EPIC LONDON

EPIC LONDON

27. April 2019|OUR TIPS, ALL ARTICLES|

I’ve been in this industry for 12 years now. During this time I’ve come to realize a one really important thing, that is widely relevant. It’s not so hard to get to work among the best, that is if you have the right prerequisites for it, but the hardest thing is to stay among the best. I declare: change is life and stagnation is death, which implies that you always need to work on yourself, constantly expand your horizons, follow the newest trends and motivate yourself to better results. In short, to not burn out and stagnate, which can sometimes be hard and people need some sort of impulse from the outside.  

And that’s what I was searching for until I found the website www.sarahhaywood.com, the number one in wedding planning. According to many influential newspapers, one of the TOP10 world-wide best wedding agencies. And I was very surprised when I found out that she hosts a prestigious course for wedding coordinators, where professionals from all over the world meet up.
I wold myself that this was exactly what I needed, I absolved an interview over the phone and received an invitation for a 4-day intensive course, which was to take place in London.
The course with the certification of the same name is called EPIC – Event International Collaborative and it should be clear from the name that its goal is to create a worldwide network of professionals, that plan luxurious events and uphold the standards set by the EPIC association.
The course is held by Sarah Haywood, the owner of a company of the same name and author of the wedding bestseller „Wedding Bible“ and alongside the American wedding legend www.marcyblum.com, an author of many publications, most notably „Wedding planning for dummies”, and her American colleague Marcy Blum.
Both ladies have been invited to speak at a conference of global significance, they comment the most prestigious weddings on the largest tv networks, they organize weddings with budgets in the millions all over the world. Basically a definition for the word professional, I couldn’t have found more able people anywhere else.
I decided to fly to London a day earlier, just to get familiar with the surrounding. I am used to traveling, but I hadn’t been to London before, so I was a little anxious. I was also a little afraid of the typical London accent, which showed to be founded on truth – I had to get used to it for the first two days.
Included was accommodation for three nights in the luxurious hotel The Dorchester (https://bit.ly/1U1Zez6), where the course took place. The hotel was truly ostentatious with cultivated British service and taste. Afternoon tea was also a thing, each afternoon the high society of London met here. I can recommend this hotel with all its glory, but be ready to have a light wallet afterward. 

The program was truly provocative and inspiring, but challenging at the same time. We started the Sunday by introducing ourselves, where everyone prepared a personal presentation, then the ladies introduced themselves. The hotel gave us a stylish conference room and saloon with a lovely terrace with a view of London.

Because both of the ladies present work on destination weddings, they first had presentations on these topics. I have to say it was really interesting because it was always a mystery for me – how can a wedding coordinator work on the other side of the world, when he/she doesn’t have the usual suppliers and home-turf they are working on? These two things are crucial to us.
Even for them, 80% makes up suppliers they have tried and tested and it’s all about the budget, the client pays for the travel expenses and time spent abroad. In addition to that, they work with local specialists with trusted references.
We had a look at organizing events, for which 300 people collaborate together, hire free-lancers, logistics, location, what’s trendy, etc… The evening was concluded with a fantastic dinner in the hotel restaurant.
After arriving at my room I found a gift, I found one each evening. I must say, it pleased me greatly. I got Sarah’s and Marcy’s books, a bottle of a sect, a luxurious candle, beautiful cut glasses and many other things as well.
I must say, the hotel took great care of us. This meant I had the opportunity to see such high-class service, which I don’t think you can find in Czech and our 5-star hotels still have a lot to learn from them.
We started each morning with breakfast, which was absolutely stunning with the great weather and a beautiful view of London.
The lunch was usually in the form of a brunch with different themes. The dinner was really special, each evening we dressed up and the hotel prepared some fantastic experiences for us.
We talked about design on the second day. Sarah invited one of her florists from the traditional and luxurious florist www.pulbrookandgould.co.uk, they prepare decorations for the most prestigious events, including events for the Royal Family. Arnold, the florist, presented a flamboyant wedding and showed us his side of the preparations. The budget was 1 million GBP, which is unbelievable for us, but it sure is interesting to see how luxurious wedding design is put together.
The following days we discussed financing, administrative duties, logistics, timetables, organizing externists and many other interesting topics. There was a big discussing around the topic of honorariums. After having asked about my fees, I saw slight terror in the eyes of my colleagues and someone even asked why I am working almost for free. I explained to them that their economy is a little different than ours, but they still shook their heads in disbelief. The evening was to be spent at the salon with a terrace, a fantastic evening, classic British Fizz with great music, canapes and a tasting of British champagne.

We spent the third day with presentations, client service and social media. The main event manager of the hotel The Dorchester, Laura, přepared fantastic excursions around the hotel, she showed us the main rooms for holding events and she also showed us the transformation of the main hall during weddings. If I hadn’t known about it, I would never have thought it’s the same hall. Laura and the management and personnel of the hotel had a truly accommodating and client-centered approach and I think we have a lot to learn from them regarding professional hospitality.

We had a Skype conference in the afternoon with Diane Khoury www.dkevents.com.au, she has 325 thousand IG followers and is among the best in event agencies in Australia. Definitely check out her IG profile, it’s worth it!

She gave us lots of advice on presenting yourself on social media in terms of event organizing.

She gave us lots of advice on presenting yourself on social media in terms of event organizing.
The pinnacle of the event was a gala dinner with an excursion into the kitchen, where the chef told us how it all works. To welcome the guests, champagne and canapes were served, with proper caviar. Then we were taken into a special showroom in the kitchens, where he presented a six-course degustation menu. The menu was served on golden plates along with selected wines and sect. The explanation he gave was very interesting, he told us about how they prefer local suppliers, that is excluding caviar. He served us the best caviar in the whole world, Beluga and had a comprehensive explanation for each dish. I don’t think I have to say that the food was delicious and I had a lot of work to do eating it all!
The last day, that was also my day of departure,  we started the day in the saloon with a fantastic brunch, during which we talked exchanged ideas and experiences, various discussions were held and we enjoyed being together in such interesting company.
Later in the afternoon, before my departure, we couldn’t miss the afternoon tea, served with specific treats and sandwiches.
It was a great pleasure to get to meet fellow colleagues from China, Belgium, Poland, Britain and India. Yes, we do live in different worlds and societies with different opportunities and potentials, but one thing connected us all. Passion and zeal for our work, because it is one of the most beautiful jobs on the whole planet.
I received lots of different advice and inspiration that I plan on using in my profession, I’ve peeked into the world of the world-recognized „wedding planners“.
I look forward to, my dear brides, putting all of this experience to use on Your wedding.