As a wedding photographer in Sussex I’ve had the pleasure of working with (or photographing the work of) some great wedding planners! This time I meet Lisa Evans who runs a wedding planning business called Taylored Weddings for Sussex and Surrey who provides some valuable weddings advice from someone long in the weddings industry.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background
I joined the Army at 17 and spent 10 years doing a logistics based job in a variety of countries all over the world. I left in 2010 to begin a career in the wedding industry. I trained with the UK Wedding Planner school and began my journey as a venue coordinator in 2011. I did this for a few years before moving to Qatar and then Abu Dhabi with my husband for his work. I dabbled a bit in Arabic weddings before coming home in 2016 to set up the wedding planning business that is now known as Taylored Weddings.
What do you love about your job?
I love that I can help people. I love being able to share what I know with people at a time when they really need it, knowing that people are enjoying their wedding because they can call on me when they need an answer or just some reassurance. Being invited in one of the most special days of a person’s life is an honour and a privilege I quite often still shed a tear at wedding ceremonies even though I have been included in around 100.
Can you give us three insider tips about booking a wedding?
1. Do your homework – if you put the time and effort in at the beginning you will be thankful at the end. It may seem tedious but by spending a bit of time weeding out venues/suppliers/ideas that aren’t suitable before you start viewing or meeting with them you will save yourself a lot of time and possibly money in the end. It will also help you to avoid booking a bad service, scammer or simply something unsuitable.
2. Before you do anything decide what you want to spend and DO NOT look at things that don’t sit within your budget. This will help you stay within the boundaries of what you want to spend.
3. Don’t forget wedding insurance – It is such a small cost but could save you a fortune should circumstances change for you or on of your suppliers. No one likes to think of things going wrong but sadly they do and being financially compensated may take the edge off of the stress the issue causes.
What kind of services do you offer?
I don’t offer ‘packages’ as such. My services are completely pick and mix which ensures you only get what you want and only pay for what you have. The most thorough option I offer is full wedding planning which covers absolutely everything. You could literally sit back and have no involvement at all. This however is rare so I generally end up working alongside brides who want to do some bits themselves and leave the bits they are not enjoying so much to me. I also offer on the day wedding management which is perfect for brides who want to plan themselves but hand it over to be managed on the day (which is quite often the most stressful part) especially if it is a more informal event such as a marquee in a field, festival style wedding or barn.
More recently I released an online course for DIY brides who aren’t really looking for a wedding planner but would love to educate themselves in how to get the best out of planning their own wedding. This isn’t a course to teach you how to be a wedding planner, it’s one that gives you the tools to create one for yourself using the experiences I have had to prevent you making mistakes of your own.
Can you tell us some of the most popular wedding venues for ceremonies in Sussex?
Oh, this is difficult. There are some beautiful hotels and manor houses in Sussex with stunning views. We are extremely lucky to have such beautiful countryside and coast lines on our doorstep however, I actually really like the more personal venues. I helped plan and coordinate a wedding last year that took place in the bride’s parents garden. It was so beautiful and personal as it was close to home. I love to explore alternative options with couples who want something a bit different. I love working with celebrants as they open up a whole new world of wedding venues that many don’t know exist.
What are three tips that you would give a couple about their wedding day?
- Make time in the day to spend together. After the ceremony, before the arrival drinks is generally the best time. It only needs to be 5/10 minutes but if you miss that opportunity you may not actually talk to each other during the day as there is so much else going on.
- Make sure you don’t scrimp on photography/videography. Things will happen on the day that you don’t even know about because you can’t be everywhere. You will be thankful after the wedding when you receive your albums back and you get to relive it whenever you want. I have worked on weddings where they haven’t appreciated the importance of capturing the day and have regretted it instantly afterwards.
- Try and avoid letting your guests get bored. Too much hanging around with nothing to do can make guests tired and it can become difficult to motivate them come the evening. I am very much an advocate for an entertaining wedding. If you are spending lots of money on an event for others you want to make sure it’s a good one. There will be parts of the day when you are occupied and your guests aren’t, remember them.
Do you know of any good wedding blogs or sources of information/inspiration?
I write my own blog which is published on my website and as part of my newsletter. I try to stick to UK blogs and magazines as our fashions and trends can vary compared to the USA. If you are looking for a ‘trendy’ wedding it’s best to keep an eye on celebs and royals as they generally end up being at the forefront of what people want however, if it is practical advice on how to plan a wedding rather than style advice there are plenty of online platforms that can help. Obviously in my opinion my own blog and social media pages are the best places to look (winky emoji!)