The Truly Marvellous Wedding Fair : 3rd May 2015

24 April, 2015

On the 3rd May UKAWP Director Bernadette Chapman will have the honour of judging the “Best Stand” at the The Truly Marvellous Wedding Fair in Suffolk. She will be looking for the stand that is the most visually attractive using creative ideas to display the service or product.  The stand that best communicates their brand with the best use of promotional materials, customer service and engagement with visitors. 

2015 FAIR POSTER - front

Co-Organised by member, and winner of “Best National Independent Wedding PlannerCaroline Gould along with Kenton Hall Estate, The Truly Marvellous Wedding Fair will take place  from 10am to 4pm at Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham (IP14 6JU).

Kenton Hall Estate is a unique and creative space that provides the perfect atmosphere for the fair. The fair is set within the grounds encompassing the glamping and woodland blessing setting as well as the lawns and gardens.

The fair will feature a ‘Truly Marvellous’ wedding forum with Caroline, fabulous fashion shows, mock woodland blessings, street food, wine tasting, farm tours, live music, Cragg Sister’s woodland tearoom and of course the opportunity to meet the best and most creative wedding suppliers in Suffolk.

EQ4A0656-Edit

The fair is sponsored by Toni & Guy, Kenton Hall Estate, Caroline Gould Weddings & Dreamwave Events

More information

Can be found in their online magazine – : http://trulymarvellousweddings.co.uk/2015/03/19/truly-marvellous-fair-magazine/

Member Focus – Something White

22 April, 2015

Today we are pleased to introduce you to new Associate Member Sarah Kirby who runs Something White. Over to you Sarah…

Head Shot

How did it all start?

Being a project manager for over 8 years meant I was organising every element of a project, to ensure it went smoothly and delivered on time. As much as this is what I love to do, it’s not so fun when it’s time critical bids and proposals in the City. So this is where the idea of wedding planning came in…practicing what I am good at, but on a much prettier and rewarding project.

Do you have a favourite venue?

Anywhere unexpected, and anywhere you can pitch a teepee / marque and make it look magical for the night.

How would clients describe you?

I think I’d be described as extremely organised and friendly. Fun to work with and very reliable.

Wedding planner/s you admire?

Mindy Weiss from the US…her portfolio amazes me!

How do you unwind?

Long walks with Albert and Marley, (our 2 bichon frise), and my fiancé. I’m a big yoga fan which helps me to unwind, and I drink way too much tea…builders, green, mint…anything goes. Oh and not forgetting the odd vino with my girlfriends!

What themes are you working on for 2015/16?

Boho Chic. Think: Coachella style. Bright and festive colours, with a hippy vibe.

What trends are you seeing?

Putting a twist on the traditional…Maid of Honor speech perhaps?

Single flower arrangements…very cute!

Go pro cameras being used as wedding videos…genius!

What is your signature dish?

My attention to detail…I have a keen eye for those little finishing touches that make all the difference.

In the kitchen…I bake the best ever brownies!

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

I think Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s wedding would have been fun, being the stylish couple that they are. They wed in London and then had a vow-renewal ceremony in LA…that would give me two weddings to design in two great cities.

Is the job as glamorous as you thought?

I didn’t really expect wedding planning to be glamorous, there’s a lot of admin involved. But I love every second of it, it is such a rewarding job.

What is your vice?

Chocolate digestives….the WHOLE pack with a cuppa tea!

UKAWP Membership Series – What are Member Levels One to Three?

20 April, 2015

Today is the next in our series reviewing the various types of membership available within the UKAWP.

If you missed our post explaining Associate Membership last week, you can find it here.

Our membership is a points based system which planners move up through over time as a result of undertaking ongoing training (both with us and elsewhere), running their businesses and, of course, organising weddings.

MemberL1

What are the criteria for becoming Member Level One or above?

Most members begin as Associate Members then move up the points system to Member Level One and onwards.

Member Level One requires a member to have gained 11+ points and to have organised at least one Full Plan.

Client and supplier references are also required: this differs from Associate Membership which newly trained, new businesses can apply for.

Points can be accumulated quickly via continued training (both our own courses and workshops and other relevant industry or business ones) attendance at and involvement in events and planning weddings. There is no specific period of time to wait to move from one level to the next, but members do also earn points for the length of time they have been in business, and been members.

Member Level Two requires 31+ and Member Level Three 61+ points.

