[INTERVIEW] “Brides should always firstly make sure the planner is…”
Today we have Charlotte, wedding planner at EVE, ready to talk about her experience with brides.
Question: Charlotte, many thanks for agreeing to do this interview with us. First of all, please let our brides know what are the duties of a wedding planner and what you, as a wedding planner yourself, can do for a bride.
Answer: Being a wedding planner is such an exciting and rewarding job, as we make sure our couples big day better than they ever have imagined. Everything from the flowers to the entertainment we ensure the day is memorable, personal and tailored to each couple. Our job is to form a bond with our clients, to really get to know them and make their day as creative and individual as possible.
Q: What made choose this career path?
A: I have been working in the corporate hospitality and events industry for about eight years. Before that I was a dancer which is where the creative side of me comes from. I have always had a keen interest for the wedding industry, particularly in Cornwall, where I live as it is so beautiful.
Q: How long have you been in the business?
A: Last year, I decided all the traveling to and from London working on corporate events, was too much and wanted to start doing something more creative and closer to home. So I am a relatively new business, but trained with the United Kingdom Alliance of Wedding Planners with which I am also an associate member. Having said that, I am super busy already and each day brings something new and interesting.
Q: Tell us a bit about who Charlotte Lodey is and what brides should know about her and her business.
A: I am a very creative person and I love to really engage the couples in the planning process to get as much of their personalities across in the wedding and wedding styling. I am very friendly and easy to approach, letting my clients know that I am here to discuss anything, no matter how small! I am also super organized and efficient and have lists everywhere! I tailor every single one of my packages to suit the couple, so they know they are getting an individual and special experience.
Q: When trying to find their wedding planner, have you found any mistakes that brides make? I don’t know, something like focusing too much on the price instead of the quality of the service?
A: Lots of brides, don’t necessarily realize the benefit of a planner until it is all over and they wished they had someone there to help them! So getting couples to hire a planner in the first place can sometimes be the hardest part. I think lots of people don’t know enough about what a planner does. We offer, for example, lots of different packages to suit the individual need. Like, on the day planning, full planning, creative workshops and supplier searches. Some brides may want a planner but haven’t budgeted for it so they do end up going for the cheapest option. This may be someone that is not trained, or insured and just doing it as a hobby, which sometimes may mean that couple isn’t get the best out their planner experience.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: I think my biggest challenge is getting couples to find their own inspiration, as apposed to just repining on Pinterest and other social media platforms. I want the couple to have their own, individual, memorable day, not recreate someone else’s. So it is about taking their inspiration and turning it into something which truly reflects them and their personalities.
Q; Have you ever dealt with what everyone calls a “bridezilla”? How did that turn out for you?
A: I’ve been lucky enough to have lovely clients and great experiences. I think it is all down to the planner and how you build good relationships with your clients and their families. I am quite good at calming people in difficult situations and always go for the solution not the problem!
Q: How do you convince brides they need a wedding planner at their wedding?
A: Lots of my inquiries come from outside of Cornwall, i.e couples wanting to visit here to get married. Therefore, they have no knowledge of the area and don’t really know where to start. Those types of clients don’t really need persuading as they have actively found me! However, couples that are not sure, I explain to them all the elements I can help with and how much better and more enjoyable the day will be for them and their family if they have a planner. When you start to list everything that I can do, they soon realize how much work there is to be done and they are quite happy to think that they can give all that responsibility to someone else, so they have the chance to fully enjoy the experience.
Q: And what exactly do you do on the wedding day?
A: I am there from the very start to the end, making sure the whole day runs smoothly. I liaise with all suppliers and points of contact at the venue. I am the go to person for questions, queries, problems, so the bride and groom and their family are not disturbed or worried. I make sure everything runs to schedule and all the remaining balances are paid. I arrange any request the party may have and basically oversee the whole event.
Q: What have you found from your own experience, what freaks out brides the most when it comes to planning their own wedding?
A: Budgeting can be pretty daunting. Most people have no idea how much things cost and have inaccurate estimates for lots of suppliers. They also find it very hard to fit it all around busy lives and jobs. What makes it even harder for my couples is they don’t always live down in Cornwall, so they are trying to plan a wedding that is 300 miles away , whilst having a full time job and children for example. That is why I am so valuable to them .
Q: Describe an emotional moment that you had while being hired to work at a wedding.
A: A wedding last year, which happened to be close friends of ours in Northern Ireland. The whole wedding party was asked to assemble by the lake with the bride at the front. No one had any idea why but shortly after a small sea plane could be seen in the distance which then landed on the water and the groom stepped out of the pilots seat to everyone’s amazement! It was possibly the best entrance to a wedding I’ve ever seen!
Q: What should brides look for in a wedding planner?
A: Brides should always firstly make sure the planner is fully insured and is trained. Preferably a member of the UKAWP as this shows they stick to a strict code of ethics and are regulated. Also, getting along with the planner is just as important. You are going to be spending possibly the next year together so you have to have a bond. Most planners will offer free consultations to get to know each other and discuss ideas, then the bride can decide from that whether she wants to go ahead and book you.
Q: One last piece of advice for our readers?
A: Remember the day is about you and your partner, so work with a planner that really understands you as a couple, to add those finishing touches that have meaning. This is the biggest event of your life and it should be spent with friends and family dancing, laughing and having a good time, not worrying about where the cars are or whether there is enough champagne for everyone. That is our job! 🙂