Vicky Choy is the founder of Event Accomplished, one of the top event planning companies in the area. We're always happy to get a chance to work with the Event Accomplished team, and we know they'll always do an amazing job at designing an event that is stylish and tailored to the client's specific needs. We were thrilled when Vicky agreed to share her experience with our readers! Here's Vicky!
How did you get started in the wedding business?I was pretty burnt out and ready for a break from corporate America. I was looking for something different where I could work really closely with my clients, make an impact in their lives, and feel relatively quickly a sense of accomplishment. While attending business school at George Washington University, I stumbled upon event management and the rest is history. It was a happy accident.
What do you do when you are not working? I love to cook and to explore new restaurants to see the creativity that professional chefs produce. You can also find me taking ballet classes weekly. I relish those days when I can still keep up with the teenagers. And for this year, my new activity is yoga.
How would you describe your approach to weddings?Practical and personal. By nature, I am a pragmatic person. My clients are busy professionals and really don’t have time to waste. They hire me to help them save time so I don’t really see the point in beating around the bush. While I am open to trying just about anything, I am also first to tell you if I think something is tacky, is not practical, or is logistically not possible. At the same time, I am an advocate for “doing your own thing.” Don’t worry about what the trends are out there in wedding world or compare your wedding to your friends’. Design a wedding that reflects you. Each choice should be personal and holds meaning.
What inspires you in your work?The couples and their families. Every couple has their own story. For that reason alone, no two weddings are ever the same.
What do you find the most rewarding about your job?To see the couples and their families having a great time at their wedding makes me a happy girl. Seeing the beaming faces of a couple at the end of their ceremony as they walk back down the aisle still makes me smile and chokes me up. Can you get any happier than in that singular moment?
What's the one thing you wish everyone knew about you or your business?When I ask a couple why they decided to ask for a planner’s help, many of them will say that they need help pulling together a cohesive and beautiful wedding. For them, it’s about getting help with the visuals and that’s where they see a planner adding value. While we can certainly design an aesthetically pleasing event, don’t underestimate the value a planner brings in terms of the logistics of an event. If you don’t spend enough effort on thoughtfully planning the underlying logistics of an event, I don’t care how pretty your event looks because your event will not run smoothly and your guests will certainly notice that more than they would that pretty floral arrangement.
What do you think sets your company apart from other planners?What sets us apart from other planners is our balanced philosophy which guides how we work. We’ve had our production partners (your photographer, your caterer, your musicians) tell us that they enjoy working with us because we don’t micromanage them. While as the planner we are ringmasters, my philosophy for working as the leader of this type of team is to set boundaries and then let the professionals you hired do their jobs. We’ve managed to strike a balance between being in control of our events, and giving our partners the space to be successful in their work. With our tools, I’d like to think that we balance the need to provide an appropriate level of detail and efficiency. For example, we’ve received compliments on our production schedules because it provides the information at the right level of detail specifically tailored to each member of our production team - no more, no less - which allows them to make informed decisions about their work.
What do you love about weddings? I love that a wedding is always a happy event. I love that I get to meet all kinds of people.
What do you hate about weddings? Family dynamics or drama because it stresses the couple, and I don’t like to see my clients stressed.
What is the coolest thing you've ever seen at a wedding? We had a surprise appearance of the Virginia Tech Hokie Bird attend one wedding and another surprise appearance of a George Washington impersonator gave a speech on marriage. The coolest things are usually the more sentimental ones. A heartfelt letter from the grandmother of the groom who lives in Serbia and could not attend the wedding was read at the ceremony, bringing tears of joy to everyone.
What's the best piece of advice you can give to couples planning a wedding?Constantly remind yourselves what this wedding is all about. Like it or not, it is not about finding that perfect favor to give to your guests. Amidst all the planning, you can easily lose yourselves. I suggest having date nights or even weekend getaways where you are forbidden to talk about the wedding and decompress a bit.
Who is your favorite artist or band?Billy Joel (sorry Jennifer, it’s the honest truth). I grew up on Long Island, NY. Billy provided the soundtrack of my youth.
What is the worst song of all time?I can’t really think of a worst song of all time. However, Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” makes me switch the radio station every time.
Open mic, final thoughts:Have fun with it. Do your own thing. Don’t sweat the small stuff.Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.