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My Wedding Business Course: The London Edition

The world of weddings at PD HQ has always been a sparkly one, but when Charlotte Spain of highly commended blog Redamancy came in to our world a little over a year ago it got a whole lot sparklier. There has been a liberal sprinkling of luxe shimmer, a twinkling glow of sass and style that lights up our world. We love her and here she shares the inside story of the My Wedding Business Course at the BLoved Hive.

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Redamancy Blogger Charlotte Spain

Hey ….

I’m here to share some truths about the business training and a little behind the scenes goss on the my Wedding Business Course.

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B.LOVED.HIVE

Having been an instant success since its beginnings in December 2015, The My Wedding Business Course is incredibly close to celebrating its first birthday. And before we bring out the white and gold birthday cake (so on-brand for the Queen of Weddings, and founder of ‘My Wedding Business’, Pamella Dunn) and blow out the candles on a successful year of mentoring, coaching, and making dreams come true, we wanted to give you the full lowdown on My Wedding Business’ first trip to London. Undoubtedly, the first of many.

120 existing, and budding, wedding professionals will have attended one of these courses before the end of 2017. That’s 120 inspiring men and women who will continue to shape the face of the wedding industry from this point on. From wedding planners to florists, couture dress designers to wedding bloggers – anyone who is anyone has walked through the door of Pamella Dunn HQ and been met with the, now, iconic “Hi Darling!” and a massive hug. Pamella’s excellence in customer service and throwing a great event, has meant every single delegate has left her course with a burning desire to make their life, and their business, exactly how they want it. Because she’s just shown them how.

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Your vibe attracts your tribe

And so it wouldn’t be fair to keep this beehive of success up in the North of England, where it began, when there are wedding professionals far and wide who would love a bit of brand-PD fairy dust sprinkled upon them. As well as a dusting of realism for good measure, because the great thing about Pamella is that she wants you to succeed so much that she’s not going to fob you off with glossed-over non-answers. So, September 22nd 2017 marked My Wedding Business’ first trip to London. Now, if that sounds to you like some sort of school / university field-trip then I assure you that the amount of giggles had over the course of 24 hours was very much the same. Because you cannot recreate the vibe of the original series in Yorkshire without bringing along your trusted Photographer, and friend, Amanda Wilcock from Cream Photography to take some professional headshots and make everyone roar with laughter. And a couple of us My Wedding Business Day One-ers wanted to come along for the ride too.

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Networking over lunch

After much deliberation and window-shopping through venues, there was only one place that would capture all of the creativity, excitement, and inspiration that these courses bring. The B.Loved Hive, based in The Biscuit Factory at Bermondsey is a space that every Girl Boss / Femtrepeneur / whatever you like to call it, would feel like they could conquer the world from. And if there’s one thing that these courses try to instil in every delegate, it’s that. Even the colour-scheme inspires! Millennial pink captures the essence of the industry’s non-existent glass ceiling (hallelujah!) whilst complementing tones of black and grey really demonstrate the grit and determination required to get the job done.

I have attended a few of Pamella’s courses over the last 12 months. I was there right at the very beginning when creating a mini-styled shoot was on the agenda, and I’ve since delivered blogging workshops after my win at The Blog Awards in April this year. But, you could just tell that the group of beauties that walked through the door of The Hive last Friday morning meant business and were here to learn. All currently studying with The UK Academy of Wedding and Event Planning, and all aspiring Wedding Planners themselves, it was clear to see that each and every one of them had something so valuable to bring to the industry.

Alex, of Fizz and Bloom, already has the whole style, customer service, and luxury living thing down to a tee having run her own Beauty Salon since 2009. And it was whilst beautifying the ladies of Norfolk that she realised she would love to channel her creativity into producing stunning weddings under her namesake, Fizz and Bloom (pretty cool, huh?)

Jade of Jade Leung Weddings and Special Events already has style in abundance (check out her insta if you haven’t already) and yet her biggest hurdle coming onto the course was the fact that in North Wales, where she lives, Wedding Planning has not yet become commonplace. Although, seeing her passion, enthusiasm, and gorgeous attitude on the day, it’s clear as day that she will certainly find a way to become one of the big names.

Hannah is another future superstar of the wedding industry. You can tell that she has what it takes to push through any boundaries that any of us have to face in the industry, and her desire to learn shone through the whole day. If she ends up being your wedding planner in the future then you’ve done good!

