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Member Focus: Nicola Jones

Continuing our member focus series I am delighted to introduce Nicola from Brighton Wedding Planner who is one of our associate members. Nicola is based in Brighton and covers the Brighton and Sussex areas.

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 Why did you become a wedding planner?

I’ve worked in events for quite a few years and always wanted to set up my own business as I felt there was a gap in the market for a Brighton wedding planner – there were lots of event agencies but no one specialising in weddings, and I believe that your wedding day is too important to entrust to anyone whose business is not solely focused on weddings. At the same time, friends who were getting married kept asking me about which venues were good or what was a good price for a caterer. I realised that there was very little information out there about weddings in my local area so I set up Brighton Wedding Planner.

 What’s your USP? 

I specialise in Brighton and Sussex so I know these areas inside out in terms of suppliers and venues and I’ve got really good local contacts. I also provide services for civil partnerships which are very popular in Brighton, both for residents and for people coming to the city for a destination wedding.

What’s your signature dish? 

I love making all types of puddings and cakes – especially chocolate bread and butter pudding… mmm!

Do you have a favourite venue? 

I’m obviously biased but I would have to say Newick Park near Lewes as it’s where I got married! It’s an absolutely beautiful exclusive-use venue that manages to be both formal enough to create the perfect setting for the ceremony and informal enough to make you feel like you’re having the biggest house party ever for the reception!

Have you ever had a challenging client and how did you deal with it? 

Luckily not so far – all my clients have been lovely! Everyone in Brighton is very laid back and friendly, it’s a great place to live and work.

How do you unwind? 

I love catching up with friends over a glass or two of wine at the end of a busy week, or having a long relaxing bath. And I’m currently slightly obsessed with Glee…

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

I’m not sure – I’m torn between going for something completely over the top, like Jordan or the Beckhams, or something very elegant – imagine organising Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly’s wedding!

Is the job as glamorous as you thought? 

I didn’t think it would be glamorous – I’ve worked in events for many years – so actually it is slightly more glamorous than I thought! With weddings you often get to work in a more creative way and on more interesting, personal touches than you would with most events, so it was a pleasant surprise!

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

I love Zoe Lingard – her style and approach is spot on – simple, elegant and design-led.

What themes are you working on for 2010? 

I’ve got some really interesting themes coming up this year – a 1920s wedding with a full “stage” set, a VIP casino wedding and, for an Arsenal fan, a red and white wedding complete with red London bus!

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