We are featuring today the interview of the talented luxury wedding planner in Cyprus, Artemis Aristidou! Artemis is the Creative Director and Event Producer of Coveted Luxury Weddings and Events, the leading event planning studio that is dedicated to creating refined, timeless and exclusive events in Cyprus. With over a decade of experience creating stylish and luxurious weddings in Cyprus, Artemis and her team are known to always give a little more than they promise. She has a keen eye for design and she is considered to be the most sought after planner for extraordinary events in Cyprus and she has delivered lifetime experiences and has exceeded customer expectations every single time.
See what she shared with us during her interview!
How did you get into wedding planning?
After working at an office environment for 8 years I was so sure that this was not for me that I had to find a way out. I was always a very creative person, interested in everything that had to do with art and design. And even though I did not follow that in my academic years I never stopped following every possible source of inspiration and kind of day dreaming of giving life to something I could call my own. I am also a very organized and structured person (to an OCD extend sometimes) so being a wedding planner is the perfect balance between my creative and my structured side. Now how did I come across this career? I think by accident. As many friends were entrusting me with their parties and celebrations at the time (pro bono of course), at one point I got a request from a friend of a friend of a friend who did not know me personally to organize and design her wedding. I thought to myself why not? Let’s see where this takes us. So I took this first job on and remember charging CY£500 for my services. After this one then came another and another and I realized at some point that I could not be a lawyer in the morning and a wedding planner in the evening. So I made my choice and left my legal career to pursue this new adventure.
What ingredients make for a perfect event?
I believe that people will always forget the details. But they will always remember how you made them feel during an event. So the most essential ingredient for a successful event is to take good care of your guests. Tiny details might seem insignificant but at the end of the night these will balance the weight between a successful and an OK event. From where the guests park their cars and the hassle they will get into to get to the event, to the way they will be welcomed there, the quality of the food and not only the quantity, the entertainment during the night and of course the visual details that will enhance their whole experience. But for me a good event has to be guest oriented. And every single choice you make has to reflect that. If you keep people happy there is nothing that can spoil your event and it will be the talk of the town long after it’s over.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Whenever my duties or my event allows me this pleasure, I like peaking a spot right at the entrance of the event where I cannot be seen and watch people’s reactions when they enter the room for the first time. For me this is the greatest pleasure our job can offer: to watch grown ups become kids again even for just a few seconds and see this spark and awe in their eyes.
What do brides need to keep in mind for their special day?
To be conscious of the fact that time flies. Their wedding day is just going to last a few hours as any other day. And it’s never coming back. So they should breath deep and relax and make sure they take in and live and enjoy every single moment of it and just be present when everything is happening. And not let any stress or negative thought take that away from them. But in order to be able to fully let go on the day they should hire a good wedding planner. One that will be doing all the thinking and stressing on the day so they can enjoy it to the fullest.
Are there any event or wedding trends you’re excited about at the moment?
I am never excited by wedding trends. I am rather excited by opportunities to create something unique that I haven’t done before. This year I am excited with some Indian weddings I am working on, as they are so full of color and spice and tradition and culture! I’m really looking forward to those. If I have to choose a trend though I would say after the minimalistic trend of the marble effect I am really excited to see ombré in rich jewel colors with the combination of gold and rich textures like velvet finally making their appearance in the wedding industry after some years of being on the hot list of interior design.
What do you consider your biggest career success to date?
My reputation. Both as a company and as a professional. Both among clients and the market in general as well as among our industry. I worked really hard to get to this point so I pride myself for this as nothing was handed over to me. Everything was achieved through hard work and even harder work.
What do you still want to achieve?
So many plans, so little time… I see a lot of gaps still in our industry and especially in our country and I would like to play my part to either cover or develop some areas where we can do better or are not yet exploited to their fullest potential. As a person I always like to plan my next move and I’m always working on new ideas and concepts. I like to call them projects. Some may never be realized. Others will. But I am a firm believer of always moving forward. And always challenging myself.
Who has influenced you the most?
When I began my wedding planning and design career, I followed the work of Martha Stewart very closely and she actually influenced my first designs and the creative identity of my company during its beginnings. What I admired most about her style was the amazing attention to detail that made even the simplest design look stunning. Her choice of good quality materials, the craftsmanship, the combination of colors and flowers and also the crafty approach to her designs also caught my attention and influenced my choices. This was a pre-Pinterest era and I was waiting impatiently each season for the new issue of Martha Stewart Weddings to come out. And when it did I would carry it with me for days treasuring every single image in there. A huge source of inspiration! I was very sad when Martha Stewart Weddings closed down. I felt like an era has ended. As I gained more experience and more confidence I began experimenting with other styles as well until I found my own identity in which someone can still notice my early influences that I never shed.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Where do I start with this one…I think I would give myself the advice I give to my closest colleagues at work: not every client is right for you and you are not right for every client. So you must not chase after clients or feel disappointed if they choose another professional. What matters is that you do your best to put in front of them your company and its possibilities and then whatever project is meant for you it will find its way to you. Having this approach has obviously helped me make some choices and decline some jobs (politely of course) along the way. Our work is so demanding both physically and mentally that if a client cannot appreciate what you are putting on the table for them then this client is not for you. Having to sacrifice a big part of my personal life and being away from my family and loved ones on holidays or on weekends cause I was on a job has definitely put things into perspective for me. But it took me quite some time to realize that the client who does not want to pay for your services, your expertise and your time is not worth your time or to fuss over them. When I realized that I gained peace of mind and also bigger jobs and better clients.
