Andri Benson . . . Wedding Planner

When did you start your business and what did you do before?

Following my degree in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent University I went on to do a post-grad at drama school, where I met my husband. After three years freelancing as a theatre designer I went on to work at the BBC Costume Store as a costumier where I ran the uniform and bridal wear department

Then I got married and considered changing career into wedding and events, since there were obvious parallels between designing a stage show and a wedding, the sense of spectacle is inherent in both! As I was in a secure job at the BBC I didn’t consider it again until the BBC closed the costume store down and then it was the obvious choice, so I launched my business in 2009

 

What can a wedding planner do that a best friend or venue manager can’t?

We offer a personal service that the venue manager, because of the sheer number of weddings a venue will have, really can’t give. I take on a limited number of weddings a year so I can give a lot of my time to clients and get to know how they’d like their day to be

 

I also have a lot experience running weddings, something a friend won’t have, so I know what to expect and be quick to fix the unexpected

 

Where do you get inspiration and would you say there is a current trend?

I take inspiration from my couples and what they like and love. I pay close attention to what’s happening in the industry by regularly reading wedding blogs and magazines but also keeping an eye on other areas like fashion and interiors. I think there’s a move to more glamorous, elegant weddings but still keeping that personal touch that’s so important to couples

Do you have a particular style or do you reflect the client’s desires?

I love working on all styles of weddings because to me the most important thing is reflecting the clients’ wishes

 

What is your favourite flower?

I love ranunculas, they’re so pretty with their delicate petals and stunningly wide range of colours

 

What sort of information do you need to know when meeting with a prospective client for the first time?

I like to know the basics, date of wedding, location, type of wedding – religious or civil, number of guests and total budget; the rest I like to discuss with them at their free consultation where we can all get to know each other better

 

What sort of lead time do you need when taking on a project and can/would you do more than one wedding per weekend?

It depends on what is required – for a full plan it really comes down to when they are getting married but the earlier in the planning process the better really

I only ever do one wedding a weekend and prefer to do only one wedding a month

 

Do you have fixed prices or is each package tailored to the client?

Each price is tailored to the client but as a starting price a Full Plan is from £5000

 

What is the most fun part of your job?

Setting up the wedding on the day can be great fun and seeing it all come together after months of planning

 

What is the most important part of your job?

Meeting my couples’ expectations and helping them have a truly amazing wedding day

 

What makes you laugh?

My little boy, he does say the funniest things!

 

Well hopefully this has given you some food for thought – wedding planners can do the simplest things to make your wedding day perfect or they can handle the most difficult things . . . and you won’t know at all, but you can get very used to having them around!

If you think that the lovely Always Andri can help you on your big day, please take a look at her website and put a date in her diary

Recent Posts

Dartmouth House wedding venue

One of my most favourite places to flower for a wedding is the wonderful Dartmouth House.. set in the heart of Mayfair, it has a lovely history and is currently the home of the English Speaking Union. But it is also a truly fabulous venue in which to get married

flowers by blue sky flowers at dartmouth house shot by julie michaelsen

From the magnificent staircase that takes you to the first floor reception and ceremony rooms to the enclosed and private terrace, it is a stunning building that is all yours once you step over the threshold

Here is Charlotte with her bridesmaid and sister after getting married to Sean last year

The landing on the staircase is the perfect place for a welcome urn and the panelled Churchill Room is ideal for saying your vowsceremony flowers by blue sky flowers at dartmouth house

white rose, hydrangea, freesia, lisianthus and stock mantlepiece display by blue sky flowers

If you are still looking for a wedding venue in central London then come look at this venue and meet the lovely staff on hand to answer your questions at their Wedding Open Day on Saturday 29 April from 12 to 6pm. We will be dressing some of the venue for a ceremony x

RSVP katie.parsons@dartmouthhouse.co.uk

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