Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Rachel Welland. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Rachel, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today We’d love to start by getting your thoughts on what you are seeing as some the biggest trends emerging in your industry
The wedding industry has been on a nonstop rollercoaster ride for the past 2 years, and we have seen some interesting changes! In 2020 when gatherings were restricted due to the pandemic, we were constantly postponing weddings (it was a deeply sad time for our clients and fellow vendors)… then in June 2021 when California re-opened, wedding business EXPLODED! It was as if everyone wanted to get married at once! The second half of 2021 was a doozy for all wedding venues and vendors – WOW! Now (in January 2022) business is becoming a bit more steady, but on the busier side.
The biggest trend we saw for a while – in 2020 and early 2021 – were scaling back the guest count at weddings (in order to be more “pandemic safe”), but still spending the same amount on the wedding. So choices regarding food, beverage, décor, etc. became more upscale and expensive.
The other big trend we saw starting in 2020 was a shift to weddings happening fully outdoors. This required some creative planning at times, but ultimately it was a great choice for couples who wanted to keep their guests safer while having a gathering during the pandemic.
Now that we are nearly 2 years into the pandemic, we are seeing guest counts grow to be larger, but we are still seeing a lot of fully-outdoors events. Our clients have become more accepting of some of the typical pandemic requirements such as masks, COVID testing before events, providing hand sanitizer at events, etc.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
ABOUT BLISS EVENTS:
Bliss Events is a San Diego wedding and event coordination company that blends fresh ideas with the confidence of experience to create customized, unforgettable celebrations. rom the first phone call to the last dance, we take the stress out of planning and infuse it with simple and fun communication. Together with the best resources and vendors, we design and organize every element of the day to fit our clients’ unique visions. Seeing the look of pure BLISS on a client’s face when every meaningful detail comes to life is what gets us excited. We feel like the luckiest people in the world, celebrating life’s best moments with you.
ABOUT RACHEL WELLAND:
What began as a hobby organizing her 4th grade pajama party, has transformed into a passionate career of design and leadership in San Diego’s wedding and event coordination industry. Rachel’s stunning and relevant work with a diverse clientele has made her one of the most sought-after wedding artists in the county. Anyone who meets Rachel knows that her limitless energy, creativity, and mastery of time management are the icing on the cake of her flawless event designs.
Rachel’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design adds a whole new dimension to her event design process, exceeding her clients’ visions with unique style and creativity. Rachel has also gained a valuable behind-the-scenes perspective of the industry while working at the prestigious L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa.
When Rachel has a [rare!] free Saturday, she can be spotted with her family, enjoying beautiful San Diego at a tasty brunch, the beach, or a museum. One thing, out of so many, that her husband loves most about her, is the value she places on family. Rachel is fully committed to the people she loves and the memorable moments she is creating at Bliss Events.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
I think being honest, and working effectively and consistently have been key in building and maintaining my reputation (and my business’s reputation) within my market.
Over the past nearly-15 years of owning Bliss Events, I have established and fostered many relationships with industry folks and have always deeply cared about them and their stories – and I believe they have understood that I always operate with honesty while working hard.
My hard work shows over time – after many years of working consistently and effectively: always delivering an amazing experience for my clients and working together with vendor teams to accomplish the common goal of successful events. Clear communication and focus helps me accomplish my professional goals also.
I have also brought 3 colleagues onto the Bliss Events team who are honest and hardworking, which continues the consistent good reputation of the business.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
When I had just bought my business in 2007, I was learning the wedding industry and researching competitors. At times I was very concerned with how my business compared to my competitors and wondered if what I was doing was as good as what they were doing. This type of concern is good to have from time to time, to understand your place in the market… but becoming “obsessive” about it is not healthy or productive. It took me a few years to understand that my focus is better spent on servicing my clients, developing relationships with fellow vendors, and focusing on how to effectively grow my business! After I got past the worry about how my business compared to my competitors, I felt free to spend my time and energy on more productive tasks!