I always loved to entertain people! This is probably because of passion and background in dance. I grew up performing anything from ballet, ballroom, hip hop, to even traditional Filipino dances. In high school and college, those performances eventually led to coordinating elaborate shows. Friends often came to me for guidance and direction when planning their parties. After gaining experience in organizing meetings and work conferences at a desk job, I figured why not make this my career?
What type of services do you offer?
For weddings, Dream Defined Events offers full, partial and month-of packages. I also provide consultation, event design, and day-of assistance for a variety of social affairs. From intimate soirees to grand birthday bashes, any event deserves the same amount of attention to detail.
What do you love most about planning an event?
The reactions of the clients and their guests – when they’re good of course ;). The faces of awe and wonder when they first walk into a venue. The laughter and tears during toasts. The nods and smiles in a crowd as a speaker gives a speech. Glimpses of sincere bliss make the endless email threads, spreadsheet drafts, and timelines worth it in the end. I’m also a sucker for the first look and first dance of every wedding. They never get old!
What is your most memorable event you had a hand in planning?
I helped organize and coordinate logistics for NextDayBetter + Washington DC. NextDayBetter is a creative food and speaker series for diaspora communities and I was lucky enough to be part of the planning committee for their DC chapter. We brought together bold and innovative local leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives in one space to discuss what inspires them and why they do what they do. Nani Coloretti (Deputy Secretary, US Department of Housing and Urban Development) and Erik Bruner-Yang (Chef/Restauranteur/James Beard Nominee, Toki Underground/Maketto) were some of the speakers. It was incredibly empowering not only as a coordinator but a participant. I felt the attendees’ energy and knew I helped motivate and invigorate the next generation of leaders.
What are your top inside tips for planning events?
Ask anything and everything from event professionals and vendors. There is no such thing a dumb question. Better be safe than sorry! Keep (paper) copies of everything. Don’t let the budget discourage and dictate you. Always remember your overall objective. It can be as simple as having fun, eating good food, or bringing family together. Decide and prioritize the top three or five things to focus on to achieve that objective and always keep those in mind so you don’t get bogged down with options, numbers, and deadlines.
What are some tips for hosts to think about or decide on before bringing on an event planner?
Do your personalities mesh well together? You and your planner don’t have to be best friends right from the start, but having a good, solid rapport with them is essential. You will be communicating with your planner constantly so getting along with them makes the work much easier. Conversation that comes naturally leads to less headaches and miscommunication. Make sure the planner really understands not only your event and goals but also your personality and preferences. Sometimes you may not know exactly what you want or how to explain your vision. If the planner can get that out of you, then I strongly suggest hiring them.
Do you do any corporate or non-profit events?
As of now, corporate and non-profit events are not my main focus, but I make myself open to ideas. If you need assistance in an event, whatever it is, I’m available for conversation to see how I can provide assistance whether it’s through month by month guidance, an email full of suggestions, or just acting as a soundboard for brainstorming!