We are thrilled to share with you today the interview with the founder and CEO of Cocoon Events, Fabrice Orlando! Cocoon Events is an event planning agency providing its services in Marrakech and in other exotic destinations. Making their clients’ dreams come true is their passion and extraordinary events are their signature. It is really exciting to have the chance to find out a little bit more about the agency and its founder; how it was created, where he finds inspiration and what his tips are! Read about his success story, find useful advice and get a better understanding of his work!
How did you get into wedding planning?
When I sold my production company in France in 2005, I moved to Marrakech to enjoying a different lifestyle than a workaholic’s one. It turned out that Marrakech became a popular destination for events and weddings. At the time I just created a small company to be able to produce whatever I wanted to produce; music , events etc. Friends started to call me for their private events or weddings in Marrakech…It started like that and then I became again addicted to work. By my extended network of celebrities and leaders of the industry, the request became worldwide…it’s pure hazard.
What ingredients make for a perfect event?
In my opinion a perfect event is a combination of many factors and many talents, but it’s all about the connection you have with your clients during the preparation process. Their expectations, dreams or even ideas are what feed my creativity and my team’s motivation.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Regarding decoration, I love the whole process of setting up from the first truck on the spot to the final touch with the lighting. Then I love to direct the wedding as a movie director…it’s an adrenaline activity!
Are there any event or wedding trends you’re excited about at the moment?
In regard to decoration, I have noticed that the industry has moved to many smaller items on the table rather than crazy giant pieces. Less is more! Regarding entertainment, the interactive musicians and singers being around your table with a DJ backing them is a big trend; concert stage style is becoming boring. Guests wants to be actors and not only watching a show…
What do you consider your biggest career success to date?
The day I was able to be surrounded by the team I was dreaming of. It took time and a lot of effort to be able to cover monthly salary and then to find them. Now I really enjoy going to my office.
What’s is the motto you live by professionally?
People want to dream big…we have to make them dream bigger…
Who has influenced you the most in your career as a wedding planner?
Not who, but what …The interactive TV Shows from many countries…I was really influenced by the different methods of building a program…I must say that I am using the TV tricks every day. It’s part of my signature.
What are the key decisions for a couple when planning a wedding?
Choose the wedding planner with your heart, not because he shows you venues or because he has 50 dollars less in his budget. Don’t involve family members that think they know how to plan, it always results in catastrophe and why hire a pro then? Try to be realistic in what you can afford. Pinterest is a very nice mirror of grandiose and perfection but it never says how much it costed…At the end it’s all about love and friendship , don’t forget that…it’s a celebration not a show.
What are the main considerations for a destination wedding abroad?
Never underestimate the costs. Some destinations can be attractive, but you will often be surprised by the market prices…high taxes, suppliers monopoly etc.
Which social media platform do you prefer for event marketing and why?
I do like Instagram, it’s kind of live and I can speak straight with people, sometimes just to exchange compliments or ideas and sometimes it leads to business.
What’s your favorite part about being a wedding planner?
I love to meet new people and to be able to be part of a special moment. I don’t know, it’s just exiting. I am lucky to keep a friendship with 90% of our clients. I’m part of their families, which is always crazy when travelling, you have always nice people to meet.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your career?
It’s essential to take care of yourself to avoid burnout. Take control of your schedule and enjoy the other loves in your life, family, friends etc .Inspiration is everywhere if you’re able to see it!
What is your current favorite color combination?
Very classic white, gold, light pink.
Where do you get the inspiration from?
Everything, Everywhere….I love walking in London or NYC streets. It’s very inspiring; the people, the colours, everything is so alive that it feeds me. I also watch a lot of movies, as I like to create scenarios for all my events. It’s really resourceful.
Which wedding dress do you admire?
I love Zuhair Murad’s creations.
If you weren’t a wedding planner you would be …
I would either be a lawyer or a musician.
What’s the most spectacular event you have planned?
The Ancient Rome Wedding in Italy. We were lucky enough to have the door of the Cinecitta studio open for us in the original decor of Cleopatra, Gladiators, Rome etc…It was for 80 guests who did not know anything about the theme. They entered an ancient world with all the ingredients: gladiators, roman legion, slave market, craftsmen, horse carriage race etc. The studio let me play with the full warehouse of Ancient Rome decor and props…It was unbelievable. We had a mood board in our head but no plan, we created everything on the spot, placing decors as they were coming in. Big time adrenaline but such an exclusive event, impossible to reproduce. Everything was perfect, the guests, the weathe, the artists, the decor…I want to do it again!
What do you believe is the most important characteristic of an event planner?
Be able to listen, not only clients but also your team. You can lead but not always see, just be flexible.
Which country do you want to plan a destination wedding?
Anywhere I haven’t been yet…I would love Japan, Spain, Sicily, Mexico, Bahamas. I can’t really choose. I just love challenges.