Showcase Wedding – Isabel Smith Weddings

22 August, 2014

I’m delighted to share with you today a wedding organised by the lovely Isabel from Isabel Smith Weddings who is also one of our long term members.

Louisa and Dominic’s wedding was a pretty, country affair which took place at The Olde Bell in Hurley in May 2013.

L&D get readyA first for me was a short wedding dress on a client – Louisa looked stunning in hers.

Since Louisa’s family are Jewish, we arranged a Jewish blessing to follow the civil ceremony – complete with kippahs for all the male guests and a glass smash.

L&D ceremonyThey had selected a (dare I say it?!) ‘vintage’ theme for the day.  I am not actually a huge fan of this style overall, but the key escort cards and absolutely incredible floral displays by the ever-so-talented Philippa Craddock did look fab.

L&D details 2

L&D detail 2

L&D brk

Whilst the guests enjoyed absolutely perfectly cooked lamb (I was really impressed by the team at The Olde Bell – it wasn’t an easy time for the business since it was for sale at the time, but they really did us proud!), we got ‘The Great Wedding Bake-off’ set-up.  Louisa and Dom had asked every guest to bring a cake or cupcakes could act as a wedding cake.  The best entry was crowned, and cut, as the wedding cake.

L&D cakes

The highlight for me (beyond the cakes!) was the band – I had worked with Get Funked before and they are an absolute delight!  

L&D evening

Photographer –

Venue –

Florist –

Band –





My top 5 mistakes, and what you should learn from them! – Part 4

20 August, 2014

One of our long term members, Isabel Smith has frequently written informative posts for our blog on life as a wedding planner. Last year she wrote an excellent one on valuing your worth as a wedding planner. In this new series for the UKAWP she is discussing her top 5 mistakes and how you can learn from them.

Part 4 of my tour of shame!

TOP MISTAKE NO 2: Taking on too much – and having to do it ALL myself

I am just going to dive in here.  I took on too many weddings last year.

My decision wasn’t purely motivated by greed – only partly.  You know how it is, you are so scared the phone will never ring again, you wouldn’t dream of saying no to a potential client.

Well, let me tell you, it is all fun and games until you’ve been working until 3am every day for a month, are still playing catch up and arguably not giving your A game across the board (and yes, your clients will – and in my case did – notice!).  And those teensy, easy weddings you ‘slot in’ amongst the millions of others might just not turn out to be so easy!

So, lesson 1, know your limits.  Both in terms of time (I don’t have a husband or kids myself, but if I had, they definitely would have left me!), but also energy (funnily enough, I got ill A LOT last year).

I am also a total control freak.  Yes – aren’t we all – it is one of the characteristics of a wedding planner and a business owner, but come on people, it is possible to get help.

When drowning, the best thing I did was employ some other Alliance members to take on some tasks for me (and in one case, to actually take one entire wedding off my hands).  I went from trying to write and action the worlds longest to do list each day (and juggling the priorities within) to having 30 minute team meeting calls each day and finding the list actually get shorter.  No – not everyone does things the way you do, but no, that doesn’t mean they do it worse or can’t help you!

Delegation is king!  Simply accepting you aren’t actually superwoman and are subject to the same 24hours in a day as everyone else also helps!

 Taking on too much

Associate Membership of the UKAWP

18 August, 2014

Are you a fairly new wedding planner and unsure whether you are eligible to apply for Associate Membership? Here at UKAWP HQ we get lots of phone calls and emails from planners with a variety of questions, so we thought we would try to answer the main ones here…..


‘I’ve trained with xx company, is this a course you accept?’

Aside from our own Business Practicalities and Step by Step courses we review those courses run by other providers regularly and accept applications from those who have completed a course with particular organisations. The list of courses we currently accept can be found under the heading ‘Associate Membership’ here.


‘I’ve been in the events industry for years: do I still have to do a course?’

We accept applications from planners who have been in a full time, 100% events or wedding planning position for a minimum of two years without the need for additional training. We do however need proof in the form of employer references.

That said, many who have been in events rather than weddings still choose to attend one of our weekend courses which are entirely wedding planning orientated.

‘I’ve trained with the UKAWP/ a UKAWP approved course, so what else do you need from me when I apply?’

We need to see a copy of your Public Liability Insurance document and your training certificate (if you trained elsewhere).

We also need you to fill in our simple, online Application Form. Simply click on the ‘Associate Membership’ link.

In addition we review your website (this can be a test site if you are hoping to launch as an Associate Member). We look particularly for the following:

  • compliance with our Code of Business Practice
  • overall quality in terms of spelling and grammar plus branding*
  • a well constructed site with all the information required for your target audience

* If we feel unable to accept your business initially based on your branding we offer a branding discussion or in some cases Workshop

If you have other queries, or would simply like to talk about the possibility of applying and the benefits to you as a business, please don’t hesitate to contact Sandy on or 01442 828061.