Can I apply for Member Level One without having started as an Associate Member?

Yes, planners can do this, however it is rare that they will meet the points criteria, unless they have been in business for many years.

Are there other criteria?

Yes, those applying for Member Level One must meet all the criteria required of all planner members…

Website: Aside from the training, experience and points you need to have your website launched, as Directors will review your site to ensure it meets certain standards, including branding. We will provide you with constructive feedback which is aimed at giving you the best opportunity to continue to run a successful business.

Insurance: You need to have Public Liability Insurance in place.

Contract: We need assurance that you have legally binding Terms & Conditions in place, as this protects both you and your clients. We do offer a set of Terms & Conditions for sale should you need to purchase some.

How do I apply?

The application form for Membership is a very simple, online form.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to membership, all of which you can find listed in our Membership Brochure, however the key benefits include:

  • listing on our site
  • ongoing bride facing advertising campaign (this alone can save members several hundred  pounds per annum)
  • many PR opportunities (we are the first port of call for much of the media and we send all members media requests)
  • private LinkedIn and Facebook groups for members to help each other out away from public social media
  • reduced rates for all events and training

Please refer to the Brochure for the full list.

How much does it cost?

Membership is £320 per annum.

A couple of recent reviews from some of our Members…

‘A delight to be associated with such a professional and supportive organisation.’ Melanie Kiani – Bellissimo Weddings

‘A fabulous supportive organisation to be part of which promotes the kind of professional approach to wedding planning that I think all clients deserve.’ - Benessamy Wedding & Event Planning

We very much hope this has answered your main questions, but if you have others, or simply wish to have a chat about whether Associate, or other Membership is for you, please contact our Membership Director Sandy on 01442 828061 or email membership@ukawp.com.

 

 

 

Northern UKAWP Bridal Boutique Workshop

16 April, 2015

Whilst many people saw the eclipse across the UK recently, some of our Northern wedding planners were getting ready to attend a meet up at Bridal Haven in Tarporley, Cheshire to do what we do best, i.e. ‘talk about weddings!’ …and, on this occasion, how we could help brides select their wedding dresses.

IMG_0017

Organised by Northern Regional Ambassador Andrea at Fabulous Day, we met up with Debbie and Olivia from Better Together Weddings, Emma Jane from Emma Jane Wedding and Event Management, Helen Eriksen and myself, Jayne from Truly Unique Days.

Bridal Haven is owned by Kate Elizabeth who opened up her bridal boutique in October 2012. She shared her passion for the British designers she stocks which include Lyn Ashworth, Sassi Holford, So Sassi, Stephanie Allin and a new collection called Stella York; she loves the short lead times, high quality service and fantastic designs these fabulous designers offer.

We found out about the amazing bridal experience that Kate offers all her brides; she offers an appointment only, one to one service so brides have the time to relax, enjoying a glass of Prosecco and some nibbles when they arrive and then can take their time browsing and trying on dresses. Who wouldn’t want to have service like that!

IMG_0028

In addition Kate offers an alteration service, so any dress can be altered to fit each and every bride, whether they wanted to slightly change the design, add some design creations or simply alter the length and size.

We learnt about the difference between made to order and made to measure, and the likely cost implications.

Then our very own Emma Jane from Emma Jane Wedding & Event Management got to be our model to demonstrate some of the dresses, personally I think she enjoyed being the trial bride!

IMG_0021

So what should a Wedding Planner advise his or her bride to do before going for their dress trials?

  1. It is best not to bring lots of people with you when dress shopping as this can distract you from finding the perfect dress and style for you. Bring 1-2 people with you who you can trust to tell you their opinion but allow you to make up your own mind.
  2. Try lots of styles of dress, you may be surprised about what suits you best and makes you feel bridal!
  3. If you have them, take your wedding shoes, this will give you a good idea of the length you will need your dress to be.
  4. Take advice about your wedding underwear and only buy after you have your dress.
  5. Be aware that most dresses in Bridal shops are a size 12-14 or bigger, so the sample dress may not fit, but the bridal shop can clamp your dress to show how it will look on you if you are smaller.
  6. If you decide on a corseted dress, then get whoever will be helping you into the dress to take a video of how to fasten this up correctly, they will need to practise the fastening of this!

What about Bridesmaid dresses at the Bridal Haven?

