We had the pleasure of interviewing this lovely and talented event designer and planner, and know you will be pleased to meet the genuinely lovely person that is....Susanne Duffy of Crown Weddings and Events.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A physiotherapist although I ended up studying Hotel Management!
What was your first job ever?
Working in a candy store.
Who inspires you? Did you / do you have a hero?
My mother is my hero she has a fantastic sense of humor and always set the table beautifully and made food look like a work of art. She had parties and ladies over for tea all the time when I was a child I was always making the tea and picking flowers for the tray and artfully placing biscuits on pretty plates.
What is your specialty?
Classic, Elegant and beautifully designed weddings.
What do you like most about doing weddings / your favorite part of your job?
Quite honestly meeting wonderful couples and spending time getting to know them and working with them to create a wedding that is a complete reflection of who they are as a couple.
If you are married what was your wedding like?
Fabulous… I actually got married (again) 4 years ago and planned the wedding myself . It was so easy I focused on my two boys and included them in the ceremony my elder son Aaron walked me down the aisle and my younger son who was the ring bearer danced up and down the aisle it was heartwarming. We wrote our own vows which were funny and sentimental and we exchanged rings with the boys and did a sand ceremony together as my sons godmother sang a song. For the design we did a white winter wedding to reflect Chris’s love of the mountains and snow and then a vibrant jeweled tone reception with all the colors that I love. (luckily Purple is his favorite color too) We also threw a big after party and invited more friends to party with us.. it was an amazing day.
What is your most memorable wedding moment as a wedding professional?
A father who was very sick but he managed to walk his daughter down the aisle and to do a short but beautiful father /daughter dance . He passed away a few weeks later.
The best moments for me are the ones that show real emotion and love- times when both living and people who have passed are honored, fathers that talk lovingly about their daughters in their toasts. We are truly blessed to attend these events and Weddings are so wonderful because that is what they are all about and so there have been countless times over the years where things have happened and I am the first one to pull a Kleenex out of my purse.
What is the place in the world [where you haven’t been] that you would want to visit the most? I really want to walk the great wall of China with my son Aaron. It’s the only man made thing you can see from Space and I find that amazing! I am also very interested in Chinese History.
What’s your best advice to couple regarding your specific field?
Be true to who you are .. you don’t have to follow wedding trends think about the things you love individually and together and incorporate them into your special day.
Is there any specific music/artist/song that gets your creative juices flowing?
Not sure about creative juices but it gets me dancing around the kitchen LOL, Abba "Dancing Queen".
How do you come up with the inspiration for your work? Designs? Ideas?
The clients honestly inspire me..for example - finding out that the bride loves to paint and incorporating water colors into the invitations and paper goods. Or that they collect birds or angels and making them a whimsical feature of the wedding. I also use Pinterest a lot its so fabulous for ideas and I read Elle Décor and Architectural Digest. Better Homes and Gardens that type of thing they always show beautiful spaces with gorgeous color combinations or a room with one fabulous wow factor these are things that we can incorporate into weddings.
What should brides/grooms/curious seekers know about you?
- That I’m a mother of two wonderful boys with completely different personalities one 6 foot tall and a teddy bear and one 5 feet and feisty. A fabulous supportive husband who is has introduced me to skiing down crazy mountains, Ziplining, biking and Ice hockey 7 years ago and now we are all avid fans and have season tickets. Go Ducks!
- That I used to Irish Dance competitively in England !
- That I currently work closely with an incredible charity set up by one man.. www.onehundredfriends.com and I have helped him build the first “Crown” School in Ethiopia and 2 libraries in Tibet in the past few years. He is a huge inspiration in kindness and selflessness and a wonderful man.
- That I have an amazing group of girlfriends who provide inspiration and love and laughter in my life.
What makes your business wonderful and stand out from the rest?
Gosh that’s a hard question there are so many wonderful planners in San Diego! I think my accent makes me stand out the most LOL I also have Irish Parents so I have a great sense of humor and its important to have some laughs along the way it helps ease any stress associated with the planning. I'm a good listener and I am very detailed which are important attributes as a wedding planner. I love matching brides and grooms with the perfect vendor and see them get even more excited about their wedding. I also have a lot of experience my background and degree are in Hotel Management and so prior to stating Crown Weddings nearly 15 years ago I worked in some fabulous five star hotels in London that hosted parties for the Music and Film industry and Royalty which were incredible to be part of.
What advice do you have for brides to be?
Hire a wedding planner then Breathe…… we will make sure we get everything done in the meantime the energy and attitude that you take throughout the process and on the day should be a joyful positive one. There maybe one or two bumps along the way as everyone has an opinion but stay true to who you are and what you really want and you will be able to plan a memorable heartwarming celebration.
What do you do in your ‘off time’ that might surprise people about you?
I yell very loudly at Ducks Ice hockey games. ! (think pretty woman at the race track !) I LOVE to Zipline and go on huge roller coasters and I wish I had more time to paint again.
What’s your favorite part of a wedding?
I have a couple -The bride and grooms faces when they see each other and the joy as they walk back down the aisle...And watching everyone dance like crazy on the dance floor during the evening !
What would you choose as your epitaph OR what would like to hear ‘your maker’ say about you when you reach heaven?
Susanne was a good mother & wife and a kind and generous soul !