FAQs

Please bear with me as I collect all your most frequently asked questions to populate this page.

GENERAL

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WHERE ARE YOU BASED?

I’m based in London (UK), but I have two bases in Italy: one in Milan and one in Ostuni (Puglia) and I travel quite a lot to Egypt too. So during the year you’re likely to find me in one of these places for days and sometimes weeks on end. I love the flexibility my job gives me – for as long as I have internet connection and my laptop, I can deal with work wherever I might be.

HOW DO YOU DO CONSULTATIONS IF YOU ARE ALWAYS TRAVELLING?

To be honest, most of my brides and grooms are either busy bees or gypsy souls like me, and the vast majority are based overseas. That’s why, most of my couples, even the London ones, prefer a video call to start with – something they can do from the comfort of their homes, from their office or at odd hours.

COMMISSIONS OR KICK BACKS: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Commissions (aka kick backs from suppliers) are something very common in the event industry where it is standard practice for an event organiser to receive compensation from vendors employed at one of her corporate events. When it comes to weddings, however, there are several issues associated with this practice: (1) lack of transparency & trust: wedding planners who take commissions hardly ever disclose this to their couples. Are you okay with being presented with a list of suppliers who may be recommended to you because of the commissions the planner has negotiated with them, rather than for being perfectly suited to you & your needs? (2) what you pay a supplier is inflated: a lot of suppliers need to increase their prices to you by 10-15% in order to pay that commission to the planner. So effectively, that planner that seems so much cheaper than me, will in effect cost you a lot more than you’d have paid me. Because, let’s be real: unless the planner is running a hobby, you cannot charge £2000/wedding (shockingly I hear of planners that charge even less!). If you do the maths – £2000/200 hours = £10/hours. You simply cannot run a business or offer a quality service on that hourly rate. The only way for that to be sustainable is if you take commissions from wedding suppliers. As a member of the UKAWP I have vowed not to accept commissions from my suppliers. When a commission is bing offered, I ask the supplier to pass that on to you as a discount.

WHAT'S THE ADVANTAGE OF DEALING WITH A UKAWP WEDDING PLANNER?

The UKAWP is not just a directory of wedding planners. It is primarily an association devoted to promoting professionalism. Becoming a member is not just a matter of paying a fee. Membership is only granted upon a rigorous check to ensure the planner meets the criteria that would identify him/her as a professional planner. Becoming a member means abiding to a strict code of business practice, which includes respecting clients’ confidentiality and fellow suppliers’ copyrights, ensuring I respond to emails within 48 hours, having a legally sound business contract, having up to date public liability insurance and of course not taking commissions. These are requirements that distinguish a professional planner and we take pride in guaranteeing to our clients peace of mind.

WEDDINGS

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DO YOU CHARGE FOR CONSULTATIONS?

Currently I don’t. I give brides and grooms access to my diary via Calendly, an online tool that allows you to reserve a 45 minutes consultation with me. While there is no fee for this initial chat, I do ask to be given as much notice as possible if you can’t make the call. I’m always happy to give couples another appointment if for any reason they have forgotten (it happens even to the best of us!), but if you miss multiple appointments without giving me any notice, it is unlikely I will be able to book you in for another one.

 

HOW DO YOU CONDUCT CONSULTATIONS?

If in person isn’t an option, then my preferred method is usually a video call. I can Skype, FaceTime or Whatsapp with you, but if you prefer another app, just say the word and I’ll adapt.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CAN NO LONGER BE THERE FOR THE WEDDING DAY?

I would never double book my services, unless I have made it clear right from the start that the wedding will be handled by someone else in my team; so if you have my availability, it means that the only time I may not be able to be there is for reasons beyond my control, such as bereavement or illness. My contract clearly specifies what will happen if I can no longer fulfil my duty. It’s never happened that I’ve had to cancel a contract, but the reality is, unforeseen things happen, so it’s important that you feel reassured that I won’t let you down. In short, I always have an experienced planner with me on a wedding day. She is fully briefed on your wedding day’s logistics and requirements; should the need arise, she will have all the required information to step in in my absence with the cooperation of 1+ assistants (exact number to be determined according to the number of guests).

WHY DO YOU CHARGE A PERCENTAGE OF MY WEDDING BUDGET?

