Having the honour to be a part of a couple’s special day is the most fulfilling thing about being a wedding planner, says Michelle Lau, Founder of Arches & Co. (Photo by By Aaron Videography)
Imagine that you are making a heartfelt wedding speech at your wedding reception and thanking your family members for all that they’ve done for you, only to realise midway through that they were preoccupied the entire time.
Such scenarios happen all too commonly, shares Michelle Lau – a wedding planner and the Founder of Arches & Co. It is thus her job to make sure that these minor hiccups don’t happen on your wedding day.
“It’s a lot of small things that we do that really adds on to the entire experience,” Michelle says.
Taking the doing out of ‘I do’
Wedding planners act as a consultant and researcher to help marriage couples through their entire wedding planning process from pre-wedding events to the wedding day, Michelle reveals. “I’m there to give you advice and recommendations based on my past experience, and of course, my knowledge in the industry,” she explains.
This begins long before the wedding banquet ceremony, as Michelle draws from her relationships and intimate knowledge of the industry to recommend reliable vendors, for example.
Besides that, Michelle also takes pride in making sure every wedding event delivers on a pleasant guest experience. There are many details a couple may not realise until it’s too late, she observes.
The devil is in the details. Michelle has a hand in every aspect of the wedding – from recommending vendors to ensuring every guest is happy (Photo by By Aaron Videography)
For example, some couples may plan to have their ROM (registry of marriage) solemnisation in the morning, take some photos with the bridal party, before having a lunch reception. But while this arrangement may make sense for the couple, what about the guests?
“It’s not an ideal guest experience,” says Michelle, as guests are left with a lull time while the couple is having their photos taken.
“Nobody has any obligation to attend your wedding,” Michelle highlights. “The fact that people turn up at your wedding is really the biggest blessing and biggest gift that you can receive.”
“What we bring to the table is an overview of how the entire wedding is going to pan out, not just from a couple’s point of view, but also from everybody else’s,” she says.
Her responsibilities extend to the day of the wedding, to ensure that even the last minute details are perfect so that everyone involved is having a good time.
This means taking over reception duties so the bridal party can witness the couple marching in, or even manning the AV for the duration of the wedding so close friends and family need not work during the event.
Beyond the logistical and administrative heavy lifting, however, the value that wedding planners like Michelle truly provide is far more intangible – a peace of mind that your special day is in good hands.
Assuaging fears during pandemic uncertainties
When the pandemic hit, weddings all over were postponed or cancelled. Michelle’s role then became that of a counsellor and advisor, providing assurance and comfort to the couples (Photo by Kent Wong Photography)
This assurance was something that Michelle strived to provide couples with even during the tumultuous years of the pandemic.
With changing government restrictions such as venue restrictions and health protocols like pre-event testing for weddings, couples were forced to ride out a roller coaster of emotions as the fate of their wedding day remained shrouded in uncertainty.
“The difficult part [during the pandemic] was to encourage the couple to make sure that they’re still in high spirits to be excited for their wedding that will eventually happen,” shares Michelle.
This meant staying on top of regulations from different government agencies so that she could answer any questions couples may have or simply providing a listening ear.
Every time the government released word of a press conference, Michelle’s team would be on standby with their phones fully charged to address the barrage of enquiries that were sure to come, she shares with a laugh.
Michelle turned to GoBusiness to keep herself updated on the regulations the wedding industry had to adhere to. “I find it helpful, because when clients ask me questions and they need proof, it’s very easy for me to get a screenshot and send it to them,” she explains.
Towards forever and always
Moving forward, Michelle hopes to continue building up Arches & Co and providing stellar service to future brides- and grooms-to-be.
While Michelle did her best to uplift her clients’ spirits during the two years of the pandemic, she too was struggling with doubts and uncertainty.
“The lowest point was definitely when I had no new inquiries at all, especially during the Covid period. Nobody wanted to plan a wedding because nobody knew when they could have a wedding or when things would resume,” she says.
Amidst these challenges, it was her close industry friends who kept her going. “We were in it together and trying to do things together instead of dwelling on what’s currently happening,” she shares.
“We focused more on what we could do in the future, and tried to think of how we can make things better in spite of the regulations,” she continues.
Today, Michelle is keeping her head up as Singapore enters an endemic state.
“The plan for Arches & Co is to really just continue on our trajectory, to continue providing good service to our clients who believe in us,” she shares.
Are you like Michelle and need the latest updates on Safe Management Measures on hand? Check out the sector-specific requirements on GoBusiness for the latest updates.
With restrictions easing and events once again sprouting up across the island, use GoBusiness’ e-Adviser for Events to find out what the regulations are surrounding large-scale business-related events.
This article is accurate as at 15 Jun 2022