Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions

Liverpool & NW Wedding Planner

Category: Our Blog (page 1 of 2)

Wedding Planning Training – April 2017 Open Evening in Southport

Our Spring 2017 open evening provides a relaxed and informal place to find out about wedding planning training from Wedding Planners Guild UK.

Professional wedding planning training will start you on the journey to becoming a wedding planning and having a success wedding industry business.   Wedding Planners Guild UK are the first wedding planner training provider to have their qualifications endorsed and recognised by The Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs .  This means that as well as learning the skills to become a professional wedding planner, you will also be fully equipped to launch your own wedding planning enterprise.

Our aim is to provide first class training to existing and aspiring event staff, ensuring that they are able to deliver a second-to-none wedding planning service and unforgettable experience to all their clients.

Come along to our free open evening, enjoy a glass of Prosecco and meet our qualified trainer Helen Ball, Director of Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions Ltd who has over 18 years experience of corporate event management and runs her own successful wedding planning and event management business, to find out more about this fantastic carrer opportunity!

Your relationship with WPGUK does not stop when you complete the training.  Our training packages also include a 12-month membership of the Wedding Planners Guild, membership of our Exclusive Wedding Club (a wedding services & products supplier-only business forum that helps build your business network and create a wide range of sales opportunities), mentoring from experienced wedding professionals and real work experience on a broad range of weddings and events.

Once qualified, WPGUK will also profile your services on their website and social media, in their annual magazine and face to face & online through enquiries from couples, and other people seeking special occasion & event management services.

Event Details – Tue 11 April (18:30) at The Vincent Hotel, Southport

Full Booking Information through Eventbrite

Join The Exclusive Wedding Club

Wedding suppliers all spend a LOT of time promoting our services & products directly to wedding couples and other customers through advising, social media and face to face events.

BUT……. how much quality time do you invest in taking a step back to think strategically about growing your business, to develop yourself as an entrepreneur, understand new trends in the sector or to network and build relationships with others in the industry?

We think it’s time to do that as a collective and are starting something a bit different………….

The idea for The Exclusive Wedding Club was the brain-child of Helen Ball from EW&SA and Yvonne Bennett from WPGUK with the emphasis on a new learning & networking forum aimed specially at people and businesses in the wedding & events sector.

The forum will be provided mainly, but not exclusively, around monthly meetings, offering:

  • learning opportunities on topics that members tell us they want to focus on
  • talks and Q&A sessions with experts in our industry
  • peer mentoring sessions
  • monthly accountability challenges
  • access to resources to help support & grow your business
  • marketing opportunities – both to couples and B2B
  • new business/service development and partnering opportunities
  • a ‘supplier of the month’ spot
  • networking sessions
  • themed events
  • a supplier only ‘Exclusive Weddings Club’ closed facebook group so you can continue conversations outside of the monthly get-togethers

These are just examples of what’s on offer.   We envisage that the forum will be led by it’s members, who will decide in what way they want the network to grow, develop, and shape up moving forward.      There is no joining fee or monthly subscription,  it’s not sales-y or run like some other groups were you are expected to bring others or offer referrals to other members.

This is purely about maximising opportunities for the members of the group and building a band of trusted and like-minded businesses with a true passion for the industry!

Our first meeting was held in Liverpool earlier this month courtesy of Business Development Club at Parklands who kindly provided meeting facilities in their fabulous new centre.   We were joined by a diverse group of wedding & events entrepreneurs and also Lorraine Hull – Independent Liverpool Celebrant who gave a very interesting talk about the evolution the marriage and weddings in England and gave a demonstration of a hand-fasting ceremony.  We got some really great feedback about the first meeting – thank you to everyone who came.

To find out details of our next meeting just follow @wedd-club on Twitter.  Or just let me know if you want to be added to the mailing list – we’re not that sophisticated that we have set up an automated one for the group yet!

In the meantime why not let us know what your needs are as a business by taking this quick survey here so we can plan our 2017 programme.

Helen ♥

Helen Ball is Now a Trainer for Wedding Planners Guild UK

WPGUK Certificate We are very proud to annouce that we are now a trainer for Wedding Planners Guild UK and are approved by IOEE to deliver the WPGUKs ‘Award in Professional Wedding Planning’ and the ‘Certificate in Professional Wedding Planning’.

New dates for 2017 for each training have been recently released, offering students the option of both weekend and weekday study days.

