Member Focus – Steven Pellier Weddings

30 January, 2015

Today we are delighted to introduce one of our newest Associate Members, Steven Pellier Weddings. We will leave it to Steven to enlighten you ….

Steven Pellier

How did it all start?

After years of planning weddings and events in 5 star hotels and introducing weddings on board luxurious cruise ships, where I used to be a hotel officer, set me off down the path towards owning my own design and planning company.  We started at the end of 2010, mainly in the arena of corporate events, with the odd birthday party and bar mitzvah thrown in for good measure.  In 2013 we changed our focus to the wedding market, which is my real passion, and this is where the company Steven Pellier Weddings was born.

Do you have a favourite venue?

This is a very hard question, as there are so many fabulous venues of differing styles from country houses to city sleek hotels and of course the family home.  For my own personal use, I absolutely adore Claridges in London, for its rich history, architecture and how synonymous it is with the British aristocracy, or Leeds Castle in Kent for its intimacy and privacy (once the day visitors have departed).

How would clients describe you?

Clients would describe me as, creative, well organised with a very keen eye for the finer detail, unflappable, adaptable with a can do now attitude and above all jolly good fun.

Wedding planner/s you admire?

So many wedding planners are absolutely superb but if I can pick two, I would have to say Preston Bailey in the US, who I feel is fantastic and a little closer to home, although internationally renowned, the fabulous Sarah Haywood.

How do you unwind?

I am a little bit of a workaholic and quite a perfectionist, so unwinding does not really feature high up on my checklist, however, settling down to a good house building programme such as Grand Designs usually does the trick, until it finishes and I’m at work again designing my dream home!  Although, I am also quite partial to a sumptuous afternoon tea with a glass or two of champagne – that will usually do the trick as well.

What themes are you working on for 2015/16?

I have a very cool and quirky nautical theme coming up for a gorgeous couple whose life revolves around the sea, which is going to be so elegant and amazing, as well as a couple of monochrome themes, with beautiful accent colours and lots of emphasis around food, with hanging food stations and cakes with all of the flavours you could imagine.

What trends are you seeing?

We are seeing a lot more of our couples really throwing the traditional wedding rule book out of the window, and adopting really fun ideas and concepts which are completely them down to a tee, focusing on their real needs, wants and visions.

Although the pantone colour of the year is Masala, we are seeing a strong emphasis on different shades of grey mixed with pastels, as well as grooms and groomsmen being very bold with colours and mismatched clothing, following on from the trends set by bridesmaids last year.

What is your signature dish?

I have a fabulous and very understanding partner who manages all of my menu choices for me (as I am very lazy in the kitchen).  However, if I were to slave over the Aga, my signature dish would be a very homely Shepherd’s Pie – which for a non-cook tastes amazing!

Whose celebrity wedding (dead or alive) would you love to design?

I personally love pomp, ceremony and traditions, and although I do not class the Royal Family as celebrities, many people do and for that reason I would have loved to have designed the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Going back in time though, it would definitely be the 1953 wedding considered the social event of the season, of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, attended by 700 guests at the ceremony and 1,200 at the reception, which was held on Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy’s family estate and childhood home, Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island.  With Jacqueline’s style, elegance and grace and JFK’s popularity and reputation it would have been an amazing wedding.

Is the job as glamorous as you thought?

Wedding planning and design can be a very glamorous role, but only through putting in a lot of hard work, many hours of your time and generally rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck in.  It is not only glamorous but also incredibly rewarding, when you see how happy you have made your clients, all of their family, friends and colleagues – that is when it becomes truly glamorous.

What is your vice?

Absolutely 100% chocolate, I adore the stuff and cannot get enough of it although my PT is constantly telling me off…. Oh and Champagne of course, especially Krug Grande Cuvée with its deep golden colour and fine bubbles – simply delicious!!

Wedding Coffee Club – 3rd February, Nottingham

26 January, 2015

Just a reminder to those lovely wedding planners and suppliers based in the Nottingham area: the next wedding coffee club meet up, hosted by our fabulous Midlands Ambassador Val of Benessamy Events, will be at the Fat Cat, Sherwood, Nottingham, from 10am to noon on 3rd February.

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As we all know, working in the wedding industry can be isolating, there are days when we want to meet fellow wedding professionals just to talk through the lows and highs of being in this fast paced industry. Of course with the introduction of social media, it can feel like we have colleagues sitting right next to us, but at times we need some face to face chats – not to mention the caffeine! This is why we launched the Wedding Coffee Club November 2014.

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These are held in various locations across the UK, normally attended by a director, regional ambassador or member of the UKAWP. If you plan to attend a date please use #ukawp on social media leading up to the coffee date so we can gauge how many people are expected or drop us an email on info@ukawp.com. There is no charge, and no official booking procedure. Just pop along, grab a coffee and enjoy chatting to local colleagues.

Please be assured you do not need to be a UKAWP member, nor will you be ‘sold to’ in any way.

