Wedding Suppliers through the eyes of a story telling photographer
I met Natalie just over a year ago when I first moved to Wiltshire with my hubby and furry mutt! She was really friendly and knew just about everything there was to know about planning in the Wiltshire wedding industry!
In true ‘Natalie’ style, not only did she marry the love of her life in 2007 but also started her business Love To Plan. When I asked her why she started a wedding and event planning business she told me that she absolutely loves organising and creating events. It was part of her previous job so decided to take that element and run with it. She explained:
“I love seeing smiley faces and happy people enjoying a well organised event, it’s what makes me happy”
She tells me how she loves the variety and busyness of planning a wedding or event. Work life balance is also important to Natalie, balancing business and family life is not always easy but it is essential.
When asked what Natalie loves about her business, she explained she loves to get stuck in, planning in detail, creating and styling an event, the visuals, details that give an event that extra WOW factor. Natalie tells me how she would not describe herself as being ‘fluffy’!! Working in the wedding industry I know exactly what she means by this. She loves the details and the organising, the nitty gritty, but won’t get lost in lots of gushy mushy stuff if you get what I mean 🙂
Details really get Natalie’s blood rushing! She is a stickler for getting the little bits right. If they are not in the right place the whole event could look sub-par! Getting the colours right, the lighting, making sure people are in the right place at the right time; it’s quite a skill doing all that, if you don’t have ‘that’ skill in your DNA, then you just won’t cut it!
With over 150 weddings under her belt in the last 10 years I’d say she is a force to be rekoned with as a planner. She knows her stuff.
Her very first client was to plan a wedding at Highclere Castle, aka Downton Abbey! The business came to her through her brothers friend who runs a marquee business called Marquee Vision. She giggles and says:
“I hesitated to start with then after planning and producing it, I loved it and instantly realised I was doing the right thing”
The planning process
Again the devil is in the detail here. Once Natalie has received an enquiry she would arrange a phone call or video call as an initial chat.
Once the high level details have been established Natalie will put together two proposals with an approximate cost to give her client a good idea what to expect and budget for.
Next if a proposal is accepted she would take a booking fee to hold the date, this ensures you have Natalie’s undivided attention on the day and won’t be running between events. Remember she is a Diva for the details!
She would then be on the scout for suppliers that suit the event, making sure that personalities, styles and themes all match. Budget is important of course too, this is where she keeps a beady eye on the pennies for you. With the whitewed.directory at her fingertips she has access to a whole host of talented wedding suppliers just chomping at the bit to help out.
At all times her client is kept up to date with everything that’s going on, invoices being sent out, payments to be made, styles, themes but never does she ‘bother’ them with details they don’t need to see.
On the day, it all just comes together because all those pesky details have been taken care of. No stone left unturned, everything running like clockwork and timed to perfection. All suppliers know where they are supposed to be and when. There is no room for mistakes, especially at a wedding. Stress isn’t allowed through the door 😉
I joked and asked her if she wears a headset and sports a nifty clipboard at events, my mad sense of humour kicking in there, I’ve watched too many movies but ‘The Wedding Planner’ springs to mind 🙂 When organising an event or wedding, Natalie can usually be found with her sleeves rolled up and getting amongst it! Avoiding the fluffyness, she will get stuck in and work as hard as all the other suppliers she’s hired.
I would describe Natalie at this point as a Swan. On the surface she is calm and collected, a happy smiling face never flustered or stressy. Underneath her mind is running at 1,000 mph, thinking of the next thing on the agenda and spinning a million plates all at the same time and never dropping one of them. The kind of wedding and event planner you need.
So why do people book a wedding & event planner?
Natalie tells me how generally clients who book her are time poor and hate the idea of their event not being organised to perfection. They are usually very organised people themselves and know that if they had Natalie do the organising for them it would get done right. She goes on to tell me how people these days just don’t have time outside of work and family life to squeeze anything else into their schedule.
In Natalie’s case, clients know that she is experienced, well connected and a perfectionist. She won’t stop until all the ‘I’s and ‘T’s are dotted and crossed.
I asked Natalie what was her most favourite part of planning and producing a wedding? Wthout hesitating she told me:
“it has to be the ceremony, thats my most favourite bit. I don’t get to see it very often as I’m always elsewhere doing things. When I do get the chance I sneak in at the back, especially if it’s a church wedding, I just love it. The ceremony part is so beautiful, it’s what a wedding is all about isn’t it? It’s so lovely, Oh I just love it”.
So Natalie Lovett of Love to Plan, I have to ask, what was your most memorable wedding?
“oh it has to be the wedding of Richard James, you know who I mean yeah?, The Richard James Estate Agent in Royal Wootton Bassett. They had a tipi wedding with live bands and we even had chinese lanterns in the evening. Unfortunately they are not legal anymore but they were so lovely. Their wedding day was just magical, they really went to town on everything, it was awesome”.
Random question time!
I just love this bit of when chatting with wedding suppliers. They now expect me to ask the questions but sit waiting for theirs in quiet anticipation :-D!
Q – What is your most favourite way to relax?
A – A hot bath, a glass of fizz, usually Proscecco and a good book. Trying to juggle the two in a soapy bath is usually quite fun!
Q – If you were a book, what would you be?
A – A Thriller, a good ole page turner. Usually by Jeffrey Archer!
Q – Who is your favourite celeb?
A – Meryl Streep. She is such a strong successful woman.
Oh I have to ask, chocolate or proscecco or your trusty cuppa T? Natalie is totally thrown by this question and sits thinking it over for a few minutes and says:
“it has to be Proscecco, yep, I love my fizz!!”
Thank you Natalie, I really enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know you a bit more, it’s been fun.
I everyone reading this post has enjoyed getting to know the Planner behind the business of Love to Plan. In my humble opinion Natalie is worth every penny, she’s definately got my vote.