If your questions are more to do with setting up a business in your particular geographic area, you may also wish to contact your local Regional Ambassador. Email addresses and regions are listed below:

  • London & SE or
  • North             
  • Midlands       
  • South West   

We look forward to hearing from you.

Photo Credit: Lloyd Dobbie 



Hoax / Scam Emails sent to the wedding industry

We haven’t posted any scam emails for quite a while but this one was sent into us recently and as we are in the midst of wedding season I thought it was an ideal time to remind you to be vigilant. If in doubt check our past scams here, or do an internet search on the persons name or – contact the directors at the UKAWP.


I am contacting you with respect to my wedding

dinner party scheduled to hold on the 24th August 2014.Kindly confirm that we can use your facility for the wedding dinner party scheduled to  start from 7.30 pm – 11.00pm. Please note that we have a capacity of 50guests.

Below is the list of services that we are interested in,

- location for the wedding ceremony

- location for the wedding and reception.

- Wedding cakes and Flower decorations

- coverage

- DJ Sound

The Dinner Budget is at the range of  17,000 GBP for now and it remains very flexible pending our final conclusion. Please do let me have the details of all i should know so we can make about the services you can provide as regards the arrangement. Estimates and calculations should be based on the quoted budget.

Bradley Lewis

Training to become a wedding planner

15 August, 2014

It’s not long before our Autumn training courses commence. If you want to train to become a wedding planner, and start getting weddings in 2015, then we’d love to see you on one of our 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 approx. 11 years experience enabling them to bring real life scenarios to the classroom and highlight teachings face to face.

Kelly Chandler

We pride ourselves on our honesty and immense enthusiasm at wanting you to succeed. We want you to enter this vibrant industry with the knowledge necessary to be successful. We dispel some of the common myths that new planners make when launching their business and hopefully stop you spending thousands of pounds on unnecessary marketing.

In our courses we encourage interaction with our students, we ask probing questions to see what the wedding planning market is like in their area. By discussing price strategies openly we help you create a formula to ensure our business is run profitably. We could list the benefits of classroom teaching but instead have a read of this blog post by Dan Tobin a business coach in the U.S.

Autumn Dates

Business Practicalities

23rd & 24th August 2014 – London
 (only a few spaces remaining)

4th & 5th October 2014 – Cheshire

1st & 2nd November 2014 – Northamptonshire

6th & 7th December 2014 – London

Step by Step

27th & 28th September 2014 – London

29th & 30th November – Northamptonshire

What is the cost?

The cost for each course is £600 (when paid in 3 installments) or £540 if paid in full when booking

Early Payment Discount

What is included?

• Full lunch & refreshments on both days

• Concise bound notes to take away

• Certificate of attendance

• Logo to use on future marketing material

• Downloadable link of relevant templates

Bigger & Better

We believe it is our responsibility to give you the latest information relating to the wedding planning industry which is why the course content is updated every year and sometimes twice a year.

Business Practicalities

This course is aimed at those wishing to start their own business. Primarily your research and marketing before moving onto the type of services you wish to offer and how to decide what to charge. We take you through the importance of branding for a small business and how you need to think about this in everything you do. We even go through formulas to use within your business to make sure you aim for profit in every booking you take. 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. And finally we go through how to produce your proposal.

Step by Step

The second course we run is “Step by Step”, so assuming you’ve been hired what do you do next? How do you manage their budget? How would you source a venue or supplier and how would you negotiate with them? What elements are important when researching into suppliers and what questions do you need to ask? We go through the most popular ceremony types in the UK and explain the legalities and running order for each type. We then take you through the day itself guiding you through the ceremony, drink reception, wedding breakfast and evening reception.

How to register

To register please complete our booking form which will then take you to the payment page

Bonus Offer

Voucher Image

Why train with us?

Don’t underestimate how lonely running your own business is.  The UKAWP courses give you a ready made network of people to call upon on those days when everything seems to be going wrong, or people to share the joys with when you sign up lots of clients! Nikki from I Do Designer Weddings

The fact that it was face to face was the main reason i chose the UKAWP course over others.  Also the fact that I would get to spend the entire weekend with a ‘real life’ planner!  I felt an intense course from someone actually doing the job would be much more beneficial that a course that ran over several weeks/months with a tutor that I might never actually meet. Caroline from Caroline Gould Weddings

The UKAWP is a fantastic support network and provides me with the opportunity to network with like minded individuals and meet new industry suppliers as well as the opportunity to attend training courses and specialised events to ensure that I keep abreast of the latest industry trends. Katrina from Katrina Otter Weddings

For more Information

To understand more about the courses we run please download our brochure. To register complete our booking form here which will then take you to the online payment page.

Still unsure whether or not this is the right course for you? Contact Bernadette who can give you details of our many successful past students to clarify any grey areas.

Photo Credit:  Reportage By

The member shown is – Kelly Chandler, The Bespoke Wedding Co