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Brighton and Sussex Wedding Planner/ Being a wedding planner

June 22, 2011

I recently met up with Erika from the fab Photomadly for a chat about how I got started as a wedding planner and my top tips for organising a wedding. Erika has a fantastic quirky photography style and we bonded over our love of bohemian Brighton weddings and our matching bumps which have since become the gorgeous babies Oliver (many congratulations Erika and Mark!) and Amelia (my own baby wedding planner!).

PM:  Tell me about how you got started as a wedding planner.  What made you want to get into the business?

NJ: I worked in events and always wanted to start my own business and work for myself, weddings seemed like the perfect fit as being a ‘one-man band’ is perfect for the personal service brides expect on their wedding day. I also love weddings and the opportunities they give you to be creative and work with fantastic suppliers that you might not otherwise get to work with.

PM: What do you like best about what you do?

NJ: Well I am quite a planning geek so I like making sure that everything is running on schedule and coming in on budget. I also love finding great new suppliers for unusual requests from my clients and working on their creative ideas to make them a reality. But the best thing of all is seeing the wedding come together on the day and knowing that you achieved that and that the couple will remember it for the rest of their lives….

Read the rest of the interview here.

www.photomadly.com

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Brighton and Sussex Wedding Planner/ Planning a last-minute wedding

May 3, 2011

Photo credit: Wedding Bee

We’re not sure if it’s the post-recession mood or the recent Royal nuptials giving everyone wedding fever, but this year we’ve had lots of enquiries for last-minute weddings here at Brighton Wedding HQ.

Of course, with the help of a professional wedding planner it should be relatively stress-free trying to organise your big day in six months or less. But if you’re going it alone, and determined to arrange your big day this year, here are our top tips on making  sure it goes without a hitch:

1. Set a date

This is the most important aspect of planning a wedding as nothing else can be booked before you have a venue sorted and date pencilled in. Draw up a shortlist of venues based on your requirements (guest numbers, location, civil licence, etc) then ring round, asking them if they have availability in your chosen month. Be flexible on dates and even days of the week as mid-week dates can often be free until the very last minute and work out a lot cheaper than weekends, which tend to book up 1-2 years beforehand in most venues.

2. Get the legal stuff sorted

As soon as you have a venue, date and time in mind, call your local registry office and arrange a meeting with the Registrar. Notice for marriage must be given in person at least 15 days in advance of your wedding, and you’ll also need to check that the Registrar is free for your ceremony. If you’re having a Church wedding, you’ll need to publish Banns in your local parish over three Sundays during the three months before your wedding, so make sure you leave enough time.

3. Talk to suppliers

Perhaps you’re keen to have fabulous photos or you’ve dreamed of the perfect wedding cake. As soon as you’ve set a date, prioritise your most important suppliers and look in wedding magazines and directories for inspiration on who to call. When talking to them, even if they’re not free on your date, ask them if they know of other local suppliers they would recommend – both in their field and elsewhere. This can save you a huge amount of time as you’re getting personal recommendations from people who really know their stuff, and this can help you to get lots of things organised at short notice.

4. Keep your guests in the loop

The sooner you let your guests know your plans, the better. Many people book holidays up to a year in advance so email people as soon as you have the bare bones of the wedding in place to get an idea of numbers. You may find that the venue you’ve booked for 100 is suddenly too large for the 50 guests who can make it on the day if you leave it too late. It also makes it easier and cheaper for your guests to arrange their transport and accommodation if they know your plans sooner rather than later.

5. Haggle on everything

The great thing about last-minute weddings is that if suppliers and venues aren’t already booked by the time you enquire, they’re often prepared to do great rates to secure your business. Always check for ‘last-minute’ rates and ask for the best price they can do – they’re unlikely to get another enquiry for your date if it’s coming up very soon and won’t want to turn you away.

6. Hire a wedding planner

A good wedding planner really can make the difference between a last-minute rush to get everything together on time and a calm, enjoyable day. Wedding planners have a book of reliable contacts they can call upon at short notice and can often get the best rates and service. You’ll be able to rest assured that your big day will come together as planned without worrying about your budget spiralling out of control due to lack of  supplier or venue choice.

Brighton and Sussex wedding planner/ Mar-Apr newsletter out now!

March 8, 2011

Brighton and Sussex wedding news out now! The best Brighton venues, the Wedding Sanctuary, fab local stylist and more…

Read now

Keep calm and carry on at the Wedding Sanctuary

March 3, 2011

We’re really excited to be a part of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) Wedding Sanctuary, a unique new style of wedding show designed to offer wedding inspiration, personal style advice and the best one-on-one planning support available – your one stop wedding planning refuge!

