WPE Speaker Focus: Bernadette Chapman

This speaker for WPE needs very little introduction as of course she our colleague here at the UKAWP Bernadette Chapman. However today I would like to introduce Bernadette in her role as Director of Dream Occasions where she plans and manages beautiful weddings and specializes in marquee receptions…



What’s your USP?

I specialise in marquee events in East Anglia and have become well known for using a twist on ‘Country English’ functions.

What’s your signature dish (personality or food)? 

A big pot of hot chili – perfect for minimal effort at parties, strange thing for a party planner to say I know!

How would your clients describe you?

Clients always comment on how calm I am both in the planning process and on the day itself, they have said this in turn helps them stay calm!

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

There have been a few! I remember one controlling groom a few years ago was incredibly rude to me and suppliers we were meeting that day. The final straw was when he questioned every suggestion I made. I decided to cancel the contract as I won’t work with anyone who deems it acceptable to talk down to me or disregard any advice that they are paying me for. I agree with Siobhan that you need to set boundaries from the start; if you answer your mobile from clients at 11pm then they will feel this is acceptable for future calls.

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

I would love to plan a wedding for any member of Take That, I’m not fussy! I think they would be a lot of fun to work with, I’d have no trouble finding a good evening band + lets face it looking at them (any of them) during planning meetings would be a joy J     

What’s your biggest achievement since launching?

One of my biggest achievements was recognizing the need for an alliance of wedding planners in the UK. I am so proud of what the UKAWP has done over the years, the dedication of my fellow directors and the enthusiasm of our members.

Whenever I have a large marquee event with 30+ suppliers I feel proud that everyone arrives on time and the schedule go according to plan – at the end of the evening I breath a huge sigh of relief because with marquees you never know what ‘could happen’! I hope to cover some of these scenarios at WPE….

What is your vice? 

Reading far too many Romance Novels – just as well I work in the industry for romance!

Describe yourself in 3 words

Professional, loyal, imaginative (I have too many ideas floating around sometimes)

Name one blog you follow religiously

Oh gosh, only one that is difficult. Can I cheat and say I love reading & to have a peak at their recent weddings + to see what those creative US brides are doing AND  to see what creative brides in the UK are doing.

1 Comment

  1. Helen Burns on 11th February 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Great advice to new planners starting out re: challenging clients. I was recently given a good piece of advice which is now my mantra; ‘What you permit, you promote’. Totally agree boundaries need to be set at the start. Thank you!

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