What is your most memorable wedding?
I have been so lucky to attend weddings all over. I ran the 2017 £5M wedding at Blenheim Palace, that was unbelievably memorable. In 2016 I ran one at the Grove where I had to improvise a Dhol player substitution. You can make a lot of noise with a ladle and a cooking tray! I get to work in the most amazing venues with intimate numbers of around 60 up to massive numbers of around 900 for a Muslim Walima however, the most memorable has to be that of a daughter of a friend of mine who recently got married. Emotional seeing a young girl I had known as a child mature into a beautiful bride and looking so happy.
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Tall, Personable, Commanding, Warm, Adaptable
What about your business are you most proud of?
The way it has grown in popularity in such a short space of time and in particular the number of referrals I get.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
If you have a large number of guests to be seated, do 2 designs of table plan. 1 showing the location of the table and the other in guest alphabetical order showing the table number or name next to theirs. (Bonus tip is don't sweat the small stuff!)
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
The couple in question who were just amazing had a plane fly by with a just married banner behind it. This was arranged by the groom without the bride's knowledge, so I had to get everybody outside to see it. However, just before I gave the command to go he said that there was also a photographer on the plane. So I quickly got everyone in a circle around the bride and groom and then tweaked it into a giant heart shape. - It worked.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
We meet up. Do we like each other? If yes, we discuss needs and schedule. Go away and continue planning, communicating with each other whenever necessary. 10 days prior or less we speak again to check any changes. On the day, I turn up early, they enjoy themselves and I coordinate everything until the DJ takes over (where applicable). I am available once contract is signed whenever, at the end of the phone for advice and discussion. I am not a wedding planner, but I know what works if advice is required especially with respect to timing.
What is the most unusual thing you’ve been asked to plan?
The appearance and timing of acts that are to perform by surprise. I think choreographing the arrival of an impromptu rapper so that no-one knew until he had started that he was there was not only tricky but blindingly amusing - we nailed it between the two of us.
How do you ensure a stress-free wedding?
Sounds like I am blowing my own trumpet but, by having me there... Once you have handed over your schedule, relax and trust those you have engaged to run the show as you want it. If you are needed I will come and guide you. So enjoy the company of your friends and family. This may be your one and only wedding, but in the last three years alone I have got married just under 150 times. So rely on my experience to remove the stress from your day.
What do you love most about your job?
Working with and for such a wide variety of people. I am an avid team player and leader and always treat everyone I work with as an equal and with respect. I find it makes for a much nicer place to work - for everyone. Weddings are also happy occasions, so why would I not wish to work in such a happy environment. I also get to work in some fantastic places, and not just in the UK too. Last year I worked in Venice, Vienna, Cologne, and this year I am off to Marbella, Las Vegas and dare I say it, Brussels!
What is your favourite moment at a wedding?
Probably the first dance. For two reasons. It is for me normally the bit just before I can relax. Secondly seeing couples so in love and together and although they know that everyone is watching they dance like they are the only people there.