Member Focus – Natalie Hewitt Wedding & Event Planner
Today we’d like to introduce Natalie Hewitt who runs Natalie Hewitt Wedding & Event Planner. Over to you Natalie…
How did it all start?
I started my career working in the Customer Service and Hospitality industry, planning corporate and charity events before graduating from university with a Law Degree (LLB Hons). I then moved into administration, where I worked as a PA for a small business owner, helping to grow the company into a national corporation.
As organised as I am, I have a creative flare (which just couldn’t be tamed,) so when Ben proposed, back in 2008, I discovered an industry that incorporated all of my arty passions; flowers, photography, cool fonts, diamonds, fashion, cakes etc. I had found my calling! After a few years spent planning my own wedding, gaining a diploma in Wedding Planning (with distinction) and immersing myself in the Wedding industry, I officially launched my own business at the end of 2012.
Do you have a favourite venue?
Most of my clients get married in marquees; I think they offer such a unique space and provide an extensive range of styling, supplier and layout possibilities. Sperry and Canvas Tents are currently a favourite of mine as I think they look so elegant. But Stubton Hall in Newark has to be one of my top venues. I’m a tad biased because I got married there but the exclusive hire provides an intimate wedding location for you and your guest and the renovation to the 19th century building has been executed seamlessly.
How would clients describe you?
Conscientious, friendly, supportive, knowledgeable, dedicated / hardworking and stylish.
Wedding planner/s you admire?
Mark Niemierko is a luxury wedding planner I have followed and been inspired by even before I launched my business – his high end life style is what most girls dream of; meetings at Claridges, fittings at Oscar de la Renta and high end clientele. He has definitely been one of the reasons I push myself to create a successful, luxury and professional wedding and event planning brand / business.
Bernadette Chapman and Sandy Moretta are also two ladies that I am absolutely in awe of; not only do they run their own very successful wedding planning businesses but they also manage to run the UKAWP as well as being wives, mothers and friends.
How do you unwind?
Having my own business, a dog and a child under two means my time to unwind consists of sharing a bubble bath with far too many bath toys, or trying to read a magazine whilst someone else is pulling out the pages or attempting some Pilates in my living room whilst being licked in the face by my dog. But I do enjoy a cup of tea and a few too many biscuits with my friends or a date night with my husband.
What themes are you working on for 2016/17?
From a bright and fun barn wedding to a garden marquee wedding absolutely dripping in florals; I’m working on a number of themes / styles at the moment, which is great. It keeps my creative juices flowing and I love it when a couple can put a stamp on their own wedding and make it truly personal.
What trends are you seeing?
For wedding gowns, I can see the two piece being a big trend next year – either subtle or a little more obvious, but it certainly makes a Bride’s choice a unique and modern one.
Well decorated cake tables – I think the wedding cake took a back seat for a while but it’s back in fashion and brides and grooms are now, quite rightly, showing it off in all its glory. Surrounded by flowers, additional confectionery or on its own on a beautiful table cloth; either way, it’s great to see cake designers work taking centre stage.
Quirky drinks receptions – a Prosecco van, a gin bicycle, a cocktail bar or even just serving your drinks on a beautifully decorated tray. I am seeing brides and grooms putting a lot more attention to detail into this part of the day. It’s a great was to kick start the celebrations and gives the guests a feel of how the rest of the celebrations will go.
What is your signature dish?
I love food and I love cooking. I make a good chicken coq au vin but when I’m going out for a celebratory meal (and this was the main thing that sucked about being pregnant as I couldn’t have any of it), I have chicken parfait, fillet steak and a cheese board with cocktails and Prosecco.
Whose celebrity wedding (dead or alive) would you love to design?
This is a hard question because I love so many different styles of weddings – very elegant and traditional to relaxed bohemian. But I think I would say Olivia Palermo. There aren’t many photographs of her wedding day but her outfit, (a jumper and skirt combination with cobalt Manolo Blahnik’s,) just oozes style and class. I love her chic style and I can imagine their wedding was intimate and modest, yet very well put together which is definitely how I would choose to get married if I was doing it again.
Is the job as glamorous as you thought?
I don’t think I ever thought that the job would be easy. Both my parents had their own businesses so I knew the hard work and hours that goes into being your own boss. But I am very driven and incredibly passionate about my career so I knew that wouldn’t faze me. I hadn’t appreciated how much work was involved in other business tasks other than the actual planning, like book keeping, marketing, research, networking etc. but it’s all great fun and I am so unbelievably lucky to be doing something I love.
What is your vice?
A glass of Prosecco (or two or three) and it’s amazing how many biscuits I can eat whilst sitting at my computer planning weddings.