TWIA – Best Wedding Planner

26 March, 2015

In January the UKAWP had the pleasure of attending The Wedding Industry Awards national awards ceremony in London. As judges since its inception this is always a vibrant evening to attend. This year was especially sweet as we had 4 members amongst the national finalists competing for the “Best Wedding Planner” award.

It’s a strange moment indeed rooting for all 4 members to win but of course there can only be *one winner which in this case was the lovely Caroline Gould. *Valerie was awarded highly commended which was lovely especially as one of her sisters flew in from New York for the ceremony! We would like to say a huge well done to all the regional winners, members and non members alike, the standard of which was phenomenal and made us proud to be part of the wedding industry.

But for now we’d like to introduce you to the lovely Caroline.

Full name – Caroline Gould
Company Name – Caroline Gould Weddings
Position within UKAWP – Member
Member of the UKAWP since what date – September 2009 (when I launched my business!)
 Caroline Gould

Prize awarded by TWIA

East of England Regional Winner and National Winner in the Best Independent Wedding Planner category.

Why did you decide to put yourself and your business forward to TWIA?

I was lucky enough to win the regional award in my category in 2014 so decided it was only right to come back and defend my title!  I was encouraged to enter the awards by fellow wedding suppliers and just thought why not?!  I am so pleased that in both years of entering every single one of my clients has voted for me…

How and when were you notified about your TWIA achievement?

It was very surreal.  Unfortunately I was unable to attend the awards ceremony as my 6 year old daughter had chicken pox (how unorganised!).  I was following the awards on Twitter and saw that my colleague and fellow UKAWP member Val from Benessemy Events was highly commended, I was so thrilled for her and busy tweeting my congratulations when I saw a new tweet come in announcing the news that I had won.

How did you feel when you found out?

I just had time to let out a little yelp before my good friend Helen from Amelie’s Kitchen who was at the awards ceremony phoned me and we had a little scream down the phone at each other (she also won a national award!).  I spent the rest of the evening on social media and phoning friends and family to spread the news!  Thrilled doesn’t even cover it!

What does it mean to you getting this award status?

It’s such a fantastic accolade.  To know that what I’m doing for my clients is appreciated and valued – there’s no better reward!  The wedding planning industry is not subject to legislation, so this award will not only encourage confidence in my skills and expertise but help establish my company as one which offers quality and a completely professional, bespoke service.  It’s brilliant to get recognition within the industry as well.  The judges are people I really respect so to have their seal of approval as well is fantastic!

How will you use this award status in your business?

The logo is on my website and the trophy sits proudly on my desk!  I’ve had my busiest year yet for enquiries!  January and February are always a busy time for new clients, but this year has been a bit crazy, I seem to always be out meeting potential clients for consultations, writing up proposals or creating the initial files for new clients.  I also seem to have developed a niche with clients from Australia getting married in Suffolk – I’m currently working on three!

Any words of advice to other planners out there looking to be the best in their field?

Just keep doing what you’re doing.  Sometimes it can feel quite isolating when, as a wedding planner, you are working alone a lot of the time.  Surround yourself with great people, there’s a reason why I’ve continued to be a UKAWP member every since I started my business – they’re a really supportive group and whilst we don’t see each other as often as i’d like, I know that I could call any one of them if there was anything I needed.  I’m also really lucky to have a fabulous network of suppliers locally that I can meet up with more regularly for some much needed company and support.  I think i’m also lucky to work with such genuinely lovely clients – it makes my job an absolute joy!
 

Wedding Supplier Membership

23 March, 2015

Since July 2013 we have offered membership not only to Wedding Planners in the UK and abroad, but also to Wedding Suppliers whose ethos and business model meets our Code of Business Practice.

We asked a number of Wedding Supplier Members what prompted them to apply to join and what they like about their membership.

The answers we hear time and again are these three:

  • They like to work closely with professional Wedding Planners
  • They want the respected UKAWP brand on their site and in their marketing
  • They believe in what the UKAWP stands for, particularly our Code of Business Practice

This is, of course, music to our ears, and we really enjoy having other industry sectors on board: professionals in their fields whom we can call upon for advice and information as well as work with on clients’ weddings.

To date we have an eclectic mix including venues, entertainers, caterers, film makers and even a wedding creche company.

If you are a professional from part of the Wedding Industry and have been mulling over whether or not to apply for UKAWP membership, please pick up the phone 01442 828061 or email membership@ukawp.com with any questions or concerns you may have.

The application process and benefits of membership can all be found on our membership page or you may wish to contact some of your local UKAWP Wedding Planner Members to get their feedback.

We hope to hear from you soon. See below for some of our great Wedding Supplier Members to date…

http://www.whitedressfilms.co.uk

http://www.caperandberry.co.uk

UM_Logo_CMYKeden mobile creche logo

My Fab Frame 230 x210RM_approved full logoPrintOF logo

Member Focus – The Undercover Monkeys

20 March, 2015

This morning we are pleased to introduce to you Wedding Supplier Member The Undercover Monkeys. Over to you boys…

UM_Logo_CMYK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGKXdEfTOvY

How did it all start?

