My name is Marsha Mollineau-Griffiths, founder of Mollineau Weddings & Events, an award-winning wedding planning & event boutique business based in London, UK. I offer busy couples inspirational content, consultancy, planning tools and access to our supplier directories to help plan their dream pre-wedding & wedding celebrations from start to finish without feeling overwhelmed.
As far back as I can remember, family gatherings and parties have been some of my fondest memories. Whether it was a large christening that went on late into the night or an annual summer picnic in the park with friends and family, these precious moments have shaped my life and business offering as I know it now. Then, established in December 2019, Mollineau Wedding & Events was born out of my personal wedding planning experience. I meticulously planned my ballroom glam wedding for 300 guests, which went without a hitch (pardon the pun!). Following my highly successful career as a Social Entrepreneur & Business Manager within public and private organisations, I bring a range of fundamental transferable skills for my clients benefit, including business analysis, complex financial/budget management, complete event lifecycle management, and negotiation and influence.
So, my days usually start at 4:30 am. Yep! I gently wake up to a soothing alarm: George Benson – ‘Breezin’. I know 4:30 am may seem extreme to some, but I like to take my time to wake up fully, to prepare mentally for the day ahead and enjoy a few hours to myself before my husband and children awake. I couldn’t imagine starting my day with a harsh beeping alarm tone; it makes me ‘cringe’, just thinking about it. I mean, why would I choose to add a jolt of unnecessary stress to my day? Then I do some reflection, I open the Notes app on my iPad where I’ve written down the mission for my business. I read it aloud to myself. I then take a few minutes to quietly think about why this is important to my family and me, the progress we’ve made and the things we have sacrificed to get where I am today.
Next, I decide what top two things I aim to accomplish for my clients that day. So that when my day gets hectic (as it always does), I can quickly refer back to the two goals and refocus. I enjoy breakfast with my family whilst checking to see what may have made its way into my inbox and social media streams overnight. I respond to all queries and update my couples on any event planning developments. Then, I walk my kids to school and spend most of the day negotiating contracts on behalf of my clients, creatively collaborating with suppliers, touring venues, shopping for upcoming events and creating schedules for a seamless milestone celebration.
My routine tasks consist of the following:
- Apportioning my client’s budgets and coordinating their payments.
- Mediating situations between family, concerning themes, décor, guest lists, menu choices and more.
- Producing and managing schedules.
- Managing RSVP’s.
- Negotiating the fine print with each supplier.
- Venue selection, including ground checking and logistical planning.
Along with so much more!
The types of events I plan are elaborate parties in London, milestone birthday celebrations, intimate wedding receptions, and ceremonies, albeit small (for now).
The wedding planning process usually begins with a 60 min face-to-face brainstorming session if safe to do so to understand our client’s style, preferences, and general wedding day goals. I enjoy supporting modern couples in blending their distinct religions and traditions to create celebrations that centre around family. I also enjoy subtly weaving individual cultures & traditions into every party – leading to a spectacular intimate celebration that’s truly meaningful & unique to all. Once we’ve created a few concepts, our clients are furnished with a tailored, comprehensive, fully costed and transparent action plan geared towards their precise wishes.
Then once the wedding action plan is agreed, I curate a wedding day dream team for the lucky couple. I do not have a distinct wedding style; however, a high number of my events feel like an intimate dinner party with your closest friends and family, regardless of the size or scope. Mollineau Weddings & Events is all about laid-back luxury party planning, fuelled by innovation and authenticity. No two events are the same.
To maximise my performance, I factor in periods of rest and recovery. There’s no way I can perform my best without it. Plus, going non-stop can lead to minimal progress and total burnout! During my downtime, I like to read anything that’s not wedding related! Or graze on the largest pack of Haribo’s I can find. This year, I’ve spent much of my time supporting modern couples re-plan their weddings. I typically perform my best with about 50- 55 hours of work per week. More than that, I tend to see a significant drop in performance, productivity, and creativity.
As a professional wedding planner, I wear many hats; I’m a personal assistant, personal shopper, confidant and my client’s walking diary right up until and including their wedding day. I’ll give my clients the thoughtful excitement and loyalty of a close friend with the mellow, discerning taste and knowledge of an experienced event planner. When my clients don’t have time, I respond to their emails, take phone calls they don’t want to deal with. Hand-pick trusted suppliers to provide them with an endless amount of ideas and inspiration, and suggestions needed to have an incredible planning experience. I also attend venue walkthroughs, menu tastings, and supplier meetings on my client’s behalf. I’m present on the actual wedding day should they need extra tissues, extra refreshments, or help encourage the wedding guests off the dance floor as the big day draws to a close.
Creating the perfect wedding day is all about organisation, details, style, ambiance, and logistics. As an award-winning wedding planner, I pride myself on planning intimate celebrations, consulting on its design, and assisting modern couples in managing their expectations and budget with ease successfully! This frees up their time to focus on all the fun that wedding planning brings. Besides, your wedding day is only 12 hours…your planning journey is considerably longer! At least 528 hours! Designing and coordinating fabulous celebrations and social events for incredible people evokes such a wonderful feeling. I think it’s a responsibility we as a creative industry all appreciate.
Contrary to belief, we’ve always offered our clients consultancy hours (also known as wedding planning power hours). These hours have helped our clients navigate the uncharted waters. As a professional wedding planner, I can tap into my network very quickly and call on some wedding experts and industry friends- including banqueting teams, photographers and makeup artists —to break down what it means to postpone or cancel a wedding and how to navigate the postponement process – like a pro! Alternatively, our clients can hand everything over to Mollineau Weddings & Events and sit back and relax.
However, there are daily challenges. Postponing or cancelling a wedding is always complicated and emotionally charged by the wedding day hosts. The last year has been strange and unsettling for everyone. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, and weddings & celebrations have been as severely affected as everything else. Simply planning a wedding is hard enough. But when you have to consider cancelling, postponing or scaling back your special day, things get rough. Our clients are facing some difficult decisions, and inevitably emotions run high.
COVID-19 has affected the industry but as wedding planners, we can quickly think on our feet and offer those in crisis affordable solutions to their problems. I created several bespoke packages for wedding suppliers and couples to restore confidence in planning a wedding during and post the pandemic. I also decided to focus on brand awareness during the pandemic. Couples have had more time on their hands to research and engage in content, the social media algorithms changed so quickly and we recognised how this could benefit my wedding planning business and couples alike. I’m so proud of all we have achieved in our infancy, some of our highlights include, featuring in British Vogue, Tatler Magazine, We’re Global Wedding Award Winner s (best new wedding & event planner London 2021) and appeared on talkRADIO and more.
Finally, to end my day I do it the same way I started: George Benson, reflection and goal setting.