Continuing with the Industry Insight series where I interview some of the best in the business, today I’m delighted to be talking to Taryn Watson-Cobb, one of NZ’s top wedding stylists and planners, from Make Your Day Events.
Taryn is a personal inspiration to me and many creatives in the world of weddings and is a well known, excessively talented, events planning extraordinaire!
I was keen to ask her as many questions as possible and clutch at her pearls of wisdom .. (and of course share them with you!)
Enough said, have a read and also be inspired.
Photos by Katherine & Ger from The Undefined Photography
Tell us about your background and how you came to launch Make Your Day Events?
I have always loved weddings and have been the first to put my hand up to style/decorate friends weddings in the past as my wedding gift to them. After each wedding I was encouraged to do it as a business but it took about 10 years to actually make the jump from my banking job to this. We were planning our own wedding and wanted a marquee at home where we were building our family home and I had the opportunity to purchase an ex hire marquee and thought we could give it a go, It sort of grew from there, I sourced stock/furniture and had my amazing husband make our custom wooden tables and other bits and pieces. It works well for us to have the hire items alongside my styling services.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Working with couples in such an exciting time in their lives, meeting their friends and families and helping to bring their vision to life. Every couple and wedding is so different.
Tell us about one of your most memorable events you’ve worked on.
Most memorable was being able to set up and style our own wedding, getting to use all my ideas and items I had collected, creating exactly the look I had in my head in our marquee. It was so much fun.
Could you give us an overview of the services Make Your Day Events offers?
Affordable quality marquee packages to couples in the Coromandel, Waikato, BOP and Auckland, Full styling and set up services for marquees as well as venues, On the Day coordination for couples needing a bit of extra assistance on the big day, hireage of items. Couples can pick and choose what services they have and what items of mine they use.
What are some of the benefits of hiring a stylist and coordinator?
Coordination is such a great service, it means that the bridal party/family do not have to deal with little issues that crop up during the day. I make sure the other vendors are on time, where they need to be and troubleshoot throughout the day and do final set ups/sort flowers/set up ceremonies etc. This leaves guests free to enjoy the day rather than all having little jobs to do. As a stylist and by offering hire items I can keep the cost of décor down compared to having to buy yourself, I also have a huge network of places to use if I don’t stock a particular item. My styling packages allow a lot of freedom- I can either do the lot or couples can provide helpers to reduce the cost. I can also set up venues the day of the wedding so the couple can enjoy getting ready themselves. I work in with couples to bring their visions to life with a either their own décor, mine or a mixture of both.
Do you set up all the hire items?
We set up the marquee and lighting as part of the marquee package and then couples can pay an extra styling fee to have me stay of and complete the décor/table set up.
What are your top three hire items?
2. Wooden topped tables
3. Artificial floral installation (various options)
What are three items couples often don’t think to hire and should?
1. Generators and Chiller trailers-for marquee weddings away from a power source and to keep the drinks cool-so important.
2. Bar staff/runners for the day if it’s a backyard/DIY wedding.
3. A backup venue- we can’t rely on weather and all of my couples are informed that they need to have a backup venue sorted in case it turns really pear-shaped.
What is generally the biggest expense?
Venue Hire- this is relevant to whether it’s a marquee wedding at home or an actual venue.
Do you source specific items for couples? If so, what’s the process?
Yes, if a customer is wanting something I usually look at my suppliers first or whether we can make it and cost it out to see if it is viable to get in or if its better hire from another vendor.
Any money saving tips for cash conscious couples?
The most memorable weddings are the ones with good food, drink and people. As long as everyone is fed and watered then the extra stuff is just icing on the cake. Work out your budget and how much you can afford to save per week, divide the budget by the weekly savings and that how many weeks away you can set your date for. A fav saying of mine- it’s your day so do it your way.
What styles and trends do you think we’ll be seeing more of in coming seasons and year?
Greenery is on trend, also I am looking forward to going more with metallics, brights and tropical styling. Hanging installations are also becoming popular. Grazing tables and less formal dining is certainly popular but you still need to have proper seating for the older guests. Food trucks/caravan bars are huge and outdoor dance floors are also well requested item.
What’s next for you?
We have a second marquee now allowing us to provide packages for weddings up to 180 guests. I am constantly adding to my décor stock. The upcoming wedding season is looking hectic and I am absolutely stoked to be doing what I love for a job. Plans are to produce some amazing marquee wedding styling this season so watch this space…