As we’re nearing the end of our Sunday Series I can’t help but think; it’s been so nice speaking with like-minded wedding vendors and hearing about the support they’re receiving! This Sunday, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Rachel Urban of Loli Events.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business:
Loli Events is a luxury wedding planning company based in NYC and in Paris. I run our NYC office and have been working for the company for 5 years. We prioritize the client and guest experience, attention to detail, and creating an “approachable luxury” event. I am originally from Texas. I love mixing my southern charm with my NYC hustle. I want to make sure my clients feel happy & relaxed but also confident that I can handle anything that comes my way!
How has the COVID19 pandemic changed your life? How has it changed your business?
As many others can relate to.. my 2020 business has pretty much evaporated because of the virus. Our business relies on large groups of people gathering together. Which, of course, was the first thing to be banned – and will probably be the last restriction to be lifted. I am really adjusting my mindset and trying to rest up while I can. We are seeing a lot of couples pushing to 2021 and some wanting the same weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.) Needless to say, I am preparing myself for a busy 2021!
How have you been able to adapt your business to the new “way of life?”
I was already working from home before the virus hit. I am trying to just take this one day at a time. After I got through the first wave of clients postponing, I spent a lot of time updating my inquiry responses to clients, business templates, client resources, our website etc. That way our business “behind the scenes” has a fresh take! As a planner, I am used to thinking ahead and putting out fires. But this scenario that keeps changing and evolving every day has been a whole new challenge.
I just remind myself to be a calming presence for my couples & keep guiding them through the postponement process. Hopefully without compromising any of the aspects of the wedding that they were most excited for. On actual event days, many things may need to change such as adding larger sized dance floors, spacing out seating. Even offering only plated meals instead of family-style. The biggest challenge has been what we might have known yesterday could change by today. We constantly need to keep up to date with any new rules and regulations and monitor the situation closely.
Will you start doing business differently, once all of this is a distant memory?
I have always been so proud of the way we approach the business. I strongly believe in keeping a calming presence for my brides; working extremely hard for them and navigating challenges with compassion and understanding. Which has really kept me afloat during this time! I do think we will need to work much harder for new bookings than ever before. I think the attention to detail will be more important than ever since weddings will likely be much smaller for a while.
Have you felt your community rally around and support your business or similar businesses?
Absolutely! I used to brag about how tight-knit the NYC wedding industry is. I have seen this more than ever during the pandemic. Catering companies and florists are now able to sell their products on a smaller scale. So many other vendors are rallying around them to support! Not to mention we are invited to webinars almost daily giving free advice on how to adapt. We are also part of a few chats where planners are able to ask questions and provide insight based on their recent experiences. We are so grateful to have these support groups and to know that we aren’t going through this alone!
What are your biggest takeaways from dealing with COVID19 as a business owner? What about as a human in general?
As I mentioned before, handling these situations with compassion and understanding is extremely important. At the end of the day, we have a hand in making one of the most important days of someone’s life go forward perfectly. And especially after this, couples will remember that forever! Losing an entire year of business is really scary, but I know if we work really hard, we can come out on top.
Where can my readers find Loli Events?
*The above images are supplied by the vendor, and not taken by Jenny Fu Studio*