Today we have interview Cyrielle Mohara, founder of the Agency Spectrum, high end travel planning service. Cyrielle Mohara has accepted to reply to our questions, and will give you insight of the wedding market in China.
Hello Cyrielle, can you introduce yourself please.
I am Cyrielle Mohara, the founder of Spectrum, a luxury event & wedding planning agency based in Shanghai, China. We plan events around the globe and mostly in Europe and South East Asia destinations (like Bali, Thailand etc…) I am French and it’s been 10 years I am in China. I speak Mandarin, English and French.
Can you introduce your company please?
These past few years we have seen an increase in destination weddings demands from mainland Chinese. Our clientele is mostly based in China & Hong Kong and we’ve noticed that having a destination weddings became really popular especially after some celebrities held their weddings abroad. Young Chinese couples are looking for a more personalised and unique wedding with close family and friends. It is often set on multi days with different activities and events for their guests. As of now I am the only French wedding planner based in China. I have a team of designers and planners but I’m still supervising all projects.
France is one of the favorite destinations for pre wedding shoot and weddings. Because of a wide choice of stunning venues and historical monuments and of course the image of romance conveyed by France. Couple wanting to get married in France would choose a prestigious castle with all elements for a French style wedding (horse drawn carriage, sumptuous décor, stunning chateau background, fireworks to close the night etc…) They have a very romanticized image of France which is synonymous of luxury, elegance and refinement.
Why do Chinese People love to celebrate wedding in France?
Our clients are mostly young high net worth individuals with high expectations and exigences. In China the ‘’face’’ is very important so they want to have a beautiful wedding not only for them but also to show their friends. In China it is normal to have a wedding planner no matter the budget but in France it is usually couples with higher budget who will hire a planner. We are taking care of the planning and design from A to Z which can include hotels booking, unique activities, travel planning, welcome dinner and of course on the Day D from décoration to logistique. In China it is normal for the planner to do all preparations for planning and the overall design concept, the couple only has one interlocutor: the planner, he or she is the one who will then coordinate with all vendors, venues, hotels which is especially important when it’s a wedding abroad and there can be a language barrier.
How to do you find your client usually?
Mostly from word of mouth and our network. Wedding planning is a very personal service, the couple would prefer to give their big day to a planner they trust with good experience. As quality of service is vey important for bigger budget event we take a limited amount of projects a year, we focus on giving our clients more attention and higher level of service.
What marketing campaign do you do for the Chinese Market?
We use a lot of the Chinese platforms like WeChat, Weibo, Xiahongshu where we post about past projects and some tips/articles related to lifestyle, travel, wedding. We also collaborate with some Chinese platforms specialised in weddings (something similar as the Knot in USA). We sometimes do collaboration with other brands around the theme of weddings/ luxury/ travel either online or offline.
What advises would you give to entrepreneurs that want to develop their Business in China?
It is primordial to have a presence on Chinese social media but also to organise some offline events to connect with your Clientele and see their responses to your products/ services. There is already a large offer in tourisme sector and it’s important to find your differences and to offer high level of services. More and more Chinese consumers are looking for more personalised experience and the French excellence is an asset so we do position ourselves on this niche.
Are you impacted by the COVID crisis?
We are of course directly affected by this situation and even more because we do destination weddings. Most of the countries and airlines have imposed travel restrictions for travellers coming from China. With the situation getting worse in France and Europe it affects our weddings originally planned for this summer. Even if the situation gets better by summer, most couples dont feel confident enough to travel to Europe yet. We are now arranging different solutions for our couples, from postponing to even changing entirely to a new country. We then have to discuss with all vendors to find the best solution for everyone.
How do you see your Business in 5years?
We are planning to expand our presence to more Asian markets by opening offices in south east Asia, but still keeping china as our main market. Creating more and more stunning events, not only weddings but also social events such as birthdays, anniversaries and tailor made honeymoon services.
Are you positive to see Chinese tourists coming back to France?
Yes I do believe Chinese tourism will flourish again in France as the situation will get better. France is still one of the favorite destination for buying luxury products. Apart from luxury goods I also noticed that more and more Chinese travellers are looking for authentic experiences. In France we are so lucky to have a wide variety of extraordinary experiences and services to propose. For example a hot air ballon with Loire chateaux in the background, wine routes in most prestigious vineyards, truffle hunt… a Chanel bag can be bought everywhere around the globe but these type of unique experience can be always remembered in France. Tourism will flourish again with more authentic experience for travellers.
Do you have more questions for Cyrielle?
Feel be free to ask in a comment.