Jennifer Lopez’s job as a wedding planner wasn’t just a dream job for big screen entertainment. Meet three real life SUGA Wedding planners, Teuila Benioni, 29, Teresa Fau, 24 and Tasi Fepuleai, 31 who run Auckland’s premiere Wedding Planning service Wedding She Wrote. The astute organisers are experts when it comes to creating a perfect and memorable wedding for clients from all backgrounds. And for those island weddings especially, they know all too well about the quintessential cultural aspects involved. The energetic SUGA’s who are always on the go, managed to take time out of their busy schedules to tell us why they love doing what they do!
What is it about wedding planning that appeals to you? That ultimately sparked the business idea?
Every bride wants the perfect wedding and the struggle is real. We had simply attended too many poorly organized weddings, seen too many stressed out brides, witnessed too many suppliers not doing their jobs properly and quite frankly, there was no way we could let this ridiculousness go on! So we decided that something needs to be done so we took action. We make the design and planning stage simple for our clients because we know that ‘simple’ isn’t necessarily easy.
We truly believe that your special day should be just that: Special. Which is why we take pride in having all the skills and connections to design an exclusive event package for any budget.
How long have you been running this business and how did you all meet?
Teuila (Director): Tasi and I have been childhood friends since we met in church when I was twelve years old. She’s my best friend and is incredibly trustworthy so I always listen to her and take her advice to heart. She helps me figure out if I am making the right decisions, moves, etc.
When you are wanting to start your own business, these are the types of people you need in your team. At the end of the day, this is the road less-travelled and it’s difficult to trust anybody other than yourself, a handful of people, and God. Then Teresa came along through our mutual friend Sani Sagala (Dei Hamo) and we just clicked! She fit right in with us and saw what we were wanting to achieve as she was also looking to build up a business that she could call her own. She had a strong work ethic and a natural ability to connect with all types of people and most importantly, a willingness to get down for the hustle!
Four years ago we said to ourselves, ‘We will make everything around us beautiful and that will be our life.’ We haven’t looked back since.
With wedding planning, obviously you have to establish business partnerships with suppliers and so forth. How did you go about establishing and maintaining those relationships?
We have this motto: ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.’
We enjoy working with industry professionals who are creative and have good energy and clear communication. We establish our working relationships by networking within the wedding and entertainment industries, meeting suppliers at trade-shows and sometimes through sheer chance. We love the law of attraction idea that your vibe attracts your tribe!
As Polynesians, we believe in supporting, encouraging and uplifting each other in business – when one Polynesian wins, we all win. That is why it is important to us to support and work with other Polynesian businesses. Special mentions to Lalelei for providing flawless makeup, Halo Hair Papatoetoe for their hair services, Shady Lady Photography for her amazing services, Niu Cakery, who by the way is still in his first year of business and Tasha Lee Couture for always supporting Wedding She Wrote in all the ways she can.
What have been some of the challenges over the years?
It’s true, not everyone needs a wedding planner. But one in six women do need the help of a professional wedding specialist and sadly they often don’t realise this until it’s too late. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong is going wrong! And all the additional stress leaves them without a clear mind necessary to fix the problems. Sadly, more often than not, as a result, the bride tends to think “I don’t care anymore” and settles for less.
In fact, some brides end up spending way more than they originally budgeted for just to fix things that went wrong along the way! At the same time, they were stressing themselves out and putting stress on friends and families. It’s not only the bride who benefits from the help of a professional wedding planner. Grooms feel it too. One in four married men confess that making arrangements for their big day was the most stressful thing they have ever done and it doesn’t have to be that way!
Because New Zealand is a proud do-it-yourself nation, many couples believe that they can plan their big day themselves. Our challenge so far is convincing engaged couples who are getting married for the first time, that hiring a professional wedding planner really does saves you time and money, all while letting you enjoy your big day without added stress or unnecessary drama. We are here to help ALL engaged couples from all backgrounds celebrate their special day in style.
What is the most satisfying thing about wedding planning?
The most satisfying part of our service is making dreams come true! Being able to witness happy couples who are so in love with each other, having absolutely no worries on their big day. It makes it all worthwhile. The cherry on top is receiving awesome feedback such as ‘That was the best wedding I’ve ever been to’ or ‘you did a brilliant job’ and ‘the event was stunning.’ Yes, engaging a service like Wedding She Wrote to assist you is an investment in making your big day perfect and successful – but you are guaranteed to look and feel your best with minimal stress. ‘They did an awesome job!’ ‘Glad we got them on board!’ It’s a beautiful thing to have people on board who can help you deliver your dream wedding.
So what’s new for Wedding She Wrote 2017?
Pop up weddings! This is a solution for a stress-free wedding. It’s designed for young families and couples that don’t want a big fuss like couples on a budget and people who have thought about getting married at the registry office. With Wedding She Wrote behind you, all you need to do is bring the love of your life, your wedding vows and your marriage certificate – it’s that simple. We will take care of the rest. It’ll be an amazing atmosphere that you share with the love of your life on the biggest day of your life. You will not find another all-inclusive wedding package for this price anywhere else. Starting from $5499.
And we have a new service with a professional videographer that has been in the industry for over five years. And because it’s a NEW service, we were excited to make the announcement by celebrating with an amazing giveaway! A special shout out congratulations to the newly married Mr & Mrs Fiaalii who tied the knot last month after winning our wedding video package to the value of $3500. She looked beautiful and they looked amazing!
Save time and money and have fun on your big day! Visit www.weddingshewrote.co.nz to book your dream wedding!
Images: Shaydy Lady Photography