Alia hails from Lebanon and spends half her time in London and the other half in Dubai. Like all strong business women, Alia came onto the course keen to get her pricing right and perfecting her business model before going all guns blazing over in the UAE. Ladies and Gentlemen, watch this space…

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Rana

Rana is extremely well travelled and has lived all over. It was obvious to see from the very start that she has the style and flair to make all of her dreams come true, with that gentle sophistication which makes for all of the best planners and stylists. Keen to seek out networking opportunities, she is ready to launch and there will be no looking back!

So now you have met the truly inspiring gang of go-getters that we all got the pleasure of meeting a week ago, and they got the pleasure of hearing Pam lead them through a whistle-stop tour of the industry. What does it cover? What doesn’t it cover! How to price your business, how to utilize social media to gain bookings, discovering your ideal client, how to network your way to the top of your game. It’s all there – a guide of how to achieve everything you could want along with coffee (I’d turn up to any event for that alone most of the time), lunch, and the invaluable opportunity to meet people who are just like you.

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Sharing stories ..

This time, in addition, we had the genuine pleasure to hear from Louise Beukes who founded not only The Hive, but the infamous B.Loved Blog which shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, Louise is more in-demand than ever! Having recently launched her own courses, styling shoots for big-name brands, and running her popular Facebook Group ‘Meet, Learn, Thrive With The Hive’. She spoke to the delegates about her own story – where she started, how she made it work, and the legacy that she has now built with her own two hands (and a dose of that signature style).

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Blogging workshop

That was just the morning! And the afternoon passed with similar gusto – a blogging workshop delivered by myself, and headshots and product shots taken by the fabulous Amanda. There was just enough time for us all to flick through the incredible collection of magazines displayed around The Hive, and get to know each other and our stories a little bit more, before we realised the time and couldn’t believe that another My Wedding Business course had just wrapped up.

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Because we can’t go anywhere without some styling magic …

And it’s with an enormous amount of pride that I am able to write this summary. Not only because I can look back and see how far my own business has come since I attended that very first course back in December ‘16 – and the enviable opportunities that have come my way because of the advice that I gratefully received from Pamella. But also because the lady right at the helm of it all has become more than a mentor; she is a friend. And seeing your friend living her dream up-and-down the country, all the while inspiring more wedding industry pros to live their own, is something you cannot help but feel in awe of.

2018 marks the year that Pamella will accomplish everything she set out to achieve 7 years ago, when the business brilliance that is Pamella Dunn Events was born. She will host a 3 day International styling retreat in Australia for those who want to learn about creating weddings with killer effects and exquisite details from the very best. And the best part about it all? She will be inviting you along for the ride – yes, you! But until then you can still book on another My Wedding Business course and join the likes of Alex, Jade, Sarah, Alia, Rana and a whole host of other graduates who now have all the tools they need to go hell for leather with their businesses.

Pamella, thanks for having me! Until next time folks…

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A Destination Wedding Tour

Portofino to Alassio

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The Italian Riviera

Throughout my career as a luxury wedding planner, it has always been my goal from the very beginning to travel, travel, and travel some more. And with the International Wedding Retreat 2018 being planned as we speak, my wanderlust has been greater than ever before. So you can imagine how happy I was when the exclusive invitation from Love Me In Liguria landed in my inbox one working day. An invitation, that was sending me, along with nine other international luxury wedding planners, to the Italian coast to experience first-hand the romance and breathtakingly beautiful vistas that couples can witness on their own wedding day. I really didn’t need asking twice!

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Incredible views

Fast forward through the exciting stages of packing, planning and pinching myself and I was on my way, ready to meet my travel companions for the next four days. Arriving in Genoa, the first destination on our agenda for the week, the port provided the picture-perfect location to meet everyone for the first time over a welcome lunch at our boutique hotel.

Sitting and soaking up the rays under an ocean of blue skies we were given a very warm welcome by the organisers of this incredible adventure: Francesca and Valentina of Love Me in Italy and the Lunargento Publishing House and wedding and event planner Simona Chiavaccini. Safe to say we were in very good company! And glancing around the table I could tell it was going to be a week full of swapping stories, discussing all-things-weddings and genuinely spending time in some very good company.