Describe your personal style in one word?
Relaxed, laid back, casual and sometimes masculine. I may get this weird mood to dress up every now and then (every girl gets these flashes occasionally) but usually you will see me in my jeans and definitely flat shoes, unless I have no choice. Of course I follow what is going on in the world of fashion closely as it’s a major inspiration for me but you will never see me dress like this cover or that trend. I always mix it up to match my personality, mood and most importantly comfort.
What book are you reading at the moment?
Magical Beasts and where to find them by J.K. Rowling as we are all children at heart and we all love to be part of magical worlds.
What’s the most unusual request you’ve had from your wedding clients?
It depends on what is considered unusual. I had a client who requested us to book a huge headliner 2 days before their wedding. You know, one of those who send an endless list of demands for their dressing rooms and an even bigger technical list and then suddenly you have to take down everything you had previously installed and built everything from scratch. Then a client asked me if a member of my team can fix their air condition on the day of the wedding as it broke down. I also had some clients who wanted us to spread some gravel in the yard of a church to make it even and when we did not do such a good job they were upset. Once I had a mother in law who asked me to have a second design ready and she said that she would come and see everything her daughter in law chose and if she did not approve I should take everything away and install her choices! Of course, this never happened and the bride never heard about this back story, otherwise she might not have been married today. I think planning a big event such as a wedding can either bring out the best or the worst in people. The secret is to trust the professionals you chose and just follow their lead. Of course for us the secret is to learn how to manage our client’s demands. For example: what on earth was wrong with us when we said yes to spreading gravel in a church yard!
What’s is the motto you live by professionally?
Be honest, keep my hands clean and my reputation untarnished. Always honor my associates and respect their work and their time and appreciate what they have to offer to the success of my events. I believe that my colleagues and my associates are the most important factor to the success of my business and my events, and I try never to forget that and show my appreciation and respect to them whenever I get the chance.
What is your current favorite color scheme?
I really do not have a favorite. I like all colors and love working with color and for me it’s more interesting when a client is bold enough to let me use color than not. Every color palette has its beauty and can give you a totally different and unique result and this is why I love working and experimenting with combinations I never tried in the past.
If you weren’t an event planner, you would be …
I was always fascinated by history, languages and anthropology. That’s why I love traveling and pack my bags at the very first opportunity to explore new places! If I got to live twice I could see me as a linguist/anthropologist/historian, studying people and their cultures. I think being a lawyer would not come as an option even for a second time around.
What’s the most spectacular event you have ever put together?
I think it’s not only one that stood out for me. I have a few favorites in my mind, but if I have to choose one it would be a 3 day wedding celebration, built from scratch at a venue that was not completed when we undertook the event and did not even open officially before the event to be able to accommodate such a huge and demanding event. Working on every single detail of this event: having to do a lot of building work to get things where we wanted them to be, cancelling plans and making new ones, finding solutions while being short on time, handling a huge amount of guests that flocked the event and generally stepping way out of our comfort zone to be able to present an opulent 3 day celebration, packed with activities, experiences, lush decorations, entertainers from all over the world, and of course amazing food and drinks. I believe this event was a university degree by itself for me and after it was over, I felt that I can do just about anything after this one!
Your wedding designs are incredible. Where do you find inspiration?
From everything I see around me. From my childhood, to my travels, to the books I read and the images they generate. Every image I came across, every colour combination, every scent are stored away in my memory and I can actually retrieve all this data whenever I need inspiration. I am also an extremely observant person and pay attention to every single detail and this also helps. So if I travel anywhere I will notice the color combinations and the textures of that place, I will notice the scents, the people, the vibe… If I attend an event I will pay attention to every single detail. If I go to the theatre I will remember every tiny aspect of the show. And store these details inside my head for later use. I will never remember this or that fact or conversation, but I will never forget an image. So I actually blame my strong memory and my strong observation skills as one of the reasons for my success.
How do you want the world to remember you?
As someone who helped making their day a little more special than it was already. As a person who played a part at how happy and how elevated they felt on the day. And as someone who listened to their story and interpreted it in the most unique and creative way…