I’ve just come back from a lovely planners-only event organised by senior The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) member and destination planner Dominique of Stylish Events, and I feel enthused. Four months ago Dominique embarked on the mission to organise an Italian Destination Wedding Show in London, to showcase some luxury Italian venues and wedding suppliers who work with non-Italian couples for their destination wedding in Italy. Today’s event, a follow-on of yesterday’s wedding show, was an opportunity for destination planners to meet the venues in person, get to know their offering and share views and ideas on our industry.

It’s been a year since I’ve joined the UKAWP as an Associate Member, and in all honesty I love being a part of this association, because, apart from the support we receive from fellow wedding planners, we also treat each other as *colleagues* rather than competitors. And that’s pretty special when everyone around us (in any industry) is taught to mistrust others and use every possible means to get ahead of the competition. Dominique’s event was one more proof of how beautiful the UKAWP‘s values and ethos are. Both Dominique and I offer wedding planning services in Italy, so technically you could say that we are in competition with each other. However, while other wedding planners would feel really uneasy with sharing their contacts with the ‘competition’ – perhaps understandably too – Dominique used her Italian Destination Wedding Show as an opportunity to give back to the venues who attended the show by giving them a chance to meet other fellow destination planners.

I regularly talk to aspiring wedding planners (particularly from Italy) and if there’s one thing I constantly repeat to them is to learn to view other planners as colleagues. Because the truth is, if I didn’t have this view, I wouldn’t even waste a moment to reply to their emails, as I could perhaps fear that they might just be fishing for information about my business. The UKAWP, however, has taught me otherwise. And with all the support I have received from them and from fellow members, I feel the duty to share and support.

If you are aspiring to become a wedding planner, I cannot recommend the UKAWP’s courses highly enough. They will help you get a really good grasp of what our job entails directly from the mouth of established wedding planners, they will give you an opportunity to demystify our profession, give you the motivation to build the foundations of your new business and, if still unsure that wedding planning is the route you want to take, they will reinforce your conviction that wedding planning is indeed the right career path for you.

If you’ve already set up your business as a new or well established wedding planner, but haven’t joined the UKAWP yet, I would also recommend you attend one of the annual UKAWP Mix & Mingle events – an opportunity to meet fellow wedding planners, wedding suppliers and UKAWP members in a relaxed and informal setting. The London event took place just a few weeks ago but the Cheshire Mix & Mingle will be held on 4th November, so if you’re based in that area, do sign up for the event and use the opportunity to mix with members who will be able to give you some feedback on their experience with the UKAWP.

Here is a beautiful highlight video of the London event organised by Katrina Otter of Katrina Otter Weddings & Events, Holly of Pretty Please Events and Rachael of Serendipity Weddings at The Balcony Room at The Swan in London. This beautiful video was created by the amazing Hang the Moon for the UKAWP.

Enjoy it, and, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask – we’re a really friendly bunch and look forward to meeting more of you at future UKAWP‘s events!

UKAWP Mix & Mingle Social Event – London 2014 from UKAWP on Vimeo.

xoxo Betta