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Marco, Pamella & Daria with Portofino in the background

And with that, let me introduce you to my new friends: Simona the PR and Marketing Manager from Zankyou – an online magazine reigning large in 23 countries and the largest wedding portal worldwide. Elisabetta of Intimately Inspired Events, Rui of Rui Mota Pinto Tailor & Planner, Froonck from Froonck of Der Wedding Planner, Olivia of Love Circus, Millie from Matthew Oliver Weddings, Daria of Caramel Events Wedding, Mirjam Wedding Guru, Marco from Ihr Hochzeitsplaner und Trauredner, and Mihai of High Emotion Weddings,

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Rui, Foonck & Marco

The welcome lunch swiftly gave way into a four day blur of guided tours, meeting expert wedding suppliers, dining on Michelin-starred meals and raising champagne to toast the trip. I guess it is just the way things go when 10 international wedding planners meet 55 Ligurian Vendors in the country of love.

We were welcomed into castles and villas, palaces and restaurants and truly educated on the hospitality of this Italian paradise. Love Me In Italy excelled themselves in bringing together the area’s industry finest to firmly place Liguria on the map as a land of weddings and love. Not too much of a stretch for a region that is known and loved all over the world. And what’s not to love? Marinas, blue skies, sunshine and wine – it’s all right here.

However, even with its reputation preceding itself it was a wonderful opportunity to experience the beauty, scenery, culture and history of this enchanting region up close. Mountain view after mountain view, each one a worthy postcard picture, signed sealed and delivered with the promise of the most breathtakingly beautiful wedding one could ever hope for. Along with the fine dining, perfect wine selection, and impeccable customer service that we knew our clients would certainly be treated too as well, this trip was one we will never forget.

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Exclusive Villas

When we weren’t indulging in canapes and aperitifs, we were winding our way through the streets of Portofino and Alassio where we could marvel at the villas and private gardens which hinted at the affluent lifestyle of Liguria’s locals.

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Exquisite Gardens With Breathtaking Views

Our journey took us onto Santa Margherita Ligure and Zoagli – all offering something totally different from the last, boasting their own appeal and sentiments, but all jostling for that special place in our memories that we would fondly recall once back in the UK.

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Italy

I cannot thank Love Me In Liguria enough for their incredible welcome, hospitality and enlightening trip through the Ligurian region of Italy. I can firmly conclude that anyone lucky enough to be loved in Liguria should certainly take the chance. I am already itching to share the details with our international clients who are searching for their dream wedding location. Liguria truly is the land of the loved.

 

Until our next adventure …

Much love Pamella x

Should I Hire A Wedding Planner?

5 key questions:

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Pamella Dunn

Where you begin your personal wedding planning journey really depends on how you visualise your marriage taking shape. Most of us live in an era where we struggle to find extra hours as we rush from one demand on our precious time to another, where often just finding time to even think about what you might like for your significant celebration is tricky.  Consider this short list and step into the magical world of wedding planning confident you are heading in the right direction.

  • Have you chosen a date, place and venue?
  • Have you a budget you will work to?
  • Are you a creative looking to DIY your wedding, with support from family & friends?
  • Do you need help with the design and styling?
  • Do you need help with the administration, the coordination and on the day management?
  • Have you identified key suppliers who you can work with?

These considerations will help you highlight where you will want additional support, advice and guidance. The answers will be quite different for every couple but using the services of experienced professional planners for all or part of the above will allow you those moments to reflect and take in the whole experience confident in the knowledge you are in safe hands.

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Pamella

Shortlist planners who fit your brief and arrange a consultation. These are invariably complimentary and will give you a good idea if you are a good fit. Personality, compatibility and a good close working relationship will be vital. An experienced planner will have all the answers, and more that arise during this exciting time, and will often not only be the planner, but your designer and stylist too. They will save you hours of research and add value to your budget. Their advice and support will be invaluable, they will be the calming confidant, fully understanding how you are feeling at each stage. They will be inspiring and thought provoking, discussing ideas with you that have meaning to you both as you celebrate your love for each other.

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Your Wedding Planner Does More Than Just Wedding Planning

As the considerations are seemingly endless the earlier you discuss your plans with a professional the less likely you are to encounter any issues that were so important to you. These could be restrictions at your venue that don’t allow naked flames or even insisting on their preferred suppliers, it could be crazy weather, your timings, the additional costs that squeeze your budget or noise restrictions that exclude your favourite band. Saving precious time early in the process could be the best wedding decision you make.

