Interview by Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong
Some people seem to be born to do what they do. Valerie Paul is one such person. Read newspaper interviews about her collecting bald Barbies for children undergoing cancer treatment or hear first-hand accounts of her caring heart and exceptional organizational skills and you’ll quickly learn that Valerie Paul Wedding and Event Planning is such a success because of the first two words - Valerie Paul! And, it doesn’t hurt that Valerie is a beautiful woman with a dazzling smile.
We asked Valerie to tell us more.
How would you describe Valerie Paul Wedding and Event Planning in one sentence?
If you choose me to assist you with your most important day, it is just as important to me that I make sure it goes perfectly for you.
What can you tell us about the your history of wedding and event planning?
I started doing weddings and events approximately 25 years ago. I really, really enjoyed doing them and loved the challenge of making sure that every detail was taken care of that every goal was accomplished and I really, really enjoyed exceeding my clients expectations.
I have developed a reputation as sort of being the “save the day” wedding and event planner. That is because very frequently I am called either to come in at the last minute and help with something that has gone wrong, or to fix something that has gone wrong, or to look over the plans and tell them how it could be done better or more efficiently.
A lot of companies look at a wedding or an event, whether it be corporate, family etc., as just a bottom line paycheck. If something goes wrong, oh well, the client will never know and I got paid. I don’t look at things that way.
As far as I’m concerned, it has to be perfect for you even if I sometimes spend a little bit of my own money for a detail that I think needs to happen. And if something per chance would happen to go a little bit wrong you will never know about it because I will take care of it.
Sometimes wedding families think they’re not going to necessarily need the assistance of a coordinator until they get into the planning and determined that they are overwhelmed.
Sometimes for corporate events, the person in charge is very busy with their own job and doesn’t necessarily know where to start or who to call for vendors.
Ultimately this is how I help the most. I assist with vendor recommendations and appointments, menu recommendations, do’s and don’ts for budgeting and planning, as well as anything else you may need from centerpieces to duct tape.
I will never tell the client what to do… but I will always make sure that everything is taken care of exactly the way that it should be.
And I have never faced a challenge that I have not been able to overcome for the absolute perfect event. I have a very dependable staff that have worked with me for years that I can count on and they know exactly how I want things to be done.
Teamwork and communication with the client is absolutely imperative to make sure that your event goes off perfectly. I do not limit my communication with my clients to a certain number of phone calls or texts per month - you get me as much as you need me.
What can you tell us about the weddings Valerie Paul Wedding and Event Planning have orchestrated?
Believe it or not, I have done a wedding for 200 people with 24 hours notice! The original venue flooded, the florist called me and asked if I had the next day available. It was a perfect storm. As it happened, I had a wedding booked for Sunday but not for Saturday.
I spoke to my staff they all said they would do it. I spoke to the bride for about six hours on the phone that night, met her at 7:00 o’clock in the morning, had the wedding at 4:00 p.m. as if it had been planned there the entire time.
I also have had outdoor events planned and in Florida there’s always concern about rain but I always have a back up plan.
Well, this one particular time, no back up plan needed. It stopped raining ten minutes before the event was scheduled to start and then resumed rainfall twenty minutes after the event was over.
I have run to the grocery store to purchase flowers when the corporate client forgot to pick up the centerpieces.
I have to run to the grocery store to pick up sheet cakes to be cut in the kitchen when they very well-intending families of the couple made the wedding cakes themselves and were unable to be cut.
I have photographed engagement sessions on my iPad when a photographer who is their friend forgot to come.
One particular time, I even tripped over a shoe lace and fell flat on my face but I saved the iPad and got the perfect shot!
I’ve borrowed golf carts from a neighbor to transport an elderly family member.
I have ordered a single vegetarian take-out meal from a local restaurant when I wasn’t informed of the vegetarian request.
My magic emergency kit always has everything from safety pins to Tylenol, hairspray to breath mints, and diapers to superglue.
And trust me, from corporate to wedding, every client has had to dip into that bag for some reason or another.
No matter what, I make it work.
That being said, most events go off flawlessly without anyone ever having to worry about anything.
But then again I am always prepared for anything.
Oh and by the way, the 24 hour wedding was actually 23 and 1/2 hours!
How does Valerie Paul Wedding and Event Planning work with clients to make everything work?
Well for me it’s very simple. It doesn’t matter how many events I have in a year. YOU are only having one. And that’s the one that counts.
For more information, visit
https://www.facebook.com/vpaulevents/ or phone 321- 432-7182.
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Sunny Harbor Publishing, PO Box 560318, Rockledge, FL 32956