In April Kathy Greenwald and Jan Woolley finally realized their dream of setting up and starting their own wedding planning business on the Costa del Sol, but it took 18 months of hard work researching the wedding industry and lots of travelling to make it happen.
Kathy, a Londoner, and her husband Dave have been married for 28 years and after enjoying their holiday home in Benavista for 8 years it was time to move to Spain permanently, especially as now the youngest of their 3 sons had started University.
Jan, from Lincolnshire, has lived in Spain for 26 years. She met Peter in Estepona and they have been married now for 9 years. Over the years Jan has been involved in various types of employment, and it was whilst they were running their own bar that they first met Kathy and Dave. It was during this time that Kathy and Dave had made their decision to move to the Costa del Sol, but they needed to find employment. Kathy had already gained experience in planning events whilst working for Sainsburys organising functions, so when she came up with the idea of starting up a business to plan and organize weddings on the Costa del Sol, Jan was totally enthusiastic. But neither of them realised quite how exhausting it would be to get things rolling.
Back in England Kathy attended Wedding Planners courses and at the weekends worked in a bridal wear shop; the actual dressing of the bride being an art form in itself. During the next 18 months she collected more and more academic and practical information and would pass this on to Jan in Spain, but as she was also travelling between Spain and the UK visiting hotels and venues, exhaustion was setting in until finally, in March of this year, Kathy and Dave settled down on the Costa.
Jan and Kathy have a very compatible and complimentary working relationship. Jan speaks Spanish and takes care of the Spanish side of things, talking to suppliers etc. Kathy, on the other hand, apart from general co-ordination, adds the artistic flair to the organisation of weddings and events.
Kathy is not missing the UK, although her husband admits to finding it a little more difficult to settle, but their second eldest son has now moved to be with them while the others have over for holidays. She does find it very frustrating not to be able to get things done immediately, even Jan feels the strain when a requested quote does not materialize after numerous phone calls and when the event manager at a hotel changes for the third time and thats within 6 months!
While Jan regards Spain as her home, this will be Kathys first Christmas here in Spain, it is also the first time that the whole family is not all together, all the same she does not miss England, the fog the cold weather and the darkness at 3.30 pm. Even when she visits goes visiting it means taking with her olives, chorizo, morcilla, Serrano, Manchego and lots of wine because she cant survive without at least some of what she now regards as the basic necessities!
Both Jan and Kathy realise are well aware of the responsibility they accept when organizing and planning what is the major event in someones life therefore they will not deal with anyone one they have not met on a personal basis and will not recommend accommodation or venues they have not visited personally. It is not just a question of having a business, building a good reputation and being recommended figures highest in their books.