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Design & Styling

And one of the best pieces of advice I could give would be to carefully consider any decision to style your own wedding. It is an exciting time and if you are a creative with passion and vision for how your wedding will look I know you will be tempted to enlist the help of your bridal party to place your pretty details in your beautiful venue. You will want to oversee the proceedings whilst liaising with your hand picked suppliers, but the reality is you rarely have the time and your photographer and hair and makeup team will be calling you. Your closest friends and family will want to shower you with love and attention, and you will feel under pressure. A talented team of stylists will bring calm and joy to your most memorable of occasions. Enjoy this magical time and don’t be afraid to ask for expert advice.

Looking forward to hearing from you x

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The Devil Is In The Detail

On location in Dubai

 Burj Khalifa

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Our exciting plans for the destination wedding consultations kicked off at New Year in Dubai. Staying at the Radisson Blu Dubai by The Creek and then on to Waldorf Astoria on The Palm. It was an amazing opportunity to meet face to face with our clients and really understand their ideas and plans for their dream wedding. We chatted design, style and colour, how the event would feel and how we would create the atmosphere. We discussed venues, complimentary vendors, cake, food, flowers and timings. Planning a wedding is exciting but time consuming, get in touch with us before you do anything. We are always happy to share initial ideas and our experience, saving you time and money whilst our little black book of luxury vendors is a who’s who not to be missed.

185-Waines-Wedding

Image by Walker & Walker Photographers

One of our 2015 weddings styled with indoor trees and pretty glass hanging baubles

 

Further dates and destinations for 2016 will be announced shortly but will include, New York, Greece, Ibiza and India. More opportunities for our clients planning their dream wedding outside the UK to meet for a personal consultation in some of the most beautiful destinations across the globe. Travel and adventure are at the heart of the business and my passion for bringing you beautiful props, unique accessories, and sensual fabrics continues to take me to the most stunning places on earth, and I get to meet you in person too.

It’s a dream job!

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So whether you live outside the UK and are planning to travel to England for its stunning scenery, and historic venues, or you are a UK resident with a beautiful destination wedding in mind we will be confirming dates very soon, and would love to hear from you if you would like to add your destination to our travel plans.

 

Dubai a vertical city with high rise iconic buildings, it’s simply breathtaking set against the blue skies. Dubai Marina – Rolex Towers – Dubai Mail Fountains

Launching international consultations

You can now plan your complimentary destination consultation for 2016

We have ridiculously exciting plans for the New Year and I am delighted to announce that this includes the opportunity for our clients planning their dream wedding outside the UK to meet for a personal consultation in some of the most beautiful destinations across the globe. Travel and adventure are at the heart of the business and my passion for bringing you beautiful props, unique accessories, and sensual fabrics continues to take me to the most beautiful places on earth. It’s a dream job!

Logo white

So whether you live outside the UK and are planning to travel to England for its stunning scenery, and historic venues, or you are a UK resident with a beautiful destination wedding in mind we have some dates for your diary with more to follow very soon.

Dubai

Image credit: Pinterest

 

In December and then again mid January it’s Dubai where I hope to catch up with one of our August brides who will fly to the UK to marry just outside York. This huge modern City is one I have been really looking forward to exploring, it has a vast array of stunning wedding venues with every luxury detail you can dream of. Based Downtown in December and Jumeirah in January there will be plenty of opportunity to catch up and chat dream weddings together.

 

NYC

Image credit: Pinterest

By June we will be half way through the year and already in the midst of peak season but there will be chance for a hop across the pond with a visit to New York City. The Big Apple is my favourite City in America and I cannot wait to return. And one of our wonderful NYC couples will travel back across the ocean to marry in Yorkshire in July, choosing a beautiful countryside estate. Just outside Skipton the Coniston Hotel is the most romantic venue.

Ibiza

Image credit: Pinterest

Then by late August I’ll be on a plane to the white isle spending time on the wonderful island of Ibiza. A glorious sun bleached island cooled by the turquoise Mediterranean Sea it is a haven for party people and beach lovers, with a crystal clean and calm interior the island boasts some of the prettiest wedding venues. With chic villas, mountain views, food and fashion it is a European paradise for couples engaged and looking for a fabulous wedding location.

So with three hot spots confirmed we would love to hear from you and make some unbelievably exciting plans together in these inspiring locations. Get in touch today and we can sync diaries. More dates and destinations to be confirmed, and if you have a special request then please let us know. Contact us here at: Pamella Dunn Events

Much love Pami x