#SBScontributor Pippa Mackenzie

28 November, 2014

Continuing our introduction to the many talented industry experts that contribute to our popular “step by Step” course, today I’m going to introduce you to Pippa Mackenzie Photography who has reviewed our photography chapter. You can see further experts here.


How did it all start?
I began my career as a documentary TV producer, director and stills photographer for Discovery Channel. It included a year of travelling around the world on my own on various assignments filming and photography. I then went onto spend three years producing and co-directing a double BAFTA award winning children’s wildlife series. It was when Ian and I got engaged that I changed direction into wedding photography and I have never looked back. Over the last nine years, we have built up our business to being one of the UK’s leading documentary wedding photography teams.

How do clients describe you?
That’s a hard question to answer but I think above all our clients see us as warm, friendly and professional.

How do you unwind?
Spending time as a family is the best thing in the world. We have a 2 year old daughter and there is nothing I love more than heading down to the beach and paddling in the sea with her.

What changes have occurred in the photography industry since you launched?
The industry has become far more saturated since we started in 2005 and there is a greater need than ever to stand out from the crowd. To thrive as a wedding photographer it’s more and more important to be unique and offer the best products and service you can.

What trends have you seen this year / are working on next year?
To be honest we actively avoid following trends when it comes to weddings as it’s important for our photography to be as timeless as possible. Obviously the biggest trend in wedding photography over the last 5 years has been “vintage”. I’m not sure if this is close to running its course but we are seeing signs that brides and grooms are getting tired it.

What is your vice?
The dancing shots at the end of the night. I absolutely love dancing and I often get carried away with the music. I pretty much always end up in the centre of the dance floor soaking up the high energy. It does make for some great shots and some of my favourite photographs of a wedding come from this time of the day.

Changes to marriage and civil preliminary notifications – Changes from March 2015

26 November, 2014

For anyone who has not already seen the upcoming changes, please note this release from the Home Office….

The Government has announced changes to the process for giving notice of marriage or civil partnership to come into effect from Monday 2 March 2015.  From this date, the notice period for all couples wishing to marry following civil preliminaries or form a civil partnership in England and Wales will be extended from 15 days to 28 days.The changes, which are part of the Immigration Act 2014, will ensure that the Home Office has more time to identify and investigate suspected sham marriages and civil partnerships.For couples involving a non-EEA (European Economic Area) national, where the Home Office suspects the couple are not genuine the notice period may be extended to 70 days to enable the Home Office to interview the couple and take further action as necessary.

As well as the increase in the notice period registration officials have additional powers to share information to make sure appropriate action can be taken against couples suspected of being involved in a sham marriage.

Couples seeking to get married in the Anglican Church where one or both is from outside the EEA will need to undertake civil preliminaries and give notice at a register office.

Couples who give notice of a marriage or civil partnership before 2 March 2015 will not be affected by the changes.

We would be grateful for your help in raising awareness of these new requirements by utilising your communication channels to ensure your stakeholders, members and clients are aware.

To find out further information about the changes please visit the following address: https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships/giving-notice-at-your-local-register-office

Northern Mix and Mingle – 4th November 2014

24 November, 2014

Today we’d like to introduce Andrea & Emma’s delightful report of the Northern Mix & Mingle event earlier this month…..

PicMonkey Collage

This year our Northern Mix and Mingle event was held at the fabulous new venue member Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire.

It was organised by the lovely Emma from Emma-Jane Weddings and our wonderful Northern Ambassador Andrea from Fabulous Day.

PicMonkey Collage2

As Carden Park had recently joined the UKAWP as a wedding supplier member, it was a great opportunity to showcase their venue to planners and suppliers from all over the North West. As it was bonfire night eve, we decided on an autumnal/bonfire theme and Carden Park helped us get in the mood with warming Winter Pimms and non alcoholic hot toddy as guests arrived, followed by lots of delicious bonfire night inspired canapés! We even had toffee apples for guests to get stuck into on the way home!

Their Shooting Lodge was bathed in soft orange light from the uplighters kindly provided by Hipswing, chairs were dressed with orange and brown sashes provided by Ann from Sugar and Spice and we had fabulous autumnal table centres from Lisa from Red Door Designs. Our entertainment was courtesy of Under The Covers, a fantastic wedding band, who kindly supplied one of their keyboard players, who helped create the perfect atmosphere for the evening. We also had a roaming close up magician John Holt, who kept guests laughing as he worked his magic on them.

PicMonkey Collage4

The Word is Love provided us with our very own light up UKAWP! Awesome! And as you will see our fab photographer for the evening Caroline White made full use of these!! All the ladies attending (and gents if they really wanted) were invited to have a little pampering courtesy of Sam the chief Make Up Artist for award winning Flossy and Leigh. Outside, setting the scene we had a gorgeous vintage Daimler from Chester Wedding Cars.

Duane from County Brides Magazine supplied us all with their latest edition so we could keep up with all the wedding news in the North West.

