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

27 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.

If you’ve caught the series, you will know I am on a mission to out myself by showcasing my biggest business errors so that you don’t ever have to.

We are here, at the number 1 top spot.  It’s a mistake so often made, and so often referenced by the wonderful Alliance team, but it just can’t be said enough!

TOP MISTAKE NO 1: Not trusting my instincts

People who run successful businesses all have, to some degree, strong instincts.  You have to – there are certain things that just can’t be taught (plenty that can though so we should all be reading and learning as much as we can!).

Well, with almost no exception, every time I have ignored my instincts, I have come to regret it.  There are too many examples to give to be honest so I’ll just pick one:

We have all doubtless taken on weddings we wish we hadn’t.  One springs to mind.  I left the consultation really feeling like I understood the brief but there was this little niggle.  They just weren’t my sort of people.  I don’t mean that in the ‘Stoke Park got caught being snobby about the ‘quality’ of their clients’ way.  I just mean there was a mis-match between my target market, what they said they wanted and who they were.  Funnily enough, it turned into a total nightmare.  Nothing I presented them with was right or good enough, nothing I said seemed to make any sense to them and certainly none of the reasons they gave me for dismissing my suggestions made any sense to me.  It was just a communication nightmare and the whole process was utterly un-enjoyable for everyone.  I definitely should have listened to that niggle and never should have taken the wedding on!

Instincts

Have a little faith folks!  You can’t possibly get everything right (so give yourself a break), but if it really feels wrong, it probably is.

Train to become A Wedding Planner

25 August, 2014

Are you enjoying the Summer but not looking forward to getting stuck back into the  next project or tasks in your current work? Perhaps you are in the world of weddings or events but long to be your own boss?

If so, why not consider attending one of our small, classroom based courses this Autumn and learn how to launch your very own wedding planning business?

We have ladies and gents of all ages, from all walks of life and current or previous careers join our courses and the feedback we get is excellent.

Students invariably state that they especially enjoyed learning from experienced, working wedding planners (we give you the benefit of years of experience – warts and all!) and learning with like minded people from whom, inevitably, they also learn and make friends and colleagues as they move into the next stage of their business.

Many have done some research but have yet to launch, some have launched but want to ensure they are on the right path and others have yet to begin their research.

We don’t mind what stage you are at. We love helping you on the journey and answering your questions in our highly interactive weekend courses.

We have two courses. The first is ‘Business Practicalities’ which takes you through all you need to do to launch and promote your business without spending unnecessary funds on things we know don’t work well in our market. The second is ‘Step by Step’ which assumes you have your first client and takes you through every element of actually pulling the wedding together.

For more details please see our Training page or contact our Education Director Bernadette on 01376 561544 or training@ukawp.com.

 

 

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 – http://raphaeloglaza.com

Venue – http://www.theoldebell.co.uk

Florist – http://philippacraddock.com

Band – http://www.getfunked.com

 

 

 

 

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