Known for creating some of the most lavish weddings in the Middle East and beyond, MY Event Design’s stunning decor often features larger-than-life custom installations and the use of vibrant colours. We spoke exclusively with Amman-based founder Majeda Kassir for the Fall Edition of the WedLuxe Global Trend Report about what it’s like to work with family, her design inspirations, and the luxury wedding destinations where she’s planning events this year. For more from our interview, be sure to check out the Fall Trend Report!
We know that your two daughters, Sewar and Maysam, have been involved in running MY Event Design with you. What is it like to work alongside your family on a daily basis?
After my eldest daughter, Maysam, moved to Abu Dhabi, I was very relieved when Sewar made the decision to leave her position at Shell, a position she held for four years. She took a big weight off my shoulders. Sewar has really brought a lot to the table when it comes to the vision of the company and how to manage and further develop the business. She has also landed the company a few destination weddings that we are thrilled to work on! I admire her entrepreneurial creativity, and I’m so proud of her latest endeavour - MY Entertainment, a talent booking agency based in Amman, Jordan. Even though I oversee and manage every aspect of the company, I am able to focus more on designing the event now that I have Sewar to manage and execute the logistical aspects of each event.
Tell us a little bit about MY Event Design’s signature design style.
MY Event Design’s signature design style is classy, elegant, edgy, and chic. We always like to incorporate colours into our designs for a stylish and lively ambience.
From where do you draw inspiration when planning a wedding?
When planning a wedding or event, I draw my inspiration from the elements that surround me such as nature, fashion, hotels, magazines, and travelling.
Tell us about trends in your line of work. What trends have been big in 2017?
2017 is a year of innovative trends when it comes to luxury weddings. One emerging trend is the use of greenery, whereby planners have been using green partitions and hanging greenery at most events! Using less colour and less flowers has also been a new fad. Shiny metallics like gold and silver and mixed patterns have definitely prevailed this year, as well. Geometric designs are also in this year as a source of inspiration for floor planning and wedding themes.
Can you tell us a bit about some of your destination wedding and event design?
One of the most memorable destination weddings we planned took place in Puglia, in the southern region of Italy. The wedding took place in multiple venues all belonging to the breathtaking resort of Borgo Egnazia. The Apulian welcome dinner included a tablescape consisting of a contrasting and colourful arrangement of basil leaves, tomatoes, peppers, and greenery, all of which are popular local ingredients among the Apulian culture. We even had Apulian artisans, such as a pasta maker, a necklace maker, and a straw doll maker, showcase their local talents. As for the wedding party, this took place at Cala Masciola, the beach that belongs to Borgo Egnazia. Puglia provided the most beautiful backdrop for this occasion. The surrounding mountains and Mediterranean Sea played a significant part in the magical ambience of the event.
Are there areas of the world you are looking to produce events in in the near future?
MY Event Design is constantly willing to develop and expand. We believe that destination weddings and events are always an exciting experience. We like to broaden our horizons, but there is no specific place we are currently looking at to produce events. Nevertheless, we do plan on designing more destination weddings wherever they may take us!
What is your process when a bride first contacts you about planning her wedding?
When a couple first contacts us about planning their wedding, we set up an initial meeting - preferably 6 to 9 months prior to the wedding date. Next, we start looking for a venue. It is important to do the venue scouting and selection in the early stages of the planning as everything else depends on it. Then we start with the 2D drawings and the floor plan, which gives the couple an idea of what the seating, the stage, and the different stations will look like. After the floor plans, we start with idea conceptualization followed by design. This step is very important and includes plenty of research. Finally, we proceed to the floral arrangements, the tablescape and setup, the light and sound, the catering, and the entertainment.
What has been your biggest event planning challenge?
My biggest event planning challenge was actually a wedding we planned and designed back in May 2017. The wedding was held at a functioning train station outside Amman, which we transformed into a wedding venue. It was challenging due to the nature of the space as well as its location. There was no actual venue; there were only 3 railways, a small office, and a few rooms.
What are your favourite florals and colour schemes to use when planning a wedding?
If I were to choose a favourite colour palette, I would go for white flowers and greenery. I think white is elegant, pure, and lavish, regardless of the occasion. In terms of greenery, I love infusing my events with natural elements. However, for parties, I like to use vibrant colours, such as fuchsia. Fuchsia is striking, eye-catching, and truly stands out!
Choosing a favourite flower is one of the most difficult questions to answer. I do love tulips and English roses, but if I had to pick one type, I would go for peonies when they are in season. The delicate petals, the lush scent, and the fine colours make peonies my ultimate favourite.
When you treat yourself, what do you like to indulge in?
After a long day, I love to indulge in a glass of champagne!
What is your favourite part of working in the event planning industry?
My favourite part about this industry is its challenges and the excitement it brings with it everyday! There is always something new to experience. No event is ever similar to another; they all have their own personal identity and charm. I also love the transformation of a single idea or rough sketch into a wonderful experience that lasts a lifetime and leaves an everlasting imprint. This is where the beauty of event planning lies.
What advice would you give to those just starting out in the wedding industry?
From my personal experience, my advice to those just starting out is to be patient, diplomatic, and flexible. Aim to learn one new thing per day, no matter how small it may seem, in order to broaden your field of knowledge and to continuously improve. It is also essential to constantly do research in order to remain informed about the latest trends. Draw inspiration from the big things as well as the little things and focus on the smallest details. Be creative, imaginative, original, and resourceful, take chances and never replicate, and always innovate by thinking outside the box. My biggest piece of advice will always be to create your own brand; a reflection of your vision, values, and experiences.
MY Event Design has a home decor and accessories shop in Abdoun, Jordan. What are some of the biggest home decor and fashion trends you’re seeing in 2017?
Our boutique and shop in the prominent district of Abdoun, features home decor items and accessories by international designers. This year, the biggest fashion trends we are witnessing are mixed patterns, the use of marble, jewel tones, and the colour green.
What’s next for MY Event Design in 2017?
We certainly have a lot in store for 2017 and the following years to come! To start off, we will continue to work on our own brand in order to grow and expand internationally. I would like to plan and design more destination weddings. However, as MY Event Design is based in Jordan, I would very much like to introduce destination weddings to the Jordanian market. In other words, I would love to have other people start considering Jordan as a wedding destination. By combining tourism with the elements of art, design, and events, we would encourage local tourism and perhaps make Jordan the next trending wedding destination! For MY Event Design, the sky’s the limit and we always dream big, therefore, I aim at becoming the leading event planner in the region.