By Simone Charles. Everyone loves to attend weddings to enjoy the scenery, worship the bride’s dress and stare at the wedding cake. We all praise the caterers and are in awe of the venue at which it is hosted. However, in order for this event to be executed exceptionally, the engaged couples need advice on what will best suit their budget and how to incorporate what ideas they like.
I had the opportunity to chat with Simone Sant-Ghuran, founder of Trinidad Weddings. I saw a pleasant, motivated person with years of experience. Simone states, “At Trinidad Weddings we provide information about wedding vendors (advertisers) to couples who come to our site The Wedding Coach at www.trinidadweddings.com/TWC to find and book wedding vendors.
“Our job is to help couples find their perfect match with vendors. There is also a consulting service we have for brides and grooms who need one-on-one help. They can book a session with me so I can help them with their budgeting needs, vendor selections, vendor contracts and so on.’’
Many people have not heard of this type of service, perhaps they never thought that it would have been offered in Trinidad. My curiosity was now diverted to the very name of her business. Why just “Trinidad”?
Simone mentioned that they wanted a URL that would give an immediate hint about their core business — which is promoting vendors for weddings in T&T.
She states, “Although our name doesn’t contain the word “Tobago” in it, we do have advertisers from Tobago and we encourage more of course! This is especially because we have recently seen much more interest from local couples who want to go to Tobago to get married and of course, they come to our site in search of Tobagonian vendors who can help them.’’
Global wedding trends for couples
She also stated that she produces the TW Wed-Zine, a magazine that features both local and foreign bridal content. “We’ve covered various types of shows in Paris, London, Puerto Rico and New York to name a few. The idea is to bring cutting-edge, global wedding trends to our reading and website audience.” We also offer sponsored blogs on www.trinidadweddings.com and we’ve covered product launches that relate to the wedding industry — so beauty, alcohol and venue launches would all be included in that.
I asked Simone, “What motivated you to start this type of business?’’ She says, “After about eight years working in the corporate world, I just felt as though I wanted to be an entrepreneur and do more of the things I loved. At the time, my background was in Marketing, Public Relations, Human Resources and Event Co-ordination. I felt this skill set would help me with the idea I had for a wedding website; since my own wedding had happened recently.
“At that time, wedding planning was difficult and couples had to rely mostly on yellow pages and referrals. So, I thought why not make it easier for them by putting everything in one place? It wasn’t without its challenges though, being a start-up was risky — since this was a time when internet business was very new to T&T (about ten years ago). Somehow I felt that the timing was right but the practical side of me had this confirmed by some market research that I had done by an independent company.
“What really helped me, apart from my skill set, was my determination to see the idea work and a genuine desire to help and promote small and medium-sized businesses. Today, from a little six-page website we built in mid-2004, we have grown to hundreds of web pages.”
June 2015 – Issue 16 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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