Tips for planning your garden wedding

Garden Wedding Marquee

Some of my couples, or their parents, are lucky enough to own properties with large gardens where they can host their weddings. Often this provides a beautiful and meaningful location, but they can be much more challenging to arrange. 26% of UK couples now hire a wedding planner, but this number sky rockets amongst those planning a marquee or dry hire venue wedding as the logisitics involved can be much more complex. If you consider the average wedding takes 250 hours to plan, can you imagine how many more hours will be spent arranging all the extra elements that a garden wedding involves? To help you on your way, I’ve outlined a few aspects you might want to consider when planning your wedding. Cost Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking a wedding at home will be cheaper than at a venue, this just isn’t the case. After all, not only do...

Read More

How do wedding planners charge?

As a consumer it can be daunting enquiring with a specialist, such as a wedding planner, when you’ve never worked with one before and you have no idea how much it might cost. So, in today’s blog I thought I’d outline some of the key factors on how a wedding planner charges for their services. Service Levels It’s helpful to start with a brief overview of the various levels of wedding planning. Most planners, including myself, offer services ranging from “on-the-day” wedding planning (read my blog here about why this is a misleading title), through to partial and full planning. “On-the-day” tends to be priced on a fixed fee which we can provide to you once we have a better understanding of your plans i.e. guest numbers, number of venues, number of suppliers, complexity of design etc. From this we can estimate how much prep work will be needed in advance of your wedding and...

Read More

Pinterest: Wedding Planning Friend or Foe?

Pinterest, it’s an incredible tool for wedding planning, great inspiration and a source of dreamy fantasy images.  Many of my couples will come to me with a Pinterest board in place, or at some point one will often materialise. For a wedding planner, or a bride, at first glance, Pinterest seems great! However, it’s just one tool in the wedding planning tool box, so in today’s blog post I thought I’d outline some of the pros and cons of Pinterest. Essentially it all comes down to understanding the difference between replication v inspiration and using it accordingly. Use Your Pinterest board as Inspiration to Create a Wedding Personal to You Your wedding day is an amazing opportunity to have a day that truly reflects you and share your loves with your friends and family. This will always trump producing a cookie cutter wedding that is purely based on the latest wedding trend....

Read More

How To Select Your Wedding Date

“You're engaged? Congratulations! When's the wedding?” I bet this is the first question everyone has asked you. But when it comes to selecting your wedding date there is a lot to be considered. Your instinct may say to choose your anniversary or another important date, but here are some tips on other aspects you might want to consider before setting your date. Weather and the seasons Perhaps the first thing you should consider is which season you want to get married in. Do you prefer the beauty of spring flowers, the warmth of summer sun, the colours of autumn leaves, or a blanket of freshly fallen snow for your winter wedding backdrop? The time of year sets the tone, theme, and often the décor of your wedding. Do you see yourselves outdoors in a garden or indoors in a cosy, candle-lit venue? Weather is a huge factor if you would like your wedding to feature either...

Read More

What Exactly Is An On-The-Day Wedding Coordinator?

If you’re enjoying the planning of your wedding but want to a right-hand woman (or man) to ensure all your hard work comes to fruition in exactly the way you had hoped, a day-of wedding coordinator may be the best option for you. Read on to find out exactly what an on-the-day coordinator does and how to find the right one for you. Why on-the-day wedding coordination is a myth You'll often see planners with packages titled 'on-the-day coordination', but really there is no such thing, hence why I call it 'wedding day management'. A planner can’t simply arrive on the morning of your wedding and instinctively know what is meant to happen. Instead, your on-the-day planner is likely to start working with you about 4 to 6 weeks before your wedding. From this point forward, they will then become the main point of contact for your suppliers, meaning that all their questions and demands...

