It took me quite some time to put this interview from a recorded audio file into a text on my blog. After my vacation in Morocco (which was in May – oh gosh) the wedding season fully started and you know what this means for a wedding planner: weddings, more weddings and even more weddings all summer long. As the main season is slowly coming to an end – and I am having a cold and can’t leave the house anyways – I finally found time to listen to the sound file I had on my mobile which I recorded during the interview with Fabrice.
During my stay in Marrakech I had the pleasure to meet Morocco’s most famous wedding planner and founder of Cocoon Luxury Events & Weddings, Fabrice Orlando.
Fabrice welcomed me in his office in Marrakech. The office is a two storey house in a posh neighborhood. We sat on his garden couch on his terrace. On the table, there was a beautiful Moroccan lamp. And in the back of the garden 4 huge illuminated letters showed the word LOVE. Fabrice and I had a very honest and inspiring conversation about weddings (what else) and the key factors of his success.
How did your career as a wedding planner begin?
I moved to Morocco twelve years ago and founded the company more or less for fun. I had few celebrities among my friends who got married and asked me for help and then it started to become a company. By now, I have teams in France, Italy and Dubai. Now it is not fun anymore, it is worries 😉
I was in the music, TV and radio production business before I moved to Morocco. This is why to me, light and sound are crucial factors when designing weddings.
If you dream it, we can do it
In your opinion, what is the most important factor for successful wedding planning?
Details! It is all about the details. I might not be a good cook, but I definitely know how meals should taste. I am very picky on the protocol of service and demand high quality from my partners and suppliers. Also when it comes to driving companies, they do not always pay attention on which side the lady should be seated. I do care about those details. This is what our company stands for.
Which challenges do you face as a wedding planner?
When asking Fabrice this question, I did not expect to hear an answer this honest. He leaned back on his garden couch on the terrace and said: “Some clients come to Morocco and want to bring their own old world to the place they have chosen. This is typical for some cultures. They know everything and they have seen everything, but in the end they know sh**. This year, this kind of attitude is the main problem.”
I totally understand what Fabrice wanted to say. Couples choose foreign destinations for their wedding but expect everything to be the same as home. Whis will not work.
He continued telling me that he feels that nowadays couples have such huge expectations: “People are asking too much time on insignificant things and don’t want to pay for that. It is fine for them to speak with the wedding planner for 9 months every day, but they do not see the value of this service.”
This is a situation, I also know from Austria. Some couples expect us wedding planners to be available 24/7 but when it comes to valuing this service, they become stingy.
Do you think it is necessary to be in touch every day?
For me definitely no. For the clients yes.
How does wedding planning à la Cocoon Events look like?
I always tell my couples: If you dream it, we can do it. Usually, they tell me their vision and I give my best to put it into reality. Due to my experience in the event industry, I know what it takes to have a beautiful wedding. This is why sometimes we even create a better wedding than the couples have imagined 🙂
At the wedding day, I am mostly the last one leaving. My job is to make sure the fun is happening and everyone has a good time. You can plan things on paper, but reality is always slightly different. During my radio and TV time, everything happened in real time. Live shows had to be interrupted when there was a breaking story. This also happens at weddings: Plans might change and you have to improvise. I always stay until the end because there need to be someone taking decisions.
Dear Fabrice, thank you so much for sharing your story and experience with me. You definitely motivated me to keep on thinking big!