In conversation with Sausan Khan Moyeen, CEO and Founder of Enchanted Events and Prints
Starting from the concept, gathering ideas, deciding on a theme, adjusting to changes in the budget to taking care of every other little detail -- a wedding is an event that requires an incredible amount of work. Since there are so many important occassions, and numerous events happening at the same time, the most ideal approach would be to bring in an event planner particularly suited for weddings.
This month, we sat down with Sausan Khan Moyeen, CEO and founder of Enchanted Events and Prints, to discuss the makings of a great wedding.
An absolute icon in the field of event management and entrepreneurship, Sausan has been breaking glass ceilings and creating new benchmarks everyday. Discussing her motivation to lauch an event management firm, Sausan replied: “The motto I follow for Enchanted and all my ventures is ‘Do what you love, and love what you do’ -- because when you’re in love with your work, and you’re passionate about something, it shows in everything that you do and there’s bound to be success when so much love is involved.”
As a student of architecture from North South University, people always wanted Sausan to follow the norm. “Everybody constantly kept asking me why I wasn’t pursuing a career in architecture. However with Enchanted, I had the liberty to work according to my terms, at my own convenient hours -- and with two children at the time, my utmost priority was to give them enough time first, then pursue my passion,” said the event designer.
“While studying architecture, I literally found myself. It helped me grow as a person, and brought out the designer in me. I began my journey with Enchanted in 2011, out of a small shared store room, with no investment at all. It all started from designing my own events, and friends requesting me to help them out with theirs. With my background in architecture, I was able to come up with 3D drawings and layouts of the events that I designed, and that soon became a trend. Before long, word of mouth spread fast and I never looked back,” she informed.
Since Sausan started off with barely any investment, she took one event at a time, designed the events after discussions with clients and prepared them with the advance that she received. This concept made Enchanted stand out in the market, at a time when wedding decor had become quite mundane and people hardly had the opportunity to do any customization. To this day, they have been successfully able to deliver over 2,000 customized events -- dedicated and curated according to their clients' requirements and demands.
Talking about how wedding planning has changed over the years, Sausan went on to say, “Earlier, when people would come to us to get their wedding décor done, the whole approach was completely different. There would be a certain number of designs that people would download and show us on their laptops, and expect us to do something like that. But now, the scenario is quite different. Nowadays people want custom designs, they want new things, and they don’t want to settle for something that is common or has been done before.”
Designing an event has always been something that Sausan enjoys. “Even after planning hundreds of events, it gives me the same eagerness and anticipation that I had during my very first project.” According to Sausan, it's important to know your clients, hear them out and take down their requirements, likes and dislikes. Event design is not just about putting pretty things together -- it's also about functionality and feasibility, in her opinion. Whether it is about the designs or the budget, each aspect should have the option of modification.
While giving us a rundown of the process that she follows when desiging an event, Sausan informed, “We show some preliminary designs to our clients and based on that, they give us a booking amount. Once the booking is confirmed, we start working on the final design.”
“At the end of the day, it's their special day and we deliver exactly what they want. Having said that, there's a trust factor we develop with them as well; they know that if we are doing their decor, they can completely trust my creativity and sense of colour and design. So they leave it to me and that's what makes me work much harder, in order to sustain this faith and love that people bestow on us,” she added.
Discussing the challenges, Sausan talked about working with artisans from all over the country and combining their expertise with hers to create what her clients envisioned. “We work with grassroot level artisans, bringing them from across the country and incorporating their artful conception, to give our clients an amazing experience through our décor. So as an entrepreneur, it’s imperative for me to make them understand what I want, what our client’s vision is and also take into account what our artisans are capable of executing. That has been a challenge for us, you could say, but, I believe we’ve also turned that into one of our biggest strengths.”
During the interview, as Sausan sat poised and immaculate, we couldn’t help but ask about her secret to designing the perfect wedding, to which she replied: “Perfection is very subjective. So is design. You can only achieve anything near it, if you are dedicated, hardworking and deliver more than you promise -- which is what our motto is. But most importantly happy families and joyful brides and grooms make the best weddings. It's really important to enjoy your wedding. After all, you have done your bit by choosing all the best vendors -- now sit back and relax and hope and believe that it will be the best day of your life.”
Sausan also went on to share a few tips regarding when couples should start planning the decor. Often clients approach event planners after they’re done with most of the preparations -- choosing the venue for instance. “This is a mistake,” says Sausan, “because the first thing that clients should do is discuss with their planner, or event management team. I say this because sometimes the clients come to us with such expectations or designs that we aren’t able to execute in the space that we’re provided with. For instance, most of the halls or convention centres in Bangladesh do not have enough height or sufficient space. Clients however, come to us aspiring a certain kind of setup, but become upset when it becomes difficult for us to execute that. I also understand it’s quite hard these days to get the perfect venue, photographer or makeup artist and couples are in a time crunch. Thus, I would suggest couples to let their event designer guide them as much as possible.”
From being a house wife and a student of architecture, to becoming an entrepreneur, what Sausan believes is of utmost importance, is to remain humble, be hardworking and dedicated, and to be honest to yourself. “For event designers like me, who are struggling to manage their time, work and families every day, I’d say this field is a place where you need a lot of dedication.”
We love taking challenges. And this is why we’re always busy -- we’re everywhere. Let your imagination take pride and our execution do its magic.
Advice to budding entrepreneurs
You need to be determined and most importantly, you need to grow a very thick skin, because in the service industry, clients will always want the best and you need to be able to take criticism in a positive way. We have to provide them with the best that we can offer, because that’s what they’re paying us for.
What are the things that you cover, in terms of décor?
Enchanted covers everything a wedding may require. In terms of décor, venue decoration, entertainment, handling the booking and most importantly, handling our delicate brides.
What are the costs like?
Costs depend on the size of the venue, the designs involved and strictly according to the client's requirements.
What’s in this wedding season?
Muted colours for décor are in this wedding season, instead of truss full of hanging things and super busy patterns on the floor.
5 things a couple must know before they come to you?
• They need to approach us at least six months beforehand, if they want winter bookings.
• As long as the date is confirmed, my clients have nothing to worry about.
• I am more of a designer/artist at heart than a CEO. People who have worked with me know how excited I get when I design something -- I make progressive changes all the time; completely out of my sheer affection towards the client and love for my work.
• The dates are extremely limited and get taken away months in advance, so it's best to come to us once the date is set. Also, it's best to consult us before booking the venue.
• We take the stress off their shoulders. All they need to do is concentrate on looking beautiful and happy!