in Art & Design then going on to receive a degree in Marketing Communications, Stacey launched her career from the get go in a faced pace role as marketing & events coordinator for an international branding company. High-flying in a corporate world left little time for Stacey to relish her true creative passion, until… she started planning her own dream destination wedding in Italy’s picturesque setting of Lake Como. With a new found passion and second nature creative and planning skills, Stacey identified she had discovered her true career path. Stacey enrolled in the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning and took a huge leap to leave the corporate world and utilise her UKAWEP Diploma to start her own luxury wedding and event planning company in 2017.

Stacey prides herself on her attention to detail, creative imagination, luxurious design finesse and contagious enthusiasm. Stacey will execute styled weddings and events flawlessly while maintaining the client’s vision and personal luxury experience as the first priority throughout the planning process.”

Stacey thank you for joining us today to share your experience and exciting new business launch with our readers. You finished your Diploma in Wedding Planning, Styling & Design with us at the start of this year. How did it feel to graduate, and what have you been up to since then? 

I am loving 2017 it’s been a giddy whirlwind so far, thrilled to say my excitement has only continued since the start of the year. Graduating from the academy was a great sense of accomplishment directing my new career journey as a self-employed wedding stylist & planner, giving me the final confidence boost I needed to develop my company website, build my social profile, network within the industry, generate client enquiries and curate my first solo styled shoot. 

Huge congratulations on the launch of your business Rose Gold Events, with your website going live last month. How have the first few weeks been?

Thank you, honestly I have to say the process has been an emotive journey for me. I am an incredibly passionate person, if I set out to achieve a goal I throw myself in wholeheartedly. I was very excited/nervous about the launch of my website as I see it as an extension of myself, my design, my personality, my words and my business offer. I invested in having my website built by a fantastic digital marketing agency, it was of great importance to me that Rose Gold Events website has the look, feel and usability of a luxury brand offering; this is after all my shop window for clients. You can only hope that your hard work and investment has the desired results, I am very pleased with the outcome, but it doesn’t stop there as we all know clients want to see beautiful social media accounts, authoritative blog posts and more styled shoots!

launching a wedding business

Your business and beautiful branding are very much geared to the luxury wedding and event market, what made you decide to target this kind of client? 

I am in complete awe of anyone who has the grit and determination to set up their own business; it’s not easy and takes a huge amount of careful consideration across many aspects. In terms of the luxury wedding planners market, after spending much time researching (mainly for my own wedding) I didn’t find a company in the North of England that I felt could help me with my wedding dreams to coordinate every step of creating a destination wedding in my favourite place in the world Lake Como, Italy. That was my realisation moment; if I can manage every single detail of my own dream Italian Lakes wedding, from legal proceedings to booking flights and accommodation for every one of my guests, then why not put my borderline obsessive spreadsheet fetish to good use for other excited destination brides!

I feel my offer differs from other wedding planners as I don’t mention or offer ‘packages’. I want the entire wedding planning journey to be an exciting, stress-free experience from word go. I offer my expertise and complete support for bespoke UK and destination weddings as a brides personal wedding planner always on hand to ensure their wedding day exceeds expectations. I love being part of the real life love story and bringing a bridal couples wedding dreams to life.

It can be intimidating and overwhelming when it comes to deciding what your brand is. How did you come up with the name and brand identity for Rose Gold Events? 

Great question, definitely intimidating & overwhelming at times! It was actually my mum that I give all the credit to for the name Rose Gold Events. I went down many different paths and jumped a few tangents before settling on a name for my business. I see the pros and cons of using your own name, this was my initial route but on reflection, I wanted to be a little more original in my approach. To turn a really long story into a more condensed version; I have a great passion for floral design fitting hand in hand with weddings I kind of knew I wanted to include a flower within the name. But it was after a simple conversation over tea & cake with my mum who reminded me of the beautiful rose gold bracelet my parents bought for me when I was around 10years old, and went on to say “why don’t you name your business Rose Gold Events” the name was born and was perfectly in sync with my ideas of where I saw my business going but then the arduous task of creating a brand identity began.

My background is in marketing, therefore I have been fortunate enough to have worked within creative agencies and worked on brand generation and evolution projects. I repeated a process of collating a HUGE collection of brand logo’s that I loved and why. After more variations than I care to admit to… I settled on my brand ident as you see today. I think it’s very clean, elegant and a fitting representation of my brand personality.

launching a wedding business

You are offering destination wedding planning and styling as one of your bridal experiences, what made you decide to include this in your list of services. And what advice would you have for anyone thinking about offering destination wedding services? 

As I have mentioned I planned my own destination wedding in the Italian Lakes, it took me 16months from confirming the venue to the day itself to plan and coordinate my own wedding and was practically a full-time job throughout the process. There are many obstacles to consider for any wedding planner from when a bride suggests the country they have in mind you need to know the wedding legals required, civil and religious ceremony options, the language barriers, the timescales of confirming venues, caterers, entertainment etc,  available flights, budgeting, scheduling pre-location visits… the list goes on. My now husband and I flew out and stayed in Lake Como twice during the planning months as we needed to evaluate and book hotels for our guests, our rehearsal dinner venue, boat transfers, meet with Italian speaking wedding coordinators, musicians, food tasting, wine tasting, planning and creating an itinerary across the four days in the town of Bellagio for our wedding guests. Just from this comprehensive list, you get the idea how much was involved to make our wedding everything we hoped and dreamed of, this is why I wanted to offer my expertise for brides who dream of a luxury bespoke planned destination wedding.

