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  • Liz

Up close and personal with...

Emma Joy... Wedding Planner

I've worked with Emma on many occasions and love her enthusiasm, care and attention to her clients She works primarily in and around London, Surrey and the Home Counties

When did you start in this business and what did you do before?

My background is in project management and consultancy, but in 2015 I decided to leave the city behind and pursue a life filled with creativity! Becoming a wedding planner allowed me to join all of my creative ‘dots’ and use the skills and experience I’d built up in business. I love my job and I’ve never looked back!

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

I have clients who’ve always dreamt of a quintessentially ‘British’ wedding, but I also work with couples who prefer things to be more contemporary. For me it’s about recommending the ‘right’ suppliers for them and executing everything perfectly (which you do to perfection!)

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

That’s a great question, Liz! Sometimes I’ve felt like a wedding planner, best friend and venue manager all rolled into one!

There’s no doubt that a best friend can help with wedding planning, but unless he/she happens to be a wedding planner themselves, they’re not going to have the skills, experience and contacts that we have.

Couples shouldn’t feel that by hiring a wedding planner, no one else can be involved. I’m used to having client meetings where best friends, siblings and parents come along too!

Venue managers have an invaluable role to play and I work closely with them. They know their venue inside out and they can be incredibly helpful in answering questions and solving problems. But they rarely get to know the clients in the same way that we do. They don’t help them choose their other suppliers or support them through the many decisions and dilemmas, the highs and the lows, in the same way that wedding planners do. Remember, we work for you. A venue manager works for the venue

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from all over! As well as wedding blogs and magazines, I’m on Instagram and I love browsing my favourite suppliers’ feeds. I try to look beyond the wedding industry as much as possible. Art always give me ideas for colour palettes and in fact I recently planned a wedding at St Giles House where the jewel tone theme was inspired by the tapestries that hang in the entrance. I feel very lucky to live in London because there’s inspiration everywhere you look. I get excited by way hotels and restaurants I visit are designed, and usually I’ll suggest meeting up with clients in locations I think they’ll find inspiring too

Is there a current trend? Meghan and Harry’s wedding undoubtedly started a trend for understated elegance that I LOVE. So many of my clients want their flowers to be natural and abundant like theirs were, but I have to say that my brides usually choose a dress more like Kate’s ;)

What is your favourite flower?

It has to be Lily of the Valley. I love the scent and I just think it’s the most exquisitely beautiful flower

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

I have three planning services: full planning, partial planning and final weeks coordination. These services, and the level of investment, are always tailored to the client’s specific needs and requirements

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

When I meet with a prospective client for the first time, my objective is to get to know them and what makes them ‘tick’. Having a good rapport from the start is so important. I always ask them to close their eyes and describe how they visualise their wedding day: how they feel, what they see, what they hear, even what they smell! If they’ve thought about any details e.g. date, timings, number of guests, venue etc. we’ll discuss those too, but generally that all comes later. Another crucial question is what they’re looking for from a wedding planner and how they imagine us working together

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

The shortest lead time I’ve ever had is four months, but usually I work with my clients for 12-18 months. A lot of thought goes into planning a wedding and venues and suppliers get booked up a long time in advance. I offer a very personalised service and a high level of support immediately before and after the event, so I’d never do more than one wedding per weekend

What is your favourite type of client / style of wedding?

I love understatedly elegant weddings which blend timeless details with elements of contemporary

I absolutely LOVE flowers, so I get excited when my clients do too. But its not about me!

My role is to interpert what the client wants and bring their vision to life. My favourite clients are the ones I feel a connection with from the outset

I can tell that they're going to value and trust my advice and that we're going to enjoy working together

What is the most fun part of your job?

I’m a foodie, so naturally I love food tastings! I’m there to take notes and ask questions, but they’re always good fun and it’s lovely to see my couples enjoying themselves. On the day itself, I enjoy hearing the band strike up and watching the newlyweds take to the floor. There’s always lots to do in the evening, but I’ve been known to have a dance or two…

What is the most important part of your job?

Without a doubt the tailored advice I give my clients throughout the planning process. This has never been truer than over the last few weeks. Most of my couples have postponed their weddings due to coronavirus and I’m glad to have been able to advise and support them at this very challenging time

What makes you laugh?

At the moment, lockdown Face Time calls with my brother and our parents! They usually have the camera upside down and my Dad always has us in stitches!

I have to say from experience that Emma is one of the calmest people to have around at a wedding, which is a very good trait when things can get a little hectic to say the least! x

Heres a link to a shoot we worked on together at Thorpe Manor


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