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Meet Marine Nalbandian of Flower and Sugar Events in Southern California

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marine Nalbandian.

Marine, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Since I was about 15 or 16, I had dreams of becoming an event planner. About a decade ago, I was looking to start a career in the events field but realized I lacked the professional experience needed to land a job in the industry.

It was then that I took a leap of faith and placed an ad on Craigslist to coordinate a few weddings and events for free in order to grow my portfolio. About ten minutes after the ad went live, I was contacted by a future bride. That was the beginning of my career as an event and wedding planner.

Over the past decade, I have coordinated so many weddings! I am lucky enough to learn about different cultural traditions through my position as a wedding planner and, even better, I get to see different cultures coming together to form new traditions.

I am also lucky enough to work with my mother-in-law Gloria, who is my florist. She has been in the business for over 30 years and has taught me the design elements of floral artistry. Through her guidance, I have also assisted her in making floral arrangements for our weddings and have designed some creations myself.

My favorite element in both event planning and floral design is the hands on constructing of beautiful and tangible products.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think I had to overcome some of my own fears in order to push through to where I am today. I love meeting my clients and getting to know them, and designing custom timelines and budget allocations for them. I am, however, shy when it comes to networking… It was a bit difficult for me to reach out to fellow vendors at first. I felt as though I shouldn’t approach others unless I had business to bring to them. I now realize vendors love meeting each other, working on projects together, and growing together. And the more positive feedback I received, the easier it was for me to reach out to more and more people and places. I just had to get over my anxiety about approaching others and the possibility of getting rejected.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Flower and Sugar Events story. Tell us more about the business.
Flower and Sugar Events specializes in Event Management, Floral Design and Budget Management. When I started doing event management, I worked with very small budgets… $10,000 for a wedding in Los Angeles for example, and I really learned how to get my clients the best value for their budget. I am an expert at budget management and allocation and am proud of my ability to produce events that look and feel grander than the budget would indicate.

What I’m most proud of as a company is the fact that our clients come first. Both me and Gloria put the customer’s vision and dream above all else. We work with our clients’ budgets, and really design the event around them. Our motto is that every client deserves peace of mind on their special day and we work very hard to ensure there are no issues when it comes to every aspect of the event coming together.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Well, the industry has grown quite a bit over the last decade… There are more caterers, more florists, more event planners, more photographers, more DJs and that allows for more styles and more personalities to shine. I think that will continue to be the trend over the next 5-10 years. I also see a shift to a more timeless and elegant style when it comes to weddings and events, I anticipate less rustic chic and more vintage classic.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gema Ortiz Photography (Profile Photo)
Desi Baytan Photography
LA Digital Photos
Love Janet Photography
Made U Look Photography
Shell Foto

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