Its pretty safe to say its cold here in Somerset as autumn kicks in.
Hello from me reaching out to connect on a platform to showcase my values, to share my knowledge and advice as guru (!) and to build a closer relationship with the reader. After all, in the wedding and events industry, trust is very important, so here I am, hello October!
Reflecting back, I think its fair to say that everyone in the wedding industry has been challenged with the pandemic on their business, so its incredible to be able to get back into the swing of things this summer! Mind you, its been a shock to the system having gone from shutdown to been very busy. I always like to look on the positive side,so being in lock down gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my systems and processes to make clients on boarding seamless, and was able to spend time talking to other professionals.
As a person I like to think of myself as supporting charities, and for my business this was no exception. I was proud to start my charity programme to two chosen charities – The Wishing Well Foundation and St Bernard Rescue Trust.
It also gave me time to re-look at my business goals around my expertise, so was able to put these into 3 main categories:
1. Independent Wedding Planner
2. Celebrant and Toastmaster
3. Wedding Day Dog Chaperone
This makes my business unique, as not only does the 3 areas 'marry together' (excuse the pun!) each of them I have immense passion for, its my way of life to pull up my sleeves, delving into a world of luxury, new ideas and beauty that comes with each and every wedding and event that are distinct and different from the next.
So, despite the previous obstacles, its enabled positives to springboard from them, and now October is here already!
October Insights – Business
1.Somerset Wedding Planner
I always enjoy networking with a range of wedding suppliers and meeting some new contacts. Excited to share some guest interviews in the coming months! I met Ben Braybrooke and Joe Green in Dorset this month, they were a delight to work alongside with. I encouraged them to stand still and have our photo taken together!
Love this time of year, you can get so creative with autumn weddings. Im so in love with this photo, which for me, captures the essence of decadence:-
Loved speaking to engaged couples who want to plan and organise their own wedding (DIY wedding) about the benefits of having a wedding day co-ordinator for on their actual wedding day. After all what bride and groom (or their families come to think about it) want to be clock watching on their big day making sure everything is going to time or having to rush off to sort out any unforeseen problem while they should be celebrating!
2.Celebrant & Toastmaster
Just when I thought my wedding season had slowed for the year, a booking came in with a week’s notice of a fabulous multi-cultural wedding in Bournemouth in Dorset, so I cleared my diary and got to work! Was hard work but itall paid off and was such an exciting day. Funerals never stop, and I always feel its a true honour to help a family to say goodbye to their loved one. I am usually booked direct by the Funeral Directors, but it was a lovely to learn that a family requested me personally this month.
3.Somerset Wedding Day Dog Chaperone
Wow this side has sprung into action and receiving lots of requests for quotes. I am delighted to welcome on board a team member, Phil, who is very experienced working with dogs to work on this side of the business. Phil is a great asset, not to mention dogs just love him!
October Insights – Home Life
Im super proud of my husband (for over 30 years – oh my goodness where have those years gone?!) was successful in his interview at work. There’s a saying isn’t it, behind every successful man there is a …..
Our eldest daughter, Amelia, is blooming - her baby due soon, so another granddaughter on the horizon.
Touch wood, we are all free from covid and have all had our 2 jabs, boosters due soon!
Our home in Dunster is certainly feeling chilly with our walks to the beach with our Saint Bernards – time to layer up, I think! I adore this photo from local photographer Roger Shattock taken of Dunster, it captures our medieval village well - its looking up through the village from the Castle end.
This Month’s SIX Wedding Planning Top Tips
As promised listed below is my SIX top tips on wedding planning. Why SIX? Well I work SIX days a week and I have THREE grown up daughters and THREE grandchildren (okay nearly three) so here goes:-
1.Should I give my partner his present the night before our wedding or on the morning of our wedding?
Well, that’s a tricky one,personally I would be the night before as the morning of the big day can be a bit hectic and of course its bad luck to see each other in the morning!!
2.Should I charge guests to eat my wedding cake?
I read this is a thing in America. I suppose if you wish to do this, you must let your guests know in advance, but perhaps consider the affordability of your wedding budget.
3. When should I buy my wedding dress?
First think about the style of wedding you want before you rush off to the bridal shops and fall in love with all those beautiful dresses. You need to think about the time of year,we had a heat wave this year and brides were melting in clinging dresses. Also think about location and venue of your wedding, as you would want to reflect its style.
Ive written a series of blog articles when I invited Bellisimo Occasional Wear if you are interested in mother of the bride’s attire.
4. Should I feed my wedding suppliers?
Yes – you don’t want your photographer, DJ, Band, Celebrant, Planner feeling faint as they haven’t eaten– feed them keeps them going for longer and they will thank you for it.
5. Do I need a photographer –surely anyone can take a photo with their phones?
Big mistake – a good photographer will put everyone at ease, get the shots you want, plus can you rely on your friends taking the photos –these photos will be your lasting memory of that day you’ve dreamed off forages!
6. Ive postponed my wedding, but worried about losing money and when to re-book
My heart goes out to every engaged couple due to the uncertainly they are feeling. My advice is not to make rush decisions. If you are considering changing the date, just think it through, talk to people close to you, and talk to your wedding suppliers. In other words, get all the information and facts before making such big decisions. Ask questions about whether you would lose any deposits, ask them scenario questions. Ultimately you have to do whats right for you. This year I have found some couples having smaller weddings, then booking a larger celebration for 2022 or 2023, or for some, they have jumped in and took advantage of having a 2021 wedding with their family and friends. Whatever you decide, 2022 is already looking very busy indeed for bookings, so if you want a specific date, then please do not leave it too long before securing the date!
Be sure to watch out for my next monthly blog journal to see what we are talking about! (those who know me well, know how I love to share my love!)
So, wishing you a fabulous November 2011 to come, and sending my thanks for being here with us behind the scenes
Happy Halloween from Team Amanda-Louise Knight
About the Author
Amanda-Louise Knight is an experienced Celebrant, Toastmaster, Wedding Planner who is a blogger, creative writer, public speaker and also helps couples to have their dogs at their weddings.Her mission is to encourage everyone to make the most special occasions in life better than imaginable. Based in Somerset and works across the UK.