Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vendor Series Interview No. 4, Signature Events

Amy Piper of Signature Events is a wedding and event planner in the Lakes Region of NH. She works with clients throughout the country looking for a New England destination wedding. The word on the street is she's also a very talented photographer... Here are a few photos of her work, take a look at her website, and enjoy the interview!

Amy Piper

KP: What is your favorite part of the wedding process?

AP: I would say that my favorite part of the wedding process is seeing everything come to fruition on the day of the wedding. I find that I work with most brides for almost a year during the planning process and it is always so rewarding to see everything that we have worked on come together in the end.

KP: What do you love most about your job in the wedding industry?

AP: Well, certainly I love working with the people who are a part of the wedding industry as well as the clients. I value the friendships that have been formed with the majority of my clients over the years. I also love working with all of the details that come with planning a wedding or an event. As I always say, the more details the better!

KP: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?

AP: The biggest misconception I find is that a bride looking to have her wedding at a public venue versus at a personal, private property is much more likely to feel that she does not need to hire an outside wedding coordinator because she has been convinced that the wedding coordinator that works for the public venue is all she needs. Of course, this is truly not the case, so it always best to take a little time to educate a bride on the differences between our roles as wedding coordinators.

KP: How did you get into the wedding industry?

AP: Signature Events was formed with encouragement from friends who had seen my event planning skills and experience through the volunteer work I did for various organizations. They also encouraged me based on my ability to create a fine arts and crafts show that I ran out of my home for 8 years. A Gathering of Friends was a 2 day event featuring the work of over 35 juried artisans. Their comments to me were “you’re so good at what you do, why don’t you consider getting paid for what you do!”, and thus Signature Events was formed! I am excited to say that I am celebrating my 10 year Anniversary this year! In my business I actually plan not only weddings, but I also enjoy planning corporate events, themed events, golf tournaments, etc. I love the variety!

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor other than in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

AP: There are really so many wedding vendors that play an important role in the overall success of the day, but I would say SperryTents Seacoast. Their tents are not only beautiful, but also different from any other tent company in their quality of craftsmanship. The owner, Bancroft Potter, as well as the members of his staff and tent crew is professional, courteous and a pleasure to work with.

KP: Tell me one wedding vendor in your industry you highly recommend? Why?

AP: I love the work of Mary Dann. Her work is beautiful, sometimes simple, but always elegant.

KP: Favorite wedding story- funny or serious.

AP: I’ll probably never forget one of my weddings from last summer. It was right around the time of the tornado, so the weather had been pretty unpredictable. With the ceremony being on an island, we lucked out weather wise when it came to transporting all of the guests by boats to the island. In fact, we even got them back to shore safely for the reception without any incident of rain. But it seemed as soon as the last guest was brought to shore, the skies opened up for the remainder of the day! Before we knew it, a portion of the tent leading to the bar (of all places!) was under water. Luckily, the venue had several wooden planks that we used to create a bridge to get over the water. The father of the bride was awesome and despite efforts to persuade him that he should return to the cocktail hour and that everything would be fine, he pitched right in! With shoes wet and ruined, the father of the bride and I were barefoot for most of the evening! Despite the trials and tribulations of the weather, the bride, groom and their guests were in great spirits all evening. At the end of the evening, the father picked me up off the ground in a big bear hug and told me how grateful he was to me for such a wonderful day!
I drove the 45 minutes home soaked to the bone, but with a huge smile on my face!

KP: What other part of the industry would you not want to work in? Why?

AP: I am not sure there are any I love all aspects of the event planning industry. Anything that involves details and the planning of an event whether it is a wedding, corporate, special event, etc is right up my alley!

KP: What differentiates you from the rest of your industry peers?

AP: Speaking for myself only, I know that when a client hires me, I am dedicated to their every need during the planning process. I try to separate work from personal life, so that I have time for both, but quite often find myself working late in the office, answering phone calls or responding to emails at various hours of the evening and making myself readily available to my clients even in what should be my “off” hours. Also, I am not sure if other planners offer photography as an extra bonus when they are hired, but I do! I have had a love for photography since I was a little and as my gift to the bride and groom, I take as many photos as possible at their wedding (making sure not to interfere with the professional photographer, of course!). Over the years, I have received some great comments about my “eye” for photography from both my clients and from professional photographers. I find those comments to be so rewarding.

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