04 Jul The Perfect Plan — Who’s the Mastermind Behind It All?
Weddings are magical affairs, where fairytales turn reality. And as with all fairytales, the narrative is never complete without an all important fairy godmother, aka, the wedding planner who executes feats far more complicated than a swish and a flick of a wand.
In the business of weddings for nearly a decade, Artika Sulaiman is the real life equivalent of a fairy godmother in the realm of events planning. Artika’s experience goes back even further, prior to her time as a wedding planner. Coming from a family background in production, “I was always surrounded by production all my life,” she says. This innate interest took Artika to Los Angeles where she worked in the Hollywood club scene and upon returning to Asia, she continued to forge a name for herself. Her impressive resume lists clientele from The United Nations to music A-listers Fat Boy Slim and Avicii.
When Artika returned to Singapore, she made the decision to start a venture of her own — the result: Artika Events and Celebrations, a destination wedding planning group. “In the beginning, I was not expecting the scale of the business to grow so quickly but it grew and grew into a monster,” she laughs.
Since taking on the role of wedding planner, Artika has traversed the globe planning and executing weddings to the whims of her brides. The scale of the weddings grew exponentially, not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of expectations. “When someone spends more than a million dollars on a wedding, they expect the best of everything and don’t quite take no for an answer,” she says.
Weddings, in the general sense, are sufficiently cumbersome to warrant multiple emotional meltdowns, late night food binges and put one on the verge of insanity. Now, take all of the former and amplify it multi-fold when it comes to executing a flawless plan. “When we plan a wedding, we take care of everything from the time wedding guests arrive to the time that they leave the wedding destination. We keep tabs on everything, including the itineraries of even the guests,” shares Artika.
While magic wands are the stuff of imagination, an Eureka moment lead Artika to the conception of an online platform coined The Perfect Plan. Created by one wedding planner for another, The Perfect Plan is a comprehensive event planning tool to connect wedding planners to top-of-the-line players in the global wedding industry. Spanning from venues, dining to entertainment, the platform will take a load off of tedious logistics – essentially, a wedding bible, if you will.
“It really comes from a place of love. We really want to build a community of people who support each other and I am hoping that with this wedding planning tool, a) you don’t hate your job and b) you can do double the weddings that you are currently doing with all the logistics taken care of,” says founder Artika.
“At The Perfect Plan, we have everything from entertainers to decorators, videographers, furniture rental and anything that has to do with putting a wedding together. For example, most wedding planners work on excel mainly because they may not have access to the right tools or finances. Using The Perfect Plan, we have created pro tools for their use to ease the process of wedding planning for planners,” says Artika.
Having experienced her fair share of bridezillas and putting out proverbial fires at weddings, Artika shares her tricks of the trade with like-minded wedding planners in the industry through The Perfect Plan.
For a starter, here’s Artika’s honest, no-holds-barred take on her first-hand experience with weddings:
Who would you rather deal with? A bridezilla or mumzilla?
BRIDEZILLA. Lots of mumzillas like to take over and live vicariously through their children because they might not have had the wedding of their dreams when they got married.
Although we should totally consider everyone’s experience, the most important people to consider is the bride and groom, and I often need to be the middle person. That’s why its important to give them a little of what they want, so they don’t feel left out.
When the bride is out of reach and and an important decision needs to be made, you:
We have a contract that says we give you 2 deadlines, and if you miss those deadlines, we will make the decision for you. This is why you need to find a planner that you connect with and trust completely.
When the dress doesn’t fit, you:
BURN IT. Kidding. We always suggest ordering a dress that is of your current size, and then tailoring it down. BECAUSE OF THIS.
When the numbers of guests exceeds the guest list, you:
Again, BURN THEM. Well, maybe not. Be creative, if its at the ceremony, get your wedding party to stand instead of sit. If its at the ceremony, remove kids, and allocate a different section.
What are 3 ways to deal with a bride who doesn’t know what she wants?
If only it were as easy as BURNING … HER! Be clear about what she doesn’t want. Show inspiration pics of different themes and go through a process of elimination.
When the bride or groom get cold feet, you:
Counsel them and tell them that it is totally normal, and that they don’t have to do anything that they don’t want to do. Bring positive energy back into their lives and ask her about why she agreed in the first place.
When the guests get drunk, you:
Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!
When the food runs out, you:
This would never happen, we would have monitored and re-order before this happens.
When the bride and groom disagree with each other, you:
Be the voice of reason. They just want to be heard, and you should encourage them to discuss things from a place of love.
If the wedding gets cancelled, you:
PARTY ON!! No, you accept it and wish them the best. Then, party on.
When someone objects to the wedding, you:
Are always standby with a bow and arrow, you are hawkeyed so as you can see in slow motion their mouth starting to open, shoot them with a sleeping dart.
When the ex appears, you:
Put a bag over their head and swiftly remove them A-team style – as easy as chucking them into the back of a van and dropping them off at an undisclosed location (with a bottle of water and some cash. WE ARE NOT SAVAGES!)
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