This week we have met Ruth Maldonado, a certificate Miami wedding planner. Her story is amazing! Follow the interview below to know more about Ruth:
1. Why did you get started in this business? How long ago?
In my family my mom is the party planner for every birthday, quince, wedding, anniversary, and everything in between so I pretty much grew up planning events. During high school and college, I was always part of the group of people designated to plan the different events and activities throughout the year so pretty much one thing led to the other. I moved to Florida five years ago and it’s been exactly one year since I launched Soley Events and started planning weddings in Miami.
2. How was it at the beginning?
The beginning was back in Puerto Rico when I used to help my mom plan events. I remember the first wedding I was fully involved with was my sister’s wedding and I was only 12, but I can remember everything like it was last year. All the trips to the different venues, choosing a caterer, buying all the decoration, creating centerpieces, choosing colors… I remember everything! This past year has been amazing for me in terms of learning. I’m not in Puerto Rico anymore so I had to start from scratch. Basically, I had to get certified, promote my business, and meet vendors all at the same time so it’s been busy, to say the least.
3. Tell about your background before this.
I have a Bachelor Degree in Advertising and a Master Degree in Entertainment Business, plus my Event Planning Certification. I have been working full time in the Travel and Entertainment Industry for four years now, mostly in Marketing and Sales.
4. How did you become successful or bootstrapped?
Clearly, I’m still in the process of becoming successful. This past year though I’ve made sure to surround myself with people who’ve been in business longer than me and who can help me get to where I want to be. I’ve been very lucky to meet amazing vendors along the way that see a potential in me and have been really helpful so I think the key is to surround you with the right people.
5. What do you sell?
Wedding and Honeymoon Planning. I’m a wedding planner as well as a travel agent so I help my brides and grooms with their wedding and honeymoon.
6. How many weddings do you do a year?
I’ve already planned five weddings this year and working on three more in the coming months.
7. What makes your product unique?
The added value of being able to plan honeymoons as well as weddings. Not many planners have that ability. I don’t refer my couples to a travel planner; I do all the travel planning myself.
8. What is the most important thing in your product?
In my opinion, the most important thing when it comes to wedding planning is to listen to your client and be real at the same time. I’m as transparent as I can be with my clients. I know the budget is a huge, probably the biggest source of stress when it comes to weddings so I do my best to respect my client’s budget, even from themselves.
9. Who are you? Bio, kids, husband, passions and hobbies.
I’m 28 years old and was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m not married (yet!), nor have any kids (yet!). My passion is to travel and plan events (even if it sounds as a cliche). I love discovering new places, and as crazy as it sounds, the stress of planning an event. I just love it, there’s no other way I can describe it. When I’m not working I like spending time with my family.
10. Your weaknesses
Anything sweet! Ha! Professionally speaking, I would say sometimes I’m too passionate. I always tell myself I will stop responding work emails after 9pm on weekdays to give myself some time to just relax before going to bed, and suddenly I get an email notification at 10pm, and I can’t go to bed if I haven’t responded. I’m still working on that … I know work-life balance is essential.
11. Have you had any difficulty? What was the worst moment?
Actually … So far, no. I mean, I’m a wedding planner; my job is to handle difficulties. But something out of the ordinary? Thank God nothing has happened. I’ve been blessed to work with really amazing, professional vendors so that always make my job one thousand times easier.
12. Something you regret? You take back?
Not starting my business earlier. Like I said, I’ve been in Florida for five years and only one in business so I wish I would’ve started before. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be at that moment.
13. The best moments?
In order of occurrence: When the parents see the bride for the first time when she’s walking down the aisle and the groom gets to see her for the first time, and their first dance.
14. If clients want to hire you, what is the process?
After they’ve made their decision to hire me I send them a contract, and an invoice for a deposit. I require 30% of the price of the package they choose as a deposit, and the rest is payable 2 weeks before the event. 19. What happens after they hire you?When the contract is signed and the deposit is paid we setup a date and time for their initial consultation. The initial consultation usually lasts about an hour. I usually ask them if they have a Pinterest board created to share it with me before the meeting, that way I can take a look at their pins and have an idea of what they are envisioning beforehand. After the initial consultation, I have a better idea of their vision and that’s when the fun begins!
Check this out: Wedding planners in Miami