Inspired Brides ~ Q&A with a Wedding Planner

Blog Post- The full Q&A with Claire Clarke Weddings following this wonderful feature from Inspired Brides Magazine for the Winter 2017 edition.

With the New Year having rolled around quickly and many people making good old New Year’s resolutions, I have decided that focusing my time on some wedding blogging as my New Year’s resolution is a must.

My first piece of the New Year ties in with a wonderful feature from Inspired Brides Magazine, of which Claire Clarke Weddings took part in a Q&A session for the Winter 2017 edition.

We feature on page 23!

The magazine is a beautiful glossy which features some local suppliers and two fabulously inspired styled shoots at both Stapleford Park and Bosworth Hall Hotel. As wonderful as the online edition of this magazine is, I would highly recommend ordering a copy; there’s nothing better than flicking through the pages of a beautiful wedding mag in the bath with a glass of wine after all!

As those who know me will vouch, I can talk (!!) so as wonderful as the piece was, the whole session couldn’t be featured which is when a blog post is the perfect addition to give you the full story.  So, grab a cup of tea and read on….

How did you get into the bridal industry? 

I started in the events industry eight years ago, and over those years, I’ve been lucky enough to manage press launches for prestigious fashion and beauty companies as well as planning weddings at the Corinthia Hotel London and the The Savoy Hotel. With such a passion for the bridal industry I decided to start my own business as a wedding planner focusing on bringing the luxury five-star planning to the countryside. Being able to take someone’s dream and create something amazing from it – being trusted to plan the biggest day of someone’s life – is an amazing privilege. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from my job and now couldn’t imagine doing anything else!

What’s the first thing a bride should do when starting to plan her wedding?

Firstly, planning a wedding is a joint venture and it’s so important for both parties to be involved from the start to ensure it feels like a joint celebration. I find a lot of couples run off to start looking at venues before thinking about the wedding as an overall experience so my first piece of advice would be to slow down. Sit down with your loved one over a bottle of wine and talk. Discuss all the things you love and what you both want from your day (i.e what is important to you both?!). You’ll soon figure out if it’s the food, venue, entertainment or something completely personal that you’d like to focus your budget on.

And, on the subject of budget, make sure you decide that from the beginning. If family are helping or you’re investing yourself, be sure to outline how much you can spend as, once you’ve planned your guest list and have gauge on numbers, you’ll be better placed to spend your time looking at the right venues suitable for you and suitable to match your budget.

Finally, if you’re considering a wedding planner, now would be the time to make enquiries, especially since we’ll sit down with you and help brainstorm ideas you have, helping these being to come to life so the fun parts of the planning can start!

Why is a good wedding planner so invaluable?

Gosh, there are so many reasons but let’s dive into the main ones….

So, many couples step into the world of planning a wedding without experience so not only can the process be overwhelming but knowing where to spend your budget is often a grey area for most. Having a wedding planner means you have one contact (of whom will become your new best friend more often than not!) with strong supplier relationships who can guide you when it comes to bringing your vision to life and keep choices within your budget.

For couples choosing to marry at a venue without a designated planner on site such as a back garden marquee wedding or somewhere a little more ‘DIY’, having a planner on the day really can prove to be invaluable for most couples. While I arrange supplier logistics, set up your room and decorate your tables to match your vision of how you saw your day, you can be relaxing with friends to fully enjoy the experience. After all, how many brides actually want to be up a ladder in their rollers?! Once the day starts, I ensure everything runs to time and anything that manages to slip through the cracks, does so without being seen by you or your guests ensuring that to every pair of eyes, the day is 100% seamless and you can fully relax. And let’s be honest, relaxing on your wedding day couldn’t be more invaluable!

Now more than ever, couples are looking to make their wedding stand out. What’s your advice for adding a personal touch to a wedding? 

The easiest way to add a personal touch to a wedding is for the couple to remember what is important to them. By taking themselves back to the defining moments of their relationship a couple can make their day so much more personal. For example, remembering the Jazz music that played in the background of their first date and having this play during the wedding breakfast or just something as simple as serving the same champagne for the toasts that the couple drank to celebrate their engagement can make the day extra special.

Can you tell us about the first ever wedding you planned and how it differed from the ones you’re planning now? 

When I first started planning weddings, there was an obvious emphasis on a colour scheme. All aspects of the day had to match and the accent colour (hot pink at the time) was used on everything from ribbons to wedding favours. Now I find that more couples are happy for a miss match of colours and instead want a more quirky feel to their day. It’s no longer about the little details but instead about the overall day and creating an amazing experience for their guests.

What trends to you envision for 2017?

I believe the metallic theme will continue with the emphasis on copper accents combined with blush peaches and pinks. Destination weddings in locations such as Italy, Greece and France are also being more popular with more couples looking to create an experience for their guests with various events taking place over a few days. And, having jumped onto this trend myself with a week-long Italian experience at Castello Monaci, Italy, I can’t recommend it enough!


Much Love,

Claire x

Claire Clarke Weddings


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