A number of taster sessions and open evenings are also scheduled so please come along along and find out what an amazing career wedding planning can be!   Helen ♥


Yvonne Bennett WPGUK & Helen Ball Exquisite Weddings and Special Occasions – WPGUK Open Evening Nov 2016

A Day in the life of a Wedding & Events Planner


My day usually starts, like a lot of us, with checking social media. I check my FacebookInstagram & Twitter over my first cup of the day of Earl Grey, with my two dogs not too far away trying to avoid starting their day so early (………if you’re a dog owner you will know that ‘If I can’t see you – then you can’t see me’ curled-up in a ball in their bed position).  Just recently I have started a Pinterest account too and I find that, even though I have only just made my first Board, overnight I get lots of people from around the world dropping by and redirecting from Pinterest to my website and other social media………. so I am going to be doing some more pinning!  It is always a nice way to start the day knowing my posts are getting international engagement and interaction as well as lots of local followers.

Next it’s on to email – I try to check it, respond and then turn it off until the afternoon unless I am waiting on a reply, or else it can be really distracting.

Then I am usually off out to see suppliers or do some networking at various meetings and events.  Today I am meeting with a local boutique hotel in Liverpool that wants to secure more wedding bookings, so I am getting some creative minds together to work on converting 100% of their enquiries into sales.   We are also planning a fantastic wedding open-event for this super stylish venue later in the Autumn.   Watch this space!

Next I am off to see Chris Foulkes and the fantastic team at Relish on Rose Lane in the leafy Liverpool suburb of Mossley Hill.    Along with their modern family-run bistro they also have an outside catering company with a wealth of experience in providing high quality, delicious food and tailor-made events.   I am really excited about telling my wedding couples all about their new Autumn menu and the portable Birra Moratti machine serving unique & delicious quality beer & Cocktail Slushy machine with ice cold Margaritas or Strawberry Daiquiri’s.  Mmmmmmm!!  Sure to be a favourite with all guests…….. just be sure to keep the flowergirl and page boys away!

Before lunch I check in for a quick call with my friend and mentor Yvonne Bennett of Weddings Planners Guild UK who, as well as delivering her growing range of acccredited wedding planner training, is busy organising the Switch on to Business Magazine’s Charity Awards on 6 October 2016 at Liverpool City Centre Crowne Plaza which is in aid of Claire House Childrens Hospice.   There is still time to nominate in the various catergories and also buy tickets here    Looking forward to seeing you there!

Back home I spend a couple of hours working on a corporate conference I have been asked to plan and manage in December, which makes a change from wedding planning but is equally enjoyable especially when it’s for a sector which is still close to my heart – health & social housing.   More news about this in coming weeks.

My last task of the day is one of my absolute favourites!  A Skype call with a lovely bride & groom-to-be who are planning to marry in Thailand early next year and have consulted me on how to go about getting the legalities right over in Bangkok to ensure their marriage is legally recognised in the UK, and researching potential photographers, celebrants and romantic villas for their beach-front setting for their wedding on the idyllic island of Ko Lanta in Krabi Province off the Andaman Coast.     By chance, the work with this couple has introduced me to the enchanting photography of Bangkok-based Aidan Dockery – as well as being the winner of numerous professional awards Aidan was an absolute pleasure to liaise with across the miles and is a mine of information about all things Thai weddings.   Check out his extensive photo journal here

It’s my day off tomorrow, so time to relax with a glass of wine, whilst checking out the latest wedding design trends for AW 2017.   Even when I have my feet up weddings are still on my mind! ♥

What’s Your Wedding Dress Doing?

Exqusite Weddings & Special Occasion is very proud to anounce that we are the Liverpool Wedding Dress Ambassador for the amazing charity Gift of a Wedding

Gift of a Wedding provides free wedding services to people with a terminal or life shortening illness, regardless of age, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Suppliers of wedding goods and services donate items or services to enable Gift of a Wedding to create weddings for couples who do not have the time or finances to arrange their own weddings due to their illness.

You can find out more about them in their video here and also hear about some of the many beautiful weddings they have arranged since 2014 on their blog

As the Liverpool Wedding Dress Ambassador, we seek out and collect dresses to be made ready for Gift of Weddings brides at short notice.

Is your dress or that of someone you know sat in the attic or roof-space gathering dust or even worse, turning yellow? If it is, why not consider letting it do some good instead? Your wedding dress is probably one of the most important and expensive items of clothing you will ever purchase, but what if your dress, which you may never wear again, could make a wedding dream come true for a bride with terminal illness. You never know it could also be “the one” for another bride to purchase in exchange for big donation. How great would that be!

