There are shoes, and then there are SHOES

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I met a friend this week, who informed me that she has in her closet, over 120 pairs of shoes! Now, I am fully aware that there can never be enough shoes – or handbags – for those most discerning women for whom style means everything – but what about the boys? Well, I can report that I have 30 pairs – maybe, of shoes and sneakers, something for every occasion and piled in a way that ensures Sarah is constantly reminding me that I need to go through them and chuck those I don’t wear much anymore (unlikely given their sentimental value alone!).

Still, I do love shoes and what to do then when it comes to the most special day of the year and a pair of “going to be in them for hours” killer heels? I avoided this problem – yellow converse – comfy, and matched with a lovely deep blue 2 piece suit and vintage tie – I blended in well with both Sarah in her 1930’s dress and to our Afternoon Tea Chic themed day.

Some advice then, for those brides out there wondering what needs to be considered when shopping for the Cinderella fabled Glass Slippers;
  1. Pick shoes that will work well based on where you will be getting married and in part, the time of year. Think grass over cobbles, puddles, sand and distance.
  2. Don’t wait. Shoes follows dress and ensure that you take the time to bed the shoes in rather than wearing them for the first time on the day itself.
  3. Think heel height. Think walking. Think back up pair – matched and ballet pump for dancing. Think 6ft in heels and your 5.8 hubbie to be. Think “do they have to be this high?”. Think chic over trashy. Ensure you take your shoes with you to any bridal fittings.
  4. You want white?. Have a “Dulux moment” and remember there are different shades of white. In fact, why not go colourful – a splash of yellow, green or blue? And be careful of those extra special touches – bling is good, most of the time.
  5. Pedicure – do I really need to say anymore?
  6. Like most things – what works for you. louboutin, Choo or Blanik – M and S, Dune and ASOS. Your day, your shoe
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The Difference My Friend – Is You. Be Yourself

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There is no doubt that just the briefest of searches online reveals just how big an array of planners, designers, florists, photographers….cake makers and dress designers there are out there at the moment. If I can say, they are all special in their own right, and each has something to offer the vastly differing budgets of the clients with whom we work.

An obvious question however has to be that which surrounds such a competitive market and what must at some point be a supply V demand issue. Imagine then being the client who has to make that choice. To be in the position of trying to choose one of many companies who could do the job and worrying whether or not you made the right choice?

So what are clients looking for when choosing a company and is there such thing as a wrong decision?

Below are a couple of my thoughts and one or two on selling – you!

Clients Want To Work With People They Like:  I have said it over and over, but relationships are key, and regardless of your talent, clients want to know that you are someone with whom they will enjoy planning their event. I personally feel very privileged when clients take the time to write to me post an event, but more so, mention that I am a nice guy to do business with. I have been lucky enough to work with some great people over the years, and above all else – returning to use their services relates to them as people and how they are as people says a lot about how their business is likely to run.

There is no secret to Sales:  Honesty, be genuine, open and down-to-earth with your clients.  They can detect false promises and more than that, false people, from a mile away and ego has no place in the service industry (although easier said than done).

Straight to the point: There is a lot of competition out there. Be clear about what sets you apart and don’t be afraid to flaunt it. I had to think long and hard about what that was for me before launching WHiTEPAPER – did the industry need another planner? HELL YEAH!

Chin Up: Being a little different and thinking out of the box is not for everyone. Prepare yourself already for the fact that your vision for events may not match everybody else’s. You need to keep your chin up therefore and think positively  – take the time to look back and see just how far you have come as you stare onwards and in to the distance, and where you want to be.

Value Yourself:  DONT BE ARROGANT! Work hard and a confidence will be created, a stepping stone on which you can build and approach new clients. However, never forget just where you came from and who may have given you that chance when no one else would. Work hard will take you so far, but if you had not been humble way back when, you may never have got your foot in the door in the first place. Value your work and the price you put on it – but don’t think that the work alone is enough for longevity within this world.

With hundreds of thousands of weddings taking place each year I would like to think that there is enough work for everyone. Be true to yourself, and fair to your clients. Smile, breathe and remember the journey you took to the top and set your foundations well.