Kate Elizabeth has a collection of Multi wrap Bridesmaid’s dresses by Eliza & Ethan and Nicki Macfarlane, Olivia from Better Together trialled one the Eliza dresses which could be worn 22 different ways, is available in 20 different colours and fits up to a size 20, the perfect dress for all Bridesmaids!

IMG_0034 IMG_0035

As wedding planners, it was important for us to gain an understanding about the Pre-care and after-care of the wedding dresses and Kate gave us a master class in how to look after the gowns and some handy hints and tips about how to deal with any unfortunate incidents.

So after a jam packed morning we then got to meet and have an informal chat with some like minded people involved in the Wedding Industry , we met local suppliers Victoria Spencer of The Makeup Cheshire, Alex of Alexandra & Camilla’s, James Arnold of James Arnold Photography and Charlotte of The Little Potting Shed. With such a range of services, it was a pleasure to meet everyone and talk about their business.

IMG_0037

And of course a planner meet up would not be complete without a Prosecco lunch! We ate at a modern, glamorous and contemporary Italian bar and restaurant called The Coast in Tarporley, a perfect finish to a great morning.

We love talking Weddings, making connections and, being part of the UKAWP just shows our commitment to the Wedding Industry. For more details click UKAWP.

 

 

UKAWP Membership Series: What is Associate Membership?

13 April, 2015

Membership of the UKAWP is growing, both here in the UK and abroad, which is great news for UK couples embarking on their wedding planning as they have more and more choice of professional member planners.

Over the past couple of months, we have had many conversations with businesses keen to apply for membership and we’re conscious that the same questions tend to arise. With this in mind, we will look at each membership type in turn over the next few weeks, in the hope of answering your queries. We start with Associate Membership…

AssociateMember

Associate Membership of the UKAWP is where most wedding planner members begin. Our membership is a points based system which planners move up through over time as a result of undertaking ongoing training (both with us and elsewhere), running their businesses and, of course, organising weddings.

Who can apply?

Wedding Planners can apply for Associate Membership if they have attended one of our Business Practicalities or Step By Step training courses or completed another of the training courses we recognise, a list of which can be found on our Membership page.

If you have not attended one of the above courses, but can provide proof of having spent a minimum of two years in a 100% focussed event management role, you may also apply.

What are the other criteria?

Website: Aside from the training and/ or experience outlined above you need to have your website either launched, or ready to launch, as Directors will review your site to ensure it meets certain standards, including branding. We will provide you with constructive feedback which is aimed at giving you the best opportunity to launch, or continue to run, a successful business.

Insurance: You need to have Public Liability Insurance in place.

Contract: We need assurance that you have legally binding Terms & Conditions in place, as this protects both you and your clients. We do offer a set of Terms & Conditions for sale should you need to purchase some.

How do I apply?

The application form for Associate Membership is a very simple, online form.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits to membership, all of which you can find listed in our Membership Brochure, however the key benefits include:

  • listing on our site
  • ongoing bride facing advertising campaign (this alone can save members several hundred  pounds per annum)
  • many PR opportunities (we are the first port of call for much of the media and we send all members media requests)
  • private LinkedIn and Facebook groups for members to help each other out away from public social media
  • reduced rates for all events and training

Please refer to the Brochure for the full list.

How long are businesses Associate Members for?

This varies a lot. When you first apply and are accepted, you will be allocated a number of points. You receive points on application in different ways, including training courses completed, years in business, weddings planned etc.

You remain an Associate Member until you have 11 points and have completed at least one fully planned wedding.

Points can be accumulated quickly if you continue your training, attend and get involved in events and plan weddings. There is no specific period of time to wait to move to the next level, which is what we call Member Level One.

How much does it cost?

Associate Membership is £320 per annum.

A couple of recent reviews from some of our Associate Members…

‘I completed both training courses and I am now an Associate Member. In a few months of launching my business it is going from strength to strength and I couldn’t have done it without the support of the Alliance. Plus I’ve met some amazing people!’ Charlotte Lodey, Eve Wedding Design

‘Such a great organisation to be part of. There is always support when you need it. It gives my clients confidence that they recruited the services of someone who takes their role as a Wedding Planner seriously.’ Emily Andrew, Your Norfolk Wedding

We very much hope this has answered your main questions, but if you have others, or simply wish to have a chat about whether Associate, or other, Membership is for you, please contact our Membership Director Sandy on 01442 828061 or email membership@ukawp.com.