Mary-Anne understands what an emotional time planning for your wedding can be. Excitement runs high and nerves can get the better of you. You have a vision of what that day should look like and making that a reality is where Mary-Anne comes in. She will advise and guide you in developing your vision.
Editor’s Note: for this Best Wedding Planners in Halifax Spotlight, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mary-Anne, from Grand Central Events and Décor.
What types of weddings do you specialize in?
I don’t think there is anyone wedding style that will be my specialty. My company is new to the business but I have worked on numerous weddings and have many more booked over the coming months. These include everything from the very rustic, eclectic style to classic, and a very formal, traditional style. I enjoy coming up with something new for each and every one of them. I would never rubber stamp a wedding. There will always be something very unique for each as every bride desires and deserves her day to be her own.
Why do couples love working with you?
I am very approachable, friendly and helpful. I am organized and know what I need from them in order to do an exemplary job. I think this confidence and expertise gives a couple the feeling they can depend on me and this is comforting when they are putting such an all-important day into my hands. I am also available whenever they need to talk to me. I am very diligent about getting back to anyone who reaches out.
How did you get started?
I was an Admin Assistant/Executive Assistant in industry and last May, after 37 years, I retired. The thing I loved the very most about my job working in Corporate offices, was the event planning. I was given full reign and a budget to create memorable events, including the decor and the feedback was always positive. There was always a tremendous sense of accomplishment associated with event planning. I missed that when I retired. I started casually working with a wedding planner/decorator last summer/fall for the enjoyment of it. As it turned out, after 15 years she was wanting to bow out of the business. She had a very high end, comprehensive inventory of decor items and in September 2014 I incorporated Grand Central Events and Decor to purchase this inventory to start my own event planning business for corporate and weddings.
What budget range do you cater to?
I work with all budgets. I try to do the very best I can for every bride. Because I own my inventory, I do have overhead costs but I also have some flexibility with being able to throw things in at no charge. Sometimes the bride will see it on the quotation as N/C but lots of times, I just throw things in the truck when I am leaving the warehouse if I think it may look lovely at the event.
What typically happens at the beginning of the process when someone contacts you?
I am immediately back in touch with the client to let them know that I would be pleased to provide a comprehensive quotation for whatever services and decor they may be looking for. I send them a short questionnaire that enables me to accurately assess what they may need and I give them options for many of the key items. Once I have provided a preliminary quotation to the client, we move forward to a face to face meeting with a table mock-up where I provide a visual of my interpretation for the day. This meeting also allows us to go through the preliminary quotation with a fine tooth comb to cover all of the aspects of the wedding day.
Mary-Anne created a very intimate and magical atmosphere for our wedding, starting from every detail of what I was looking for. I was able to communicate with her on a regular basis from another province to create our wedding. This was not a traditional wedding, but a was a small intimate surprise wedding. We were looking for a Romantic, Classic, Christmas and Intimate type of feeling, which is exactly what we got. We couldn’t have been more pleased with everything from the planning and flowers to the decor. Mary-Anne was helpful with things that I would not have even thought of. She was extremely organized, efficient and prompt with everything. What I most loved was that she was able to see my vision for my wedding and help create it. For anyone who wants personalized decor for their wedding, I definitely recommend Mary-Anne Struthers.
On behalf of the Canadian Red Cross I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work for our event. You and your team were fantastic and everything looked beautiful. You went above and beyond and I really look forward to working with you again in the future.