Read More

Everything You Need To Know About Vegan Wedding Catering

With a recent survey revealing that veganism is now one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements - there’s been an almost 400% growth in the last 10 years - I'm expecting the trend to become increasingly prominent in the word of weddings during 2018/19 and beyond. It's an opinion shared by my good friends over at Food Events, who have recently released a whole set of menus especially for vegan weddings that are designed to keep both the vegans and avid meat-eaters equally satisfied on your big day. As the experts in the field I thought I’d pick their brains a little to help you if you are one of the 500,000+ people in the UK who have adopted this plant-based diet. What was the catalyst for developing your vegan menus? We were asked to arrange a vegan wedding last year after looking at what kind of food we provide. Researching vegan food turned...

Read More

7 Fairy Tale Locations For A Luxury Wedding In Berkshire

Burnham Beeches, Berkshire wedding

From Cinderella to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty to Jasmin, we all grew up seeing the picture perfect wedding play out on the big (or small) screen. Of course, now that you’ve found your Prince Charming or Princess, there’s one key thing you have to do before you can ride off into the sunset – find the perfect venue. To make this a bit easier for you, The Wedding Secret have come up with a list of some of Berkshire’s top fairytale locations for your luxury wedding. DE VERE BEAUMONT ESTATE Elegant and refined this charming 18th century estate nestled within 40 acres of parkland offers the perfect blend of romance and grandeur. As well as a range of bright and open suites with an understated elegance that exemplifies the feeling of the traditional white wedding, the venue also boasts its own 19th century chapel on the grounds. The chapel’s interior is brightly coloured. Its curved ceiling...

Read More

Real Wedding: Helen & Andy’s Glamorous City Chic London Wedding

Helen Andy Banking Hall London

I’m so pleased to be able to share this real wedding with you, but first of all I need to say a huge thank you to the fantastic Jaye and Matt of Tux & Tales Photography for allowing me to share these photographs with you. Helen and Andy contacted me 7 months before their wedding to help them with their celebrations, the brief for which was a glamorous, city chic affair. After meeting through work, Andy scored major points for a fab proposal, over a moon and flame torch lit dinner in the middle of the Dubai desert. Gorgeous! The big day itself started for Helen and her bride tribe at a central London hotel, with hair and makeup provided by Zoe Robinson and Krystal Dawn of I am Makeup respectively. Helen’s stunning dress was from The Boutique.     Meanwhile the boys got ready at The Clerk & Well, one of London's most charming pubs with rooms located in trendy Clerkenwell     The beautiful ceremony was held at the really stunning St Etheldreda's Church, a...

Read More

5 Picturesque Wedding Venues in Surrey

Wotton House Surrey Wedding

It is easy to see why Surrey is such a fantastic location to find your ideal wedding venue. Steeped in a rich history, the county of Surrey has the largest woodland space in England and vast areas of outstanding natural beauty. With its close proximity to the capital, the coast, and with great transport links, Surrey has everything you could need to host the perfect wedding. If history and heritage inspires you then Surrey is the perfect place to search for your wedding venue. A generous peppering of castles, monasteries, cathedrals and manor houses – many of which are used as wedding venues – make this county an exceptional place for a romantic wedding . Enveloped in heaths, rivers, woodland and vast open spaces, Surrey boasts a fantastic landscape that has been unspoiled, making it one of England’s most picturesque counties. You will find yourselves spoilt for choice as you peruse the...

Read More

Award Winning Wedding Planner

The Wedding Industry Awards - Wedding Planner of the Year

I'm delighted to announce that last month I was awarded Independent Wedding Planner of the Year (South Central region) at The Wedding Industry Awards 2018. These are the only awards I enter, primarily because they are the only ones based on client reviews as well as the judge's assessment. I'm so thankful to every single one of my 2017 couples who took the time to submit reviews to the organisers. I've been managing events for 16 years now and knowing that I'm still delighting my couples means so much to me. As the awards compere said, over the period of planning a wedding, a planner really gets to know her couples and a strong friendship often develops. This meant that, apparently, the wedding planner category had some of the strongest reviews of any category.  Here are two such examples: "From the moment we met with Caroline, we knew our wedding was in the best hands. Not...

Read More