February 2nd, 2018 | Julia Braime
While planning a wedding is super exciting, it’s also classed as one of life’s most stressful events and so it’s good to have support to hand to ensure you’re organised and not overwhelmed by the task ahead.
If you’re already feeling a buried in the wedmin, or know exactly what you want but aren’t sure how to make it a reality, then the Sponsor we’re introducing on the blog today is going to be very useful to you. So, join us as we welcome professional wedding planners Andrea Swift (Northern Ambassador and Supreme Member of UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) and Debbie Rainford (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) of Fabulous Together.
Dubbed as “Fairy Godmothers” and “Secret Weapons” these are the ladies in the know, who can help bring your wedding dreams to fruition. Whether you require a full or partial planning service Andrea and Debbie will be there to bounce ideas off, provide professional advice and banish any pre-wedding worries.
So, let’s hear more from the dynamic duo on how their approach, services and style.
Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how was Fabulous Together was formed?
andrea & debbie say: After working together on several large-scale luxury weddings we had a ‘lightbulb’ moment – we realised that we not only shared the same ethos, the same professional values and the same sense of fun, but ultimately, the same vision. By combining our experience and expertise, we decided we could offer the region the ultimate luxury wedding planning service: Fabulous Together Weddings.
Why would you advise couples to hire a wedding planner?
Planning a wedding can be really stressful and we know how time consuming it can be too. A big part of our role is to match our clients with people we think will best suit their style, vision and personality, then deliver the wedding day they had always dreamed of and we keep ourselves up-to-date with all the latest trends, ensuring each individual wedding has its own unique ‘wow’ factor.
Can you outline the services that you offer to brides and grooms?
Our Full Planning Service includes a detailed consultation and bespoke proposal after which clients are assigned a senior planner who will remain by their side throughout the whole process.
Our Partial Planning package would be better suited to those clients who have already undertaken some of the planning themselves. Fabulous Together Weddings will review all bookings and plans to-date, manage the booked suppliers and stay with the couple right to the end of the wedding day, ensuring everything flows smoothly.
Proving that distance really doesn’t need to be a barrier when creating your dream wedding, our Fabulous Together Weddings’ unique Destination UK service is perfect for couples who live overseas but want to marry in the UK.
What would you say to couples who think hiring a wedding planner means they will lose control of their wedding day?
Absolutely not! The relationship we have with our couples is always collaborative. We are here to help and bring their ideas to life. Think of us as super organised fairy godmothers – we’ll offer professional advice when it’s needed, banish worries and ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
What area of planning would you say that couples find the most stressful and how can you help?
It is always hard keeping everyone happy and it can be a delicate balancing act, especially where parents are concerned. As we have so much experience in dealing with these sometimes tricky situations, we can provide an independent view that often puts things into perspective. That and the weather! We always ensure we have a good Plan B so we are prepared for whatever the British climate throws at us!
What is it that you love about the world of weddings and what is the favourite part of your job?
Sometimes it’s the simplest thing, that moment in the ceremony where the couple are officially married – the kiss, the love, the intimacy of it all – we feel privileged to be a part of it. But we also love hearing the guests chanting for one more song on the dance floor after a stunning band set or catching them talking in the toilets about it being the best wedding they have ever been to! At the end of it all we can slip quietly away knowing we have helped our couple have the very best day imaginable!
Are you noticing any trends in weddings at the moment and, if so, what are they?
A key element now though is that couples want the wedding to last as long as possible. We are seeing more and more ‘wedding weekends’ often at lavish venues, but increasingly at home or in the grounds of a close family member’s property, providing a more personalised option.
Do you have any particular memorable moments from weddings you’ve organised?
Lots and lots of memorable moments, yes, but some real stand out ones include the groom and his eight best men singing as they walked down the aisle, it was a definite ‘hairs standing up on the back of your neck’ moment. Of course, it did help that they were all professional singers! Then there was the wedding where we were waiting (outside in the rain), to get a call from Heathrow airport to see if the cloud base was high enough for our couple’s air acrobatic display to take place – it meant that Heathrow would have to alternate take off and landings to allow for the seven-minute display – when they finally said yes, we literally had two minutes to get the guests outside and in position. It was stressful but completely amazing when it happened as if on cue.
What regional areas do you cover and is there a wedding in any certain location that you would love to work in, help plan?
We mainly cover the North of England and North Wales, but we have done weddings further afield. Venues we would love to plan a wedding at are Chatsworth House, a gorgeous stately home, Highclere Castle (but only if we could do a Downton Abbey style wedding!) or maybe the amazing glass atrium of the Royal Opera House in the centre of Covent Garden – but there are only a few weddings a year permitted in this exceptionally beautiful setting.
Which celebrity’s wedding would you love to help plan and why?
We are a sucker for a royal wedding! Who wouldn’t love to get a peek behind the scenes? We think Kate and William’s would have been amazing to have been involved with, all that pomp, ceremony and tradition, but they are also the kind of couple who know their own minds, so we think there would have been some fun in there too!
What is your golden tip when it comes to planning a wedding?
We both agree that before couples get into serious planning stages they need to have a good chat about what their priorities are for the day – as this is where they should be spending their money. They also need to have an open and honest conversation about who is going to pay for what. If parents are contributing they will want more of a say on the day and invite more of their friends, so be prepared! If couples are planning a complicated day and trying to plan everything from a distance or are just feeling overwhelmed with it all, then they really should consider hiring professionals like ourselves – not just to help with all the stress and strains but to ensure they actually enjoy the planning process as well as their big day!
What is the feedback like from your clients?
We have had some amazing feedback from our clients. Here are just a couple of examples:
“I don’t really know where to start as all words seem inadequate for summarising what Andrea pulls off. I am an organisational, list-making, control freak and I didn’t know how I would cope with handing over the reins but as soon as I met her I knew it would be okay, as I had met my match! With Andrea you never need to worry about not being in safe hands – nothing gets past her/falls by the wayside, so you can relax safe in the knowledge that she has everything under control. If you’re lucky enough to have chosen a date that she is free for, the best decision you will make is getting Andrea on board – fairy godmother, secret weapon, call her what you want, but I think ‘awesome’ sums her up pretty accurately.”
“From the planning stages to the actual day, Debbie was simply amazing! When you sit down and write a list of everything there is to sort out it is a bit overwhelming but Debbie gave it to us in manageable chunks and ensured no detail was overlooked. I am a big worrier but when the day finally came, my husband and I were able to just enjoy the day knowing that Debbie was there. I would (and have!) recommend Debbie’s services to anybody planning an event.”
What sets you apart from other wedding planners?
We’d have to say that the vast amount of planning experience we have between us. Plus, we are luckily enough to work with a fantastic army of superb quality suppliers who we both trust and can rely on to do an amazing job.
How can our readers find out more/contact Fabulous Together?
You can find visit our website, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. We love to chat too, so couples can call Andrea on 07985 829 590 and Debbie on 07702 002 516 or contact us via email email@example.com
How would your clients describe you?
Over the years we’ve have had some funny nicknames; Andrea has been called Fairy Godmother, Mary Poppins and has been saved in a bride’s phone as ‘Wonder Woman’, she’s also been referred to as the Calm in the Storm. Most recently she was a bride’s ‘Secret Weapon’ but the one we like best is…friend.
Debbie is described as: “worth her weight in gold, passionate, cheerful, diligent, professional, knowledgeable, unflappable, creative, a perfectionist, the queen of colour coded spreadsheets and would crawl over hot coals to deliver your perfect wedding day.”
Any other exciting news to share?
There is another exciting project we are exploring…but it’s all hush hush at the moment, so watch this space!
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…
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