Sunday, October 2, 2011

Two Minutes with Wedding Planner | Swan Xuan from Confetti Vietnam

In our bid to expand our regional network and joint-alliances, we've had the opportunity to touch base with an established wedding planning company in Vietnam and met with the lovely wedding planners of Confetti. Today, Xuan or Swan as she is known, spend some time talking to us about weddings in Vietnam.

The Confetti Ladies
How long have you been in the business of planning the bride and groom’s big day?

Confetti Vietnam was born when I made the decision to leave Unilever. We started in December 2009 and is one of the pioneers in terms of wedding planning for Vietnam. Going into our second year now, we are adamant to work with other wedding planners to tap the market potentials in Vietnam as well as educate potential clients about the benefits of using a wedding planner.  

We certainly look forward to working with you too. So, tell us more about wedding planning in Vietnam. When did it start, how did it grow, etc.. ?

For the wedding industry in Vietnam, since 2007, most of the other related wedding services like photography, florists, gowns were already popular amongst the clients. Moving on to 2008, some of these vendors offered "full-package wedding services" but it stopped at planning for traditional ceremonies. However, the term of "wedding planner" was loosely used and it did not symbolize the true meaning of the profession and the job scope it entails. As such, a lot of misunderstanding were created. However, every country develops and the people's mentality, perception and mindset changes too. In 2009, the true concept of wedding planning emerged and when Confetti started, we were all about educating and promoting wedding planning services. As a halo effect, people got to know and understood wedding planning.

Now, we believe that the wedding planning business in Vietnam is on the right track and we expect more of the medium and upper class clients to engage the services of a wedding planner. Hopefully, we could reach a status where we are a necessity rather than a luxury - much like in Malaysia or Singapore.

That's a long way to come and we have the same hope for Cambodia too. Do share with us more about your working style. What is your working process from A-Z?

Confetti is not so much a style, but it is the differentiation our the wedding concepts we offer. We believe that weddings are personal and as such, each wedding concept has its own story, a different look and is unique. This is our aim - to create this concepts for our clients.

When a client comes to Confetti, we will do an initial consultation to find out what they truly need.
Secondly, we propose the wedding concept based on their love story, their personality and other relevant factors. And finally, it is all about implementation - that is bringing the approved wedding concept to live.

I'm curious again...Do you think there is a difference between wedding planning now and 5 years ago?  

More and more of the younger generation are returning to Vietnam after spending some time abroad and they bring with them new knowledge, new needs because many have been exposed to the Westernized version of a romantic, personalized wedding. These new generation is what is making the changes here for the wedding industry in Vietnam. Their demands are different and we strive to cater to these demands of a personalized, unique and well-coordinated wedding concept.

What is your hope for the wedding industry in Vietnam? What do you wish to see more of?

One of the biggest concerns for all wedding planners here is when it comes to customs and tradition. It is the traditions, the strong yet conservative traditions that sometimes leave the bride and groom in a dilemma. They want a modernized wedding but their families may want them to stick to tradition. As such, getting the right balance to meet the clients' needs is a tough job for weddding planners here. I know it's completely the same as other Asian countries. I'm pretty sure you guys go through that in Malaysia and Cambodia too.

Half a year ago, secremony (secret-ceremony and destination weddings) seem to be a new trend here in Vietnam, where a different destination and landscape offers the bride and groom a chance to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city and exchange their vows in front of their closest friends & parents only. I do hope this trend will be continue to grow in the future. I believe this is what makes weddings romantic and meaningful. They are touching and beautiful.  

Oh, I totally agree. Usually, what we do in Malaysia is that we carry out the traditional wedding ceremonies as per normal and then the couple may have another wedding ceremony, more westernized and modern. It is a trend now in Malaysia for couples to have 2 or 3 receptions just to please everyone including themselves. In Cambodia, it is a whole new different story though. Think Cambodia as being Vietnam, 5 years ago *smile*. 

So, in a market where middle-class segment is growing and people are becoming more open-minded, where do you see your creativity and styles coming in? How?    

I don't quite care much about classifying my target clients in terms of economic status. Wealth doesn't mean open-minded, middle-class doesn't mean willing to afford a modern wedding style. We offer our service as creators of wedding concepts - a chance for them to personalize their weddings and make it unique and memorable. If they are open to this concept and this idea of personalizing their wedding, then we can work together. The first rule is that they must accept, otherwise, it will be difficult for us to plan anything.

Again, totally agree with you. Before we part – can you share 5 Top Tips for the couple when choosing their Wedding Planner?

For the bride and groom in Vietnam, when choosing a wedding planner, we would advise them on the following 5 tips : 

Check out the wedding planner’s own style  & differentiation

Gauge first impressions about the planner via a face-to-face meeting. This is important to see the chemistry between planner and client.  

Request to see past portfolios to get an idea of the type of work they have done before

Ask what is the wedding planner's principles and workstyles.

And lastly, it is always good if there is a word of mouth recommendation from a friend who have use the planner before!
Thank you so much, Swan for your time! I am looking forward to working together with you in Vietnam soon :)
Meanwhile - here are some of the weddings that the Confetti team has done over the years in Vietnam!

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