Wedding Coffee Club
Lets face it, working in the wedding industry can be isolating, there are days when we want to meet fellow wedding professionals just to talk through the lows and highs of being in this fast paced industry. Of course with the introduction of social media, it can feel like we have colleagues sitting right next to us, but at times we need some face to face chats – not to mention the caffeine! Which is why we launched the Wedding Coffee Club November 2014.
These are held in various locations across the UK, normally attended by a director, regional ambassador or member of the UKAWP. If you plan to attend a date please use #ukawp on social media leading up to the coffee date so we can gauge how many people are expected or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge, and no official booking procedure.
November 2015 - Wedding Planning Excellence 2015
Wedding Planning Excellence is a well-established and dedicated seminar for wedding planners with a handpicked programme especially designed to increase your knowledge. It is educational, practical and is intended to leave you bursting with business ideas to grow and further progress your wedding planning company. Held over 2 days each year, WPE gives wedding planners the opportunity to mix and learn with like-minded planners and, going forward, other industry colleagues. The variety of speakers chosen always provides the perfect combination of business and industry advice.
Organised by the directors and members of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) from 2016, henceforth for both wedding planners and other industry colleagues, WPE has become a key part of the UKAWP calendar.
Details of our 2016/17 event will be posted soon. Please see here highlights of WPE 2015.
November 2014 - Photography Workshop
At the start of November a group of wedding professionals had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Emily Quintonat the stunning Hurlingham Club in London. We learnt how to make the best of our camera phones and ways to edit them before uploading onto social media. Emily also highlighted the benefits of instagram and ways to use this extremely visual platform. By popular demand we are re running this workshop again in February.
October 2014 - Mix and Mingle
Our annual social mix and mingle event in the South West was held at the delightful boutique, The Green House Hotel and what a fantastic evening it was. Guests were able to have a tour of this gorgeous boutique Hotel in Bournemouth and enjoy some great canapés from the kitchen of resident Head Chef Andy Hilton of Arbor Restaurant within the Green House Hotel, English sparkling wine courtesy of English Oak Vineyard who also gave us a wine tasting talk. Thank you to everyone that took part and made the event so enjoyable and thanks to Howard Lucas – Photographer for capturing the images of the evening for us.
September 2014 - Mix and Mingle
Our annual social mix and mingle event in London was held at The Swan Restaurant at Shakespeare’s Globe. Their Balcony Room provided the perfect setting, a versatile and bright events space with stunning views of St Paul’s and the River Thames
Mark from Hang the Moon also captured a wonderful short film of the event which you can view here:
Many people know that they need Wedding SEO on their website but not everyone understands what it is and how it can help them. Many believe that there is a magic button that you press and boom you get to number one in Google, others think it is done alphabetically (I wish it were that easy) and then you have those that think it is too complicated to even think about so they ignore it. The risk of ignoring SEO, or, as Steve explained, Inbound Marketing, is that your competitors in the same industry are not ignoring it, and more money is being spent online and research is being done online now more than ever.
We were delighted therefore to hold a workshop with Wedding SEO on the 11th June 2014. This was a highly practical and enlightening workshop which helped empower delegates with the knowledge necessary to help get to the top of the search engines. Steve Hooper explained why our branding online is vital to our businesses and how this can help convert visitors into customers.
If you are interested in another such Workshop please contact Bernadette at email@example.com
We were delighted to bring members and non members alike a showcase event that we had been working closely with Sandals on.
We feel destination weddings could be a fantastic service for planners to add to their portfolio and we hope this showcase gave attendees a little more knowledge about achieving that goal. Sandals explained the different services they can offer including the WeddingMoon®.
In early November we held a floral emergency workshop in London as taught by Euphoric Flowers. The planners learnt how to deal with common problems with wedding flowers on the day, how to make a buttonhole, bouquet and table centre. One planner even travelled from Wales for the workshop!
