Interview with Jove Meyer
At LLG, we always admired Jove Meyer’s work and approach of the industry. After attending the Love & Conversation event, we wanted to ask him some more questions and share his insights with our students at NYU. It was a pleasure to interview Jove and share his expertise!
1) We know your company is based on a relaxed approach when guiding the planning and design process of weddings and events in order to create a fun and stress-free experience. How do you maintain this mindset in both your team and your customers’ minds? Why is it important according to you?
It comes from the core of who I am, a relaxed California human who practices yoga and I love that it translates to my work. I love to set the tone from the start that this process should be fun, relaxed and enjoyable (not including family drama, nothing I can do about that) We are in control of the wedding planning and design process, we set the tone, we are the barometer of the couples experience so by letting them know up front what to expect it sets the tone, and helps remind them that it does not have to be stressful or stress filled at each turn! Planning your wedding should be a fun process, picking each item should be joyful and meaningful, the moment un-necessary stress enters the picture is the moment it becomes work, and not pleasure!
2) You are known for working with the best vendors in the industry, how do you build and maintain your professional relationships with them? How are these partnerships mutually-beneficial?
All of the vendors I work with are a direct reflection of my company, so it is very important to me to align with vendors who share the same work ethic, style and values. My vendor relationships are crucial and many of them have become great friends. When I first started I worked with all the vendors out there and over the years learned best practices from those I admire and also learned who not to work with. Over the years of working with so many different vendors I have been able to curate vendors who I vibe well with and work with easily. A vendor who is easy to work with is a huge benefit as they make my life easier and keep my stress low as I trust them and know they will show up and deliver the best product to my couple. I am nothing with out the vendors I work with, they bring the visions I create for my couples to life!
3) You’ve been awarded a countless amount of times by industry leaders such as The Knot, Us Weekly, or Brides! What do you think made your success? Any key differentiators?
I think my work is fresh and different from a lot of what is being created out there and publications are enjoying it as they have not seen it before! I also have a brand that is mission focused, I donate a portion of my earnings to LGBTQ+ causes and also use my job to empower small owner driven operated companies, mostly owned by women, people of color and lgbtq+ people. I like to do things my way, not the way they have always been done, and I do them authentically and I think that is attractive to publications and industry leaders. I also work very hard, for the last 11 years it has been non stop, 10-14 hour days, I pour my entire life, soul and passion into what I do, and hopefully it shows and resonates!
4) Can you tell us more about your LGBTQ+ wedding webinars?
I co-taught the first LGBTQ+ wedding webinar with the knot a few years ago, which lead to an in person presentation I shared at 13 knot workshop around the country in the last 3 years. The wedding industry has been so hetero-normative and bride focused, and I wanted to help wedding vendors understand how to best attract and earn the business of LGBTQ+ couples. Since same-sex marriage is relatively new in the states many vendors simply did not know how to attract LGBTQ+ couples, so I share tips they can apply quickly and easily to make their companies more inclusive and open for all couples! I guide the presentation with heart, facts, humor and tips!
5) How do you know when a design project is unrealistic? How do you set your clients expectations?
Budget and venue restrictions are the first two reasons things cannot happen in the way the client may hope they could. It is very important to me to discuss resources and priorities at the start, so we are aligned on what they want and what it takes to make it happen. After budget range is discussed I have what I call a first date with my couple, essentially a first meeting here we discuss every component of the wedding, it is a time to share all hopes, dreams and ideas. After that meeting I put together the design deck (visuals) and create the budget (financial) to share with them, so they can see what their dreams look like cost wise. Once they see the costs we can edit based on their reactions and priorities.
6) How would you advise young event planners to attract LGBTQ+ customers?
Be an inclusive business from the start! Share images of all types of couples! Couples who are straight, gay, queer, racially diverse, body diverse. Diversity is sexy, show off love of all shapes, sizes and colors! Use language that welcomes all kinds of couples, stop using the word bride for everything - bridal suite, bridal party, bridal bouquet - instead swap out the word bride for couple and or wedding, this instantly opens up your work and website to all couples, not just straight ones. Finally get involved in the community, find an LGBTQ organization that is meaningful to you and support them with time, talent or money. Connect with the community you want to reach, and make sure to connect authentically, not as a marketing ploy. Don't just reach out to us or share same sex images during pride. The images you share should be balances, straight, gay, thin, curvy, racially diverse. What you put out into the world is what you get!
7) Your Twitter bio says “full service event planning + design for those who dare to be different”. How would you define “different”? How does it apply to your company andyour services?
Different is anyone who is not attracted to classic, typical and or traditional wedding styles. There is nothing wrong with those styles, but it is not who I am or what inspires me. I am not a typical wedding planner and designer (bearded, tattoos, casual wardrobes) so neither is my work or process, so I like to make that clear to attract the right clients. My meetings always include bubbly and laughs, I call them dates not meetings, I want to make it fun and exciting, I want to create work that has never been created before, I want to push boundaries of design and events, I want to incorporate color and personality throughout! Different is my brand from start to finish :)
8) Your brand style is very eclectic and you seem to be able to organize and design a variety of events. How do you design something that is not your style? What type of events do you and your company relate most to? Why?
My goal is to bring my clients style, story, vision and relationship to life! That is the joy and the challenge of my work as it is not about me, it is 100% about them, but each of my events has a part of me in it as I create it, but they are always the motivation and drive! It is very hard to design something that does not align with my general style, and I am very open and honest with people about that. I put out work I love and am inspired by to attract those clients. None of my work is hyper classic or traditional so it is rare that I get those clients calling me. I love events where clients love my work, trust my process and let me get really creative on their behalf!
9) What are your main influences and key principles when designing an event?
The goal is always making the client happy and creating something that will surprise and delight them and their guests! Events have a structure but how can we play within or outside of that to create experiences that reflect the clients style, personalty and vibe!
10) Do you have any upcoming professional projects you are excited about?
So many! I have a wedding in CA next month that will be so EPIC! One of my favorite designs so far, conceptually it is very new for me and I cannot wait to see it come to life and to watch the couple and their guests enjoy it :) I am also in the design phase of a motel and home upstate, after 2 years of renovation, it is finally time for the fun - design!!!! I am so excited to design this color blocked project and cannot wait to share it :)
Credits: We picked our photos on Jove’s instagram and his Pinterest boards. Now you have a visiual idea of what inspired him.