5 Reasons To Donate Your Dress

If you’re still not sure whether to donate your dress, here are 5 great reasons:

  • It will give you a warm fuzzy feeling knowing you have done some good
  • It will be a good way to help Gift of a Wedding fundraise
  • It will help to give a terminally-ill person the wedding day of their dreams
  • It could end up being the wedding dress of a terminally-ill bride’s dream
  • It will help them raise money from the tax man
Did you know that £2+£2=£5 when you donate to charity? It’s true!

Donating your wedding dress to Gift of a Wedding will help them raise lots of money towards the wedding of a terminally ill person. But we think the most impressive thing is that your dress will help them earn lots of money from the tax man as well. For every pound they make from the sale of your dress the tax man will give an extra 25p. So for example if your dress was sold for £500 Gift of a Wedding would actually make £625 from the extra 25% they could collect from the tax man. How good does that sound?

We hope we’ve convinced you to let go of your wedding dress for a good cause. Donating your dress is easy, all you have to do is complete the short donation form on their website and Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions can either collect it from you or you can drop it off to us. It’s that simple!

Thank you so much x x x x



Preloved or not to preloved?

Choosing your wedding dress can be tough! With such an array of designers, styles and fabrics to choose from. With the cost of weddings in the UK there’s now also the choice of Preloved. So why choose Preloved?

Simple, it’s a savvy, eco-friendly and cost-effective choice when you want a fabulous designer wedding dress without the designer price tag. There’s so many places online to buy a Preloved wedding dress, however, almost every bride still wants to have the experience of dress shopping and trying before you buy, and why shouldn’t you!

Bridal Reloved Liverpool sells immaculate pre-owned wedding dresses. Their dresses are either brand new, ex-sample or worn once and professionally cleaned. Bridal Reloved Liverpool wants to help people spend less on their wedding without compromising on design, style and class, which is why they only sell top designers.

Vera Wang – Maggie Sottero – Ian Stuart – Justin Alexander – Stewart Parvin to name just a few.

The experience of buying a wedding dress should be relaxed, exciting and of course fun!!!  Come alone or bring your bridal entourage for the experience, have a brew and get inspired.

To book an appointment get in touch with Carol and her team on 0151 727 7265 / 07505828410 / Liverpool@bridalreloved.co.uk


preloved wedding dress IMG_5227



Thank you to our lovely friend Carol Dinwoodie, owner at Bridal Reloved Liverpool for our guest blog post this month x x x

Become a Professional Wedding Planner

Our friends over at Wedding Planners Guild UK are getting ready for their next round of professional wedding planner training.

The training is suitable for anyone in the wedding industry, not just those wanting to become a professional wedding planner.   Like Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions, you will learn and practice all the skills required to become an expert in the field, get amazing support, and become a member of the WPGUK and gain student membership of the Institute of Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, through which the courses are accredited.   Check out more details here




Confusion Abounds!

After watching the BBC One Show on Tuesday 27 July, I felt compelled to write an addendum to my previous blog.     The journalist Joe Crowley has, in my opinion, done immeasurable damage to the  wedding planning profession by incorrectly labelling a wedding decor shop / event stylist business who recently went bust as a “wedding planner”.

No she wasn’t a wedding planner!!! She had a shop renting out grubby lycra chair covers, plastic candelabra and faux flower centrepieces…….. well maybe she didn’t but that’s how I felt  at the time 😉

It was one of those red-mist moments when you find yourself shouting at the TV in disbelief!  I even tweeted the show and Joe Crowley without the courtesy of a reply  (….…  like I even expected one).

In my previous blog post I tried to highlight  the standards of education, experience and professional training undertaken by men and women who deliver wedding planning services and who are trained and endorsed by the likes of Wedding Planners Guild UK, and UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, adhere to their codes of conduct and have Public Liability & Professional Indemnity Insurance to safeguard their clients and invest on ongoing professional development.

Just a few careless words by a flippant ‘donut eater extraordinaire, self-depreciating left-handed scribbler, rubbish speller 😉 broadcast journalist & telly person’ ……….. [his own words on his Twitter bio – not mine] ……. could set us back light-years!

I am sincerely hoping BBC & Joe Crowley will put the record straight with a public clarification.

Professional wedding planners only deal with reputable suppliers for all things in the wedding industry, we know who’s who and who to trust with your hard-earned and sacred wedding budget – indeed our own repuation and income relies on this.   Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions also has the facility to credit check any supplier on behalf of a couple so that if there is any doubt as to a supplier being around 18 months or two years down the line due to financial problems and not being able to fulfil their contract for goods or services we can check them out.   You can never eradicate all risks but you can mitigate them.  If in doubt …….go with an established and professional service for all elements of your wedding AND also get wedding insurance!

Sit down, cup of tea ………. and breatheeeeee!! ♥

Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator?

