What Would They Know? Catherine Williams of will&jac

by | Wedding Planning Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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The sparkly Catherine and Clare of will&jac are your wedding planning angels, ensuring that your wedding day is as beautiful as it can be. How do you put a price on the skills, professionalism and organisation they bring to your day? With solutions borne of great experience honed from working from the ground up in various wedding roles, Catherine and Clare bring you the greatest gift – peace of mind! To be able to hand over your tasks big and small, and to be truly engaged in enjoying your wedding day without worrying over the details is priceless – after all you only get married once! Let’s take a peek into the world of wedding planning with will&jac.

How did you get into the wedding planning business?

Clare and I have both been fortunate to have a wide range of Wedding Planning experience. Clare founded her skills overseas in London, and I learnt my background in the sunny setting of Queensland. We met while working at one of Melbourne’s leading Victorian mansions, Butleigh Wootton, and found ourselves both striving to ensure every couple’s special day was executed to perfection. Weddings involve a lot of emotions, personalities and logistics – ultimately, we want to see all couples thriving in and enjoying the occasion, rather than being caught up in the minor details (which are terribly important) however, can take away from their Day.

What makes you passionate about this business?

People! You can not be involved in the Wedding industry and a couple’s Celebration without being able to listen, assist and support people. Couples need to trust you as their planners, planners need to have the ability to have strong working relationships to instill confidence and peace of mind, you happily offer guidance and encourage the Bride and Groom’s nearest and dearest on the Day, which in turn creates a relaxed and joyous environment. will&jac has a strong want to exceed everyone’s expectations.

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Image by Steph Wallis Photography

Where did you learn your skills?

Like most event professionals, we worked our way from the ground up commencing as set-up staff for larger venues, moving onto waitering roles, management teams and then into coordination positions. This process did not happen over night and it is this strong basis of understanding all aspects of event processes that we find enables us to ensure every element is ticked and crossed brilliantly. Such experience is priceless!

What personal qualities do you each bring to the business?

Clare is the detail driven, logistics management and resident tape measure guru. Catherine is the IT and social media wiz, and trend spotter.

How would you describe your overall style?

Our stylings are whatever our gorgeous couples wish it to be! We are so lucky to be able to move from vintage glamour one week, to minimal and sleek, then bright and bold, to surrounding ourselves in Mother Nature with marquee Weddings. We’re a little mix bag of styling wonderfulness!

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Image by Katie Harmsworth Photography

You offer several different packages to bridal couples. Which is the most popular?

will&jac can do as little or as much to elevate and execute a couple’s wishes – with no Wedding being the same, this ebbs and flows to make our options tailor specific to each occasion.

Our most popular option would be ‘The Big Day’ with will&jac taking over the reigns of our Bride and Groom’s confirmed Wedding suppliers and details 6 weeks before their Wedding arrives, and offering services to go over their bookings with a fine tooth comb, allowing the couple to enjoy their final count-down! These 6 weeks allow us to find any missing details (and fix them!) while also ensuring plan B’s and all other logistical elements are secured.

Have you seen a shift in bridal couples’ planning needs over the time you’ve been in business? What are they requesting more of now?

Couple’s are stepping away from venue Weddings in turn for creating their own venue, from the ground up, in barns, sheds, paddocks and rooftops. Briefs like this require additional hands, as no stone goes unturned to ensure all requirements are aligned in the greatest of detail.

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Image by Steph Wallis Photography

Do you work on each wedding together – from the beginning to the end of the wedding day?

Clare and I are there from when the first supplier arrives (or marquee is underway), throughout the festivities, to the final hoorahs and the space is empty. We wouldn’t miss it for the world and having played such an integral role in the planning stages, our presence is paramount.

What do you see as your roles on the actual wedding day?

Project managers, our Bride and Groom’s support duo – your ‘can do’ team!

Do you feel that more often than not, your ‘wedding planning’ role goes beyond just planning? How does it evolve?

Absolutely and this is what we love the most – we become part of the Day as we form close relationships with our couples, their extended family and friends, and guests. We don’t want to be known as the Wedding Planners, we’re Catherine and Clare your go-to girls!

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Image by Katie Harmsworth Photography

Do you work with vendors (such as florists) who understand your style?

Melbourne offers an array of talented florists and being that all Wedding stylings are individual to the couple, we are able to employee the assistance of any leading floral designers to create our couple’s statement pieces. The Bride and Groom decide on their preferred suppliers, after all, it’s their Day!

For bridal couples who have now idea where to start, are you able to provide some tips on what to start looking for (and book) first?

Venue is paramount. Your chosen venue/location detailing will flow onto dresses, suits, invitations, music, florals, styling, photographer, cars… the list goes on!

The choice of a venue is important. What should a bridal couple look for when deciding if it fits with their personal style?

Location, size depending on guest numbers, music restrictions, wet weather options and you can’t forget budget – you need to ensure that added pressures aren’t going to allow you and your fiancee to enjoy the processes from the very beginning.

What is coming through as colour or styling trends for 2017?

will&jac is still holding onto blush, marsala and ivory tones for florals – we think this is a timeless statement for any Celebration. And you can’t go past candlelight, so much atmosphere comes from these subtle touches for your Day.

Where do you find fresh inspiration?

Our couples! They all provide us with unique inspirations drawing on family history, special locations and their own romantic journeys. Clare and I also like to ‘stalking’ social media regularly to stay up-to-date with Melbourne’s ever changing Wedding opportunities.

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Image by Chris Clinnick Photography

What do you like to do in your time off?

Escaping to Queensland for some beach time with the family!

How do you celebrate the end of the working week?

We love to bring out the cheese and Champagne on a Friday afternoon!

Favourite restaurant to celebrate at?

Movida.

Thank you for sharing the will&jac story Catherine.  This dynamic duo will go out of their way to ensure your day is perfect – right down to the smallest detail. To find out more about will&jac visit the website.

Headshot image by Chris Clinnick Photography.

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