Wedding planner remains optimistic industry will recover from uncertain times
Vicky meets... Sarah Boarer, director of Special Creations, Bognor Regis.
• How has pandemic impacted on the wedding and events industry?
We have no industry at the moment. Almost every booking has been postponed, because currently only 15 guests can attend a wedding. We have no idea when that will change. The knock-on effect is terrible; photographers, cake makers, entertainers – all those we usually book for weddings and events are impacted too.
• How was lockdown for you?
For the first month it was brilliant. I was very creative and researched lots of ways to develop the business. But then it started to get me down because there was literally nothing else I could do.
• How did you start the business?
I had a hairdressing business for 25 years, but that wasn’t challenging me anymore. I wanted a place where all the wedding and event elements were under one roof. Special Creations do all sorts of events, including weddings, christenings, corporate events, awards ceremonies and funerals.
• What do you love most about your work?
I love the creativity and I love a challenge. The more someone tells me that something can’t be done, the more I am determined to achieve it! One memorable booking was a blended wedding with a Ghanaian gentleman and British bride. They provided the traditionally-coloured Ghanaian cloth, which was the same as the bridesmaid’s dresses. We used it to transform the Chichester Park Hotel into something incredible. We sourced and created everything else to include elements of both cultures. The result blew us away. It was the most incredible wedding; so different, but so uplifting – the whole wedding party literally danced down the aisle. I enjoy the corporate events too. Highly pressured, we usually start work on these 12 weeks in advance. Kids’ parties are also wonderful. Their little faces light up when they see something like a balloon tower. I recently built 7ft palm trees out of balloons for a party and the children loved it.
• What’s your best advice to brides?
If you are thinking of booking a wedding within the next three years, do it soon. People are postponing to next year, so trying to fit in new bookings alongside postponed weddings and events is going to be tight. Even if you end up changing the date, get something booked. Also, if you’re on a budget remember that you can dress almost any space and transform it. Draping a room out and dressing it can make even a shabby hall look like a movie set.
• What does it take to be a good events planner?
You need to be calm, flexible, have lots of patience. And you need to love people. I just hope we can get back to what we do soon. It really is a devastating time for my industry, and for our associates. But we are optimistic and resourceful. Although we didn’t qualify for any Government help because the business is less than a year old, our showroom is open and the diary is filling up.
For more information visit www.specialcreations.co.uk or find Special Creations on Facebook – www.facebook.com/specialcreations.co.uk
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