A few days ago Annabel from Love My Dress Blog received an alarming letter from a bride who experienced a less than decent service from one of her wedding suppliers (… and decent is considered bad in an industry made by perfectionists…). After asking brides and suppliers for their tips and experience to share with her readers, Annabel posted a very timely article - How to avoid bad wedding suppliers - summarising some of the best advice to help brides spot a bad supplier and prevent having to deal with a vendors that will almost certainly let her down. One of the many useful tips is to hire a reputable wedding planner, so I thought it would be fitting to introduce you to wedding planner Kim Price, from Roseberry Weddings.
Wedding planners are an incredible source of help, support and expertise, making your wedding planning experience completely stress free, and selecting suppliers who already enjoy a good reputation in the business.
Kim and I first met 3 months ago at my first industry event. I recognised her company name as she is an associate member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, the same association I trained with, which aims to “promote professionalism in wedding planning” (UKAWP).
Kim has kindly agreed to be interviewed by Linen & Silk to talk about some of the myths around hiring a planner (is it really only for the rich and famous?), what pitfalls brides should avoid and how to choose the perfect planner for you.
If you have any additional question that you’d like to ask, do leave a comment and I will endeavour to answer to each of you.
♥ So Kim, when did you decide to become a planner and what is your background?
Funnily enough, my background is in financial markets and I studied at the London School of Economics. However, around 6 years ago it was clear that, although I loved my job, I didn’t love the subject matter. I wanted to transfer my skills to an industry that was centered on love, hope and kindness and so I turned to the world of weddings. I’m able to be a businesswoman, work immensely hard and strive for exemplary customer service but as a wedding planner I now serve engaged couples not central banks, and I create unforgettable celebrations, not financial products.
♥ How do you think hiring a wedding planner benefits couples and what kind of brides tend to use wedding planners?
Most brides are new to planning a wedding and few get through the wedding planning process alone remaining calm, happy and excited throughout. At the start, it’s often hard to appreciate just how mammoth the task ahead is, and all the unpleasant hiccups that occur along the way. A wedding planner brings experience and expertise to the entire process to make it smooth and enjoyable for the couple, and to absorb the time and stress that inevitably comes with the bulk of the legwork. I’m happy to detail all the contributions a wedding planner makes, but I think that’s an article all on its own!
A wedding planner is for all brides. My brides range from those who may lack their own organizational skills to those that are so hyper-organized that they need to ensure a professional is on the case! Most are simply unable to dedicate the time and attention to detail that their wedding deserves. My couples’ budgets cover the entire range. The budget-conscious hire me to make sure they get the most out of every penny spent on their wedding. And my services often pay for themselves! DIY weddings benefit from having a planner on-site to bring all elements together on the day, without requiring hard graft from family, friends or the couple themselves! At the other end of the spectrum, I also work on larger luxury weddings, which often have many suppliers and schedules to manage.
I think the UK is simply developing a little later than the US when it comes to the wedding planning profession. But I think this is changing fast, as shown by the growing use of wedding planners for all kinds of weddings. I think the UKAWP continues to do a great deal to promote professionalism and awareness in the wedding planning industry.
♥ What would you say to couples that think that hiring a planner is beyond their reach?
I think that all couples and their weddings, regardless of style and budget, have the following in common (see below). The involvement of a wedding planner helps to ensure that all these areas are covered to a high standard.
- A loving couple whose marriage and celebration should go off without a hitch!
- Guests who should enjoy themselves as they celebrate your union.
- A planning process that requires a great deal of time and focus.
- A budget that needs to achieve the highest standard of quality & service for the cost.
- Suppliers and schedules that need to be managed well.
- Negotiations and “hiccups” that need to be handled.
It’s a myth that wedding planners are only for the big spenders. I provide a range of planning services and there is a solution for every budget. Full Planning is going to be the most costly option, but the time, dedication and involvement you get is enormous. The savings from having an expert on board often largely offsets the cost of actually hiring the planner.
In addition to Full Planning, I provide consulting services when it suits a couple to do the legwork themselves but want to be kept on track by a professional when it comes to budgeting, scheduling, logistics etc I also do supplier searches, partial planning and final weeks takeovers. So there is really something for everyone. When I meet a couple, we establish what services suit their needs and budget most appropriately.
A couple should feel satisfied that their planner has the skills needed to get the job done to a high standard. Whether that be by looking at past weddings, reading testimonials or through training credentials from a body such as the UKAWP.
It’s also essential to know why you want the involvement of a wedding planner. Is it for their design and styling expertise? Is it because they are super organized and effective when project managing numerous suppliers for a complex event? Know your planner’s strengths and ensure that they match your requirements.
♥ What pitfalls should couples avoid when looking for a planner?
A huge pitfall is to go with a wedding planner that you don’t have “chemistry” with. Your planner will be heavily involved in one of the most personal and momentous occasions of your life. You want to ensure the lines of communication are wide open, that you enjoy communicating with each other and that you are clearly “on the same page”. Not enjoying working together will be counterproductive.
Hands down the best part is the moment of marriage! To come to know a couple well, be involved in all the sweat and toil of planning and be in that inner circle, it’s just incredible to witness their happiness when they exchange their vows. It is far more rewarding than any “deal” I have ever done in my past career!
♥ What do you enjoy the least?
I suppose being self-employed and running a business alone brings its own challenges and I do miss sitting next to a team of friends day-to-day. But these are minor really.
♥ What makes your business unique?
Wedding planners themselves makes their own businesses unique. It is a personal service, not a generic product. When working with Roseberry Weddings, you hire the skills and qualities that I personally bring to the table. Each planner differs according to his or her own approach, skill-set and values. I personally put outstanding customer service (both for my clients and my suppliers), attention to detail and professionalism at the very top of my priorities. Much more so than wishing to specialise in particular design styles, services or price points.
♥ And so that we get to know you better, what do you think is the most romantic city in the world?
Easy: Florence! Beautiful city, amazing food and wine, great weather. What more do you need?
Credits: all images by Marianne Taylor Photography