Business Mentoring for Wedding Planners

1 July, 2015

Directors of the UKAWP

The UKAWP fully appreciates how important it is to keep learning in order to be the best possible wedding planner. It is for this reason that we offer a support service for past students to give them more personalised, one to one support for their business growth. Each planner is different and the way we mentor them varies in each case. It might be very business focussed, advising them about a marketing plan, or it could be wedding specific with guidance on complex weddings like marquees. There are two ways we can help wedding planners with further guidance.

Years Mentoring – £500

The UKAWP year long 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 to all members. This way we know that you have covered the basics and we will not simply repeat our course material.

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 mentoring service which is why we launched this ‘business support hotline’ which is chargeable at £60 per hour. This entitles you to spend time by phone/email obtaining 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.

Photo Credit: Simon Carr


Styled Shoot by Carmela Weddings

25 June, 2015

Having had lots of enquiries this year for more fun, bright wedding themes I got together with Lorraine Bull from Lorraine Claire Photography and started thinking about doing a vintage carnival style shoot.

We wanted to add a retro twist and thought the 1950′s would be perfect, so our moodboards for the dresses and hair styles easily grew from there.

We wanted to show a quirky, lighthearted view of wedding styling and hope our couples find inspiration from this.

LCP HD Styled Shoot Gate Street Barn-140Carmela Weddings

Other Credits:

Flowers by Rosie

Gate Street Barn

Sophia Wyatt Hair & Beauty


Lucy Lou Cakes


The Little Sweet Cake Company


Design By Bionic

Surrey Brides


Pearls and Crystals

Lolly Trolly

A Cup of Vintage


Member Focus – Carmela Weddings

23 June, 2015

This afternoon we are delighted to introduce you to one of our relatively new members, Lisa, who runs Carmela Weddings. Over to you Lisa…


How did it all start?

I was an Events Manager and Business Analyst for 15 years and loved being so busy (I did a law degree whilst working full time for fun!). After having my twins I decided to take a much less demanding role as an Executive Assistant but a year later realised I needed to do more as the 9-5 was just not enough for me and rather than go back into an all-consuming events position, I decided to stay where I was and set up my own business instead. I’d planned a lot of my friends’ events including weddings so it was the natural thing for me to do and my sister is a graphic designer and very creative and so she jumped on board straight away. We’ve loved it since.

Do you have a favourite venue?

Carmela Weddings is all about weddings with a difference – quirky, fun, retro and themed weddings so any venue that is a blank canvas appeals to me including an empty field!! Saying that, a cute boutique hotel always gets me excited like The Bingham in Richmond.

How would clients describe you?

As over organised (I’m happy with this description!), a whirlwind of energy and full of different ideas! I hope they think I’m fun too but you’d have to ask them!

Wedding planner/s you admire?

There are so many – before starting out in the industry I did so much research and realised that I loved the planners who did things a little differently and had their own style. I’m always inspired by anything Michelle Kelly from Pocketful of Dreams does.

How do you unwind?

I hang out with my 3 year old twin sons. There is nothing that puts life more in perspective than the absolute urgency of needing to build a train track around the living room right now!

What themes are you working on for 2015/16?

We’re still seeing the rustic, wood and vintage trends that have prevailed for the last few years but we’re also seeing an emergence of fun, quirky and different themes coming out with 1950s rockabilly and bright summer clashing colours being big, which makes things really interesting for us.

What is your signature dish?

I’m afraid I don’t cook. My fiancé (I’m getting married myself in Malta next month) does all of the cooking! I can make one thing – Chicken & Chorizo risotto – but after giving him food poisoning on our first date, he’s never let me cook since!

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

I would love to design someone like Zooey Deschanel’s wedding. You know she’s not going to do something traditional or normal and can you imagine planning Lady Gaga’s wedding – you could really let your imagination run wild!

Is the job as glamorous as you thought?

Having worked in events previously, I knew it wasn’t really glamorous! There are some great perks in a job like this – I’m a great lover of a food tasting for example! – but that isn’t why I like it. I like the creativity of the job and I love exceeding people’s expectations – you can do that so much as a wedding planner and really make people happy.

What is your vice?

