Femme Profiles / 02.06.15 / BY Bella Serventi

WEDDING ROCK GODDESS: GEORGIE DUDDY

This entrepreneurial femme can literally do it all. Plan, style, help, educate and inspire (she can probably belt out a wedding song acapella style if we asked her. It’s a confidence thing she exudes…sigh). Meet Georgie Duddy. Australia’s answer to all the DIY brides out there. She’s actually so cool. So efficient. The ultimate problem solver. She’s the kind of femme you want as your bridesmaid or best friend. (Yes, we may have asked her to be ours already…).  So, it’s no wonder that after planning and handholding her brother and his soon to be wife through their wedding process half way across the world in the South of France (as you do) that After The Rock was born.

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Name: Georgie Duddy
Business Name: After the Rock
Website: aftertherock.com.au
Instagram handle: @aftertherockweddings

After The Rock is the ultimate destination for brides who are planning their dream day – but don’t want to spend a fortune (research suggests an Australian wedding costs on average $65,000 ouch!). ATR will take you by the hand and show you the way. From webinars to expert advice, industry tips and tricks, free daily inspiration and one-on-one access to the lovely Georgie herself – it’s an answer to every bride’s prayer…But back to the inspirational Georgie Duddy and how she became the perfect bridesmaid you wish you had.

La Femme Mecca Georgie Duddy After The Rock

WHAT DO YOU DO AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?

I help Brides plan the most important and memorable day of their lives as a couple so far. I am technically a ‘wedding consultant’ – that gap between DIY wedding planning and having a full blown wedding planner.  Not your traditional wedding planning service, After the Rock is your online inspiration, your opportunity to create a wedding that surpasses your every expectation, your instant stress eraser, your ‘cheap insurance’ that no element will be forgotten or overlooked and your Bridey BFF all rolled into one.

From webinars where you can listen in and gain expert advice, free daily inspiration on instagram, facebook and twitter, opportunity’s to Ask G your most pressing question, right through to  working one-on-one with me , there are so many options to suit every Bridey needing a little (or a lot of) advice.

What I LOVE is no wedding or couple is the same, and that my style and what I offer is a fresh injection into the  classic and wonderful wedding industry.   

 WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

I actually had a business before After the Rock for 8 years called Belle-Laide Events, an award winning corporate event management company, that is still going strong in the events industry. I say it was LUCK and by that I mean – preparation + opportunity = Luck. My business partner at the time wanted to start a company, he asked me to do it with him, I borrowed $2K off my Dad and started that company at the ripe old age of 21. After that experience, I really don’t think you can work for anyone else. Owning your own Business is THE BUSINESS.

The concept of ATR started to brew after I planned my brothers wedding in a chateau in the South of France. He lived in Singapore at the time and I was here in Sydney – which isn’t the easiest of tasks when there is no on-ground support. So I went ahead and used all the skills I would normally use to source venues, suppliers, created personalised templates to ensure every ‘i’ was dotted and ‘t’ was crossed and planned it all via phone calls and skype consultations. They absolutely LOVED the process my brother and his now wife were involved in every part of the process (that they wanted to be involved in!) and most importantly the wedding was absolutely incredible and totally exceeded their expectations. After that experience, I thought  ‘what if I could be a Bridey BFF to future Brides,  show them the way a professional planner would plan their wedding, style like a stylist, and become a logistics queen with ease’ and After the Rock was born! 

La Femme Mecca Georgie Duddy After The Rock

WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION / STUDY BACKGROUND?

I completed an Arts degree at Sydney University whilst doing a part-time Event Management Advanced Diploma at TAFE. But let’s be honest, I’m a graduate of the School of Life and am forever being taught my biggest lessons from that institution! Uni and Tafe prepare you for deadlines, on-ground experience is where the magic happens.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WOMEN STUDY OR DO TO BEST EQUIP THEMSELVES TO GET INTO YOUR INDUSTRY?

I think an event management diploma or equivalent gets your foot in the door and considered when you are looking for that first job. But, to be honest, I would recommend volunteering and interning like a champion. THAT is where you will learn and get your chance to maybe be offered a job after your internship – or at least stand out from the hundreds of other resumes. Work hard, don’t make excuses, do the dirty work and show how good you can be. It’s a small industry. People talk.

