Meet the Planners :: Evonne WongFriday, August 15, 2008
Name: Evonne Wong
Location: Maui, Hawaii and San Francisco, CA
Company Name: Events by Evonne, LLC
Number of Years in Business: Over a decade in corporate/marketing events and 4 years in social events
How did you get started in wedding planning?
Here is the long version:
My parents used to entertain a lot. In fact, they still do . . . so I have always helped them plan parties, barbeques and birthdays for family and friends since I was very young. I remember setting tables and linens when I was only ten!
Soon after I finished college, I started doing corporate/marketing events for Sony Pictures Entertainment in Southern California. Many years later, I moved north to San Francisco and continued with doing trade shows and conventions for the dot coms. Those were the fun days, but deep down my true passion is to plan social events! Seeing people and family get together for a joyous occasion, whether it's a wedding or a birthday or a family reunion, brings so much joy to me. It wasn't until I got laid off from the dot coms that I decided to go back to school to earn my MBA, so that I could one day start and run my own wedding and event planning company.
A month after my business school graduation, I enrolled in a five-month wedding consultation program at California State University, East Bay, which is endorsed by the Northern California Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES). I successfully completed the program and became certified as a wedding consultant just two weeks before my own destination wedding on O'ahu. While I was in school, I also worked full time as an Event Coordinator for Il Fornaio in Walnut Creek, planning events from wedding rehearsals to bridal showers to birthdays to graduations, etc., and creating banquet menus with the chefs. I learned a lot about the catering side of things as well.
Due to my husband's job in the hospitality industry, we relocated to the beautiful island of Mau'i just two weeks after our wedding. I got a job as a wedding manager, and for almost two years, I managed the entire planning team for one of the wedding planning companies here on the island before I finally branched out on my own in late 2007!
If you had to start over what would you do differently?
I would have started my company a lot earlier!
What's your favorite item in your emergency kit?
Safety pins! I can never have enough of them. For some reason, those bustles on the gowns just don't quite stay up for very long!
What is the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
"Follow your passion, it's the key to your success!"
What two people (past or present) would you like to have at a dinner party and why?
You mean aside from the design experts - Colin Cowie and Preston Bailey?
The first person I will invite is Steve Jobs! Those who know me well know how much I love and admire my Apple products. I would love to have dinner with Steve and discuss the future of his company, as well as what's the next BIG project he's working on that will increase my productivity at work! The iPhone is a good start . . . .
The second person I will invite is Al Gore. His documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" really opened my eyes to the whole global warming issue. Since then, I have tried to be more aware and do my part in saving the environment both at home and at work. I would love to find out more about Al Gore's projects with "The Alliance for Climate Protection".
What are your three favorite blogs besides thesmartplanner.com?
That's a tough question since there are so many great blogs out there! If I can only select three, then they will have to be Style Me Pretty, WEDDEX and Junebug Weddings.