Remember Vibrant Table’s and Vibrant Flowers’s interviews with Mandi Downs from Champagne Wedding and Event Coordination? We sat down with Mandi, one of our favorite coordinators, to get her take on events in the Pacific Northwest, find out how she got her start, and pick her brain about the wedding industry. Here’s what she had to say:
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VT: How long have you been practicing your craft?
CNW: Going on 6 years.
VT: Why did you choose your craft?
CNW: After going to school to become a Pre-school teacher, I soon realized that I wanted a career where I could be more creative and work with a little older age group. I was always the one planning get together’s and started looking into a career as a wedding and event coordinator! The rest is history.
VT: How did you get started?
CNW: I began assisting for a high end coordination company in Portland, Oregon and continued to grow with the company for 6 years. I had always dreamed of having my own company and last year I began that adventure with Rachelle Bell [Former owner of Delightful Occasions and now my business partner]. I could not be more grateful for the experience that I gained working in the field prior to venturing off on my own.
VT: Has anything significant changed in your field?
CNW: I would say the growing knowledge of how key having, at the very least a Day of Coordinator [Tip: Make sure when booking a Day of Coordinator that you’ll be meeting them at least once prior to the wedding day and that they will be helping with the timeline and communicating with all of the vendors prior to the day] , is to a successful event.
VT: What/Who are your inspirations?
CNW: I am continuously inspired by my family and friends who have been extremely supportive over the years. I am inspired by our clients who constantly remind me what love is. I’m inspired by all the vendors in the industry and I can’t forget… Grace Ormonde.
VT: What ideas, trends, ect. do you find exciting in the industry right now?
CNW: I love adding a personal touch that really tells what the couple is about. I love when photographers and videographers do same day edits and are able to show a few pictures or a short clip of their video during the reception.
VT: How long have you been a member of Portland event community?
CNW: This is my 6th year.
VT: In your opinion, is there something that makes Portland a unique place for events?
CNW: Portland is such a naturally beautiful place and whether you want to get married at the beach, mountain, a winery, on the river, in an orchard, hotel, you’re only minutes away!
VT: What is your favorite event venue?
CNW: My favorite venue… that’s so hard! I love so many venues for different reasons and honestly almost every where I go I find myself thinking “Hmm, I wonder if we could turn this into a venue”, whether it’s a coffee shop, restaurant, private residence, I’m always on the look out for unique spaces… A venue I’m crushing on right now is Red Hills Winery.. It’s urban yet country.
VT: Do you have an event horror story?
CNW: Haha… With one of our main jobs as a coordinator being to troubleshoot situations, we tend to see and do things you wouldn’t believe… but horror stories? You’ll have to wait til I write a book!
VT: Do you have a professional pet peeve?
CNW: I can’t stand when vendors assume we are going to boss them around and say “I don’t work with coordinators”. We are there to work with everyone involved to create a seamless and fun event for our clients. It’s all about team work and communication. We are there to connect all the vendors so everyone is on the same page [Among a long list of other duties :)]
VT: Where do you see yourself in five years?
CNW: Hmm… In five years… I see us continuing all over Oregon to spread the word about the importance of hiring a wedding coordinator, networking and standing behind our mission to promote professional wedding vendors. and… having a wedding of my own! 🙂
VT: Fun! Thanks so much, Mandi!
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Mandi also interviewed Vibrant Table and Page Winograd for her blog.