January is historically the time of year wedding suppliers pick up most of their bookings, whether couples have got engaged over Christmas, or suddenly realise ‘this is the year we’re getting married’ the phone start ringing – and emails are pinging! I picked up 3 new bookings since returning to work after Christmas and more proposals pending so I think 2013 is going to be a great year, especially poignant as its my 10th season (more blog posts on this when I get the time to type and reflect).
But today I’d like to explain a little more on my most popular service which is the full planning. This is effectively where I organise the wedding from start to finish; this service is bespoke and tailored to each client’s individual needs.
I think sometimes there is a misconception that a planner will take over with full planning and the couple have no control or influence, this is simply not true. Yes, some of my clients want me to design and plan the whole wedding and leave everything to me, but honestly that’s the exception to the rule. Most of my clients have a design in mind – I just know how to ‘make it happen’. They might have some suppliers on board already – ‘totally fine with me’. The best way to think of me is that I’m your P.A from now until your wedding.
Let me explain how this service works….
Lets have a chat
The process starts with a complimentary consultation at a place & time convenient to you; this allows us to get to know each other. Or if you are oversees we can conduct the meeting via Skype, not as good as meeting in person, but the next best thing.
The consultation is two fold, we want to understand more about you as a couple and what visions you have for the wedding but at the same time you need to learn about us and how we work.
The Proposal – Quotation
Following our consultation I will send you a proposal. Within this document I highlight your vision for the wedding, what services I will provide for you and confirmation of my fee. I make it clear what is and isn’t included, you will know exactly how many meetings you can expect with me (normally around 10-15 meetings in total – with a mix of venue, client, suppliers) and how many hours I am there at your wedding. I include an estimated budget so it is clear from the outset how I think the budget will be allocated.
How do we charge
The fee is determined after the consultation once we understand the level of service required but generally is 15% of your budget or our minimum fee of £4,000.
Remember this includes all meetings, advice, emails, attendance on the day and organisation of your wedding.
Signing on the dotted line
Once you have decided to book Dream Occasion, I will send you a deposit invoice and our terms and conditions for you to read and sign. Once I receive this back I start working on your wedding and the fun begins!
Once hired our first task will be to locate that perfect venue for you. We have worked at some fabulous venues across East Anglia and beyond and so have first hand knowledge on which ones are right for you. Likewise if it is a marquee (of which we are specialists) you need, we can recommend the best one for your style of wedding.
Hiring the right team
In essence we do the legwork; we recommend our top suppliers who we trust explicitly or recommend new ones to suit your wedding.
Any supplier we recommend has been personally vetted by us and in many cases we have worked with them for years. Once a supplier has been hired we: check all contracts, liaise with them throughout the planning process, advise you when payments are due, arrange any appointments (+ attend with you) send them pre wedding instructions and a schedule of events.
We update your budget as and when we hire suppliers, you can easily see where we are under or over budget for each category. Throughout the planning process we advise when payments are due and ensure you have payee details to hand.
Design & styling
Together we will come up with a design that is reflective of your personality and blends with the venue chosen. We will source all accessories from linen to stationery, and ensure all suppliers work with your wedding design in mind. On the day we will style your venue or marquee ensuring the design carries through with meticulous attention to detail.
Advice and mediation
Throughout the planning process we give you guidance on etiquette, what is/isn’t appropriate for your wedding. We help choose your readings, music and hymns. At times we might act as a mediator if conflicts in the family occur. Sometimes the bride and groom ask us to source a special surprise gift for each other for the morning of the wedding.
Ding, dong the bells are ringing
The day of the wedding arrives, in most cases we will have been working in the days prior to the wedding setting up the venue or marquee. If you are marrying in church we will also attend the rehearsal with you. On the day itself we will be working alongside your suppliers on the day ensuring all our plans are carried out perfectly. We supervise the ceremony and act as master of ceremonies if required (minus the red jacket!). We always blend into the background to keep the schedule on track without causing a fuss. We promise no headsets or bum bags on the day!
The morning/weeks after
Even if we had a very late night, we still arrive back at the venue or marquee the following day to collect any hired items and ensure there are no personal items of the bride and groom or their guests left behind. I collate all outstanding invoices and send ready for your return from honeymoon. I send thank you letters to all suppliers involved (even though you may send your own personal thanks as well). Finally I send a post wedding report to you just updating you on any issue that is important for you to know about the wedding day itself.
So if you think you might need some help with your wedding planning I’d love to hear from you, give me a call on 01376 5691 544
To read an actual week before the wedding account pop on over to this blog post