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Member Focus: Kelly Hooper

We today meet Kelly Hooper from Orchid Weddings in our regular fornightly series on our members, Kelly is based in Kent and is one of our full members.

Kelly Hooper

Kelly Hooper

Why did you become a wedding planner?

I am a hapless romantic and have always loved weddings.  I still have the outlines for my wedding from when I was aged 9, this included 7 bridesmaids all in the same style dress (the design looks exactly like the one Cinderella makes with the help of the mice…) although all in different colours.  This love for weddings grew, for my GCSE Design Textiles I made a bridal hoop from handmade flowers and continued to buy bridal magazines, cutting out pictures as the years went on and making notes.  By the time I was actually working I had a lever arch file full of ideas.  By the time I got married I was totally hooked.  Finally after coming home and moaning for the millionth time about being bored and the office politics my husband told me to take the plunge.  I booked a wedding planning course straight away and began planning my business that day.  I truly love being a wedding planner.

What’s your USP?  

My unique selling point… the detail.  The details are ultimately what pulls off your whole wedding theme, hence my hook line, the detail behind the design.  I never take for granted my clients money, I always try to find them a good deal no matter how much money they have and equally for clients who have a tight budget I relish in finding the little details to make their theme come together within the tight restraints.  I never tire of watching their faces as they see the transformation of the plain space we stood together in sometimes just hours ago.

What’s your signature dish? 

It is Lemon Tart, apparently my lemon tart is fabulous, it’s nice but then I cook it so am biased but a friend of mine actually offered to pay me £30 for one for her dinner party!  Obviously I didn’t charge her but I was touched!

How would your clients describe you? 

Recently I spoke to a client from last year and she described me as a friend for life after helping her achieve more than she thought possible.  Whether my clients have booked me for just on the day coordination, venue searches or full planning, they all know that when they are stuck or need help I am always just a phone call away.  I genuinely believe wedding planners are a necessity.

How do you unwind? 

Cooking – I could spend hours and hours in the kitchen and apparently am responsible for my husband no longer having a fat free hunky body!!  My ultimate unwind is having friends over for dinner.  I also love reading, (Lisa Jewell and James Patterson are my favourite authors), coffee and lime vodka.

If you could plan a celebrity wedding (alive or dead) whose would it be? 

It would have been good to plan Elizabeth Taylor’s first wedding because once you had done a great job and got on well you would be set for life!!!

Is the job as glamorous as you thought? 

No!!  Whilst I didn’t come into it for the glamour I always thought it would be glamorous.  It is actually really hard work and being on your feet for so many hours takes its toll!

Which wedding planner’s work do you respect/admire and why

I respect all weddings planners actually, we all work really hard yet still don’t (I feel) get the recognition we deserve.  Much as people I meet are excited by the thought I am a wedding planner, they also seem to think planners are for the rich or famous.  I read an article which said in a recent survey 78% of brides who had just come through their weddings had wished they had had professional help – even if it was just for the wedding day itself.

What’s your biggest achievement since launching? 

Surviving the recession!!  Apart from that it is the weekend wedding in Rye last year for my American bride.  It took hours and hours worth of planning and thousands of emails, numerous telephone calls and finding so many small touches.  It was however the most rewarding wedding I have done and I am immensely proud of what I achieved.  This month the wedding was featured in Perfect Wedding which really was the icing on the cake.

What trends are you seeing for 2009? 

As the high street boutiques fill with retro prints and vintage cuts, it is perhaps no surprise that this is a major influence for this season’s weddings.  Strikingly bright bold colours are featuring as accent colours and becoming increasingly popular.  Combined with beautifully delicate, flowing fabrics such as chiffon and silks, many of Kent’s summer weddings are capturing a real sense of fun and romance this year.  Large scented blooms are also becoming increasingly fashionable for bouquets and gifts, which are often hand tied with natural fibres to promote that crafted, vintage appeal.  Add wholesome food, crisp white wines and indulgent ports for a low cost, high impact wedding this season.

Dont forget to visit Orchid Weddings website

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