Friday, 5 February 2016

Common Things That Go Wrong at Weddings

This summer my wedding emergency kit has been extremely handy and has got me thinking anout common wedding pitfalls and how to avoid them.

The British Weather

We all know that you can't rely on a British summer but rain isn't the only problem. Extremely hot weather can be hazardous too and snowy winter weddings can mean guests have trouble reaching remote venues.

For summer weddings it's essential to have a wet weather plan to fall back on. Make sure there is an indoor space available for all parts of the day and that you have plenty of big umbrellas on hand even if the forecast is dry. They can also make great parasols if it's very hot.

If you'd love a fabulous outdoor ceremony like Jane and Gavin then always have a back up venue inside, just in case, as cold wet and miserable guests don't create a fun wedding atmosphere.

Try to provide shade if you're having drinks outside during the hottest part if the day and it's handy to have sun cream and bite cream available for guests just in case. I've seen lots of bridesmaids in strapless dresses end up with sunburnt shoulders.

If you're having a marquee then ensure it's watertight with plastic under the flooring and ideally wooden flooring on top. Make sure any walkways are carpeted and covered too if possible to keep guests dry and to avoid traipsing muddy feet into the tent. It's also worth checking if your venue is prone to flooding as this could spell disaster with long periods of heavy rainfall.

For winter weddings make sure your venue is easily accessible if it snows or the roads are extremely icy. Ask them if they have grit on site or what they do to ensure guests are safe if there are hazardous icy conditions. Check if access roads to the venue fall under council control as private lanes or tiny B roads are rarely cleared or gritted.

Health & Hygiene

It's great to have some supplies on hand for guests or the bridal party particularly in a remote venue away from shops. My emergency box contains a small first aid kit, blister plasters, pain killers, feminine hygiene products, mints, tissues, deodorant, hair spray, shoe laces, tweezers, scissors and much more. I have handed lots of items out to guests in need and seen many broken zips and dresses so safety pins are a must too. Batteries are always a good idea and I've used them for cameras, fairy lights and for a guest's crucial insulin pump.

Confused Guests

At a few weddings I've coordinated the day has been held up by guests getting lost on the way to a venue and at one wedding two taxis took guests to the village of Wick instead of Wick Farm.

Avoid confusion by giving your guests as much information as possible in advance such as maps, sat nav postcodes and providing them contact details for the best man or usher if they get lost. Try to avoid long periods where the guests are hanging around unsure what's happening or when they'll be fed. No one wants bored or hangry guests!

It's also good to provide lists of hotels and taxi numbers for those who don't live locally or if the budget allows, arrange a mini bus or people carrier to shuttle guests back to their hotels.

A running order of the day also helps guests know what to expect and helps to keep the day running smoothly.

Missing Items

There's been a few occasions when setting out place cards that you find one is missing. To avoid this problem sort them into tables and seal them in order into envelopes with the table name or number written on. This also makes setting out the place cards really fast and easy.

If you've hand written them it useful to give the pen and a few spare place cards to whoever is setting up the tables just in case.

Make sure to double check you've packed everything for the tables and label decor boxes clearly with where it should be placed.

Spills & Stains

This does happen and fairly often! If you spill something on your wedding dress try to scrape it off with a knife if it's solid or if it's liquid try to absorb as much as possible with tissue first before wetting or rubbing. Baby wipes are great for quick stain removal or you can buy stain removal wipes in most supermarkets. White chalk is a great way to disguise stains on a white wedding dress.

Missing Suppliers

Most wedding suppliers are super reliable and will deliver what they've promised on the day but it's still a good idea to confirm arrival times and venue details before the wedding. Make sure there is a list of all suppliers and you have a mobile number for each in case you need to reach them on the wedding day. Give this list to the best man along with a list of key timings for the day.

If you need someone on hand to contingency plan or deal with any emergencies, my On the Day Wedding Coordination service is ideal. Visit my weding planning website to find out more.

I hope that's helpful.

Steph x

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

2015 Wedding Highlights

Wow, what a brilliant year 2015 has been and even though the main wedding season has finished, my diary is still packed with consultations for 2016 weddings.

I've worked with some great couples this year and thought I'd share a few images.

Thanks to all of the lovely couples and suppliers I've worked with this year. If you'd like any help planning your wedding visit or email

Steph x

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Essential Qualities For a Wedding Planner

I get so many enquiries from people of all ages and backgrounds who want to get into wedding and event planning.

It's got me thinking about the essential qualities you need to succeed as a wedding planner. It's not an easy job and not particularly glamorous, like many people believe it to be. However getting to play such a key role in something as amazing as a wedding can make it the feel like the best job in the world.

Physical Strength

Unless you have a huge crew to help you it's pretty likely you will be setting up weddings by yourself and sometimes clearing up after too. This involves a lot of lugging boxes, carrying heavy chairs and trestle tables, bending, lifting, stretching, climbing ladders and the ability to stand for 12 to 15 hours. Transforming this empty tent into the image below took many hours of hard work but the results were so worth it! 

Emotional Stength

Weddings can be emotional and so can running a wedding planning business. You have to be strong willed and motivated to succeed. No one will hand you success on a plate. You need to go out and work hard gaining experience, networking and developing your brand. Knock backs are hard to take but success will have you soaring on cloud nine! 

People Skills

Not only do you need to provide an excellent service to your couples, but you also need to get suppliers on board and liaise with venues to create your vision. You'll also be on hand to assist guests and respond to their requests on the day. You need to do all of this with a smile even on long and stressful days.


If you want to be involved in designing weddings you need to be creative and have a good eye for trends and understand how to make a wedding look amazing. You may be able to work with a stylist to help with this, but being able to put together a styled shoot or design a beautiful cohesive theme is a key skill.


Often you might need to be the peace keeper or negotiator during the planning process. You need to keep everyone on side from the couple to family members and other suppliers. This can be tricky if there's lots of strong opinions involved.

Business Minded

As a wedding planner you will be running a business from home. You need to become an expert in social media, marketing, accounting, admin, invoicing and business planning. 


Not only will you be organising wedding but you will have heaps of admin to keep on top of as well as scheduling client meetings, liaising with suppliers and remembering lots of small details. If you don't love lists and spreadsheets then this might not be the right career path. 


You will need to be flexible and quick thinking to deal with any issues that arise.  You may end up working longer than you planned or changing things on the day that don't work but you have to have an open mind and lots of contingencies in place.

I hope that's useful, Steph x

Photo Credits: Life in Focus Photography and Stephen Richardson wedding Photography 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Bristol Wedding Planner: 2014 Highlights

As were half way through 2014 and this years wedding season I thought I'd share some highlights of what Sweet & Pretty weddings has been up to.



It's been a great year so far and there's still lots of great weddings to go in the busy season between now and September.




I've noticed rustic weddings overtaking vintage this year with lots of burlap, natural looking  flowers and hay bales making an appearance but vintage is still popular as always.





If you're looking for a Bristol based wedding or party planner for your 2015 wedding in the Bristol, Bath or Somerset area then do get in touch.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Little Wedding Space Launch

The 2nd Little Wedding Space is almost over but if you haven't popped in yet you still have today and tomorrow.

This afternoon you can visit for a special
Inspiration Afternoon from 2pm to 5pm.


Here's a few snaps from the great launch night.








You can visit to learn more about the talented suppliers.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Little Wedding Space

The Little Wedding Space is back, bigger and even better in a fabulous shop on the Glasswalk at Cabot Circus. 

Make sure to pop in for lots of inspiration and some great offers from top wedding suppliers

Visit Sweet & Pretty Weddings