Huge thanks to all the wonderful suppliers who contributed to make the evening so special, and to all those attended, including our very own Sandy for making the journey North! (Ladies it was a pleasure – thanks so much for organising). It was great to see everyone, see you next year!

Andrea and Emma xx

#SBScontributor Sternberg Clarke

21 November, 2014

Continuing our introduction to the many talented industry experts that contribute to our popular “step by Step” course, today I’m going to introduce you to Chloe from Sternberg Clarke . You can see further experts here.


How did it all start?

Founded by Adam Sternberg and Duncan Clarke, initially the businesses’ main focus was to provide resident pianists for premier hotels around London. It quickly expanded to booking other types of musicians for hotels all over the UK and abroad.

Having seen a great success here, the duo then turned their focus back to London, however this time, expanded their roster of musicians past just pianists — into three piece bands and musical ensembles — which then led to booking a slew of other types of entertainment and managing all kinds of performers and artists from music to magic and everything in between.

Sternberg Clarke works with a variety of corporate, wedding, and private clients — producing stunning entertainment for almost any kind of event. You can see all about us here!

How do clients describe you?

Well you’d have to ask them yourself! No really, we pride ourselves on both our level of expertise in the event entertainment business and our customer service.

We regularly receive compliments in all different manners – from emails back and forth to tweets posted to us online – and we’re proud to receive them each and every time. It’s always rewarding getting a thank you card!

How do you unwind?

Well how does anyone else in the music and events industry unwind? Karaoke!

What changes have occurred in the industry since Sternberg launched

It’s quite interesting to see the rise of experiential marketing! Over the last few years, brands have realised the value of entertaining experiences over the usual forms of advertising to sell their products and services.

The event industry has also definitely taken it upon itself to be at the forefront of pioneering new approaches – after all, the end result has to be on providing the absolute best experience possible and what better way to do that than be ahead of the curve on everything? So many new tech products such as smartphones and tablets have been thrust into the spotlight – so much so that they’ve become an integral part of the actual production process.

Any trends for entertainment for 2015?

Trends in entertainment constantly change so you’ll also find that acts have incorporated novel uses of technology into their acts – for example a magician that uses an iPad, bands that use tablet devices, dancers that use projection mapping and so many more cool new ways that we’ve barely scratched the surface – it’s really cool and we’re constantly on the look out for the next big thing so to speak.

For 2015, we will probably see a rise in the Brazilian themed entertainment. After the world cup and in the lead up to the Olympics in 2016, Brazil is well and truly in the spotlight at the moment! We have seen a recent influx of enquiries from clients who are looking to inject their event with some of that carnival atmosphere that’s synonymous with Brazil.

What music do you listen to?

Short answer again? Lots.

In this industry it would be a terrible idea to listen to only one genre! Luckily the team in our office all have such an eclectic taste on music that it’s so easy to get good recommendations on what works.

How can one entertain you?!

A cheese cart, some wine and Rihanna on karaoke!

Sternberg Clarke

Thank you Chloe, look out for more #SBScontributors next week and to learn more about what this course entails read on…

What is the Step by Step course?

This course is all about how to plan a wedding once you’ve been hired as a wedding planner (or indeed venue co-ordinator) 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.

For more Information

To download our brochure or find out about remaining dates for 2014 pop onto our website, dates for 2015 will be released shortly.


Business Mentoring and Hotline Support for Wedding Planners

19 November, 2014

At this time of year many planners are starting to work on their marketing for the coming year but are unsure on how to produce an actionable plan. Or perhaps have gained new clients whose weddings are a bit more complex then those they have organised in the past ( a new type of venue, a marquee reception, an outdoor ceremony, a supplier type they don’t know how to source confidently, to name but a few.)

It is for this reason we offer 2 services to guide and support these planners.

1 Years Mentoring – £500

The UKAWP year Mentoring Scheme gets excellent feedback from those who have been a part of it.

It is available to anyone who has completed one of our courses and all members. This way we know that you have covered the basics and we will not simply repeat the course.

The service costs £500 for the year, however we offer a 10% discount to those signing up within 6 months of attending either the Business Practicalities or Step By Step training course.

You will be allocated one of the Directors or Regional Ambassadors as your Mentor for a year, during which you will have three face to face meetings of up to two hours, tailored specifically to your Company and your individual needs, along with reasonable  email and telephone support throughout the year.

Business Hotline – £60

We appreciate that not everyone will require our full annual mentoring service which is why we launched this ‘business support hotline’ which is chargeable at £60 per hour. This will entitle you to spend time by phone/email obtaining the advice of one of the directors, or highly experienced members, on any areas of concern.

This service is available to those who have completed the UKAWP Business Practicalities or Step by Step training courses and to all UKAWP members.


You do not need to be a UKAWP Member to take advantage of these service(s) and you may begin before or after launch.

If you have any queries about the Mentoring Scheme please contact Bernadette Chapman at training@ukawp.com or on 01376 561544.