The Latest Wedding Trend? Saving the Environment.

Having devoted my career to the wedding industry for a number of years, I genuinely believe it is a wonderful industry to be a part of, in so many way. However, there is one thing I feel is missing, and not exclusively in the wedding industry, but in many aspects of our day-to-day lives. What I’m talking about here is an appreciation and respect for the planet, our home.  Being in the wedding industry, you might not think that there’s any real connection between the two. In fact, weddings can be, and often are a massive source of waste in today’s disposable lifestyle, which never fails to upset me, year in, year out, but as the impact of climate change becomes more and more undeniable, conversations of sustainability are stirring in society. As someone who runs my own business and wants to help you grow yours, I believe it is our responsibility to do as much as we can to increase the environmental awareness of our clients and play our part in reducing our carbon footprint. Above everything, my role in business, is to help your business become more profitable and assist in its growth. So, sit tight and I’ll …

Wedding Venues & Covid-19

We live in uncertain times.  There are already many helpful and informative blog posts about Coronavirus around, but I’ve picked up a specific issues surrounding venues that host major events, especially weddings which are such a fixed date in so many diaries. That said, with the situation changing daily we just don’t know what’s around the corner and when the next decision will be made, that will pull yet another rug from under our feet. Businesses across the world will survive or fall on how they handle this crisis. This isn’t just about looking at the cost-base, cash flows and operational issues, but also how customers and their concerns are handled. Being understanding, helpful and positive and thus maintaining your brand values are critical and will lead to future goodwill, which may be essential once the world starts returning to something like normality. No-one wants to be remembered as ‘that business that didn’t help anyone’ or be likened to the consumers stockpiling hand gel and toilet-rolls – especially when most of the general public will be spending lots of extra time on social media in the next few weeks. Any profile or issue will be magnified exponentially.  Therefore, I just …

Simply Stunning, Styled Shoots

As a wedding venue, you may be familiar with having to filter through image after image of couple pictures in search of something that truly showcases your incredible venue. Perhaps you feel you’ve fallen victim to a vicious cycle of picking through images that just don’t represent you and your venue. Or, maybe you’re unaware that you’re even doing something wrong, feeling couple shoots are the only way to advertise your venue. Many spectacular venues often allow couple pictures to dominate their marketing and advertising imagery, a mistake that could be fatal in securing you the bookings you are capable of. And, while it is a good idea to utilise couples and their guests to demonstrate how your space may be used, relying on them to sell your venue for you can be a disastrous error. But, what if I were to tell you there was another way? A means of crafting and directing a photoshoot that allows you creative control of the styling and imagery, ensuring your venue will never have to be subject to just being a backdrop ever again. What I’m talking about here are styled photoshoots, something that can be one of your biggest assets in …

Party Season for many, Engagement Season for you

The What’s, When’s and Why’s of Engagement Season So it’s December, Christmas festivities are well under way, the New Year is upon us and Valentine’s Day is looming. It’s busy, slightly overwhelming and for many it’s time to pull on the glad rags and pop open a bottle of champagne – it’s party season after-all! But for those of us in the wedding industry it’s a slightly different story, it’s no time to be letting our hair down but rather time to hunker down and gear up for Engagement Season. Yes, it’s that time of the year again where love is well and truly in the air.  For those unsure or perhaps new to the wedding venue industry, Engagement Season is generally the period surrounding late November to February in which couples are statistically more likely to get engaged. This is mainly due to the number of holidays in these upcoming months where the intoxicating good spirit places friends and families closer to us, generally making it so there’s no better time to pop the question. In fact, some in the industry have even claimed that Engagement Season makes up of up to 50% of your year’s bookings, so it’s …

Wedding Venue Coordinators

There are lots of blog posts out there discussing the difference between wedding planners and wedding coordinators (I’ve written one myself!) However, there is very little written about what makes a good wedding venue coordinator and why so many venues are getting this wrong! After many years as a wedding planner here in Wales, I have worked in countless wedding venues, with myriad venue coordinators – many many fabulously good ones, some who are OK and some who it has to be said, are just terrible!  But is this the main problem? A number of years ago, as alluded to above, I wrote a blog post about the difference between wedding planners and venue coordinators.  At that time, I was finding it increasingly frustrating that couples often said to me “we don’t need a wedding planner, our venue has a coordinator” when I was acutely aware that venue coordinators are responsible for looking after the venue and their priority wasn’t the couple choosing their wedding venue as the place to celebrate the most important day of their lives and they absolutely didn’t do the job that a wedding planner did, whose sole focus was the couple – their clients and …