For several reasons. To start with, because it’s impossible to quantify the number of hours we work on a wedding. A set fee may be completely inadequate or in some cases excessive. Basing my fee of your budget means that you have complete transparency and that you won’t be paying more than needed (because lets be honest, if I had to charge a set fee, I would have to add a buffer just in case the scope of work changes). A lot of my colleagues also charge a percentage of your budget, which means it is a lot easier for you to compare our services on a like for like basis.

WHY DO YOU CHARGE SO MUCH?

The average destination wedding takes 250+ hours to charge. Now, if you took my minimum fee and divided it by 250, you’ll see that the hourly rate is considerably discounted from my actual hourly rate for ad hoc services. But here is the thing – I run a small business, not a hobby; which means I have to pay tax as well as cover my business expenses, such as public liability insurance, my membership to an association that a thorough vetting system qualifies me as one of the most professional weddings planners in the U.K., running a physical office, and so on. Suddenly you can see how my net hourly rate on my minimum fee is considerably smaller than what any other consultant in any industry charges. There is one more reason why my fees are at the level they currently are. Please jump to the COMMISSIONS question.

ELOPEMENTS

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DO YOU CHARGE ON A PERCENTAGE BASIS FOR ELOPEMENTS?

In short the answer is no. Elopements lend themselves better to packages that include a range of services, such as my planning and coordination time, hair & make up, photography, videography and flowers. I have a team of people I work with and alternative suppliers if some of them aren’t available on your elopement day. The venues and catering are not included in my package as they are searched according to your requirements.

 

 

WE ALREADY HAVE OUR PHOTOGRAPHER. CAN YOU STILL PLAN OUR ELOPEMENT?

Absolutely, I can! However I will kindly ask you to send me his/her name and website at the time of making the enquiry. I am very open as to whom I will work with, but unfortunately I don’t work with amateur photographers.

 

 

ARE THERE DAYS OF THE WEEK YOU DON'T DO ELOPEMENTS?

Yes, generally speaking, my elopement packages booked 5+ months in advance are for Monday-Thursday and Sunday only. Should you wish to elope on a Friday or Saturday and book more than 5 months in advance, a surcharge will apply. Please contact me to discuss in detail.

 

 

COMMERICAL STYLING

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WHY DO YOU CHARGE FOR STYLED PHOTO-SHOOTS AT WEDDING VENUES?

There is a substantial difference between a collaborative shoot and a commercial one. A collaborative shoot is done with the intention of generating publicity for everyone involved, not to give a venue images for their website gallery. All images will be shot editorially and the styling will be focused on details rather than on enhancing your venue. When I style for a commercial shoot, however, the editorial side becomes secondary to ensuring you have images that showcase your venue’s suitability for a wedding or an event. My team and I will discuss beforehand your requirements, your marketing needs and the attribute of your ideal clients and will come up with a bespoke design concept that is focused entirely on helping couples visualise their wedding at your venue. This type of service is completely tailored to you and therefore is much more labour intensive than a collaborative shoot. It is, by all means, a commercial shoot and will therefore be charged as such.

 

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE TO STYLE A COMMERCIAL SHOOT FOR OUR WEDDING VENUE?

While my services are usually tailored to your needs, my commercial styling minimum fee is £3500, and my “The Bright Avenue” shoot + style service, offered in conjunction with commercial photographer Nora Photography, plus stationery, hair and make up artist for the models and flowers, starts at £7500.

 

 

DESTINATIONS

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WHAT COUNTRIES DO YOU OFFER YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING SERVICES IN?

As a destination wedding planner my strength is in knowing how to pull together a strong team of suppliers wherever my couples my choose to go. I spend the whole year working hard on building relationships with wedding venues and suppliers across the globe by attending specialist wedding fairs, in-person meetings at dedicated forums, familiarisation trips and self-funding my own travels to such destinations to meet the venue teams in person. Being an Italian wedding planner, my specialism is weddings in Italy, and in particular in regions like Puglia, Tuscany, Le Marche, Sicily and the Amalfi coast. I also offer wedding planning services in Sharm el Sheikh and El Gouna, in Egypt and I am now expanding my local knowledge to Morocco, Marbella and Malaga, Ibiza & Formentera, Mallorca, Menorca, Tenerife & Fuerteventura, the Algarve,

 

 

ITEM TWO

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