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Hosting Events Everyone Will Remember: Conversations with Mariane Fahmy

Today we’re excited to introduce you to Mariane Fahmy. Mariane is a the Owner & Planning Director of Très Chic Event Planning and Design and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Mariane below.

Hi Mariane, please briefly introduce yourself to our readers.

In addition to being a mother, a wife, and an aunty which I love, I also am the proud owner of Très Chic Event Planning and Design. I am a certified wedding and event planner with an eye for a creative elegant, design. I am full of love and passion for what I do. Coming from a 20-year executive corporate career falls right in place with operations and timelines which are natural to me. I have a creative side which shines through my love and passion for luxury wedding design, event creation, and planning.

Let’s fast forward, what has changed since our last interview three years ago in 2017?

Quite a bit changed and happened since then, my planning business was growing to a point where I had to decide whether to choose between my corporate career, or take a somewhat calculated risk and focus on pursuing my passion. Of course, after lots of prayer and family support, I took the leap and could not be any happier!

When I retired and decided to grow my business in early 2018, I realized I could never go back to work for anyone else. I love being able to set my own schedule around my family life. I never feel like I am going to work, even though I am working more hours because I’m doing what I love to do. I love being in control of the clients I work with, and I even enjoy most of the challenges that this business brings.

I have been blessed with amazing clients, and because of their stellar reviews, my company has been presented with several different top awards year after year. Très Chic Event Planning and Design has also been featured in magazines and top wedding blogs like WeddingChicks.

What types of events do you plan?

I love helping people celebrate special moments. We focus on private and social events such as weddings, bridal showers, birthday bashes, Mitzvah’s, Sweet 16, baby showers, engagement Parties, Anniversaries, and much more.
Whether the customer needs planning, decorating, custom designing or coordinating, we are their go-to event planner.
We are experienced in different cultures and work with our clients to bring their vision to life with a multilingual team fluent in English, Arabic, and Hindu/Urdu.

Have you ever planned multiple events at the same time? How did you prioritize your time and resources to meet critical deadlines?

Planning memorable events and juggling the demands of multiple clients while meeting important deadlines is no easy task.
When I am planning multiple events simultaneously, setting key milestones and prioritizing my time based on deadlines is essential. I pride myself on my time management skills and use to-do lists and organizational tools to keep everything running smoothly to satisfy all my clients. I love using technology to simplify my day-to-day tasks.

 

What personality traits and top skills that you bring to the table? 

This is a very important question. To put it into perspective, the most successful event planners tend to be highly flexible, organized, and easy to get along with. They also have great time, money, and people management skills. And although formal education is not necessarily required it is always good to have a certification.

I would say my unique attribute is passion. Without a passion for what you are doing, it is not possible to ideally perform your job. Other traits and top skills I pride myself on are Communication, Organizational skills, creativity, and an eye for details.

As a planner I spend lots of time communicating with my clients, as well as with vendors and service providers.

I believe that strong communication can support higher levels of trust and confidence, so I place a great deal of importance and emphasis on establishing solid lines of communication early on in the planning process with my clients. Also being able to  communicate with everyone in my sphere with clarity, confidence, diplomacy, respect, and a cool head, even in times of stress.

Events come with a million little details, Being able  to stay organized to keep an eye on the big picture—the overall feeling and quality of the event— from guest experience, to budget, to timelines without losing any of the little details like place cards, lighting, style of glasses, and flatware.

 

What are your strategies for dealing with stressed clients? 

Event planning is a high-pressure job that requires a level-head and the ability to stay client centric during stressful situations. I always put my clients first and look at things from their perspective. Since the lead-up to an event can be overwhelming, emotions can sometimes make my clients lash out. I never take this personally and instead suggest different ways of doing things until I find the solution that makes my client’s eyes light up. I pay close attention to their wants and needs and balance them with my professional recommendations.

Has there been a time you had to deal with a last-minute change or unexpected situation when planning an event.

Spur of the moment changes and unexpected circumstances – like inclement weather, last minutes changes, set up issues and many more that we face as planners in every event are very common. An exceptional event planner does not let last-minute changes blindside them and instead has Plan Bs, and Cs (and Ds and Es!) in place to prepare for the unexpected.

Finally, please let us know how our readers can connect with you and learn more.

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