In September and October, each of the four events across the country was organised and hosted by our talented UKAWP members and what a fabulous job they all did. Beautiful venues, fabulous styling, exciting entertainment and jam-packed goody bags were the order of the day, not to mention the hype across social media.
To read up and view images of each event, do have a look at our blog posts here: London | Manchester | East Midlands | West Midlands
Mix and Mingle will return in autumn 2014.
“I feel I know more about the complex nature of marquee weddings, what to expect, what to look out for, etc. I know it’s a topic that we could have spent all day on but it has provided me with a good knowledge baseline. Was also good to hear from James in terms of the range of more imaginative lighting options.” Val, Benessamy Events
“It was extremely informative, interesting and useful.” Liz Reed, Elizabeth Jane Events
“I feel more confident and have the tools and information available to put on a Marquee wedding.” Lisa Hoyte, Weddings by Lisa Lee
On the 7th February some of the members took part in a ‘Matching Wine & Food for Weddings’ workshop. Some might say this was just an excuse to sample some wine but actually, not only was it a fun evening, we did learn some interesting facts.
Photo credit Paula Broom Photography
The event was kindly hosted by Dominique Douglas of Stylish Events, a UKAWP member and her husband, Dan, at their home in Canary Wharf. Dan cooked some amazing hors d'oeuvres for us to try on the night, the food was so delicious so we all decided having food and wine at their home should be a weekly occurrence for the UKAWP.
At this interactive workshop we were guided by a professional wine expert, Giles Smith Walker, on what to look for when matching the wine with the wedding menu. His advice was given in a non intimidating way and he seemed quite at home with a bunch of wedding planners.
Our thanks to Paula Broome for taking some lovely pictures on the night and joining in with the sampling!
To read more on the day by day visits we made and what we learnt, take a look at the New York Study Tour posts on our blog: Day One, Day Two.
Our annual wedding planners end of season get together was back again in September. This year, each of the three events across the country was organised and hosted by our talented UKAWP members and what a fabulous job they all did. Beautiful venues, fabulous styling, exciting entertainment and jam-packed goody bags were the order of the day, not to mention the usual wonderful camaraderie, business support and idea sharing hotspots which these events have become known for.
To read up and view images of each event, do have a look at our blog posts here: London | Manchester | Midlands
Mix and Mingle will return in autumn 2013.
WPE (Wedding Planning excellence) is a dedicated seminar for trading wedding planners with a handpicked programme especially designed to increase your knowledge. It’s been running for four years and is educational, practical and intended to leave you bursting with business ideas to further progress and grow your wedding planning company.
WPE 12 was a great success – see here for a snapshot of what went on. Please subscribe to our blog to ensure you are one of the first to hear about our plans for WPE 13.
If you are a venue or supplier who is interested in being involved in this fabulous seminar in 2013 please contact Bernadette on 01376 561 544.
In her "Blogging for Business" workshop, Julia shares her top tips for creating and maintaining a successful business blog in any business sector, with a particular focus on the wedding industry. In this interactive session, which was devoid of "geek speak" and specifically geared to generate results for your business, Julia focussed on:
- Blogging for Business: Do you need a blog?
- Geek Chic: The technical side made easy.
- Writers Block: Getting started.
- Sell Yourself: Showing what you can do
- The C's of Success: content, comments, contacts and consistency.
- Getting to the Top: Your blog and your Google search ranking.
- Show Me The Money: Using a blog to generate income.
- Social Marketplace: Using Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media to your advantage.
The workshop was so well received we may consider a second later in the year.
Photo credit: www.karenmcgowran.com
“I think it's an excellent way to offer a bite-sized training course as it means it's easily accessible. This is really important for those of us that are trying to juggle other responsibilities such as jobs or children, as it's often difficult to get away for a full day. I really liked it that you talked around the slides/course notes rather than just reading them verbatim. The discussion gave some really valuable insights into starting your business.”
