This week on The Journal we are speaking with Nessa Hurley. With a successful podcast Nessa Loves Weddings, wedding planning company Gabi & Nessa Studio, and wedding dress styling at The White & Gold, she is a woman of many talents!
1. Tell us why you love what you do for a living, and, why you love working within the wedding industry?
Why thank you, I am very flattered by your kindness. I have always absolutely loved weddings. I have the most wonderful memories from when I was an incredibly young child at my aunt’s wedding. My first job when I finished my postgrad in college was the role of events coordinator at a local hotel in Cork where I helped couples to organise their weddings. I have been working in the wedding and events industry in diverse ways ever since. A wedding is such a special time in people’s lives and I just love being a part of their experience; whether that is helping brides find their dress at The White & Gold, planning and styling our couple’s weddings through my business Gabi & Nessa Studio or chatting to brides and wedding experts for my podcast Nessa Loves Weddings. I am a huge romantic and I love to see people celebrate their love in all kinds of ways. I love bringing people together, so the wedding industry is the perfect place to be.
2. What trends do you think will be popular for 2023 weddings? Are there any trends you absolutely adore?
I love that couples are being bolder and more personal with their styling for weddings. I particularly love the use of bright and colourful ceramics and glassware for weddings in 2023 – Portuguese and Italian-inspired joy!
I also love that people want more texture and choice from the materials that they are using for their wedding styling – we are using leather and concrete touches for one of our brides this year which makes me incredibly happy.
Regarding wedding dresses, brides are very much loving the very pared back, simple, and elegant style dresses but with stylish and unique accessories such as unusual sleeves and gloves, big chokers, huge bow details and detachable feathers and ruffles.
Thankfully, sustainability is now on many people’s minds even when it comes to choosing their wedding dresses or styling their venues with brides looking at dress options that could potentially be dyed, altered, and worn again or sold afterwards to give someone else an opportunity to wear their special gown. The same goes for renting their decor for their weddings. It is so great to see people being more aware of what they are buying.
3. What is your career ‘pinch me’ moment that really stands out in your mind? A moment you are proud of, that highlighted your passion for what you do.
This last year has been a big year for me. I was immensely proud of myself when I finally launched my wedding podcast after talking about it for many years and then also launching my new wedding and events business with my partner Gabi Kmitas. I am living out two dreams of mine now and I am so grateful to be doing what I love whilst raising my two young daughters. I get to spend time with them as well as do what I love for work. It has been such a busy time, but I would rather be busy with something I am so passionate about!
4. What are your goals and aspirations? What advice would you give to others interested in pursuing a career in Weddings and Events?
I did a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Event Management many years ago and whilst I really enjoyed it, I personally do not think you need any kind of education to work in this industry. You need a huge passion for creating and organising events, a creative mind and to be willing to really roll up your sleeves and get stuck into very non glamorous work! This industry is not all lavish and pretty things – there is a huge amount of paperwork, excel spreadsheets and long hours involved. If you think you would love to get into the industry, get as much real-life experience as possible by contacting planners and stylists to say you would love to assist! It is all about getting the experience so that you can see what unexpected issues or scenarios can come your way as a wedding planner/stylist. You really need to be able to manage people with plenty of calmness and patience.
5. Who is your aspirational figure? Someone you admire that has helped you on your career path or continues to inspire you.
I am incredibly lucky to work with two amazing women – Sorcha Gillett from The White & Gold in Kinsale and my business partner Gabi Kmitas. Both are such hard workers with so much talent and creativity. They are a joy to be around, and I get such a buzz working with both. I always feel inspired and ready to hit the ground when I am with them. They are two of my biggest cheerleaders and push me to do things I am unsure I can manage. They both run highly successful businesses which they are so passionate about. I learn a lot from them both about work but also about life. I am lucky to have them in my life!