Creating a job that combines both your passions and talents is one of the greatest perks of being a creative business owner. For HiveTribe member Jade Cutajar-Newman of White Bohème Weddings, it was a love of travel and her own experiences of rich cultures and far-flung places that inspired her career as a destination wedding planner. Now she gets to help couples start the adventure of married life in luxurious, exotic settings. We sat down with Jade to find out how she made the leap, what motivates her, and how she balances her business with a fulfilling personal life.
How did you get started in the wedding industry?
After spending the past seven years travelling the world and being constantly inspired by the culture, food and architecture I experienced, I craved an outlet for my creativity. I adore weddings and the rush I get from organising any kind of event, so I thought: why not combine my experience of travel with my passion for weddings, and offer couples a fully bespoke service to transform their visions into a reality, in their dream destination?
I just love being part of such a happy industry. Who wouldn’t be happy when planning events that are all in aid of celebrating love?!
What mistakes have you made, and what did you learn from them?
My focus is on destination weddings. However, my branding shoot just didn’t represent this due to the venue. It was winter in the UK at the time and as I was in a rush to launch, I went with an indoor venue. In retrospect I should have waited for the summer and found an outside venue or visited another country for my shoot.
What advice would you give someone about to make the leap to being a full-time wedding pro?
I think the only way to focus on something totally is to jump right in. I personally feel like when I had a full-time job I never fully committed to my business, as I knew I had a steady income I could fall back on; whereas now I don’t have another job, so I have to ensure I am making money, which motivates me.
What support and advice have you discovered, and how has it changed your business?
I think knowing my ideal client is really important as it helps me ensure everything I do is targeted at the correct audience. I also think it’s important not to compare yourself to others in the industry. A lot of what we see on social media is fake and basically just a highlight reel of someone’s life, so making sure I don’t compare myself is a great piece of advice I was given and that I stick to.
Do you think women can ‘have it all’ when it comes to running a successful business and having a fulfilling personal life?
Yes, 100%. It’s just important to have boundaries, set yourself reasonable work hours and ensure you are spending enough time on your business whilst still having a healthy social life. I also think in a creative industry it is incredibly important to have a fulfilling personal life, because so much of my inspiration comes from things I experience in my personal life, whether that’s whilst exploring a new country or even just visiting a new restaurant or gallery.
How do you find a work/life balance?
I think it is really important to keep a healthy balance in order to not get burnt out. Setting realistic goals each day ensures I get a good amount of work done during the day and I can then switch off without feeling guilty and focus on my home life in the evenings and on weekends.
What’s your definition of success?
Success to me is the freedom to be my own boss, choose my own hours and be able to earn a living doing something that I love.
What’s your number one tip for new wedding pros?
To reach out to some established planners and ask if they are able to offer you some work experience. I have been lucky enough to spend the past few months assisting an amazing wedding planner and the knowledge I have gained from her has been invaluable. It has given me the confidence and skills needed to book my dream clients. I think actual work experience is so great and I would recommend it to anybody starting out. It gives you a real insight into the day to day life of a wedding planner, something I wouldn’t have gained from training courses alone.
What’s next for you and your business?
I have some dreamy weddings booked in some gorgeous venues for next year which I am so excited to see come to life. I also want to start offering elopement packages in some seriously wanderlust-inducing destinations, so I am currently in the process of teaming up with some amazing suppliers who specialise in elopements, to help offer this to my couples.
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