The show takes place on Sunday 20 March at the fabulous Somerset House and you’ll benefit from speaking directly to industry experts like Julia Boggio (photography), Amanda Austin (flowers) and Sternberg Clarke (entertainment) as well as getting to talk face-to-face with the UK’s top wedding planners (like us!) about your wedding worries and issues.

The UKAWP will be offering a range of talks on issues such as setting a budget and choosing suppliers, and there will also be beautiful Design Inspiration and Style Boudoir areas to browse at your leisure whilst sipping Champagne and tasting delicious canapes from Table Talk. Your husband-to-be can also get advice on everything from his outfit to his speech from top wedding bloggers Staggered, so there’s no excuse to leave him out of the fun!

Join us on 20 March for a stylish, fabulous and relaxed approach to planning your wedding – tickets are strictly limited to ensure all brides receive a truly personal experience, so book now online or call 01483 282858 – we look forward to seeing you there!

Brighton and Sussex wedding planner/ The best Brighton wedding venues

February 4, 2011
Brighton is a fantastic place to get married, with the beach on your doorstep for photos and the seaside atmosphere lending a relaxed informality to any celebration.
 
We’ve put together a selection of our favourite Brighton wedding venues but if you need more help finding the perfect location for your special day, why not take a look at our venue finding service, starting at just £250. Using our expert local knowledge and contacts, we can help you find the Brighton or Sussex venue of your dreams.
 
On a budget
Hangleton Manor

For a beautiful venue on a tight budget, you can’t get much better than Hangleton Manor in Hove. It’s a bit off the beaten track, but in exchange you get a stunning 15th-Century flint manor house and gardens for your special day. The venue, which is now a pub/ restaurant, can accommodate up to 80 guests for the ceremony and private reception and does fantastic pub food to boot, all for the bargain hire price of £400.

Pros: The gorgeous setting and the price!
Cons: Some distance from central Brighton and the beach, the pub section stays open for regular customers so you don’t have the whole place to yourself.

For large weddings
Brighton College



Getting married in a school isn’t the most obvious choice, but Brighton College is one of the most spectacular licensed venues in Brighton. Gather up to 100 guests for an intimate civil ceremony and then move on to the Chapel for a traditional blessing. Choose to dine in either the vaulted Dining Room or grand Great Hall and take advantage of the exclusive use of the grounds for your photos.

Pros: Range of rooms and settings to suit your wedding, can accommodate large wedding parties all day, free parking for guests overnight.
Cons: It’s a school, so some of the fixed signage/ decor may not fit in well with your wedding theme.

For intimate weddings
Brighton Bandstand



What could be more romantic than getting married in the open air, overlooking the English Channel and the ruined West Pier, surrounded by your family and friends? Recently restored to its original Victorian splendour, this venue offers an intimate and unique setting for your special day. The fabulous La Fourchette own the cafe beneath, and can provide beachside drinks and canapes for your guests after the ceremony.

Pros: Amazing setting for photographs, informal and relaxed feeling.
Cons: The seafront is very busy in summer so be prepared for spectators! Bad weather could play havoc with your ceremony, dress and photos.

For something completely different
Brighton Ballroom



For a wedding with a vintage twist, look no further than the Proud Brighton Ballroom, a retro supper and burlesque club in the heart of bohemian Kemptown. Your guests can sip cocktails in the magnificent 1920s-style domed bar which has been at the heart of Brighton for more than 200 years, transforming from a mausoleum, high-class gentleman’s club and even an air-raid shelter in World War II.

Pros: Unique, glamorous and sophisticated venue, just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Cons: Limited natural light and outside space makes this venue best for grown-up winter or evening celebrations.

Photo credits: Hangleton Manor – The Gourmet Society, Brighton College – Wedding Venues, Brighton Bandstand – Urban Projects, Brighton Ballroom – My Daily

Brighton and Sussex Wedding Planner/ Nov-Dec newsletter out now!

December 23, 2010

Brighton and Sussex wedding news out now – winter wedding ideas, 10% off vintage china hire at The Tea Set and fab handmade accessories!

Read now…

Brighton and Sussex Wedding Planner/ Winter wonderland wedding

December 10, 2010

With the recent snow, and we’re told more on the way, we can’t help getting all romantic about beautiful winter weddings. If your wedding’s in the next few weeks, here’s some inspiration for making your winter celebration truly magical – just gather your guests around a roaring log fire, snuggle up with fake fur throws and blankets and sip on some warming mulled wine… oh, and don’t forget to pray for snow!

Photo credits (from top left): Wedding Ideas Blog; Shibawi Wedding Dress; Country Living; Bride.ca; Bride.ca; David’s Bridal; I Do It Yourself; My 1 Wedding; CSC Imports