Chocolate. And wine. And prosecco. And Champagne. Maybe we should just say ‘the odd drink’!

The Benefits of UKAWP Membership

19 June, 2015

So What are the Benefits of UKAWP Membership?

This year, to date, we have seen an increase in the number of applications from planners, both here in the UK and abroad, and wedding suppliers. In many cases, according to those applying, they have been considering membership for some time and have just recently decided to go for it. If you are one of those people who think they might be keen, but are not completely sure, we welcome any questions you may have. Grab a coffee and spend a few moments reading this summary of the benefits…..

Why apply for Membership?

The wedding industry is not only unregulated but it also attracts hundreds of new businesses every year. In order to become and remain competitive you need find ways of demonstrating your professionalism and commitment to providing excellent service.

One way you can do this is to join our ever increasing member base of professional wedding planners and wedding suppliers, demonstrating that your business has passed our rigorous application process.

Many members tell us that their listing on our directory is their main source of client enquiries. We advertise nationally on behalf of the membership, thus driving bridal traffic to our directory where couples can look for members in their area.

OK, So what are the real benefits of membership then?

The main benefit of joining the UKAWP is becoming part of a UK Alliance which is passionate about the industry and which works hard to promote the benefits of hiring a planner for today’s stylish weddings. By being accepted into the Alliance, applicants will have had to prove their experience and knowledge. Promotion up through the various levels of membership, for planners, is based upon members’ continued education, wedding experience and involvement in the UKAWP. Please refer to the application forms [ Membership ] [ Associate Membership ] [ Destination Membership] [ Wedding Supplier Membership ].

Other Benefits

  • Certificate of membership of the UKAWP to be shown to potential clients
  • Use of well regarded and recognised ‘Associate Member’, ‘Member’, ‘Supreme Member’, ‘Destination Member’, or ‘Wedding Supplier Member’of the UKAWP logo on website, advertising and marketing materials
  • Ability to refer potential clients to the UKAWP Code of Business Practice and application/ promotion process to gain enhanced client confidence
  • Inclusion on the UKAWP online database of member companies. This map-based database is searchable by all visitors to the site and every entry includes a listing in two large geographical areas with company logo, description and full contact details including website (Destination Members listed by country)
  • Increased media awareness of member companies. The UKAWP has links with a variety of media outlets and has an ongoing press and public relations strategy to increase continually the profile of the Alliance within the wedding industry. Journalists are put in touch with members for interview opportunities/coverage on a very regular basis
  • Benefit from the UKAWP’s ongoing advertising plan in wedding media on and offline. Currently this includes key wedding blogs and regular online marketing spend. This alone saves members several hundreds of pounds per annum
  • Personal input into how our bride facing marketing budget is spent annually
  • A voice and seat at our Annual Member Meeting held in May of each year
  • Discounted entry fees to attend any UKAWP meetings, networking events, seminars, workshops or training courses
  • Discounted fees for some of our UKAWP Business Tools
  • UKAWP branded marketing materials such as brochures, pens and pads and collateral available seasonally. Ideal for any exhibitions or events you are organising or attending
  • Access to a network of supportive, approachable and experienced professionals to help, guide and advise on any critical areas of difficulty or concern
  • Access to a network of experienced planners to assist where additional staff are needed at weddings at pre-agreed, competitive rates
  • Access to a network of keen students for ‘shadowing’ opportunities
  • For experienced members and Supreme members, there are sometimes opportunities to mentor students within their first two years of business at pre-agreed rates
  • Access to your local ‘Regional Ambassador’ who will be able to support you with local issues
  • Superb discounts to offer your clients from the UKAWP’s Partners
  • Opportunities to be ‘launched’ as a Member and showcase your work on our BlogFacebook Page and via Twitter
  • Potential to reduce your annual membership fees via discounts from our ‘Member Get Member’ scheme
  • Discounted online advertising of vacancies in your business
  • Private LinkedIn and Facebook groups to share ideas and concerns and get help from peers

Can I talk to someone before deciding whether to apply?

Of course you can. If you would like to discuss the benefits of membership, which membership type you should apply for or have any other questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact our Membership Director, Sandy Moretta, via or on 01442 828061.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.