Hannah Rachael Weddings – DIY Wedding Planning
I am very excited to have the wonderful Hannah Rachael on the blog today. I first met Hannah when we had a wedding together (at the lovely Ponden Mill Weddings) and I helped her fill a paddling pool for hook a duck! Hannah has great knowledge of wedding planning and shares some wonderful tips below. Let me know what you think, would you like to see more guests on the blog? Make sure you go follow Hannah on her Instagram here.
1. Hi Hannah, tell us a little about yourself, how did you get into weddings and what do you do in your spare time?
I’m a very arty person. I’ve studied art, design, and fashion for many years now and this creative background helps inspire a lot of my work. I love a challenge and am always looking for opportunities in which I can push myself, so I think that’s why I love this industry so much.
I knew very early on in my career that I wanted to work in the wedding industry so did what I could to gain as much experience as possible. I started off by getting a placement in the events team at a local hotel which quickly led me to secure an events coordinator role in a 5* country house in Cumbria. After a couple of years there I took a position in a big 5* hotel in York and worked as a corporate executive, where I planned corporate events from £200 to £130k. I then worked as a wedding catering manager before deciding to set up Hannah Rachael Weddings. Without all that experience I don’t think I could have started up my own business, especially not as a wedding planner.
2. What do you love most about your job and why?
Gosh, I love it all! I’m one of those really annoying people who just loves everything about weddings. I annoy my husband no end by talking about them pretty much nonstop from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. I’m a very detailed person. I love problem solving and coming up with creative solutions, so I do genuinely believe my purpose in life is to plan weddings.
I love being able to transform my couples planning experience. When couples come to me feeling stressed, completely overwhelmed, and unsure what to do next it’s nice to be able to support them through that at take a lot of that pressure away. Being able to do that makes me feel extremely happy.
When you’re there on a wedding/event day and you look around and see everyone having a great time, that’s an extremely fulfilling moment. You really feel like you’ve been able to help create that special memory.
3. What are your top 3 tips for couples planning weddings?
I have so many, but my top 3 are.
Tip 1: Get clear on your 5 priorities (your must haves, the things you can’t imagine your day without) that could be location, florals, food, music, making sure you find a venue who can accommodate your guest list etc. When you know your priorities it’s easier to plan a wedding which feels personal and unique to you.
Tip 2: Get clear on your budget. A lot of couples try to put this to the back of their minds but I can’t stress how important it is to understand how much you have to spend from the very beginning.
Tip 3: Choose suppliers who really get you, your vision and who are invested in what you are trying to achieve. Your suppliers are the ones who help make planning enjoyable and are the people you rely on to help bring your ideas to life. If you can, take your time and do your research.
4. You have a weekly email to help couples planning weddings, why did you start that and how do we sign up?
I started my mailing list as I appreciate how stressful planning a wedding can be. It’s a complete minefield sometimes and to say it can be overwhelming is a complete understatement. I’m also very aware that not everyone understands what a planner does or can afford to work with one. My mailing list steams from me wanting to try to take some of the pressures of planning away. A way of sharing some of my knowledge in the hope it might help improve someone’s wedding planning experience. I don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or worried during their planning. *I recommend you sign up here as the newsletter is always interesting
5. What are the key benefits for couples considering hiring a wedding planner, especially for more DIY weddings?
It is so easy to underestimate how much is involved in planning a wedding let alone a DIY one. It’s hard to know what to expect or what questions you need to ask if you’ve never planned a wedding before. That’s where a planner can help. It’s my job to think about all the logistics, how your day is going to flow and what needs to happen in the background for it all to come together. There is normally a lot to manage on the day too, so having someone on your team who knows your day inside and out can be the biggest relief. All you need to focus on is getting ready and having a great time with your loved ones.
6. Where can we find out more about you and see more of your work?
I try to share lots of free planning tips in my mailing list, over on my blog and on my Instagram, so if you’re looking for some planning support these are probably the best places to start!