Among the restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 was a reduction in gatherings of all kinds, including weddings.
As a result, several planned nuptial exchanges were either cancelled or postponed.
But it was not just the “bride to be” or “the groom to have” who found themselves set back—stakeholders in the wedding planning and events industry knew they would either have to recreate the way wedding planning was done to fit the time or prepare to go out of business.
The latter was not an option, though, for the optimistic founder of D’ Pelotage Signature Wedding & Events, Denielle Roberts.
The 32-year-old chef, designer and wedding and corporate event planner knew right away what her shift would be. Using social media and her expertise in micro event planning she offered her clients ‘luxury and large’ in a small space.
“I decided to collaborate with other experts in the industry and started an Instagram (IG) programme called Conversations With Creatives,” Roberts related.
The show she said not only opened a wide window of opportunities for those wanting to exchange nuptials during the pandemic but it also allowed its audience to know and trust the D’ Pelotage brand.
The show, which began in March and is ongoing, also showcases vendors in the industry, from hairstylist to chefs and make-up artists. What her audience enjoys the most, Roberts noted, was having all this tailored luxury on a penny-saving budget.
So far, Roberts has closed on several weddings since March and is currently preparing for several more occurring over the Christmas season.
Responding to the question on what were the fears in the industry once the pandemic happened, Roberts said, “We would have all had the same struggle. Having the fear of the unknown. Planning an event with hardly anyone showing up. The whole issue of possibly contracting the virus and of course, the fear of not being able to make money with this livelihood.”
However, the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (TTHTI) graduate said what set the D’ Pelotage brand apart was the willingness to work and network with other industry personnel to continue the service despite the era.
She said last week ten vendors in the industry came together and formed The Luxury Umbrella Agency with its main focus being a one-stop-shop in luxury micro weddings.
Roberts’ love for weddings and event planning travels way back to when she was five years old, when she would indulge in decorating and cooking – activities her mother would encourage.
But it was while attending the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) where she studied and majored in Family and Consumer Science, that the idea to start her own company was sparked.
“At a business class, I had to do a business plan and it was then I decided to launch my company,” Roberts recalled.
Roberts moved to the US where she pursued event and design and became an accredited event designer at the Institute of Wedding and Event Design (IWED), in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
She furthered her knowledge in the field at the Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute in California, certifying her as a wedding and corporate event planner and florist.
With her career now spanning 16 years, Roberts said there is no turning back as she loves what she does, making couples smile one wedding at a time.