Our autumn wedding planners’ social event named Mix and Mingle took place on 20 October across the country. We were rather ambitious in our plans to get wedding planners together across various regions of the country on the same night and were delighted with the results. We had over 35 planners attend the largest London event with smaller, but equally successful, events in the Midlands and Cheshire taking place on the same night.
The format of the evenings was informal and an opportunity for wedding planners (many of whom work alone) to get together with others running the same kind of business in their area. Whilst many of our UKAWP members regularly network with each other and meet at lots of our events, we welcomed lots of recent students, newcomers to the industry as well as more established planners who wanted to get to know their industry colleagues.
Our enormous thanks to all of the venues who so kindly agreed to host us. In London we were welcomed by BMA House (where most of the above photos were taken), in Cheshire at Doubletree by Hilton and in the Midlands at Hampton Manor.
Also thanks to Sandy Bay London and Molton Brown for their wonderful goody bags as well as the ever-fabulous Lloyd Dobbie Photography for capturing images from the London event.
On Wednesday 21st September the UKAWP held its first Northern Floral Workshop. Ian Lloyd was our expert tutor and we spent a very enjoyable evening picking his brains, being taught how to make a buttonhole (see images below) and discussing all things floral. Our thanks to Andrea Swift our Northern Rep for organising this evening.
We had some great feedback from planners that attended: - Wendy from the Chic Wedding Company: "It was a really interesting session and I feel like I learned loads and am so proud of my buttonhole!" Caroline from Pomp and Ceremony Planning: "Just wanted to say thank you so much for organising the floral workshop it was very useful".
Thank you so much to all the planners who attended and to Ian Lloyd for so willingly sharing his time and expertise!"
On 14th September our very popular PR Workshop took place in London. Response to this workshop was exceptionally good and the planners arrived in force to pick the brains of industry PR specialists Nicola Russill-Roy and Suzy Dixon of Propose PR.
We had a wonderful mix of new and more established members as well as some non-members who wanted to gain from the topic. Nicola and Suzie presented lots of highly practical tips on how to target your market, build your media contacts, how to treat your contacts, where to get information, what to avoid and a real insight into the role of staff and freelance journalists. Suzie talked a lot about how to apply this to social media and how to make that very cost-effective medium work for your business. We then had a whole hour of very open Q&A where we had the chance to ask lots of very individual questions and discuss amongst the group.
We have had some very positive feedback from planners at all stages of their business. Thanks to Nicola and Suzy!
Watch this space for future UKAWP workshops in the pipeline for early next year.
Our second workshop was led by Kay from Heading up the Aisle who taught us how to handle dress emergencies on the day. The evening included a practical session on lacing up a corset. We learned how to avoid bustles breaking and even how to tie a cravat, thanks to Lee, who modeled it so elegantly.
We were delighted to be asked to partner with the RSVP show, the annual show for the event industry. As well as exhibiting we presented a seminar highlighting the difference between the corporate & wedding industries.
On the 20th January we held our Floral Emergency workshop with Euphoric Flowers in central London. The evening was a resounding success and tickets sold out fast.
Our annual social evening was hosted at Kensington Roof Gardens and attended by both new and experienced planners. We were treated to some delightful canapés and lashings of Champagne, not to mention the fabulous surroundings both inside and out.
We are proud to have exhibited at the National Wedding Show at Earls Court, London and we were delighted with the response. The show was incredibly busy on all three days especially Sunday when the aisles were packed and our leaflets were flying off the shelves. There was lots of interest in planning, particularly day management and partial planning services and a very positive response to the professionalism portrayed by the UKAWP and its members, many of whom were there to talk to brides directly. Below is a photo of our lovely stand. Huge thanks to Clive of More Production for the brilliant draping of the otherwise boring exhibition panels.
