We decided to start a new section on our Blog! The P.O.V. section. That’s industry talk for Point of View, which we thought was a super fun tittle. Our first victim was Aimee Dominick of A. Dominick Events.
1) How did you get started in the industry?
Definitely by accident. I finished culinary school, and was looking for a job cooking, and I knew a woman in NY who happened to be an event planner, but who had gone to culinary school. Her segment of the planning business was very much focused on the bride that wanted a celebrity chef at their wedding. So, I knew she worked a lot with Alfred Portale and Tom Colicchio was a good friend of hers. I sent her my resume, and asked her to pass it along to her chef friends, and tell them I will chop veggies and do grunt work. She said “Absolutely not!” She thought I should be a wedding planner. “ She knew I had a undergrad in fashion, and then went to culinary school. She thought that made total sense for planning. I was like “Absolutely not! I don’t tie bows on things. I work in the kitchen.” So, she convinced me to give it a try for six months, and she said if I really didn’t like it she would help me to get a job in the kitchen. I committed six months to her, and ended up staying for two years. Then my Husband’s job brought us to DC, and that’s when I launched A. Dominick Events.
2) What are the trends for 2011?
We are still seeing a lot of vintage looks, long tables, and missed matched plates and glassware. Coral and rhubarb colors will be big in 2011 and we are still seeing feather details.
3) What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from lots of places. I read a lot of magazines, not just wedding magazines. Fashion magazines, architecture magazines, and food magazines for sure. It’s my hope to give advise on all aspects of the wedding not just the what color they should have, but what’s going on with the food as well. I’m also inspired by travel. I often find myself referencing a meal I had in New York or a Hotel in Palm Springs when describing my inspiration to a bride.
4) Why should people hire a wedding planner?
That’s a great question. First and foremost to save the bride and groom money. Ultimately, what they spend on a wedding planner they will end up saving. They will come out at an equal place at the end of the day, but spend a lot less time on it, have fewer hassles, and hopefully stay employed and still engaged! The thought of spending 20, 50, 100 grand and not getting a professional to guide you? It doesn’t make sense.
5) Can you tell us about the different services that you offer?
Full Service, Partial, and a little of month of.
6) What is your favorite moment of the wedding day?
My favorite moment of the day is when the bride and her dad are just about to go down the isle, the doors are still closed, they can’t even hear the music, and it’s literally just the two of them and me! It’s a very intense, intimate moment between the bride and her dad, and sometimes her mom too that I get to be a part of. It is such an honor.
7) Can you tell us about your philosophy when it comes to planning a wedding?
It is not my wedding. I want for the bride’s tastes and sensibilities to come through. I really try to listen to the bride and groom about what’s important to them, what their hobbies are, what their interests are, so we are able to bring that to the event. The philosophy of our office is to provide superb service, every day.
8) What is your favorite element to plan for a wedding?
I like all of it. I think that’s why we do full service most often. I like having a hand in every part of the process. Making sure that it’s cohesive so things don’t feel disjointed. My favorite day of the wedding planning is when we do the sample table and the tasting. I think that day is so fun. We try to do the sample table and the tasting on the same day, because it’s really like the dress rehearsal for the bride and groom. Sit down at your table with your flowers, try your food – really get to see what it’s going to be like.For the bride and groom it’s really a calm, fun way to eat the food, and get to experience what the day will be like, because on the wedding day they are so busy and overwhelmed. It makes it hard to experience some of those things. (so true!)
9) As a wedding planner, what is the best advice that you can offer bride and grooms as they plan their weddings?
Relax- It’s Just A Party! It’s a celebration, it’s a happy thing. The hard part, I say to Brides is finding the groom. The wedding, and by extension the planning is suppose to be good time. Sometimes you get so hung up on things that you shouldn’t like trying to out do your friends. It’s important to just remember why you are there and to keep that in focus.
10) What is the hardest part of the planning process?
One of the hardest parts for us is how we transition out of the relationship with the bride, because we have been so close for so many months. We have been brought into this really close circle of things. We know about their finances and their family dynamics. We know so many personal things about them and are so involved then the wedding is over. So, the hardest thing is letting go. The first few weddings I planned as the lead planner in NY, I actually took the binders home and kept them in my apartment. I couldn’t bear to put them in storage. They were like my babies! Now, we always do at least one follow up meeting after the wedding – get together for lunch, look at the pictures and talk about the wedding. Some of my best friends are actually former clients.
11) After the wedding what do you hope your newlyweds take away from the wedding?
My wedding day was incredibly joyful. I remember standing on the dance floor, and looking around at all the people. At that moment everyone I really loved was there and was happy. That incredible amount of joy I felt. I felt pretty and lucky. I just want every bride to get to have that.
12) Why do you think it’s important to have a wedding video?
Let me count the ways. First, for your ceremony. You are nervous and emotional. For your vows, even if you know what they are in advance, you don’t even know you are saying them. You don’t remember what the readings sound like. I just felt like it was such an out of body experience. It felt like I couldn’t absorb what was happening. So, for that moment, the video was so important. To get to relive that.
Secondly, I want my little girl to watch my wedding video. To see when we were young and skinny.
Thirdly, I lost my Mom to cancer last year. I literally just watched my wedding video last weekend, because I wanted to see her toast. I can’t tell you how good it is to see my mom so happy that day.
I literally grinned from ear to ear in the whole video. You don’t realize how happy you are . My cheeks hurt! I couldn’t understand why my cheeks hurt when I got to the honeymoon. When I looked through the video I understood why.
13) What do you do in your off time?
What time off?? I have nineteen-month-old little girl and an amazing husband. Whatever down time I have I spend it with them. I still like to cook. Being a newer Mom, I like to play with her. Not as sophisticated an answer as it would have been two years ago. It’s funny how your priorities change. It is good day when my little girl laughs a lot.
14) What was the favorite moment of your wedding day?
Being on the dance floor and dancing with everyone I loved.
15) What was your first dance song at your wedding?
David Grey – This Years Love
I wished I would had told the band to shorten it a little. The band did an amazing job with it, but they played the whole thing. I didn’t do a very good job during the dance, because I got really nervous. It felt like it was forever. That’s one thing I always tell our Brides, maybe we should shorten the dance just a little.
16) What is favorite movie?
Sixteen Candles (Yes, one of my favorites as well!) I love that part where Molly Ringwald says “Me”, and Jake Ryan says “Yeah You”. Every girl wants her Jake Ryan.
17) Any last minutes thoughts/tips?
Smaller bridal parties are less work for the bride. If you are going to hire a planner, don’t sign contracts with vendors until you hire the planner. I’m at a disadvantage when the Bride comes to me with all of her contracts signed. I could have saved her a lot of money. The Rehearsal dinner is the Mother-in-law’s party. You have to just let it go! That was a hard one for me! I was like “I’m a Planner. This is my weekend.” My Mother in Law said “No, it’s not your weekend. Friday is my night”. (LOL So True!)