wedding planner

Congratulations - you're engaged! Now what?

So, you’ve just got engaged - congratulations! But now what? Once the initial shock and excitement have passed, you’ve phoned your nearest and dearest, and posted a photo of your ringed finger online, make sure that you take some time to enjoy that ‘just engaged’ feeling.

When you’re ready to start planning your wedding, you might be tempted to buy a dozen wedding magazines or go to wedding fairs straight away, and these can be great ways to get inspiration for your big day, but the first thing you need to do is have a realistic conversation with your fiance/fiancee about your budget. Do you have savings you intend to use, or are you going to set aside a certain amount each month from now on? Your finances will govern every decision you make for your wedding, so it’s important that you both know what your budget is, before you get carried away planning a lavish event that might not be realistic. If you’re going to have a save up for your wedding, try to work out how long it will take you to save a reasonable amount (bearing in mind weddings typically cost anything from £10,000 to £30,000!).

The next thing to consider is the guest list; start with the essential people who you definitely want to be there for the whole day, and see how many you have. Then create a second list of those who you would like to come to the evening reception, and see how many you have. You can always move people between the lists (they’ll never know!). If you end up with a very long list, have a good think about why you’re inviting certain people; do you actually like them or is it out of obligation? It is worth remembering that one of the easiest ways to save money on a wedding is to reduce the guest list!

You then need to think about the type of wedding you both want to have, and the time of year. Do you have a specific date or month in mind? Is your heart set on an outdoor wedding, a traditional church ceremony, a stately home or maybe a marquee in the garden? Is there a particular theme you want to incorporate, and therefore a specific type of venue that fits with this?

Once you have decided on the type/style/theme of your day, you can then consider potential venues. At this point you should think about key things that are personal to you that will affect your final decision, such as: how many people the venue can hold; is there accommodation onsite/nearby; can you have the ceremony and the reception there (if that’s what you want); what dates do they have available that suit the time of year you want; what are the menu choices; can you have a live band; etc…

Don’t forget, if you find any aspect of planning your wedding daunting, you don’t fancy trawling through lots of venue and supplier websites, or you simply don’t have time, you should consider hiring a wedding planner to do all the hard work for you. Yes, it will be an additional cost, but their experience and connections in the wedding industry may actually help save you money in the long run, and the stress it will alleviate from you is priceless, so it is worth thinking about. I offer a variety of planning services, from full wedding planning to partial planning, so you can pick and choose the areas you might need some extra help with.

Please get in touch to have an informal chat and find out more!

Caro Events at The Kent Wedding Centre

As some of you will know, I am part of The Kent Wedding Centre, but I thought I would explain a bit more about what that actually is.

The Kent Wedding Centre, very simply put, is your one-stop wedding shop, designed to make your wedding planning journey as easy as possible. They have over twenty different professional wedding suppliers (some award-winning!), covering everything you would need for your wedding, from florists, wedding attire, rings, photographers and wedding planners, to cake makers, videographers, photobooths, honeymoon specialists and caterers, plus many more, all of whom are specialists in their field.

Situated in a rural oast house at the business park behind the Hop Farm, The Kent Wedding Centre is spread out over two floors, with each supplier given their own area to showcase their products/skills. I have a showroom set up on the first floor, where you can see examples of the centrepieces and chair covers/sashes that I have to offer, as well as my unique backdrop and the props that are available to hire. There is also a consultation area, where we can discuss your wedding in detail and explore which of the planning and styling services that I offer may be the most suitable for you.

For me as a wedding planner it is the perfect place for me to meet with my wonderful clients (and potential clients!) to have a chat and get to know each other, so that I have a full understanding of what you want, and you can be sure you’ve picked the right person to help you plan the most special day of your lives.

The Centre is open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5.00pm, so you can just pop in and have a look around, but I would recommend making an appointment to make sure that all the suppliers you want to talk to are there.

The Kent Wedding Centre really is the ideal place to start planning your dream day, with all the experts you could want under one roof! Get in touch to make an appointment to suit you.

My showroom at The Kent Wedding Centre

My showroom at The Kent Wedding Centre

It's a nice day for a summer wedding...

When the weather is beautiful and hot, like it has been for the past few days, I can’t help but think of all the happy couples who got married recently. When you’re getting married in England (or doing anything in England, for that matter!) you can never guarantee the weather. You could decide on an outdoor wedding in a field, with a marquee, in the middle of July, expecting the lovely weather we’ve had recently, but then it may rain heavily for the week preceding the wedding, leading to the field becoming waterlogged and unusable. Or, you could have dreams of a winter wedding with snow on the ground, but the chances of it snowing when you want it to are rather small. You just cannot predict what the weather will do, which is why couples and wedding planners must always have an alternative or ‘wet weather’ plan as a back-up.

The weather can be a cause of a lot of worry for the bride and groom, especially those having outdoor ceremonies, which is usually the most important part of the day. Speaking from personal experience, I can vouch for this! When I got married, we planned on an outdoor ceremony at our venue; I wasn’t keen on the wet-weather option, so I was keeping everything crossed for a hot, sunny day. Our wedding was in the May, so we were expecting dry, mild weather, but the weeks leading up to the wedding were wet, grey and dismal. During this time, our dreams of a hot summer’s day changed into a silent plea of ‘please just be dry for forty-five minutes when the ceremony takes place – then it can rain!’ As it turned out, we needn’t have worried; the day was sunny and warm, and some people even got sunburnt as no one was expecting such good weather. It meant we had the ceremony (and day) that we dreamt of, but it also made me realise how much time I had wasted worrying about the weather; it’s not something I had any control over and my time could have been better spent focussing on some other aspect of the day.