Future wedding coffee club dates:

  • 3rd February: Fat Cat, Sherwood, Nottingham, 10am-12pm. Valerie from Benessamy Events (Regional Ambassador)
  • 26th March: Camden Bar and Kitchen Westbourne Bournemouth, 10am-12pm. Melanie from Bellissimo Events (Regional Ambassador)
  • April: Anges de Sucre, Kensington 10am-12pm. Andri from Always Andri (Regional Ambassador)
  • 16th April: The Medicine Garden 10am-12pm Kelly from The Bespoke Wedding Co (Ambassador, Special Projects)

 

 

So What are the Benefits of UKAWP Membership?

21 January, 2015

At this time of year many business owners are looking at what changes might best help them develop and augment their businesses over the next year or years. Unsurprisingly here at the UKAWP this translates into our highest number of membership enquiries and applications coming in January.

So, if you are considering applying for membership, but have questions, please grab a coffee and spend a few minutes listening to our Membership Director talk about membership and reading this summary of the benefits…..

Why apply for Membership?

The wedding industry is not only unregulated but it also attracts hundreds of new businesses every year. In order to become and remain competitive you need find ways of demonstrating your professionalism and commitment to providing excellent service.

One way you can do this is to join our ever increasing member base of professional wedding planners and wedding suppliers, demonstrating that your business has passed our rigorous application process.

Many members tell us that their listing on our directory is their main source of client enquiries. We advertise nationally on behalf of the membership, thus driving bridal traffic to our directory where couples can look for members in their area.

OK, So what are the real benefits of membership then?

The main benefit of joining the UKAWP is becoming part of a UK Alliance which is passionate about the industry and which works hard to promote the benefits of hiring a planner for today’s stylish weddings. By being accepted into the Alliance, applicants will have had to prove their experience and knowledge. Promotion up through the various levels of membership, for planners, is based upon members’ continued education, wedding experience and involvement in the UKAWP. Please refer to the application forms [ Membership ] [ Associate Membership ] [ Destination Membership ] [ Wedding Supplier Membership ].

Other Benefits

  • Certificate of membership of the UKAWP to be shown to potential clients
  • Use of well regarded and recognised ‘Associate Member’, ‘Member’, ‘Supreme Member’, ‘Destination Member’, or ‘Wedding Supplier Member’of the UKAWP logo on website, advertising and marketing materials
  • Ability to refer potential clients to the UKAWP Code of Business Practice and application/ promotion process to gain enhanced client confidence
  • Inclusion on the UKAWP online database of member companies. This map-based database is searchable by all visitors to the site and every entry includes a listing in two large geographical areas with company logo, description and full contact details including website (Destination Members listed by country)
  • Increased media awareness of member companies. The UKAWP has links with a variety of media outlets and has an ongoing press and public relations strategy to increase continually the profile of the Alliance within the wedding industry. Journalists are put in touch with members for interview opportunities/coverage on a very regular basis
  • Benefit from the UKAWP’s ongoing advertising plan in wedding media on and offline. Currently this includes key wedding blogs and regular online marketing spend. This alone saves members several hundreds of pounds per annum
  • Personal input into how our bride facing marketing budget is spent annually
  • A voice and seat at our Annual Member Meeting held in May of each year
  • Discounted entry fees to attend any UKAWP meetings, networking events, seminars, workshops or training courses
  • Discounted fees for some of our UKAWP Business Tools
  • UKAWP branded marketing materials such as brochures, pens and pads and collateral available seasonally. Ideal for any exhibitions or events you are organising or attending
  • Access to a network of supportive, approachable and experienced professionals to help, guide and advise on any critical areas of difficulty or concern
  • Access to a network of experienced planners to assist where additional staff are needed at weddings at pre-agreed, competitive rates
  • Access to a network of keen students for ‘shadowing’ opportunities
  • For experienced members and Supreme members, there are sometimes opportunities to mentor students within their first two years of business at pre-agreed rates
  • Access to your local ‘Regional Ambassador’ who will be able to support you with local issues
  • Superb discounts to offer your clients from the UKAWP’s Partners
  • Opportunities to be ‘launched’ as a Member and showcase your work on our Blog, Facebook Page and via Twitter
  • Potential to reduce your annual membership fees via discounts from our ‘Member Get Member’ scheme
  • Discounted online advertising of vacancies in your business
  • Private LinkedIn and Facebook groups to share ideas and concerns and get help from peers

Can I talk to someone before deciding whether to apply?

Of course you can. If you would like to discuss the benefits of membership, which membership type you should apply for or have any other questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact our Membership Director, Sandy Moretta, via membership@ukawp.com or on 01442 828061.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Member Focus – Truly Unique Days

19 January, 2015

Today we are very pleased to introduce to you one of our newest Associate Members, Jayne Hughes of Truly Unique Days . Over to you Jayne ….. 

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How did it all start?

I have for the past 5 years been involved in events and with also being in a job where by I am focused on attention to detail and being organised, I knew I wanted to pursue my dream of being a wedding planner. I love all the planning and the job satisfaction that comes with this. I got married just over 2 years ago and wanted to have a lot of input into our special day. I wanted to ensure I knew what I was doing and decided to complete a diploma in wedding planning to ensure I didn’t miss any crucial parts of the planning. After this I trained with the UKAWP,  I was so inspired with the trainers that I knew this was the job for me.

