Member Focus: Andrea Swift
Today we welcome Andrea Swift of Fabulous Day for our regular Member Focus section.
Why did you become a planner?
After I had my little girl I knew I didn’t want to go back to retail management but I also knew I wanted to keep my sanity and really wanted to work for myself. I read an article in the Sainsbury’s Magazine about a wedding planner in London and had a real light bulb moment. I had enjoyed planning my own wedding a few years earlier and I as I am a ‘list’ person and highly organised I knew I would be good at the role. The rest as they say is history and 2 years after reading that article I launched Fabulous Day.
What’s your USP?
I think mine would have to be my Mother of the Bride service. My very first client was a MOB (as of course they are known in the profession), and I seem to have a knack of getting them to recommend me to their friends!
What’s your signature dish?
I love trying out new recipes on my poor family and friends-my latest find is Jamie’s Ministry of Food-Chicken Tikka Masala-yum! But my favourite and guaranteed wow at a dinner party is Lamb Tagine.
How would your clients describe you?
Well my fav has to be a bride I only worked with for a few weeks before her wedding and didn’t meet until two days before. It turned out I was saved on her phone as ‘Wonder Woman’, on the wedding day her friends kept saying-“oh your wonder woman-we have heard so much about you”. I was so touched when I got the text the day after to say “wonder woman you were amazing”.
What themes for 2009?
I am doing quite a lot of vintage this year, but none too over the top. Also candelabras and candles in general are featuring heavily. Mainly because I can get such good prices for them – tip for you look at Covent Garden Candles you can only use them if you are trade, but the prices are great. You do have to buy quite large cases (dinner candles x 200, tea lights x 500) but they are really good quality and they will send you samples for colours. Plus of course for tea light holders you can’t beat Ikea 12 for £1.46!! Lot cheaper that the florist.
What’s your biggest achievement since launching?
This also qualifies for most challenging client! I had 14 weeks to plan from scratch a 3-day wedding for 300 guests. No venue, nothing! It was quite a challenge. We had a ceildh the night before, then a grand masquerade ball after a very personalised ceremony-which went on for 2 hours complete with gospel choir and band. Then transporting 300 guests from the Manor House down to their marquee for the wedding breakfast. Then back again when we had transformed the Manor with a live band and casino. We had over 40 children so entertainment and child minders required, plus a tea party. I did have 6 best men and 8 ushers to help who were fantastic and a groom who wanted to be involved in every decision. But we made it happen, it was extremely hard work but very, very rewarding.
What’s your vice?
Green and Black’s Mint Chocolate-it had to be chocolate of course, oh and Martha Stewart wedding magazines!
A big thank you to Andrea for answering our questions. If you’d like to find out more about Fabulous Day please visit the website.
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