An interview with wedding planner Natalie Hewitt
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
I’ve worked in the customer service industry since 2005 and have loved every minute of it! I always had the ambition to run my own business but with so many hobbies and interests, I couldn’t decide on a niche. Whilst studying for my degree in Law and Criminology, my now husband proposed! I discovered an industry that incorporated all of my passions; flowers, diamonds, dresses, cakes, Champagne, and planning.
I had found my calling! I set up my business with the main aim to help Brides, Grooms and their family members to enjoy planning their wedding and to be able to relax on the day. I coined the phrase "the bridal pa" and that is exactly what I am, your very own wedding personal assistant!
How did you get started as a wedding planner?
As with the majority of weddings, I encountered some difficulties and financial issues along the way. I consider myself to be a calm person, but the last few days were hectic, and looking back I wish I’d hired a wedding coordinator. I could have unloaded those last minute burdens, and concentrated more on enjoying my special day.
Although I had a wide range of experience in customer service and business management, I wanted to gain more in depth knowledge about the wedding industry, so I decided to study for a diploma in Wedding Planning, which I passed with Distinction. I also attended a number of evening classes to broaden my understanding of the role, including flower arranging, cake decorating and photography.
Reasons couples should consider hiring a wedding planner?
There are so many reasons to hire a wedding planner and each of my services suit different couples depending on their requirements. Unfortunately a lot of the time, brides realise they should have hired a planner / coordinator after their wedding - just like me! When you first get engaged the excitement can get the better of you and this is when budgets tend to spiral out of control, I offer a budgeting service to help you work out a realistic budget based on your requirements so you can go off and know what prices are sensible.
I offer a guest list management service to save my brides time chasing those late RSVP's and create a number of documents for the caters / venue and assist with the seating plan. My on the day coordination service is my most popular service as brides want to plan their own weddings but realise that on the day, they need to be able to hand over the reins.
From coordinating suppliers, keeping the day running on time, carrying out final jobs for the couple and fixing any issues that may arise. And not to mention the contacts a wedding planner has! My supplier searches not only save you time but can also result in discounts, quirky suppliers you hadn't thought of and reputable companies you can trust on your day.
How do you ensure a bride and groom’s personality is reflected in the wedding?
Each year there are new trends coning and going but I love seeing those couples wanting to either buck a trend or to put their own stamp on the day. Little touches throughout the wedding can really create a talking point and make a wedding unique. I love to hear about my couples hobbies, the proposal story, their professions which all help paint a picture of who they are as individuals and as a couple. Having a consultation gives us a great opportunity to talk about their wedding ideas and can often lead to new and wonderful suggestions for their day.
Top tips for wedding couples planning their day.
- Before you start booking suppliers and buying bits and bobs, sit down decide on a style / theme. This will stop you wasting money if and when you change your mind later.
- Work out a realistic budget and stick to it. Shop around suppliers and get a handful of quotes. Don't just settle for the first price you are given and don't be afraid to be cheeky and ask for a discount - you might not get one... but then again you won't know until you ask!
- When you book a supplier, make sure you ask them if everything is included in their quote. Check what their extras are in case they are actually something you need as standard.
Any additional points you would like to include.
A lot of couples don't think they need or want a planner / coordinator but we can be more beneficial than you think. A wedding planner can:
- Save you money
- Save you time
- Can be your go to for advice and support
- Can limit the stress you experience
- Enables you to relax and enjoy your day
- And so much more
Get in touch with Natalie on the websites below;