Review & Reflect from UKAWP owner Bernadette Chapman

wedding planner training

As we reach over half way through the year it’s a perfect time to review and reflect. I do this regularly for the UKAWP with annual, quarterly and monthly goals. As I sit here in my office doing exactly that, I have taken time to reflect on the UKAWP journey. When I first launched in 2004 it was with an innocent passion to bring more honesty and professionalism to the industry. I was horrified at planners being dishonest with couples and not filling obligations, or worse taking their money.

UKAWP Owner Bernadette Chapman

My main focus was to “promote professionalism in wedding planning”.  I saw a need for UK industry training for wedding planners and have a code of ethics for them to follow. At the same time I strived hard to educate others on wedding planners via PR campaigns. Don’t forget in 2004 social medial didn’t exist so this was mainly chat forums, bridal magazines and national newspapers.

Throughout the years we became known for our excellent, no fuss, no glitz, training for wedding planners. I always feel proud of the standard of our students and their integrity, I’ve watched many blossom into phenomenal wedding planners.

If there is one thing I think can be a double edged sword it is social media. It can be wonderful, but also can bring with it bullying and nastiness. I look around and think what has happened to the wedding industry? I’ve always been about community over competition; it is what I’m made of. Why would anyone choose to belittle a fellow business owner? I just don’t understand it.

I’m proud of members and how they support each other. I’m proud of how they decide to stick to their morals and continue putting their clients interests first. I’ll admit to feeling protective over them and honestly want them to build the life they deserve and desire. I honestly believe building up a network of support is vital to the mental welfare of all business owners.

So if you are feeling low and disheartened know you are not alone. If you are not a member where can you get that support? Can you reach out to others in your sector and meet once a month perhaps? Keep an eye out on our events page for the coffee mornings starting again from September which are free to attend and open to members and non members. We also have our annual mix and mingle social evenings in the autumn which we hold in a few locations across the UK. And if you want virtual support why not join a Facebook group? There are so many for the wedding industry so choose one that resonates with you. I have one for wedding planners called Build Your Wedding Planning Business which is a no bullying, zero negativity zone!

14 years after starting the UKAWP I have seen immense growth, I’ve seen social media take over the world (well ok not quite !) but mostly I have seen women and men realise they CAN start their own business and they can be successful. I continue to support all members, (planners & suppliers). I do this with emotional support but also promoting them as often as I can. Like most memberships the more they put in the more they get out.

And behind then scenes? I’m working on numerous educational projects online and offline for new and established businesses and continue to grow the success of my 121 coaching available to a limited number each year.

Photo: Anneli Marinovich 

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