British Wedding Traditions and the Changing Face of Wedding Culture

It has occurred to me that I have never actually written a blog post about Wedding traditions in the UK! In fact, if I’m honest, the idea has largely come out of a favour my favourite aunt has just asked of me… she’s currently in China on a work trip and is attending a lecture on Chinese wedding culture and been invited to contribute – which if you knew my aunt would make you smile, as her job has no links to the wedding industry at all and to be honest, by her own admission, weddings would probably be one subject she has relatively little interest in (and being a fabulous feminist will totally balk at most of these traditions anyway!)… …hence the favour – could I put together a few slides on UK Wedding culture? But of course! a) because she is my favourite aunty and b) because I love any opportunity to share my wedding expertise with the world 😊 So, here you go, my brief presentation on a few of our British Wedding Traditions and the Changing Face of Wedding Culture, transformed into a blog post just for you: 1) The White Wedding Dress In olden times, …

Wedding Trends for 2019

I am delighted to have been asked to guest blog over the coming months for Weddingbooker.com the online wedding venue search site, offering the UK’s largest list of wedding venues, designed to help you to find, view and book your dream wedding The first of my guest blog posts for them, focuses on the top 7 wedding trends of 2019 and looks at the key wedding colour scheme and wedding themes out there right now, as well as considering some truly awe-inspiring statement wedding cakes, the season’s wedding dresses to die for and of course what’s going on with florals, foliage, trees and the less-traditional choices that are becoming increasingly popular in 2019. And what’s new for 2019? Well the increase in people choosing ethical and eco-conscious alternatives for their big day has unsurprisingly made its presence felt within the wedding industry, as has an increase in personalised and hand-produced wedding stationery and those little personal touches that make the day your own. And I have to finish with my own specialist subject… food! Two words for you: Grazing Tables. Enjoy and see you soon x Image credit: JuJu’s Kitchen

The first 3 things most brides think about for their wedding day…

When you first get engaged and think about everything you need to do, to plan your wedding day, what are the first things that you usually start thinking about, before all else? As a wedding planner, when I sit down with prospective clients, one of the questions I ask them is “what planning have you done to date” and I can pretty much guarantee that these three things are the first things you’ve considered, probably in this order… Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash 1) The Dress Finding THE dress is one of the most loved elements of this whole ‘getting married’ thing! And you are definitely seeking out the perfect number from the word go! There’s no getting away from the fact, that what you wear on your special day is the biggie and you just have to absolutely adore your dress!!! There are oodles of valuable tips when choosing your wedding dress, because ultimately, it’s all about the dress which is why it’s one of the first things you’re thinking about, almost every time! It has to speak to you, express your personality and ultimately, you have to feel a million dollars in it. As far as many of my brides are …

What do couples ask wedding venues before they even visit?

The six top questions couples need answers to, before viewing a wedding venue… When prospective clients contact a wedding venue, there are six key questions that are always on their list, regardless of their style, theme or budget. It doesn’t matter what you think your venue’s key features or selling points are – if they’re not important to the couple who are viewing, put blatantly, they really won’t care, so make sure you address these key questions as an absolute priority on your website for prospective clients to easily find, before they pick up the phone to book a viewing, otherwise you will be wasting their time as well as your own: 1. How many guests can you accommodate? It might sound simple, but if you can only seat 60 for a ceremony or 90 for the wedding breakfast and the interested couple are struggling to bring their daytime numbers anywhere below the 200 mark, they’re not going to book you, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your venue is. So, be clear upfront, what is your ceremony capacity? How many can you seat for the wedding breakfast? And, how many additional guests can they invite to their evening party? 2. …

Wedding Venue Consultancy & On The Day Wedding Venue Management

Once upon a time…. (everyone loves a good fairytale with a happy ending!) I visited a Welsh wedding venue searching for the perfect location for one of my brides’ big days. It was a stunning venue, in a beautiful location – ideal for some incredible photography on the chosen date. It had a huge amount going for it and, like many wedding venues, it was used for alternative events during the week. When I held my initial meeting with the venue director, they explained that they loved hosting weddings but they were struggling to resource it effectively as they not only needed to cover weddings on the weekend, but because they also needed to have enough staff to manage the standard working week. They couldn’t justify taking on another employee, as they only really needed them for wedding season. And so, it created a completely new avenue for Weddings by Zoë… Having understood the requirements, established the service they wanted to offer and the potential volume of events throughout the year, I offered to sub-contract to them – to run their weddings and other special events on their behalf as their on-the-day coordinator – and we all lived happily ever …