Want to take the stress out of your wedding planning? You need Hunter Events Group on your vendor dream team! They offer designing, planning, creating, styling, consulting, producing, on-day coordination, master of ceremony and venue event management services to make sure your wedding or event goes off without a hitch. We spoke to Kalicia O’Brien, the team’s event coordinator and marketing support, about how Hunter Events Group takes a wedding couple’s ideas for their day and brings them to life, what sets their services apart, and their secret weapons when it comes to wedding planning!

We’d love to know more about you and your team. Where are you based?
We are currently a team comprised of seven full-time staff and six casuals, but are constantly growing! Our office is right in the middle of Maitland and we service the Hunter Valley region including Port Stephens, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast.

What services do you and your team offer wedding couples?
We offer everything from on-day coordination and master of ceremonies to full styling, designing and planning services.

What are the professional skills do you and your team bring to the wedding day that set you apart?
We have years of experience in weddings and we all bring a different skill set to the team. We have qualifications in events and marketing and we have an intimate knowledge of the industry born from all the past weddings we have been a part of. We know how all the details fit together, and how to adapt and problem solve any issues that arise. Most of all though, I think we’re personable – we aim to form that connection with clients that will last and allow us to be a comfort to them on their big day.

Images: Bedroom Studio & Ludo Petrik Photography 

How do you help a couple decide on their style and the elements and vendors needed to make that a reality?
We have two best friends that we call Pinterest and our styling guide! We encourage new clients to spend some time flicking through the ‘Weddings’ tag on Pinterest and getting lost down the rabbit hole until they find the images that set their hearts on fire! Then we use our comprehensive styling questionnaire to go through every detail you can think of to really narrow down their vision before our last step; comparing their vision to our huge database of vendors and finding the perfect match.

Where do you find your inspiration to help each couple create a wedding that is unique and personalised?
Honestly, the couple themselves. Getting to know our clients is the key to ensuring that their wedding is a true reflection of them as individuals, and as a couple. While we love our best friends (Pinterest and the styling guide), nothing makes our job easier (and more rewarding) than finding out who our couples really are. I sometimes joke that our first consultation meetings are a bit like a first date! I think forming that relationship is the key to creating the perfect, personal wedding.

Why book a wedding planner?
We’re here to help manage stress! From beginning to end, our aim is to keep you on budget, on time and excited. First we get to know who you are, then we start looking at what you like and from then, we are booking vendors, negotiating prices and making recommendations. We help with the logistics behind the scenes, as well as the time line of the day itself. We spend the wedding day keeping everything on track, problem solving (from dress malfunctions all the way to family drama) and overall, making sure that your perfect day… is perfect.

Images: Nicole Butler Photography & Azure Creative

Do you and your team members tend to have designated jobs at events that you are strongest at, or are you ‘all rounders’? How do you ensure that the vision of the wedding comes together cohesively at the end?
We are definitely all rounders! Of course, we do have our Weddings team and our Public Events team, but we cross over all the time. Our biggest advantage is excellent communication and thorough procedures. We make sure there’s a process for everything, so if someone has to cover a meeting – it’s easy to track their notes.

Are you able to recommend to the couple different venues, if they don’t know where to start?
Absolutely! We can organise a day of venue viewings if you’re starting with us right from the beginning. If we are there to help you choose a venue, often we can point out things you might not otherwise think about before booking when you’re out on your own!

Most of us have a budget. What do you consider to be the most important areas to spend the budget on?
Whatever you love the most! Some people are foodies, some people love vintage cars and some people prefer live bands. Whatever you value the most is what you should be splurging on. Of course, I can sit here and say make sure you love your photographer’s portfolio and that your MC is good with a crowd, but at the end of the day – it’s your wedding and all we want is to make sure your day is the one you’ve been dreaming of (which might mean choosing a videographer over a photobooth or fireworks over a wedding cake).

Images: Mr Hendrix Photography, Azure Creative & Popcorn Photography

What do you feel when you see what you’ve achieved on the wedding day (and see all the elements come together?)
This might be one of the most satisfying feelings we get. Spending months, often years on planning such a big moment in two peoples lives and then seeing everything come together is exciting and emotional all in one! We’re always sad to be saying goodbye to special people but when all those styling plans begin to exist in the real world – it is so rewarding!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not working?
I am not going to lie – I love scrolling through the wedding tag on Pinterest! But if I’m not doing that I’ll be in the kitchen – mostly making a huge mess.

Thank you for telling us all about your services and how your team works, Kal! Your couples are so lucky to have you working your magic on their big days! To find out more about Hunter Events Group, head on over to their website or the Polka Dot Directory.

Header image: Mr Wigley Photography