Today the very lovely Heidi from wedding planning & events company an affair to remember has been kind enough to spare me some of her time for an interview as we kick start the count down to the royal wedding on friday.
1. how did you get into wedding planning & how long have you been doing it? I started off planning events for non-profit organisations when I was at university in 2007. I worked for both Planned Parenthood and the American Red Cross for some time. I then came across a job as an assistant to a wedding planner and thought I’d give it a try. Needless to say, I fell in love with it and began fully immersing myself in the world of weddings. At the same time as working as a wedding planning assistant, I worked in a 4* restaurant working on large parties. Of course the experience as an assistant was helpful, but I found working within the food/service industry truly prepared me for dealing with the logistics of events on a large scale. I moved to the UK in October 2009 and did nothing but research the wedding market here for a period of time. I then launched my business and I find myself learning and studying each and every day in order to improve my skills and knowledge.
2. what does a wedding planner do? A wedding planner can do as little or as much as you require in order to assist in the orderly planning and running of your wedding. Wedding planners can help with budgets, finding the right suppliers, wedding dress/suit shopping, searching for the right venue, helping you to create a theme/colour scheme, and faciliting all of your suppliers on the day. As a wedding planner, I find myself filling the role of friend, confidant, therapist, personal assistant, guide and the overall go-to person for everything wedding related.
3. What gives you inspiration for your events?
Initially, I derive my inspiration from the couples and what their interests are. I love personalising weddings and I find this is one of the best ways to do it. I also derive a lot of inspiration from blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride and from world-class designers such as Preston Bailey
4. What is your speciality?
I specialise in working with couples who want something different. So many couples have cookie-cutter weddings because they don’t know anything else is possible. I love bringing unique ideas to the table and showing couples that their wedding can truly reflect who they are. I am a big fan of breaking the rules and thinking outside the box. I also, love to work with same-sex civil unions.
5. Can anyone use a wedding planner? people generally expect that wedding planners are expensive but planning a wedding on your own can be incredibly stressful?Yes, the notion that wedding planners are always expensive is a total myth-planners are not just for those who have a fortune to spend on their wedding! Many couples find that they actually save money using wedding planners because they can negotiate discounts with suppliers. Most couples are having their first wedding so they don’t know what things should cost; a wedding planner can be your guide and advise you if you are spending too much or too little on any particular facet of your wedding. Wedding planners are also pros at keeping you on budget-something that most all couples get a bit lax with. I have found that the money and time saved by hiring a wedding planner more than pays for itself.
6. How important is it to style an event with table scaping, chair covers & flowers?
I think table-scaping, chair covers, and flowers all play an important part in the design of the event. That being said, there are always alternatives to the mainstream ways of styling these elements. Below are photos of a button bouquet made by a supplier that I work with and alternative chair covers.
7. Do people generally have ideas of what they want themselves or do they need a lot of inspiration from you?I have found that people do have some ideas but mainly about what they don’t want, which is a good starting place. Couples tend to derive their ideas for their wedding from what they have seen and don’t realise that they are not limited to that. I love opening their eyes to the possibilities that exist.
8. Are people quite scared to try theme weddings, are they stuck with the traditional out look or are they quite brave with your ideas?I find that at first people recoil at the word “theme” but a theme doesn’t have to be cheesy at all. Once I get enough information about the couple and their interests I can suggest a theme that they love. This way they aren’t planning just another wedding in the eyes of their guests-they are planning a unique wedding that reflects who they are.
9. If you were the wedding planner for William & Kate & you could chose any theme for theme what would it be & why. This is a really tough question to answer without knowing them on a personal level. What I would do is sit down with them and go through a list of questions that give me insight on what both of their interests are and if they have any hobbies that they share. I would then take their favourite colours, flowers, activities, etc and tie them together into a personalised theme that is truly all their own. I don’t think the Queen would appreciate anything but a Royal-themed wedding, but that is just the way I work!
10. What's the one most important thing that wedding planners have that brides themselves do not have?
Contacts! We deal with wedding suppliers on a regular basis so we know who the best of the best are and who will suit your personal style best. I am a part of the 100 Top Wedding Tweeters List, which just goes to show how much contact I have with suppliers. I also have the experience that brides often do not, considering most have not married before. We can advise on all of the little things that often get forgotten but are so important. For example, I am finding luxury toilets for a barn wedding at the moment-not the most glamourous bit of the job but it is an essential part of the wedding that most brides would overlook.
11. Who should contact you?
If you want your wedding to reflect the personalities of you and your partner, then you should contact me. If you want your wedding to be an experience as opposed to just a party with a meal, you should get in touch with me. If you want your guests to be talking about your wedding for months, even years to come, then I am the planner for you!
12. How can couples get in touch with you for a free consultation?
My website is http://www.anaffairtorememberevents.co.uk/ and I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 07985684208. Don’t hesitate to call or email me in the evenings or over the weekend-I know you are busy!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us Heidi xx