A Weekend of Weddings…

We have a guest blogger by the name of Lisa, a recent student of one of our ‘business practicalities’ training courses. Lisa got in touch after the course and wanted to write a blog post through the eyes of a student. Over to Lisa …..

When people used to ask me what my dream career was, I always replied, a wedding planner, or failing that, a weather girl!  A stark contrast and in reality I never thought I would be either one of those things, and to this day I’m not….but after a weekend in a hotel in central London, I’m one step closer to realising one of the two!

At the end of last year I began to research courses in wedding planning to get some training and advice on how to progress with my business plans.  I stumbled across the UKAWP as I was searching the web and when I read about their introduction to wedding planning course, I knew I had to apply.

I was definitely nervous about the weekend before the course started.  Would wedding planning live up to my expectations? Would I have the right skill-set to pursue my dream career? However I was quickly put at ease by the course tutor, Kelly Chandler from UKAWP, as she introduced us to the Alliance and explained what was in-store for us all over the next two days.

There were only ten of us on the course and we were a range of ages, had different career backgrounds (events, sales, PR etc), and at different stages of setting up in business, but we all shared a similar ambition and it was great tapping into each individual’s expertise and knowledge throughout the course.

The first thing that struck me was the professionalism of the session as each student was given a course booklet including course notes and template materials. This meant that rather than constantly scribbling notes, the sessions were interactive with lots of questions and discussion amongst the group.

Day One was jam-packed and we talked through everything from ‘Running a small business’ to ‘Marketing’ and ‘Advertising’. Listening to Kelly’s first-hand experience as a planner gave a fantastic insight into the industry and the various highs and lows along the way.  We covered 12 different topics in great detail, and I came away with a head full of information, a lengthy ‘to do’ list and looking forward to Day Two!

Sunday was more practical and less theory and I enjoyed getting stuck in! Firstly, the hotel’s Events Manager gave us a tour of the hotel in order to write a site report following the course, and in the afternoon, Bernadette Chapman from the UKAWP joined us and we each had a one-on-one consultation with either Kelly or Bernadette to prepare us for our prospective client meetings in the future.  We were encouraged to ask as many questions as possible, throw in a couple of ideas and sell ourselves to the ‘client’ with a view to writing up a full proposal following the course for Kelly to review.

Towards the end of the day we got creative and made design boards based on a wedding theme.  This was great fun and it was really interesting to see the different approaches taken by both groups.

I left the course exhausted but buzzing and it totally re-confirmed my interest in pursuing a career as a planner.

The advice and training that we received over the weekend was invaluable and I would advise anyone contemplating a career in the industry to book a place on the next course, as it is thoroughly worthwhile.

Thanks to Kelly and Bernadette for giving up their weekends, and to the students I met on the course.  I’m looking forward to staying in touch and helping each other where we can in building our businesses over the coming months.

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