Natalie John, CEO of Dreamy Weddings, celebrates 23 years in the destination wedding planning industry. This savvy and trend-forward entrepreneur who oversees a portfolio of growing businesses started with Dreamy Weddings operating in 2 destinations in 1999 and has grown to operate in 13 Caribbean destinations.
Recognized by leading media outlets, this recipient of the A-List Wedding Planner designation by Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine in 2010, Caribbean Wedding Planner and Off-Site Wedding Planner of the Year 2018/2019 by Caribbean Wedding Industry Awards and in 2019 won the St. Kitts Business Excellence Awards by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
In addition to being a certified wedding specialist, she is a Chartered Governance Professional with the Chartered Governance Institute of Canada and a trained florist with experience in securities, tourism marketing and export credit.
Born and raised in Saint Lucia, she studied Commerce, Finance and Marketing at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Natalie continues to innovate, finding new ways to pamper discerning couples, assist corporate groups in planning Caribbean events, and help island tourism officials develop creative strategies to remain competitive. In 2020 she founded the Caribbean Wedding and Events Professionals, (CWEP) a non-profit regional organization that represents Caribbean professionals and business entities. As a regional champion for event industry excellence, she created CWEP as a platform for industry professionals to network, leverage their creativity and grow.
As part of Romance and Black History Month celebrations in February, Natalie launched her first book, “COVID-19 Protocols Guide for Weddings & Events” on February 23, 2021, in both paperback and Kindle formats, which are available on Amazon. The new publication has received many reviews as the “go-to” industry handbook that provides standard guidelines of operation that event professionals should follow to ensure the health and safety of guests, employees, vendors, and the community. Throughout the pandemic, John’s recognition as a regional and international advocate for the weddings and events industry continues to grow as she demonstrates leadership, resilience, and creativity. From a business perspective, The Dreamy Group now includes Dreamy Weddings & Tours Inc., Dreamy Floral & Decor Bar Ltd., Dreamy Proposals, and Dreamy Rentals.
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Getting to Know You
What topics do you enjoy speaking on most?
I enjoy speaking about Destination weddings especially from an entrepreneurial perspective. As an achiever and activator, I enjoy sharing my entrepreneurial journey with the hopes that it inspires more persons especially women to believe in their dreams and ensuring that they take the necessary steps to actualize them.
What topic would you love to tackle next?
I would love to speak more to community over competition especially in my local space. Too many times we are timid to reach out to one another for guidance. Therefore being able to align/marry the notion of building our community while at the same time being able to grow our buisness and enjoy life in general. I believe this topic would make for a truly delightful conversation.
How would you describe your speaking style?
I’d have to say that my speaking style is a bit of informative and persuasive. When speaking to an audience I utilize transparency about my journey in an effort to inspire someone who has goals that seem unattainable. Through many platforms either in person or virtual, micro on an individual level or macro, I find myself motivated by the many lives I’ve touched thru mentorship or simply being someone’s hashtag goals on social media. Believe it or not speaking engagements have provided me with opportunities to build networks which continues to be a gift that keeps on giving because of the relationships, partnerships and collaborative efforts that have been fostered.
What’s been your favorite speaking engagement to date?
It’s hard to pick a favorite when there are too many to choose from however there are some that I hold dear to me. One was an invitation by a Prime Minister to speak on International Women’s Day this year which an absolute honour. The honour was twofold as the invitation came from a high official and also provided me the opportunity to share who and what contributed to the woman I am today. I specifically shared how my upbringing by a strong single mother who was also a businesswoman molded my entrepreneurial journey to date. Another favorite took place at the Travel Show Marketing Group conference in the USA on Romance Travel. Not only did I met a number of pros with whom I was able to collaborate on numerous subsequent events; one of which was the Caribbean Wedding Industry Awards & Expo in Jamaica where I was awarded Caribbean Wedding Planner of the Year.
When heading to an industry conference, I never leave home without my….
My lipstick and devices. I was brought up on the notion that presentation is key so I always aim to look the part. Through speaking one pays attention to your face, so I’m attracted to lip colours that are vibrant and tropical representing the Caribbean region where I reside.
Where would you love to speak next?
I would love to speak at Destination Wedding Planners Congress where I can network with other international wedding gurus. The exposure and visibility would not only enhance the vison I have for myself personally on an individual level but for other Caribbean wedding pros in an effort to expand on an international landscape taking us on a journey beyond the Americas.