Meet Sonya from Nerja Weddings by Sonya
Can you please introduce yourself?
Sonya Casey, from Co. Meath, Ireland.
Please give me a couple of sentences about your business/services.
With years of experience under my belt - I aim to give peace of mind to couples during what can be a very daunting experience of planning a wedding abroad. I am a source of stability and continuity throughout the whole process. My name is well known and is based on a great reputation and works mostly on word of mouth. I have a great team of loyal, tried and tested suppliers and venues at my disposal. On the day itself, I look after the guests as well, the guests are important to the bride and groom, so they are important to me too! I ensure the couple feel like guests at their own wedding. I am dealing with the suppliers and venue on their behalf, so they don't need to worry about a thing.
How long have you been operating and what inspired you to start?
I moved to Nerja in 2001 and started wedding planning here in 2005, for my own wedding - I was my own very first customer! An Irish couple asked for help that same year, and it grew from there. This was before social media became a big thing, so it was literally word of mouth. As I had the knowledge, experience and contacts from planning my own wedding, it made perfect sense to re-use all of this to help other couples. I quickly saw that I was very good at what I did and most of all, I loved doing it. To be included in the magic of the day, with the couple, their friends and their families, gave me a great sense of achievement and pride in my work. I knew straightaway I wanted to do it for a living, so I gave up my old job in an office and became my own boss, and I haven't looked back since!
Can you outline one or two of your highlights from your 2018 wedding season?
Starting and finishing the season with the same couple. On the 3rd March, Sarah and Rory had to celebrate a smaller wedding than planned. Due to the snow storms not many guests made it, most importantly their parents. So they decided to come back and do it all again on the 17th November, and this time their parents were here. It was a very special moment to see them here this time round. It was such an unfortunate thing to happen but Sarah and Rory put on a great day for their guests, twice! A very inspiring couple.
Planning the wedding of a sibling, of a previous bride or groom. This happened twice this year - with a sister of a bride from 8 years ago and a sister of a groom from 2 years ago! To see all the same family and the couples again made me feel so special that they chose me to do another family wedding. It doesn't get better than that!
What is your unique selling point? What sets you apart from other similar suppliers in the area?
I am a very capable and professional person, but at the same time I'm approachable and easy to talk to. I treat people the way I would like myself or any of my family members to be treated. I have a younger brother who is in his early 30's, the average age of my own couples getting married, so I think to myself - if this was my brother and his fiancée, how would I like them to be treated? I think the couples can be in a very vulnerable position by getting married abroad as there are so many choices out there, so I just want them to be able to relax and know that I will look out for them and give them my honest advice and opinions. There's no other way I could do it. There's a very special bond to be made with the couples over time, and I know I have to earn their trust and their respect.
Lastly, I have a secret weapon in my husband Mat - who is a fantastic help to the couples and their guests, as he deals with accommodation enquiries and also helps the couples book day before and after parties, as well as getting the dresses and suits steamed, picking up any printing and general running around for them. He has the same ideas as me, on how the couples and their guests should be looked after and gives them a quality service, beyond expectations and always goes that extra mile.
What is your ‘Funniest Wedding Moment’?
There's lots of funny moments with the couples, their guests, the suppliers and the venue staff, and many "behind the scenes" laughs shared....but it’s a case of you have to be there! I suppose one that stands out for me was a Scottish wedding in the church, when at the last minute, the best man decked out in a kilt, decided he should go "traditional" and took off his pants in front of me and asked me to put them in my bag! It was just as the bride was making her way across the church square, so I stuffed them in my bag quickly and carried on with the day as planned. It wasn't until the next morning, when emptying out my bag, I came across them again! Mat was looking on and wondering where they hell they came from....It took a while to explain but i think he believed me! That was a first and hopefully a last!
What would be your top tips for brides getting married here in Spain?
Don't set your heart on any venue or dismiss any venue by what you see on line. Come over with an open mind. See all the venues in person and understand all their rules on timing, music and pricing before you book.
Spend on food, drink and music, don't scrimp on this part.
Invite who you want to the wedding, not who you feel you have to.
Don't sweat the small stuff!
Relax and enjoy the day just as if you were a guest, the mood of the bride and groom spreads to the guests, so drink, eat and be merry!
Your website: www.nerjaweddingsbysonya.com
Your contact number: 0034 652910587
Facebook page: "nerja weddings by sonya"
Instagram page: nerjaweddingsbysonya