Happy Monday! Coming up today on the blog I have another vendor spotlight - this time I'll be chatting with Diana of Diana Ma Weddings & Events based in Hooksett, NH but working with couples all over New England.
Diana had been on my radar as I'd heard a bunch of great stuff about her from other wedding vendors but we hadn't yet had the opportunity to work together. So I was delighted to find out she would be taking part in the wedding color themed editorial shoot that Seacoast Weddings did last year. Alas, Diana and I were not on the same team but I was blown away by the elegant white tablescape she dreamt up - it was sophisticated with just the perfect amount of glam! We also got to chat and I was wowed by how friendly and approachable Diana was.
Before we go further here is Diana herself - how adorable is she?
Diana's hair by Hair That Moves and make up by Joya Beauty, shot on location at Tupper Manor.
Leah: Tell me about Diana Ma Weddings & Events?
Diana: I officially launched this wedding planning company in 2009 after many years of organizing parties, gatherings and weddings for friends. Right now, Diana Ma Weddings & Events specializes in month-of coordination and we have a variety of packages around that concept. My clients tend to be hands-on folks who've dreamed about their wedding day since birth. But as we all know, you can't be a planner when it's your own wedding day! My clients get to sit back and enjoy their wedding day, while my team handles all of the details and troubleshooting behind the scenes. On most wedding days there are a myriad of mini-catastrophes that arise. We handle and solve such issues immediately, while the couple laughs and mingles with their guests. We make sure the event day flows from one thing to the next, so that guests are never bored, feeling listless or confused about where they need to be at what time. We make sure things run according to schedule so that dinner does not get cold and there is plenty of party time left over after cake-cutting for dancing! We take your vision and make things come to life. We are also with you as much or as little as you wish and will gladly review vendor contracts, offer advice and be your cheerleader throughout stressful moments. Our packages vary depending on different needs, but they generally include rehearsal direction, detailed prep, vendor coordination, scheduling, event management and breakdown.
Leah: What kind of events do you specialize in? Do you have a favorite type of event?
Diana: All parties are very special to me, but I do love weddings. It's got to be one of the happiest rites of passage anyone ever gets to experience and I love being right there to make sure things go off without any [visible] glitches.
Leah:How did you get into this business?
Diana: Honestly, I never thought about having my own wedding planning business. Don't laugh, but a random trip to a tarot card reader in 2008 made me decide to pursue a profession that tapped into my gifts – organizing, coordinating, helping people. I kind of shrugged off her advice at first, but the more I researched the profession, the more things made sense and the more I realized what a great fit it was. I launched Diana Ma Weddings & Events in June 2009. My background has been in management and marketing since graduating from the Boston University School of Management in 2002.
I accept a select number of commissions each year as I adhere to the concept of quality over quantity. Wedding planning is an all-consuming job! Taking on a small handful of events per year enables my clients to enjoy my undivided attention.
Leah: What inspires you?
Diana: People inspire me. Love inspires me. Raw emotion inspires me. My clients tend to be really well-rounded folks who have a firm handle on the big picture. They understand what's important and are focused on their love and choice to commit to one another.
Leah: Tell me about the different types of service/support/organization you offer?
Diana: I offer a variety of packages, but will customize to suit people's case-by-case needs. The best way to figure out what works is to first give me a call to discuss where you are in your planning. This allows me to assess how I could best be of service and then we go from there! I am someone who hates to feel pressure from anyone or anything. A lot of times, people get scared at the thought of calling a potential service provider because they anticipate hearing an endless sales pitch. I keep my conversations very informative and leave the ball totally in the inquirer's position.... without any pressure (both spoken and unspoken!). And if things don't work out from that call - be it because we've already been booked that day, etc. I am always happy to recommend other reputable planners. I am committed to helping no matter what!
Diana: "Day-of" is generally not as inclusive as a month-of package (day-of has minimal set-up and no breakdown). In order for us to do the job properly, we want to understand what has been done so far and what has to get resolved - all of which involves a bit of time and research before hand. I find that folks who are usually looking for day-of, really want a month-of package :-). However, if you are restricted by budget and need help coordinating complicated guest shuttling and an awkward timeline, a day-of package might be useful to you. Everyone's party planning situations are different. The best way for me to assess the optimal course of action and whether a day-of or month-of package is more appropriate would be with a preliminary phone chat first.
I have been lucky in that the issues I've come across were all solvable *knocking on wood for upcoming events*!!! The most stress-inducing problem occured during an off-site wedding last year when the caterer's source of power went dead right in the middle of heating up entrees. I rushed to my car and grabbed every extension cord (that I just happen to bring with me!) and we were able to snake plugs through a nearby office building (that was oddly un-locked) to get the food heated. It was a stressful period of five minutes where my blood pressure felt like it was going to explode! Dinner started just 10 minutes late and no one seemed to notice or mind at all. In fact, I remember having to coax my bride to her seat to get people eating!
Diana: I love helping people. There isn't a single thing more gratifying than helping people when they are at their happiest!
Leah: When you're not event planning/coordinating, what do you like to do?
Diana: When I am not working, I love to just re-group and collect myself. I wish I could say something really cool and exotic like travel to unchartered parts of the world for new sources of inspiration. The truth is, I like to spend quality time with my husband doing absolutely nothing. I also highly cherish my morning ritual of waking up super early, getting a good work out in and just taking time to relax and think. Clear thinking helps me become a better person and be even more valuable to my clients.