Now, in my role as a wedding planner, I always encourage my couples of embrace their wet-weather plans, so that if they need to be implemented, there will, hopefully, not be too much disappointment or inconvenience. It’s important to remember that it's not the end of the world if you don’t have your ideal weather for your special day. After all, as long as you get to marry your partner/other-half/soul mate/best friend, does it really matter what the weather’s like?

Wedding Fairs: Yay or Nay?

The idea of attending a wedding fair can fill people with feelings of excitement and/or nervousness; the large number of businesses exhibiting can help you plan your special day (and you can talk about your day with people who get just as excited about weddings!), but they can also be quite intimidating, especially if you've no idea where to start. I always recommend to my clients that they attend at least one wedding fair, particularly if there is one on at a venue they are interested in or have booked, as it can help them visualise what their day could look like. 

It can be very useful to compare different suppliers, and being able to do it in one day, in one place, as opposed to making appointments and going from shop to shop, or town to town, can be very beneficial. You also get to see examples of the suppliers' previous work, which can help you decide if they're the supplier you want to use. 

Some businesses hold competitions or offer discounts at wedding fairs, to encourage you to book them. Whilst this can mean you get a good discount, don't rush to book someone just because you want to save money; make sure they are the right supplier for you.

Exhibitors know and understand that it can be overwhelming for couples, both in terms of the information you're given and the ideas available, but they generally just want to have a chat, find out about you and what you want, and try to help. Just remember, you are not obliged to book anyone or make any decisions when at a wedding fair; it is fine to just wander around, get some ideas, maybe talk to a supplier or two, get some business cards or leaflets, and then go home and think about it all as and when you want to.

Wedding fairs are designed to help you meet the businesses who could help you bring your dream wedding to life; so why not check out some wedding fairs that are happening near you soon?

 

Here are some wedding fairs companies covering Kent, with upcoming fairs:

The Wedding Experience - Their next fair is on 18 February at Hop Farm, Paddock Wood

A Kentish Wedding - Their next fair is on 11 February at Discovery Park, Sandwich

Whitesky Events - Their next fair is on 4 March at Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham

Main Event Wedding Shows - Their next fair is on 11 February at Brands Hatch, Longfield

Why should I hire an event planner?

You may wonder why people hire event planners for their weddings and parties; surely, it’s something you can just do yourself?

Many people can, have and do plan their own events, but why make things difficult for yourself? Life can be complicated and busy enough without having the potential stress of planning your special event. You want to be able to enjoy your event from start to finish, and that’s where I come in.

As your event planner, I can help you plan your event to make it fulfil (and ideally exceed!) your expectations. I can source and liaise with all the suppliers, saving you valuable time and energy in finding a variety of options, haggling a reasonable price and confirming details. Also, because of my knowledge of the industry and the contacts I have in different fields, I could help you find the best quality suppliers; I firmly believe that just because something is expensive, it does not automatically mean it is the best, but then the cheapest option is not necessarily a good idea either. A bride I worked with a while ago was adamant that she wanted to save money on the price of their wedding cake by getting it from a high-end supermarket, against my advice. Whilst there is nothing wrong with these cakes, I particularly like being able to show my client’s personalities through their events, and these cakes tend to be quite plain and generic (she only wanted a simple cake topper to decorate it). Upon collecting the cake, the bride confessed that she wished she had at least met with the cake makers I had recommended to see what they could offer. Of course, my clients are welcome to (and sometimes do) disagree with me, but I only make suggestions based on what I think they would like and would work with the event, within their budget.

Event planners often think of things that you have not even considered. Through their experience, they know what works and what doesn’t, and they can draw on their knowledge to improve various aspects of your event, from room layouts to how your menu can be tailored to suit your theme.

Finally, having an event planner there on the day can automatically make you relax, and so enjoy your event more, because you know that if anything, be it big or small, goes wrong, then someone is on hand to deal with it immediately. I would always recommend that your event planner is there for at least the set up and beginning of the event, just to ensure that it starts well and that you are happy. For parties this often works well, but for a wedding, it is useful to have your event planner there from the set up to first dance, as they can be on-hand to make sure the event runs to schedule and handle any glitches.

As a bride, groom, guest of honour or host, you should spend the event with your family and friends, enjoying yourself, and not worrying about anything. So, even if it’s just for the sake of your sanity (!) hiring an event planner is always worth considering.

Here we go...!

Hello everyone…

Well, here it is; my first blog! I figured I should probably do this properly and introduce myself – hi, I’m Lucy... I’ve been working in the event industry for several years now, but due to a change in circumstance and then the opportunity presenting itself, I decided to take the plunge and start my own business. For those of you who have done that, you know what a daunting prospect it can be! I’m now up and running with Caro Events UK and work is slowly starting to trickle through.

I have worked on a variety of events, from private parties and weddings, to public ticketed events, dinners and talks. Personally, I prefer working on private social events, such as parties, weddings, children’s birthdays and social corporate events (e.g.: Christmas parties) as opposed to public ticketed events. I think it’s because with the private events, you can show so much of the client’s personality through all the little details and I think this makes them more special (and more fun for me to work on!).

I’m planning on using this blog to share my experiences (both good and bad!), to talk about events I’m currently working on, as well as sharing a variety of ideas that may help you if you’re planning your own event. Of course, you could just employ me to do that all for you! (Shameless plug, I know!)

I hope you find what I have to say interesting, maybe even entertaining, but we’ll see how it goes! Please do get in touch if there’s a particular area you would like me to cover, or if you need any assistance at all in planning your special event.

Thanks for reading! x