Limelight Exclusive: Richard Harris (Limelight Entertainment and Photography) Interview
I had the opportunity to sit down with our president, Richard Harris and ask him some questions about being a wedding professional.
1. As a wedding professional how does your company standout amongst competitors?
“Limelight stands out from most everybody in the sense of the mentality of our services and what we are actually doing. Most companies will think like a DJ or a photographer and only concern themselves with those fields. Where as at our company, we think outside the box in the sense of creating a complete wedding experience instead of just a successful service. So, when your DJ is structuring timelines or organizing events, he is going to be concerned with the success of everything not just the success of what he is doing and that’s the same with the photography. To sum it up, I think the thing that separates us is we are wedding professionals rather than just professional wedding vendors.”
2. So, in your mind, what is the biggest difference between a wedding professional and a vendor?
“A vendor is the person that is hired for one specific service and only does that specific service. Being able to not only do your job well but also make sure the overall experience for the bride is a successful one, is what separates the two."
3. What is the hallmark of a wedding professional?
“Location is a good indicator, do they have a brick and mortar location where you can meet with them? Call back or response time, communication services, are they giving you a cell phone number or are they giving you multiple ways to get into contact with them. The overall presence, use your gut and take a look at their website, business card and overall presentation. “
4. What specific things do you do at weddings to make them truly special and unique?
“Well, it all starts in the wedding planning process where we offer every opportunity that we feel will enhance the evening and really reflect them as a couple. During the planning process you can make sure the wedding is set up to be as unique as possible for the bride and groom. During the wedding is not the time to go off script and have surprises, so our bride and grooms are always well informed beforehand on what special moments will be happening.”
5. Limelight is your second wedding planning company, was “wedding professional” a term you used at your old company Millennium, or is it a function of you being more experienced the second time through?
“Good question. I consider it to be a brand new term. At Millennium we were event professionals, and we dealt with things like fire-eaters, stilt walkers and magicians. Although, weddings were 90% of our revenue, so I thought it would be best to just focus on weddings this time around and really go after that brand. Everything we do at Limelight is geared toward being a wedding professional. “
6. Are there other elements to being a wedding professional that you would like to incorporate with Limelight as the business grows?
“Right off the bat, our officiant service has fully launched and we’re very proud of that. However, long term we’d like to become a venue and buy our own building and do everything but catering. Catering is a special art and is probably best left to some of our friends.”
7. What is the key to developing a meaningful and valuable relationship with your wedding professional?
“Building trust and creating a friendship to a certain professional degree is important. Being comfortable enough to express themselves when they dislike something as well as when they like something. We want to build a trusting relationship with each of our couples and when that happens we will be able to optimize our communication. We want our couples to communicate as much or as little as they want, as long as they feel happy then we’re in a good spot relationship wise.”
8. What do you wish clients knew before talking to you?
“I’d like prospective clients to have a general price range and to have a budget that suits them best. Too often do brides come in without any sort of idea of how much they want to spend on our services. Also, having some specifics in mind when it comes to photography is a plus and by that I mean knowing whether you want one or two photographers or what kind of coverage and style you want. Finally, knowing that our prices often depend on some of your wedding variables such as the size and location of the wedding.”
9. What is the biggest mistake you see brides make while planning a wedding?
“The number one thing is probably having too many guests on their guest lists, compared to the size of their budget. Another issue I see is first time brides asking advice from other first time brides, it doesn’t make much sense to me. I think they’d be better off trusting their wedding professionals and vendors. Also, I see brides not listening to their vendors despite coming to them for their professional opinion, there’s a reason that vendors and professionals are saying “no, that might not work” and it’s not just to say “no”, it’s because they’re looking out for you.”
10. What trend in the wedding industry do you find most interesting?
“I like how creative weddings are becoming and how brides and grooms are deviating from the norm in order to create some awesome and beautiful weddings. Unlike the rustic themed wedding, I don’t like that theme that much because it’s really overused and exhausted in my opinion.”