I am also currently creating an online course teaching Brides how to plan their wedding like a pro – delivered via modules that you can work through at your own pace and delivered by video, audio and worksheets. THAT has everything you need to know about planning a wedding – I wish something like that existed when I started! I would recommend that course for anyone wanting to get involved with the events or wedding industry. Watch this space!

La Femme Mecca Georgie Duddy After The Rock

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU’VE FACED AS GROWING BUSINESS?HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

Let’s be honest, most of the challenges are within us. Mine was debilitating anxiety. Fear of not being good enough. not stepping up. I have done a lot to overcome this – like seeing a nutritionist and naturopath, kinesiology, a business coach, meditating, sleeping, exercising, eating amazing food and spending time with loved ones.

Other challenges – like cash flow, having to take on part-time work, then getting swamped with too much work and not handling my time management well, trying a concept that you are sure will work and then fails – all of these things may happen. But as Marie Forleo says – Everything is figure-out-able. I’m not a brain surgeon, I’m not saving lives. Sit back, look at the situation from outside you, meditate, make a decision and stick with it. There is always an answer and a lesson to be learnt.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

Selling my first business to start After the Rock. It was the scariest and biggest risk to take. Leaving a successful business with no real path laid out in front of me was petrifying, but so incredibly worth it to find my passion.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE FOR BRIDES?

Treat your wedding like a PARTY or a Celebration of Love. Too many couples get caught up in what they ‘should do’. For example – if you don’t want to give every guest a guest gift/Bomboniere – like a random jar of jam – don’t. Use that money to put towards what truly matters to you. Don’t just do it because you found it on some ‘wedding checklist’.

La Femme Mecca Georgie Duddy After The Rock

And if I can add another… really think about this question. In 20 years from now, when you are sitting at the dining room table, talking about your wedding to your children (if you decide to have children) – what do you want to say about it? That is was a true reflection of you as a couple? that is was SO MUCH FUN? what’s important to you? That is what will matter. Write it down and keep that answer in the front of mind with every single decision you make.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNT FROM A MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE IN THE PAST?

Letting myself burn out and be completely overwhelmed and anxious to the eyeballs – to a point where half my hair literally fell out.   I now set boundaries, work more productively and put me first.

HAS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS CHANGED FOR YOU OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU NOW?

YES! it has gone from Success = Money, Status, Lots of Expensive Clothes, Holidays, Shiny Car – the list goes on.

To now – Success = Peace. To me that is a feeling of calm, contentment, accomplishment, being comfortable and being truly happy.

REFLECTING ON YOUR CAREER TO DATE, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF AT THE BEGINNING?

Drop the ego. Enjoy the ride! Remember the good times. Use the ‘bad’ experiences as lessons to learn from for the next time. Set boundaries. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Be consistent. Ask lots of questions and listen more.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE STRESS / ANXIETY / WORK LIFE BALANCE?

I am a ritual queen! My morning starts with tongue scraping (eewww TMI), warm water with a squeeze of lemon, exercise, meditation, a shot of ningxia red, reading my Spirit Junkie affirmation for the day, a dose of essential oils, and writing out a one page productivity planner of exactly what I will complete that day – all before I check an email, instagram or anything work related. I have to start CALM. that way I work calmly and with ease all day and have plenty of time for breaks and even time to cook dinner!

Quality time with Marc and my friends is also essential to my week. The freedom to catch up for a midweek lunch or a tea really makes my Monday to Friday that much more enjoyable and exciting.  

There will be times that you have to work late. There will be times that that deadline won’t wait and growing pains where you are being stretched in too many directions – but knowing you have ‘timeouts’ in each and every day makes it all enjoyable.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU / AFTER THE ROCK BUSINESS?

SO MUCH GOOD STUFF! A lot of exciting collaborations, some incredible client weddings, a pop-up venue in Sydney which is going to be EPIC , the launch of my After the Rock Academy course, some exciting new workshops… in the immortal words of Deborah Conway – it’s only the beginning. (please tell me you have this song in your head right now. how good!)

WHAT THREE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

Mother funking legend. Nah, just kidding.   Determined. Positive. Believer.

LA FEMME MECCA GEORGIE DUDDY AFTER THE ROCK FEMME PROFILE

Credits

Author / Bella Serventi

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