Member Focus – Hang The Moon

3 March, 2015

This morning we are pleased to introduce you to one of our Wedding Supplier Members, Mark Buchanan of Hang The Moon. Over to you Mark…

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How did it all start?

My fascination with the moving image started very early, probably from the age of 10. I wanted to be a wildlife cameraman!

Jumping forward I have been in the media and production industry for over 10 years, starting at Abbey Road studios and then ending my “employee” career working for a company that worked closely with the film industry - this saw me film those big movie red carpet events you see on TV.

Do you have a favourite wedding supplier?

I have to work closely with photographers and events planners and I’ve been fortunate to work with some great people. On the planning side, Isabel Smith (Isabel Smith Wedding Design) and Anna MacDougall (Bride & Glory) have that perfect combination of being extremely talented as well as being super nice people.

Photography wise there are many talented guys out there, but I’ve worked with Allister Freeman and David Bostock on a few occasions now and they are really good to work alongside, plus I love their style of photography.

How would clients describe you?

I can’t answer that, you’d have to checkout my testimonials page!!

But if I had to answer I do pride myself on the feedback I get on how well I gel with the guests, whilst also being professional and unobtrusive – that means a lot to me.

Wedding suppliers you particularly admire?

I have a lot of admiration for photographers, but the guys that standout for me, who I haven’t worked with yet, would be John Nassari and James Melia.

I had the pleasure of meeting John last year and I had to ask him about one particular shot he took which is one of my favourite wedding photos of all time – it’s of a bride running into a venue in the pouring rain with her dress hiked up. I couldn’t see why John would be in the position he was to capture such a fabulous shot, so I suppose that’s what I admire – his portfolio is full of shots that are risky, but absolutely work and set him apart.

James Melia is probably my favourite wedding photographer working at the moment, he has an amazing eye and the way he treats his photos is very unique – he is an incredibly talented artist.

How do you unwind?

Large glass of red usually does the trick…

What is your signature dish?

Detail shots of the bride getting ready I would say – this is probably my favourite part of the wedding day. The calm before the storm and always great opportunities for creative filming.

Whose celebrity wedding (dead or alive) would you love work on?

For a man, Tom Ford – now that would be a stylish and sophisticated wedding…with amazing suits!

For the lady, I’d go with Anne Hathaway – oscar winning actress, stylish and classically beautiful…and would be great to get repeat business from her friends.

What is your vice?

Gin has been known to get the better of me.

Member Focus – Something Blue

24 February, 2015

This afternoon we are very pleased to introduce you to one of our newest Associate Members, Emma of Something Blue . Over to you Emma, and welcome to the UKAWP team ….


How did it all start?

I studied Events Management at Sheffield Hallam University in 2009 and from there have always worked in the hospitality industry. I’ve always loved weddings and all things associated with them so becoming a Wedding Planner really is the dream job for me. I got married in 2014 and this enforced my love for the industry. The time was right to make the move to my own business and Something Blue was born!

Do you have a favourite venue?

We really are spoilt for choice for gorgeous venues in Sussex where I live, from castles to beaches but my favourites are the exclusive use period properties which you can really transform and make so individual to each wedding.

How would clients describe you?

Most clients tend to describe me as; Friendly, Bubbly, Smiley, Approachable, Calm and Organised. I love working with people and really aim to put couples at ease during the entire wedding planning process.

Wedding planner/s you admire?

I absolutely love the work of Sarah Haywood in the UK and closer to home Kelly at The Bespoke Wedding Company. If I was to go abroad it would be Mindy Weiss as I love her extravagant classic glamour style.

How do you unwind?

Walking my Chocolate Labrador Holly and I can often be seen running around a park covered in mud as I love to participate in outdoor fitness sessions!

What themes are you working on for 2015/16?

I think the trend towards pastels is so gorgeous and versatile at the moment, such a varied pallet which can be interpreted in so many different ways.

What trends are you seeing?

A lot of couples seem to be asking for total originality this year, from different takes on a photo booth to completely different wedding flowers. It’s a fun challenge to find emerging suppliers to meet the trend.

What is your signature dish?

I love Italian cuisine and would choose pasta every time, a bowl of spaghetti with a prawn and spicy tomato sauce is the way to my heart!

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

I would actually love to design Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis wedding, they both seem really good fun and not ‘diva’ celebrities and I’m sure it would be a stunning day with lots of elements of fun.

Is the job as glamorous as you thought?

For me the ‘glamour’ starts in the consultation process as I gain a lot of enjoyment from hearing each couple’s ideas for their day and then taking that vision into reality. However there is a lot of form filling and online research which isn’t quite so glamorous!

What is your vice?

I have a really sweet tooth and struggle to resist a cake or biscuit!

Member Focus – Papillon Events

18 February, 2015

Today we would like to introduce you to one of our newer Associate Members, Charlotte Pudney of  Papillon Events. Over to you Charlotte...

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How did it all start?

I’ve been involved in Corporate Events for many years but it was only when I moved out of London two years ago to Henley on Thames that weddings and private parties became more of a focus.

Do you have a favourite venue?

There are so many gorgeous venues in the UK so its hard to pick a favourite but I love historic venues and stately homes as they’ve already got instant character in which to build on and usually have stunning views, creating the perfect backdrop for photographs.

How would clients describe you?

Having read through the testimonials that I’ve received, the words that consistently pop up to describe me are: creative, imaginative, calm, attentive, ultra efficient and dedicated – all of which go hand in hand with event planning!