When I tell people what I do, often people say “Oh, my venue is providing a wedding planner!” This is something that other professionals in the industry also sometimes get confused with (…astonishingly!). But a venue coordinator is simply just not the same as a wedding planner.

A venue coordinator or event manager can be a great asset to those couples who choose not to engage a professional wedding planner of their own, but their responsibilities and focus vary greatly from those of an outside professional.

♥ The Venue Coordinator

Venue coordinators are employees of the hotelier or other venue where they work. They act as a liaison between the couple and  the venue’s operations team. Their responsibilities relate only to your experience with them: showcasing the venue, consulting your food and drink choices, finalising your catering needs, arranging menu tastings and processing the final invoice.

On the wedding day, their focus is exclusively on delivering their own contracted services: ensuring the venue set up is accurate [tables, chairs and place setting only – not the florals, the linens, the room dressings, seating plan and place cards, drapery, dance floor hire, positioning the DJ/photoboth and all the other things unique to your occasion ], that the meal is served on time and that the tables & chairs are cleared away and the bar closes up on time.

A key point is that a Venue Coordinator often departs once the meal is served. This may be a vital consideration if your are looking for support for the remainder of the wedding, or need any assistance with the dismantling or return of items that the venue is not responsible for.

And remember: while you may have worked with one individual throughout the planning process, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will be provided with that same individual on your big day! For us, this is one of the most valuable aspects of hiring your own wedding planner and one I also offer to a handful of prestige local venues myself.       No matter how long the lead in time to your marriage, I guarantee every detail of a couple’s requirements will be personally dealt with by the same person.

The venue coordinator may also have two, three or sometimes more other events going on in the same venue on the same day, so their focus is not always 100% on your wedding.

♥ The Wedding Planner

A professional Wedding Planner is your personal consultant, with a wide ranging focus on every detail in curating your dream wedding.
From the initial planning stages [providing venue options, reviewing contracts, checking health & safety and risk assessment, researching and recommending suppliers] to wedding day preparation, [creating an itinerary/timeline, organizing your ceremony rehearsal, confirming details with all contracted vendors, liaising with your photographer to make sure everyone who is in your list of images is in front of the photographer at the agreed moment] your wedding planner is present for every decision.

Come your wedding day, they over-see time management [ceremony, processional, recessional, cocktail hour transition, grand entrance, speeches, dancing etc.], prompt the MC and manage the vendors, troubleshoot and ensure quality control of set up, including personalized details and decor.

In addition, a wedding planner will prepare valuable tools for you, such as  vendor contact forms, budget planning schedules, time lines, seating and floor plans, guest list RSVP sheets, set up timetables and MC scripts. If you wish, we can take over the reins up to 6-4 weeks before, allowing you to be fully focused on being a bride to be or groom to be, enjoying a stressless and blissful last fews weeks together.

This also goes for our Day of Wedding Coordination service, which may mean we may start working with you closer to your wedding day, but we still work exclusively for you and offer a one-to-one bespoke service.

When it comes down to it………

The main difference is that venue coordinator works within the venue, carrying out the requirements of their contract with you in a smooth and timely manner. Whereas a wedding planner works exclusively for YOU, ensuring every detail of your day is flawless and orchestrated exactly as you’ve planned.

This is not meant to demean the role of on-site venue coordinators. They are an incredibly valuable asset to the wedding planning process and I love liaising with them. But it’s important that couples understand what they are getting into, avoiding unnecessary frustration and disappointment come crunch time! Take time to consider your needs and concerns and weigh your options accordingly.

Still have questions about the difference between an independent & professionally qualified wedding planning service such as Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions and a venue coordinator?  Contact us here for more information ♥

New Service for Venues!

Along with services for wedding couples, we are proud to be able to offer the opportunity for prestige wedding venues to engage our services.

Staff turnover in the hospitality industry is renowned for being high, and often wedding couples may have contact with more than one event coordinator in the lead up to their big day which can be a source of frustration and added stress.    By engaging Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions as your dedicated Wedding Planner you can offer a unique service to your clients – giving them peace of mind, gained through continuity of service.   No matter how long the lead in time a marriage every detail of a couple’s requirements will be personally dealt with by the same person.

Complimenting the service from your in-house events team, our professional Wedding Planner service provides you with an additional USP that few other venues will be able to offer.

In the midst of the current hectic wedding season, our Wedding Planner Service can also provide you with an additional set of experienced hands at this extra busy time of year.   You will be safe in the knowledge that a professionally trained temporary member of staff will be able to fit seamlessly and affordably into your events team, bringing you and your clients extra peace of mind.

Contact us today to find out more

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