Member Focus: Kelly Chandler
Today we welcome Kelly Chandler from The Bespoke Wedding Company to our regular member focus series.
Why did you become a wedding planner?
I was organising a lot of corporate events but my favourites were not the ones which had the highest budgets or the most complex week long programme but those where lots of attention to detail had gone in from choosing unique smaller properties, unusual room gifts and themed dinners; it was that which prompted me to explore weddings, combined with the fact that it would work better for me to produce such events in and around London and not all over the world.
What’s your USP?
I like to think it’s my ability to deliver amazing looking weddings that work in a practical sense too. I strongly believe in not being too clever creatively if it doesn’t work practically. I work with a lot of very time short and successful business people and what they want is a simple solution that looks amazing.
What’s your signature dish?
That’ll be Jamie Oliver’s spiced slow-cooked lamb shanks and mash accompanied with a nice bottle or two of red wine shared with friends.
Do you have a favourite venue?
So difficult and I have lots and it depends what mood I’m in. The nicest venues for me are those where you are made genuinely welcome as a planner and feel like part of the team all working together for the good of the couple’s wedding.
How would your clients describe you?
Hopefully as professional, highly organised, reliable and ‘on the button’.
Have you ever had a challenging client and how did you deal with it?
All clients are challenging (I’m a challenging client I’m sure of it) and we have to get to know how they tick very quickly. I try hard to remember that they are bound to be perhaps a little emotional and these are big decisions; it’s never got out of hand and no bridezillas to report.
How do you unwind?
Ah that’ll be a glass of wine (or Veuve Clicquot from time to time).
If you could plan a celebrity wedding (alive or dead) whose would it be?
I’d like to plan the wedding of Rupert Penry-Jones even though he’s married already just so that I could ‘do a Jo-Lo’ in The Wedding Planner for real and run off with him!
Is the job as glamorous as you thought?
Yes, only because I knew from working for years in corporate event planning, that it wouldn’t be glamorous at all! But fun, rewarding and full of amazing people.
Which wedding planner’s work do you respect/admire and why?
I admire a lot of planners but particular the ones who really stick at it and deliver year on year, growing slowly but steadily and never loosing the personal touch as they get bigger.
What themes are you working on for 2009?
Alice in Wonderland, Afternoon tea party wedding and christening combo, ultra elegant black tie civil partnership and decadent Christmas ball, amongst others.
What’s your biggest achievement since launching?
Being here, still loving the job and continuing to grow, learn, increase business and add strings to our bow. Employing two staff last year gave me a huge buzz.
What is your vice?
Starbucks Sicilian Lemon Cupcakes.
What trends are you seeing for 2009?
Lots of home-made stationery and favours, sourcing of products locally to save not only the environment but costs and a continued desire for the ‘wow’ factor at the same time.
Thank you to Kelly, please do take time to visit The Bespoke Wedding Co