Planning a Wedding with Rebecca Rose Events - Part 4 - The Why
This week we've all enjoyed sharing little bits and pieces of our unique approach to planning weddings. While it's impossible to put every single detail in these blog posts our hope is that we've shed light on how we go about creating an experience that is thorough, thoughtful, and enjoyable for our clients. If you haven't done so already, be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 in this series first before you continue reading this post. Today, I'll keep this short and sweet, but I want to share why we do things the way we do them. To us, the "why" serves as the core purpose of our entire business, so it matters a lot!
Here it is: Simply put, we believe in the timeless beauty and value of celebration.
Weddings have existed for many many centuries and no matter how much the statistics and trends ebb and flow over the years, weddings will continue to take place and marriages will continue to be celebrated.
We're no strangers to the common arguments that "weddings these days are too expensive", or "the wedding industry is out to bilk you for all your worth". If you're an artist or professional in the wedding industry reading this now, I know you immediately identify with the hurt these shortsighted criticisms cause us all. If you're preparing to get married or think you ever may do so, I hope this post will help you learn to see beyond these arguments.
A couple years ago, I spoke with the father of a bride on the phone. He and his wife were considering booking our services for their daughter's wedding but he harbored a deep cynicism of the wedding industry and weddings in general. He repeatedly tried to encourage his daughter to elope and put the budget he was giving her and her fiancé towards buying a house instead of having a wedding. His reasoning was grounded in the idea that it was just wasteful to spend that amount of money on a four-hour party. I listened to his concerns and told him that I understood the logic and reasoning of his thought process, but gently reminded him that this celebration meant the world to his daughter. After 20-30 minutes of back-and-forth conversation, I was nearly ready to throw in the towel and walk away from the wedding altogether, knowing that it would be a painful process for our team if our client's father felt so strongly opposed to our involvement or the scope of our work throughout the entire planning period. The brutal truth is that some bookings just aren't worth it for us. This may be how we earn a living, but we have to make decisions based on more than just money. We form deep relationships with our clients and if those relationships aren't fruitful for all parties involved, then we're not the right fit.
Instead of ending the conversation in this case though, I felt compelled to advocate on behalf of the couple that we had already fallen in love with, and who we knew were so excited about their wedding, and about working with us. So I told him a very personal story and tried to maintain a professional phone voice in the process (read: blink back my tears and hide the shake in my voice that came from the huge lump in my throat).
I married my husband nearly 11 years ago. At the start of our planning process, my dad and I sat down to talk about the budget. He offered the idea that we could either use it to plan the big celebration we envisioned, or we could take the same budget and invest in a home and a savings account to start our marriage. Here's the thing: neither of those are bad ideas! For some couples, the home and the savings account are the right choice. I told my dad that it was important to us to celebrate the start of our marriage and that we were really excited about the wedding. He supported our decision completely (even though I know he probably thought the more pragmatic decision would have been to make the other choice). I look back on our wedding weekend and remember the most amazing moments. I remember clutching my dad's arm as we waited behind the church doors for the cue that it was time to walk down the aisle. I remember seeing my husband's face for the first time that day and how we both felt totally consumed with joy. I remember dancing with friends and family members, some of whom we hardly ever get to see. I remember feeling humbled and grateful to have all the people in the world who matter most to us, gathered in the same room to support our relationship and lift us up in prayer and celebration. I remember my dad's toast as he told stories about me as a little girl and welcomed his new son into our family. Our band may have played for four hours, but when I look back on that weekend - I do not think of it as a "four-hour party".
My father passed away just over three years ago. He was one of my very best friends and I talked to him every single day. I miss him tremendously and always will. I think back on our wedding weekend and he is a huge part of it. In fact, in so many ways - he was the reason for it. Celebration has value. Celebration creates memories. Celebration matters and it's worth an investment. I have those memories to hang on to for the rest of my life and that has incalculable value to me.
Our client's father ultimately agreed to allow his daughter and her fiancé to move forward with the wedding celebration and they hired us to produce it for them. It was an incredibly special event and our team was so honored to be a part of it all.
We're not interested in a focus on material objects or including "stuff just for the sake of having stuff". I say that a lot, but I really mean it. It's easy to get wrapped up in the world of Pinterest, wedding magazines, and "cute details". We're big on details, for sure! But the details we're developing with our clients are rooted in meaning and purpose.
We could go about all of this very differently and it would be easy to change our business model at Rebecca Rose Events if we wanted to do so. Because we are so committed to our process, we only accept 8-10 full-service weddings per calendar year. Occasionally, we take on even less (last year, we only accepted 7). We could lower our pricing a bit, change our approach to spend less hours on each wedding and take double that number (and probably increase revenue substantially in the process), but that would mean letting go of the very heart and soul of this business - and we refuse to do that. This isn't a wedding factory. We are artists and professionals - and we care too much about the quality and meaning of the work we do to let broad industry criticism water it all down.
Every bit of our process is designed to deliver an experience for the couples we serve. A few years ago, in an initial consultation appointment, another father of the bride said to me: "I see this investment in your services as an investment in my daughter's and our family's happiness throughout the engagement and planning process...not just on the wedding day". Be still my heart. Folks, this meant the world to me at the time and it still does.
We believe in the timeless beauty and value of celebration. A wedding isn't just about one day. It's a process and a commitment. The process deserves our very best because the stakes (memories, emotional experience, the ability to enjoy an engagement period) are too high for anything less.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends! Until next week...