Ten Minutes With Event Planner José Rolón
I had the pleasure of recently sitting down with New York event planner José Rolón. Jose’s easygoing style and calm under pressure makes him a gem in an industry filled with tough decisions and mounting stress. Learn about his signature style, views on social media and the impact of a 36-minute long groomsman speech (gasp!) on a wedding he planned.
How did you get into the event planning industry?
When I got married, I enjoyed the process and planning our wedding. After being behind a computer as a video editor for 5 years, I was ready to step out. I got married at The Foundry and stalked the girls until they hired me. I worked there for a couple years before launching José Rolón Events.
What do you like best about what you do?
Relationships with my couples - hands down! Couples hire me 8 months to a year out (sometimes two). It gets personal really fast. But for me, in a good way. Even if there is family drama…
What are the biggest challenges facing event planners these days?
Personally, I think staying relevant on social media. Now when clients look for information about your company, they go straight to Instagram, Pinterest, and other outlets. If you're not on there, there was perception you're not legitimate enough even if you've been in the game for a long time. Social media is like a full-time job!
How would you describe your signature style?
Taking raw spaces and mixing old with the new and having unexpected combinations.
What makes you different from other event planners?
Simply, the personal experience. We're all different. We all provide something different. Wedding planners can have a bad reputation…and for good reason. There's sometimes this air of having a God-like complex. I'm not anything like that. I don't micro-manage vendors. I've never lost my cool on the day of. I stay calm and even-keeled, even during some hair-raising moments.
What aspects of your events do you wish you could better control?
Speeches! This is where you come in! Some are just bad or too gimmicky. Most importantly, time! I always tell my couples to hammer home to anyone giving a speech to keep it to a 5 minute maximum! But this doesn't always happen. It's not like you can cut them off.
What is the worst speech you ever heard delivered at an event?
Once I had a groomsman go on for 36 minutes! It's a record! It set back the kitchen and the band had less than hour to play.
What is one thing your clients may not know about you?
I used to hustle lunch money in Junior High School by betting I could list all 50 states in 30 seconds.
How has the rise of social media changed how you approach events?
I would say there's a focus more now than ever before to not do the same thing you did at the last event. Of course, your signature style will always show up, but knowing your wedding might be hash-tagged or published more easily, it keeps me on my toes.
To learn more about José Rolón Events, please visit www.joserolonevents.com.