Con­fes­sions Of A Wed­ding Plan­ner

Heather An­gell, 34, owns Your­plan­ningan­ Here she tells us what re­ally goes into mak­ing the per­fect day ...

Look (UK) - - LIFE -

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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