My advice would be to create your ideal customer profile so you understand who your market audience is. If you are offering a true destination planner service then be thorough in your research, know your strengths and what you can offer the client as the expert.

Starting your own business is a goal many of our students set themselves. What key pieces of advice would you share with them? 

I would have to say the clue is in the question, set yourself an end goal –  What do achievement and success look like to you…? And what I mean by that gigantic question is ok of course you need to have an idea of what your ultimate goal is that you are setting out to achieve, but that might take years to mature and develop into your desired result. So in the here and now I prefer baby steps, I actually set myself monthly, weekly and daily goals. I don’t believe in going all in full steam and not having a plan, that’s just not me, my approach might not be right for everyone and it’s definitely not the fastest route but I am far more considered and methodical in my approach. If you are confident in your service offering or product and have done all the necessary research and analysis then there is no reason why you will not be successful in launching your own business. The Academy provides invaluable resource within the business modules, but I would say expect to make mistakes because we are not perfect, be open-minded and creative, adapt, don’t get hung up on social media numbers, look for opportunities and overall enjoy it!  

launching a wedding business

And what have you found are the best and worst bits about launching a new business? 

I would say the negatives for me have been the emotive aspects and the unnecessary worry about other people’s opinions. At first, I struggled with managing my self-discipline to be my own boss and set a structure for my day, it can be quite isolating at times so you definitely need to have the right personality to be self-employed but all that said the positives can hugely outweigh the negatives as soon as you set your mind frame. The flexibility of setting your own working hours means you can plan time to be with your family throughout the week as most weddings are over the weekend. I get a great sense of empowerment from having my own independence, if you are prepared to work hard and focus on being productive not just ‘busy’ then you should see results.

Throughout the pre-launch process and now officially being in business is there a key moment that has stood out to you so far? 

It has to be the feeling of validation I have gained from the super exciting client enquiries I have received, it just reaffirms that I have made the right decision to change my career and I absolutely love that I can be creative every day, and be as, if not more excited than the brides that I work with. It will come as no surprise that I absolutely adore the whole all-encompassing journey that weddings evoke in us, and how this special celebration forms a unique chapter in a real life love story – that’s my job to bring a brides dream to life! *pinching myself*

How would you say the course prepared you for setting up Rose Gold Events? 

The course has been instrumental; not only the course material and the guidance I have taken from each section, it’s all the opportunities I have been fortunate enough to be part of during and after graduating. I put myself out there and was able to gain industry experience working on numerous wedding set up’s and styled shoots for two local inspirational wedding planners that both work with The Academy, I also worked on set styling for two Academy Live filming sessions, and I was lucky enough to have a filmed one to one student interview by Kylie Carlson!!

So far I have met many people in the industry, been to various kinds of wedding networking events some that have included awe inspiring guest speakers and their story. I have taken all that I have learnt, absorbed and asked and moulded that knowledge into the makings of my own business model. But I think, if you are genuinely interested in the industry then I can always find something new to take and learn from each day – that’s the great thing about having your own business evolving and adapting to new trends, legislation, client requests and what our industry friends and leaders are up to.

launching a wedding business

Photo by Cream Photography

This month we have been celebrating our 10 year anniversary. Where would you like your business to be in ten years time? 

O wow, that’s quite exciting to dare to think about… Firstly Congratulations on celebrating 10years! I loved the ‘10 Years In Business With Academy CEO Kylie Carlson’ feature and its crazy to read from Kylie’s point of view how far the wedding industry has come in 10 years, although I still think the North has some catching up to do with London in terms of hiring a wedding planner and stylist is just considered the norm for a fabulous bride to be.  

I would like to think my career as a luxury wedding planner & stylist is thriving and Rose Gold Events has by this point has given me the opportunity to work on and be part of unforgettable weddings worldwide.

Stacey, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. We’re really excited for you and wishing you the best of luck with Rose Gold Events. Before you go can you sum up in one sentence what it is you love about working in weddings? 

Thank you for featuring me and my business it’s a proud moment I have to say. I would say in one short sentence…

“ I love the fine details, the personal touch, the luxurious finish and innovative elements that will capture a brides imagination. ”

So we’ve heard all about what goes in to launching a wedding business. It truly is a nerve-wracking but hugely exciting time in a wedding or event pros career and we really appreciate Stacey sharing her experience with us. So without further ado here is the the result of all Stacey’s hard work and passion, introducing Rose Gold Events… 

launching a wedding business

“Newly launched luxury wedding planning business Rose Gold Events offers the bridal couple destination wedding planning expertise, focusing on delivering unconditional levels of service and attention to detail. Based in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside working with clients near and far, Stacey at Rose Gold Events creates an indulgent wedding experience as your personal wedding stylist & planner, specialising in bespoke designed luxury UK & destination weddings.

Rose Gold Events offer an elopement experience for the bridal couple whose time is precious Stacey will be your personal planner coordinating an unforgettable overseas luxury wedding. Best suited for a bridal couple who would like the expertise and complete support of a professional fully managed service to ensure their wedding day exceeds expectations and remains stress-free.”

If it’s your dream to one day launch your own wedding or event business our training courses will give you all the education, skills and tools you need to make you a future pro! We offer our courses internationally so discover your local online campus to find out more.

All Photography by Jamie Hobbs unless specified otherwise

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