Have you thought about using a wedding planner? Do you understand the role of a wedding planner? Do you think a wedding planner simply organises your wedding for you and you just turn up on the day? I must admit that I thought wedding planners were only for the rich and famous – how wrong was I! Bride and Beau are here to help you understand how we can benefit from a wedding planner and to reeducate you about the role of a wedding planner. This interview answers all of your questions and by the end of it I’m confident you’ll be contacting Bride and Beau – very interesting reading indeed. Enjoy!
1. What is a wedding planner?
A wedding planner is someone who can offer advice, guidance, industry knowledge and experience in order to help couples bring their dream wedding ideas to life; making the day about them, their love and truly memorable.
2. Why would a bride and groom-to-be need or want a wedding planner?
On your wedding day you are reliant on a large number of suppliers e.g. florists, caterers, venues, entertainment, photographers to name just a few. A wedding planner will have knowledge of good and reliable local suppliers and can, in some cases, negotiate discounts. This alone can be a reason that a couple choose to use a wedding planner. Time is another key factor, statistics show it takes approximately 260 hours to organise a wedding – many people don’t have that time on top of their day job and family time so a wedding planner can do the leg work for you. Bride & Beau offers a range of packages depending on what help and support a couple are after.
3. What can a newly engaged couple expect from a wedding planner?
From the moment that you get engaged, friends and family are asking when you are going to get married. In most cases the prospect of organising the most special day of your life can be extremely daunting; a wedding planner can help to reduce that stress. Books and magazines are great but there are so many to choose from and so many ideas that you can end up confused or having a wedding that is filled with every idea that you have seen, rather than something that reflects you as a couple. Bride & Beau’s DIY bride package is ideal for newly engaged couples – a 2 hour consultation to help couples get started with the planning process. This can include preparing a budget, discussing themes, organising a timeline of what needs to be booked and when, advice for booking suppliers, online supplier recommendations and other general tips and advice.
4. To what extent are you involved in the wedding plans?
Bride & Beau offers a range of packages depending on the level of involvement and support that a couple wants. The aim is to build and develop a couple’s ideas to ensure that the day reflects them as a couple; it isn’t to take over and make the decisions for them.
5. How does the consultation and planning stages work? Do you have meetings, email and phone contact etc?
Bride & Beau offers an initial free 1 hour consultation, arranged at a location and time convenient to the couple. The purpose of this meeting is for us to meet and for me to find out more about the couple and what they are after etc. We will then discuss how Bride & Beau can help them. If the couple choose to go ahead and book one of the packages, a further meeting is arranged. At this second meeting, we agree how the couple wish to stay in contact, how often they want to meet, whether they would rather talk on the phone or by email and how often they wish to be updated. Some meetings will be required e.g. with shortlisted suppliers, but progress updates and options can be discussed via whichever method the couple prefers.
6. Do you create designs and ideas for the couple?
This will depend on which package the couple book. With the DIY package, I aim to inspire the couple with possible designs but I do not create an actual design proposal. With the full co-ordination package I will create 1 or 2 design proposals for the couple to consider following discussions about what style of wedding they are after. The proposal will generally include pictures, descriptions and a rough costing so that the couple can select the proposal confident in the knowledge that it will not blow their budget!
7. Do you make purchases on behalf of the couple?
With prior consent of the couple, smaller purchases can be made on their behalf and then invoiced. Any suppliers must be paid direct as the contract is between them and the couple direct but Bride & Beau can co-ordinate this process and will pass on any negotiated discounts.
8. Are you there on the wedding day itself?
If a couple choose the On the Day or the Full Co-ordination package then I will be there on the wedding day.
9. What does it cost to hire your services? Is it a flat rate and what does this fee cover?
Bride & Beau charges flat fees for all its services – this is so the couple can see from the start what the cost is. All the prices are advertised on my website www.brideandbeauweddings.co.uk along with descriptions of what they include: The DIY Bride package includes a 2 hour meeting and a file of advice and guidance on what the couple will need to do in order to organise their special day. The Research package includes a written report recommending up to 3 suppliers or venues based on the couples requirements. The Full Co-ordination package covers everything from the design proposal to booking suppliers to On the Day Co-ordination – the only things it doesn’t include are handmade items and organising a honeymoon. A travel cost may be added to the price quoted depending on the couple’s location.
10. How many weddings have you planned?
Bride & Beau is a new venture so my experience includes organising my own wedding (so I know what any couple are going through!) and supporting close friends and family (with planning, as a bridesmaid and as bridal make-up artist). Additionally, I have helped guide/advise other friends with bringing their ideas to life for their special day (e.g. brainstorming ideas and suggesting suppliers that they can approach). At the moment I am working on a 250 guest Greek wedding for 2012.
In addition to this hands-on experience I have completed and gained a distinction in both the Foundation course in Wedding Planning and the Intermediate course in Wedding Planning via the industry recognised Wedding Planner School (www.weddingplanningschooluk.com). I have also undertaken a Special Occasions Makeup course at the London School of Fashion.
11. Can you describe a typical wedding planning job? Average workload involved?
Every wedding and every couple is different so it would be very difficult to describe a typical planning job – what I can say is that wedding planning can be stressful, fun and exciting but it is all worth it when you see the couple on their wedding day and their smiles say it all – pure love! Some couples want lots of involvement with generating ideas and this means there is a lot of research involved. Other couples are looking for support and guidance so each job is about what the couple want: a bespoke rather than fixed service. It is the finer details where a wedding planner can have a real impact – different ideas, sourcing suppliers, finishing touches. An average wedding costs approximately £22,000 in the UK today – this is a significant amount of money and couples are therefore understandably worried about making the wrong choices. Bride & Beau is about reducing the stress, providing ideas, guidance and ultimately doing the leg work so that whichever option a couple chooses they are making the right choice for them.
12. How would you describe ‘A day in the life of a wedding planner’
Every day is different – some days are spent working on customer requests, others are spent at weddings. As with any other business, research and networking are high priorities, so a lot of time is spent building relationships with potential suppliers. It is these relationships that are key to Bride & Beau being successful – a couple needs to be confident that any recommendations are made because that supplier will be able to meet (and hopefully exceed) their requirements and expectations. Research is not only about finding suitable suppliers but also what is going on in the wedding industry, celebrity weddings and new, exciting ideas etc. It is the excitement of seeing a wedding coming together, a couple brimming with happiness, and a day that is a reflection of the couple that makes this job worthwhile. You can follow me on twitter @brideandbeau or visit me on facebook using this link https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bride-Beau-Weddings/143531069042738 for more wedding talk!
Penelope x x