Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from around the world with many different levels of experience. If you would like to be featured, download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Connecticut wedding planner Madalene Benoist d’Etiveaud today!
Name: Madalene Benoist d’Etiveaud
Business Name & Location: Bash Weddings & Events, Greenwich, CT
Years Working in the Event Industry: 5
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: 5
Business Facebook Page: Bash Events
What is your typical day like?
My wedding planning workday typically does not begin until noon unless I have meetings scheduled. I break up my day by managing my household, exercise, and personal affairs in the morning and then drive to my office in downtown Greenwich, CT to work through the afternoon into the evening, which can keep me at my office until 7pm or 8pm.
On arrival at my office, I check my emails, although I am truly guilty of checking constantly even from home, I return phone calls, schedule meetings with clients, and write editorial for local blog posts and publications to market my business as much as I can. By order of priority, I work on my clients wedding details and events such as rental lists, wedding day itineraries, and searching for my clients perfect lanterns or seating card displays. I am approximately an hour north of New York City, which allows me to take a few hours to search for tabletop items, linens, vases, and lanterns when necessary. I am very visual and prefer hands-on research when I can. Besides, who wouldn’t love getting out and about in NYC and it’s a good excuse to test new restaurants for lunch while researching products.
How did you get started in the industry?
I decided to try my hand at professional event planning after years of helping friends and family with their parties and my children’s school fundraising events. The experience of planning both social and fundraising events taught me how to listen to other’s wishes, NOT just mine. I also learned to delegate and manage a team of volunteers while researching products within the confines of a small budget. I thought this was not only fun but challenging and decided to take the plunge into starting my own business once my children were older.
At the beginning of my career, I teamed up with a business partner and started a catering business. She managed everything relating to menus and food while I managed the design, logistics, client relationships, and marketing of our business. I found my knowledge of planning events becoming more and more thorough over that first year and wanted to focus on my true love of planning weddings. This led to me breaking off from the catering side of the business and opening up my own wedding planning business and office not affiliated with one particular caterer. Now I can choose from a variety of vendors that compliment the individual style of each client and event.
Where do you find design inspiration?
I find my inspiration everywhere. While traveling, perusing flower shops and home design shops, magazines, fashion, merchandising displays, and catalogs, Pinterest, Instagram and Trend Labs to determine what’s up and coming.
I also find standing in the venue, empty of course, where a particular event is going to be held very inspiring. I get a feel for the space, take note of the lighting, surrounding vegetation, the color of the building, both interior and exterior, and how it will coordinate with the style of my client and a design scheme. There is nothing worse than forcing a design or style onto a venue where it doesn’t fit. Sometimes a juxtaposition works while other times it’s just plain weird!
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
My favorite online resources for general business practice is certainly the Planner’s Lounge. Your advice and posts are priceless. Thank you! I also refer to weddingwire.com, theknot.com and stylemepretty.com to keep current in terms of trends and the overall industry. I also find some of my vendors to be very inspirational such as Melanilustphotogrpahy.com and sperrytents.com. They are very talented and showcase events around the country and the world.
Madalene, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and a day in your life. If you are an event planner and would like to be featured, download our questionnaire today and email it to us along with a photo. If you aren’t sure about being featured, take a few minutes to read how it can help your business.