Confessions Of A Wedding Planner
Heather Angell, 34, owns Yourplanningangel.co.uk. Here she tells us what really goes into making the perfect day ...
Ifell into wedding planning accidentally. Events were part of my job, so I started to become the person my friends would come to when their venue pulled out or their caterer fell through. When I went on maternity leave, I suddenly realised that I could navigate these minefields for them.
About 80 per cent of the couples come to me via a recommendation, but they don’t always know what they need. Some want help with just the reception; some come to me with suppliers or a venue already and I work with that. If I don’t click with a client, I won’t plan their wedding. We’ll be working together closely so we have to get on.
My average costs are 10 per cent of your budget, so a budget lower than £30,000 means a planner isn’t costeffective. It also means my annual salary is varied. Planners can earn upwards of £25,000 per annum dependent on the number of weddings they work on.
People think a wedding planner is a ridiculous expense but actually, I can help you save money. I have an innate knowledge of the industry and I know who to work with for what. I also help negotiate better prices and I can tell you where you need to spend and where you don’t. Brides can often fixate on the wrong thing. For example, they buy lots of decorations too soon or rush into booking a venue without reading the small print and then get upset when they can’t bring in their own food or furniture. I can stop all that. Then I can help guide you towards what you really want. Fresh flower walls are so popular and beautiful, but can cost around £10,000. I try to ensure it’s your taste and budget, not just your ‘Pinspiration’.
I often arrive the night before the big day and meet the suppliers. I’ll wear overalls while I help set up – whether that’s hanging garlands from trees or laying tables – then I change into a subtle outfit in my business colours of grey and pink. The key is to blend in; I’m not a fan of the clipboard-and-suit look.
For the main part of the day, I’ll be in the background ensuring everything happens at the right time, but I also deal with the, er, more ‘sensitive’ issues like keeping an eye on an aunt who likes a tipple a bit too much.
I’ve been praised by several clients for my ‘unflappable approach’ but the job can be stressful. Often the mother-ofthe-bride can be difficult. At one wedding I had to go and rescue a bride who’d been ‘held hostage’ by her make-up artist for an hour and a half. But you just go with it and make it work.
Whatever happens, the best part of the job is making the bride and groom happy. If they’re happy, I’ve done my job. Although that make-up artist won’t be getting a recommendation from me anytime soon…
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