Wedding planner/s you admire?

Sarah Haywood in the UK and Mindy Weiss in the States. Both have built incredible reputations for delivering stylish and unforgettable events all over the world.

How do you unwind?

Walking along the riverbanks from Henley on Thames down to Temple Island – it’s such a beautiful stretch of the river. Cuddling up on the sofa with a romantic comedy and catching up with the girls over a bottle of fizz.

What themes are you working on for 2015/16?

I’m currently working on a clients party using an array of jewel tones – so it’s very decadent, luxurious and colourful. I can’t wait to see it come to life now after months of planning.

What trends are you seeing?

A return to classic elegance, romance and luxe themes seem to be very popular this year. My personal favourite at the moment is the mixture of metallic and neutral tones, which produces a very luxurious and elegant setting. I’m also loving the trend for feature dessert tables, serving a variety of gorgeous and deliciously tasty miniature treats.

What is your signature dish?

I adore all things fishy, so it would have to be a fillet of seabass on a bed of crushed new potatoes and green beans. Heaven on a plate and also very easy to cook.

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

Natalie Portman’s. She’s incredibly feminine, elegant and stylish and I can imagine her having exquisite taste.

Is the job as glamorous as you thought?

I’m not sure I’d call it glamorous as there are often times when I’m padding about a muddy field or a client’s garden looking at what style & size of marquee to put up but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The glamorous part comes on the day of the wedding/party, when you see the venue transform in front of your eyes with stunning floral decorations, table linens and lighting effects.

What is your vice?

I’m addicted to Starbucks Chai Latte and also to shopping in my sister’s boutique in Marlow. Both rather expensive habits to have!

Business Mentoring and Hotline Support for Wedding Planners

16 February, 2015

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 or on 01376 561544.


Website imagery makeover

13 February, 2015


Since our original launch in 2004 we have undergone 2 logo changes and a number of websites. We have seen the industry change rapidly both in terms of bridal trends but also the way wedding businesses operate. It’s hard to believe that back in 2004 not many wedding businesses even had websites, social media was unheard of and branding? Well see the definition below and you’ll have an idea!

Brand. 1. n. Piece of burning or smouldering wood, torch, (literary); sword (poet.); iron stamp used red-hot to leave an indelible mark, mark left by it, stigma, trade-mark, particular kind of goods (all of the best bb.). 2. v.t. Stamp (mark, object, skin), with b., impress indelibly (is branded on my memory)

It can be challenging balancing the many aspects of the UKAWP within one website, after all we get couples marrying visiting our brides page and using our directory. We have wedding planners and suppliers looking at the membership, workshop and events pages. And finally we have those wishing to launch as wedding planners browse our training page. So, we have to keep a balance of “wedding” and “corporate”.

One aspect of “branding” that has become imperative for many businesses is “colour pychology” and Fiona from The Brand Stylist explains it so well. If you read this article it gives you an insight into which colours one would use depending on your personality. Frankly we think we fit rather neatly into autumn and a touch of winter considering how passionate we are about knowledge, campaigning and community.

absolute-essentials-of-colour-psychology-AUTUMN-personalityOur logo and signature colour scheme of blue hues has remained consistent throughout the years of business. Recently we made technical changes to our website to make it more user friendly and tweaked the text. The next step was to have some recognisable brand images to take us through the next few years. We felt it was time to reflect the new era of weddings through some brighter, fresher images. Although this wasn’t a total re-brand we wanted to create uniformity across all of the images we use within our marketing. The images needed to be inspirational for couples visiting our website, but aspirational for those working within the wedding industry

Instead of using current trends within the images we instead concentrated on using our palette of soft blue, white and touches of brown to create timeless, romantic images to reflect the longevity of the UKAWP and many of our members.

UKAWP Brand Collage

The revamp photo-shoot was styled by UKAWP member and trained stylist Alexandra Merri of Bijou Bride.

Other wedding suppliers involved, included photographer Simon Carr, Jades Flowers, hair and makeup by Dawn Taylor Beauty, wedding venue Houchins, stationery by Emily and Jo, tableware and glassware by Helene Millot, linen by 88 events and gowns by Katya Katya Shehurina.

Of the brief, Alexandra Merri from Bijou Bride said: “It was very important that every image we captured on this shoot would become synonymous with the UKAWP, creating a modern look that would have longevity within the industry.  Inspirational to brides and aspirational to upcoming planners.


“As a starting point I took the UKAWP brand colours and developed style boards for Bernadette and Sandy.  These boards highlighted how we could use the signature blue, white and brown to create something soft and pretty, modern but still timelessly elegant.  Blue would be the dominant colour throughout, set against fresh crisp whites with accents of luxurious rich gold as a fresh take on brown.”

Alexandra went on to explain how the day was run: “During the shoot we focused on multiple detail shots and you’ll notice the subtle touches of blue throughout from the wedding dress – a beautiful take on ‘Something Blue’ by designer Katya Katya Shehurina – to the magnificent floral arrangements by Jades Flowers.

I was keen to highlight as many aspects of the wedding planning process as possible from stationery to cake, menus to planners themselves (in this case Sandy and Bernadette) setting up on the day or just reassuring a nervous bride.” 

Directors of the UKAWP


Our huge thanks to all suppliers that contributed to this shoot and especially Simon Carr for taking a hundreds of photos on the day under the direction of a lot of women!