Hello!
I am Abigail the face behind the business.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the New Year. I can hardly believe we are almost in February!
We have had such a busy start to the year working with our amazing clients, on some really exciting celebrations.

 

We have given our website a beautiful little facelift and we hope that you love it just as much as we do.
As you may know, I have had a passion for all things creative and a deep love of arts from a young age. This year I am planning my own wedding, and so I thought it might be a nice topic to talk about as I have actually had a lot of questions from both friends and industry professionals.
“Where? When?”
“It must be so much easier for you because it’s your job?”
“I bet you don’t get emotional at all”
“How are you choosing your suppliers? Do you get good discounts?”
I can totally understand why people assume or even ask these questions, but they are all so wrong. I have planned a lot of celebrations for a wide range of people and yes, it comes naturally to me. This does not mean that I am never faced with challenging situations. No two weddings or events we do are ever the same, the experiences and clients we have are always different. And these challenges that keep us on are toes, are one of the many things that I love about my job.
I would like to start by saying you are very right to assume that I have an advantage planning my own wedding as a professional. I do indeed have the supplier contacts needed, the knowledge and expertise. However, it is at this point that I would like to tell you just how very different the experience is when you are planning your own wedding in comparison to planning a clients.
We are getting married in a beautiful town in the south of Italy called Santa Maria, Castellebate. Italy is mine and my husband-to-be’s favourite country. The food, lifestyle, culture, people, vineyards…. We just love it all!
However, I don’t speak Italian (I’d love to learn). When you work in main cities or destinations that are heavily populated by tourists, then you tend to find that most suppliers do speak good English so the communication is never really an issue. However, when you choose somewhere more rural. A hidden gem like Santa Maria, well then you will find that 99% of the suppliers speak absolutely no english or very little.

 

 

We have worked in Turkey, Germany, Dubai, Milan, Vienna, Budapest, Ibiza. We have got plenty of experience with working internationally, and more than enough suppliers up our sleeves. But all of those places are well known destinations, westernised, tourist areas. We have never before worked in a destination where hardly anyone speaks English. So, this for me, was a whole new challenge.
Having the knowledge of planning a wedding, and an understanding of how the industry itself works. I could of course use this to my advantage in order to find the right suppliers, and ensure that I could communicate with them. I am very proud to say I am now doing business in Italian even if that is with the help of a my trusty translator. (hopefully one day I won’t need it!)
 As a professional wedding planner you see things from an outside perspective, a creative, business angle, you are not emotionally attached to the wedding in the way in which the bride is (and brides I hate to break it to you but neither is anyone else in your life… family or friends).
We are incredibly excited about your wedding day, and on the day feel all of the emotions with you as do your friends and family. But the attachment and tenderness you feel towards every decision you make is something no one else does and this can the planning process feel lonely.
I didn’t expect to be emotional when planning of my wedding. I think I was assuming I would purely look at it as a professional job but I couldn’t of been more wrong. It has been such an emotional time for me, and I am actually really grateful to be able to have had this experience.

 

 

I feel like this has given me a whole new much deeper understanding. One that will help me to nourish my relationships with my brides even more, to be able to connect with them and honestly say…“I know that feeling, I too felt like that and here is what I did”.
I am incredibly good at giving valuable advice to my clients and truth be told, I never once thought I would need to remind myself of this advice. The biggest and most stressful issue all brides (including me) face is the ‘people pleasing’ stage.
Trying to ensure every single guest is happy. This is not only impossible to do but it is incredibly draining when you try. I have spent years telling my brides “you cannot please everyone, this is your day, and you should not be stressing trying, those who want to be there, will be there for all the right reasons.” Could I listen to this advice myself? Absolutely not!
At one point in the early stages of my wedding planning I felt broken and so emotionally drained from trying to do exactly this… the impossible people pleasing. I am sure any bride reading this will agree, you know that it is a ridiculous thing to try and do, you start off by saying… “I won’t be doing this and that” but ultimately you just can’t help it. I promise you everyone feels this way. Including us professional planners. We are human. Family is important, so emotions will always get the better of you. As women we spend our whole lives growing up to be told that this is the biggest day of our lives, so we have high expectations of a magical, fairytale planning experience. (Of course movies and books you don’t see cinderella stressing about budgets or stubborn guests)
I reached a point where I had to put my professional hat back at on and tell myself ‘Listen, what would you be telling your clients!’. I can now see as a bride to be just how easy it is to get caught up in that whirlwind of emotion. And actually, I have found some rather wonderful techniques for managing this stage of the planning process. Secrets I am excited to be able to share with my brides.

 

 

The other false assumption that many people make once they know I am planning my own wedding is assuming that I would not need the help of any other planner or use any other planners service. I believe that we can learn from everyone, and you can never know too much. I did actually reach out to a wonderful planner (now friend) Julie from My Secret Weddings who specialises solely in weddings within Santa Maria. Her advice having spent 15 years managing Italians was invaluable and I am so grateful for her kindness to share this with me.
Another false assumption due to our extensive network of suppliers and friends within the industry is that us planners get ‘discounts’ or ‘freebies’. This is absolutely not the case. Of course having such a strong network of suppliers is a blessing, and most definitely makes life easier when it comes to sourcing what we need. However, we do not get discounts and nor (speaking for myself here) would we ever expect or accept that from any supplier.
As a business owner I know just how hard people have to work to run their own company. They need to make profit, so it would not be acceptable or fair to ask of anyone to lower their prices. The supplier selection for our wedding was not easy and we have not yet finished. It was actually really hard because I love the work of so many people. All the suppliers that we have booked so far, I can say I feel truly best reflect our style as a couple.
The very first supplier we booked was Kim Scott a lovely lady who owns Pingle Pie. I have always loved water colour illustrations and have been a fan of Kim’s work for some time, so this was without a doubt was the easiest decision we made.
On next weeks blog I will be sharing our stationery designs, and details on the process in which we took to designing our bespoke invitations & RSVP cards. Which I hope will be useful for any brides considering doing the same but maybe have concerns with budget restrictions.
Thank you for reading, have yourselves a wonderful week!
Love & Well Wishes,