17 and 22 September 2009
We were delighted with our two recent networking evenings especially for wedding planners. Both events were awash with idea sharing, good natured camaraderie and encouragement amongst planners across the country ranging from those just launched to seasoned planners with years of experience. There were almost 50 planners in attendance at the London event which took place at the beautiful and cosy 30 Pavilion Road, Knightsbridge. 50 planners is an all time record for a UKAWP event and there were 10 planners at the Cheshire event at the Nuneaton Hall which was excellent for a first official North region event. We will be repeating the highly successful networking events annually at the end of the summer wedding season next September. The next UKAWP event will be WPE 10 next February.
The first Wedding Planning Excellence 09 seminar was a huge hit with attendees and speakers alike. Feedback has been phenomenal with all attendees wanting to book for WPE 10. There were some wonderful talks from our experts and it was great to get inspired and renewed for the coming season. Please do log onto our blog for the full run down & pictures from the event. You can also view a short video clip via YouTube.
Networking Evening – Mandarin Oriental
We had a great turnout for the networking evening on 9th September with both members and non members in attendance. There was a definite end of season feeling with planners finally getting a little breathing space. Our thanks to Mandarin Oriental who laid on some wonderful food and drinks and provided impeccable service.
Our 3rd workshop was on the very inspiring topic of floral disaster remedies. This session proved very popular with all attending both from a practical & creative point of view. Jades Flowers talked through how to rescue arrangements that topple over and advice on what to have in a floral emergency kit. We never knew for example that just simple sticky tape would lift up pollen from table cloths! Every attendee got the chance to make a bouquet & buttonhole from scratch just in case a florist lets us down on a wedding day. The Crowne Plaza City were our hosts and provided a wonderful drinks reception and canapés to end the evening. Thank you Lloyd Dobbie for being our photographer.
Our second workshop was on the much needed subject of PR. It was an intense and focused session led by PR expert Paula Gardner of ‘Do Your Own PR’. It became apparent from the session that although we are all wedding planners our markets are incredibly varied. Attendees left the workshop inspired with many writing releases, blogs and articles that very same week. The Berkeley Knightsbridge were the hosts for the evening and provided a tour of their beautiful wedding facilities and served drinks and canapés. Our lovely photographer Lloyd Dobbie even got involved with explaining more about blogs, our thanks as always for the photos.
We ran our first Workshop, on the subject of catering, at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. The evening was a great success and we have received excellent feedback. Our guest speakers included head chef David Nicholls, banqueting manager Andrew Coy, the mandarin oriental’s sommelier and Clare Smith of Berry Scrumptious. As well as learning from our excellent speakers we had a chance to network, eat fabulous bowl food and take a tour of the hotel. Our thanks go, as ever, to Lloyd Dobbie for his photographs.
Our Spring networking event was held in the stunning Savana Spa in Notting Hill. The theme this time was Refresh, Revitalise, Tantalise. There was a brief introduction from the directors before an interesting and informative presentation on colour, image and style by Colette Douglas from House of Colour. Planners were then able to network and compare notes, occasionally taking a break to enjoy the free hand massages that were on offer.
The directors of the Alliance attended the prestigious Wrapit Wedding Industry Awards 2007 ceremony at RIBA in London. Dream Occasions and The Bespoke Wedding Company were finalists in the category of Best Planner judged by Wrapit, Wedgwood and Brides Magazine. Kelly and Britt from The Bespoke Wedding Company were delighted to win this outstanding award recognising excellence in their category. Well done, Kelly and Britt.
The UKAWP were asked to present at the Wedding Professionals day held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Reading. The directors spoke about why the Alliance was formed, the training courses it offers and ended with a lively debate on commission. Around 50 planners attended on the day from around the country and was a huge success. Watch this space for future events.
Our Autumn networking event was held at the amazing Great Eastern Hotel in the City. The evening was themed around wedding celebrations at the hotel with mock ceremony and reception tables. The bar manager later showed us some popular cocktails and planners’ taste buds were teased with the bowl food.