We’ve been playing together for over seven years, we actually play in another band where it’s all our own material and we’ve toured all over the UK / Europe, playing at some top venues along the way including the O2, Kentish Town Forum, Vanguard (Oslo), Pop-In (Paris), CC’s (Amsterdam). About three years ago we got asked to play at a friends wedding, we smashed it, and so got asked to play a few more. It’s grown organically from there and we’re now getting booked all the time – joining UKAWP is the next step in our journey and we’re delighted to be part of the community.

Do you have a favourite venue?

We’ve played some gorgeous ones across the UK – but to pick our top three from 2014 it would be Forde Abbey in Somerset, The Orangery near Maidstone, Kent, and The Swan Hotel in Newby Bridge, Cumbria. They all had special atmospheres on summer wedding evenings.

How would clients describe you?

Approachable, thorough and honest – we would hope, and these are key values for us. We aren’t linked to an agency and this means clients/planners can reach us directly at any stage before the big day – we ask loads of questions of the couple in the early stages so that we can get a feel for their personalities, tastes and dream wedding day; helping us to fine tune our output to achieve this. Beyond the music we play, every detail matters; from stage position, lighting, all the way down to the colour of our socks(!) on stage – and dialogue is key in the buildup. Honesty is also key – when quoting fees we break down everything so there are no hidden surprises.

Wedding suppliers you particularly admire?

We get to meet a number of passionate, talented suppliers in our work – the first of a couple that spring to mind is Tipi Unique, who supply stunning native American tipi marquees – they make for a magical ambience. The second is Hackney Lick, who provide delicious artisan gelatos, run by two classically trained chefs with their own flavour lab in east London, avocado & bacon flavour is really tasty!

How do you unwind?

Well as Al (bassist) has a baby boy and Stan (guitarist) has one on the way, there hasn’t been too much time for unwinding recently, but if there’s one thing that will get the three of us chatting over a pint, it’s football on the TV, typical lads or what!

What trends are you seeing for 2015/16?

As budgets for couples are tighter than ever, we’re seeing more and more asking what different set-ups we can provide, because booking both a DJ and a band can be expensive. Therefore we’ve broadened our offering and increasingly we’ll get booked to play a chilled acoustic set to kick things off, then two rocking electric sets, and finally a DJ set. Although this can be exhausting and more complex to deliver for us, it does allow us to showcase our huge repertoire and it keeps things varied for guests.

What is your signature dish?

Well we definitely have a signature indie/rock sound rooted in triple vocal harmonies, and big drums courtesy of Ross, but we love to apply this to hits from other genres, for example ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyonce gets a rock’n’roll flavour – and never fails to fill the dancefloor once guests clock what track we’re playing.

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

Given our love for The Beatles, it would have to be John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Gibraltar, 1969! It would have been a stunning backdrop to perform an acoustic set after the ceremony, and we reckon the evening party would have been a raucous one, with some musical legends joining us on stage later on!

What is your vice?

Hmmmm, that would be have to be service station food on the way back from faraway bookings, which often leads to a very untidy van!

Terms and Conditions / Contract for Wedding Planners

18 March, 2015

One of the most exciting moments as a new wedding planner, or indeed established wedding planner, is hearing that a client wishes to book you. Your marketing is working, the consultation was perfect, your proposal was spot on and now you have the booking, yay (time to dance round the room)!

Melanie from Cranberry Blue

But remember nothing is confirmed until that contract is signed and deposit is paid, do not, and I repeat do not, commence any work for the new clients until the contract is signed, sealed and delivered.

Remember your time = money you should be earning

Do you have a legally sound client contract?

The contract should protect you AND your client by detailing what service you are undertaking for them, your fee and specifically what is included or excluded from your fee. Many wedding planners in the UK use a contract provided by the UKAWP which includes not just regular legal liabilities within, but also clauses pertaining to our industry in particular.

How can you purchase?

Our Terms & Conditions are available for £150 to members and students of the UKAWP or £180 to non members/students.

The contracts (and any variations thereof which are made by purchasers) remains copyright of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners Ltd and, therefore, distribution is only allowed to the purchaser’s client. Copying and publication of this contract is forbidden.

To purchase please go to: www.ukawp.com/payments.htm. Please note that the contracts are sent out manually by email on receipt of payment; we aim to do this asap but please allow 2 working days for receipt of the documents.

 

 

Training as a Wedding Planner with the UKAWP

16 March, 2015

If you are considering a career in wedding planning but wish to learn a little more, here is an explanation on our courses. If you want to join the 60+ professional planners who are our members , not to mention the hundreds of planners we have trained since 2004, then take a look at our training brochure available to download via our website and watch the short video below.

Business Practicalities

London  – 16th & 17th May 2015

London  – 22nd & 23rd August 2015

London – 10th & 11th October 2015

Northamptonshire – 14th & 15th November 2015

Step by Step

Birmingham  – 9th & 10th May 2015

London  – 26th & 27th September 2015

Northamptonshire – 28th & 29th November 2015

Training Collage

What is the Cost?

Each weekend course costs £540 if paid in full or £600 in instalments complete with lunch both days and full course notes for you to take away. We also send you downloadable templates to use in your new wedding planning business.

FREE Booklet of Discount Vouchers

If you attend both Business Practicalities and Step by Step within a 12 month period we will send you a booklet of vouchers worth £100, these can be used against future UKAWP events.

For further details

Please contact Bernadette on 01376 561544 or training@ukawp.com or to register complete our booking form