Do you have a favourite venue?

There are so many venues out there, I will always have a special place in my heart for Llyndir Hall as this is where I got married but one of my recent favourite venues has to be Carden Park in Chester, the shooting lodge is a perfect place for those smaller weddings.

How would clients describe you?

They would say I am flexible, dynamic and friendly, I listen and work to their budget offering them advice and suggestions. I don’t make promises I can’t keep and I am open and honest about what I can and can’t do.

Wedding Planner/s you admire?

Andrea Swift – The northwest wedding planner who trained me, I had the opportunity to work with her at a marquee wedding and I was so inspired on how she portrays herself and how hard she works, I hope I will be as good as Andrea some day.

How do you unwind?

Cuddling up to my husband and watching a good film. I work long hours and it’s nice to come home to him and relax, he is my soul mate.

What themes are you working on for 2015/16?

I like those weddings that are a little different, last year I worked on a wedding that had a Bee theme using the autumn colours – orange, yellow and black and having honey incorporated into cocktails and favours. It was great to work on ideas and provide some personalised ideas. This year, I am working on some ideas for hippy/ boho styled weddings, I like the quirky elements and the natural look. You can have so much fun with this.

What trends are you seeing?

Last year we saw a lot of festival type weddings however, this year I am seeing more hippy/ boho styled themes using feathers, sequins and rustic items,

Floral designs are also becoming more popular and I am seeing a lot of lace wedding gowns again this year.

What is your signature dish?

My signature dish in the wedding world has to be finding the little things that are important to a couple on their big day – giving it a personal touch, I look for the little details that reflect the couple and I do that by talking to them and getting to know them as a couple.

In the food world, I love tapas, trying the different foods in small dishes means I can enjoy trying new foods without the fear of wasting it.

Whose celebrity wedding (dead or alive) would you love to design?

I would have loved to have done Audrey Hepburn’s wedding, she has natural beauty, cosmopolitan and elegant, I would want to create her a stylish but simplistic wedding with lots of personal touches. She was an inspiration and I would have loved to have met her.

Is the job as glamorous as you thought?

It’s hard work, there is a lot of planning and time taken to make it perfect and unique for each client but I love it.  I would not have it any other way. It may not always be glamorous but the job satisfaction I get and seeing how much it means to the couple, makes it all worth it.

What is your vice?

Lol, that is a good question. Tia Maria, it is one of those drinks I shouldn’t have cause it is high in sugar and being diabetic it is not the best drink to have,  but I love the taste and sometimes it’s nice to have a treat.

Thank you so much Jayne – we look forward to seeing some showcase weddings from you as you progress.

Wedding Planning Training with the UKAWP

16 January, 2015

If you are considering a career in wedding planning but wish to learn a little more, here is an explanation on our courses. Our training courses are starting again from February so if you want to join the 60+ professional planners who are our members , not to mention the hundreds of planners we have trained since 2004, then take a look at our training brochure available to download via our website.

Interactive Classroom Courses

We believe the most successful way to learn a new skill is by interacting with like-minded individuals which is why we only run classroom based training. Each tutor has 8-10 years experience enabling them to bring real life scenarios to the classroom and highlight teachings face to face.   If you want to learn how to become a wedding planner then we would love to show you how….to learn a little more view our brochure via our website   .

Business Practicalities

This course is aimed at those wishing to start their own business, if you don’t get the business aspect right, you have an expensive hobby, not a business. Primarily we teach you how to do your research and marketing and how to launch a small business.  We take you through the importance of branding for a wedding planning business from your logo and website to how you communicate via social media.  We talk about the services you might offer and how one should work out your charges, we break this down showing you how to ensure your fees are realistic. One element that is always popular is the mock consultations we undertake with the students, this gives students the chance to understand how important it is to ask the right questions in a consultation.  Be warned this can be an intense course and your head will be spinning!

Business Practicalities

London – 7th & 8th February 2015
Birmingham – 11th & 12th April 2015
London – 16th & 17th May 2015

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Step By Step

This course literally teaches you how to plan a wedding from the moment you have been hired. We go through how to create a client budget and work out what % of the budget should go on certain areas. We advise how to create payment plans for clients and what to do if you have a client bank account. We show you examples of the different ceremonies in the UK and how etiquette plays a part in today’s weddings, albeit in a modern way. Then its time to discuss suppliers from how to find them to what questions to ask. The final part of the weekend takes you through the day from the ceremony up until the evening entertainment.

Step by Step

London – 14th & 15th March 2015
Birmingham – 9th & 10th May 2015

What is the Cost?

Each weekend course costs £540 if paid in full or £600 in instalments complete with lunch both days and full course notes for you to take away. We also send you downloadable templates to use in your new wedding planning business.

 

For further details, please contact Bernadette on 01376 561544 or training@ukawp.com

 

Photo Credit

Lloyd Dobbie