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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.

networking, woman in business,
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).

blogging workshop london, sharing skills,
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.

styling, foliage garland, lunchtime, geometric,
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.

portofino, Italy wedding planner selfie, wedding planners on tour,
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,

boys selfie, male wedding planners,
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.

Exclusive villas, getting married in a villa, villa wedding, italian villa,
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.

exquisite italian gardens, incredible riviera view, view of the sea, wedding venue with a view of the sea,
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.

Italian lunch, destination wedding planners, luxury wedding planners,
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

wedding millinery,wedding accessories,tiaras,

Introducing Brand Ambassador Lisa From The Bobby Pin and more …

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Wedding Millinery & Accessories

This fabulous young bridal accessories company is just gorgeous and has made an incredible name for themselves in less than a year. I’m a huge advocate of businesses that thrive on hard work, are passionate about exceeding customer expectations and generous supporters of other small businesses. This entrepreneur is truly inspirational, if you are considering launching your wedding business or looking for some motivation to take your business to new heights you’ll love hearing what can be achieved in a very short time.

Bridal hair vine,Bespoke bridal hair accessory,
Bespoke Bridal Hair Accessory

Hi, I am Lisa the owner of The Bobby Pin Bridal and the Co-Owner of The Hook Box Co and The Bridal Market.

Well what can I say about the most incredible journey of the last year.  It all started in Spring 2016 when I decided to quit my day job and fully focus on my dream which was to build my business empire within the wedding industry.  I have had such an amazing start with The Bobby Pin it has exceeded my expectations completely from when I first launched and I even won The British Wedding Award for Best Accessories 2017 which was a complete shock and so far from what I believed was possible.

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A Bespoke Accessorised Cake

I have always been very business focused and always knew one day I would work for myself but in what I really didn’t know.  The Bobby Pin was born through deciding to take up a new hobby in millinery and enrolling into night school at Leeds College of Art.  I loved making hats but I just couldn’t see much opportunity in this for me in terms of a business so I turned my attention to what brides would be wearing in their hair.  The penny dropped straight away and I started researching all the trends and became obsessed with everything wedding related.  In terms of my bridal pieces I have very much taught myself how to make these as there isn’t much in the way of training.  I just love experimenting with wire, crystals and beads and it somehow makes itself into a headpiece.

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Hook Box Subscriptions You’ll Love

In October 2016 I met a fellow Bradfordian girl over coffee one morning and at 4pm that day we were still in the same coffee shop talking about how much business potential we could have has a partnership.  So from then on Katherine Cocksedge (The Bridal Market) and I were inseparable.  We have recently launch the Hook Box Co which is a Bride to Be subscription box helping brides to plan their weddings with lots of help and advice and some amazing gifts thrown in.   We also decided to launch a one off Bride to Be, Bridesmaid, Hen and because I love nothing more than a festival, we have done a summer festival box for the ladies who love glitter!!

bridesmaid box,bridesmaid subscription bot,
Your Bridesmaid Hook Box

So as you can imagine life is pretty busy at the moment but my one piece of advice I would give out about this industry is that networking is your best friend.  I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by great like-minded people like the amazing Pamella Dunn who have done nothing but support me following a great day on her My Wedding Business Course.  I really don’t think half of my success could have been achievable without these people constantly giving me great advice.  I really do believe in the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

festival hook box,festival present,bridesmaid present,bridesmaid ideas,
Your Festival Hook Box

So I will crack on with my little empire for now and see what other trouble I can get myself into.  All I know is that am I so thankful I get to do this every day and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Lisa xxx

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Introducing Pamella Dunn Brand Ambassador Sian of Chaplin Events

I’ve had a really wonderful Mother’s Day, it has been all about family. The sun shone and everyone came over for good food and summery gin and tonics. It’s been a fun day and now I’m excited for this fabulous feature which introduces you to the utterly gorgeous Sian. She has recently celebrated a very special birthday so I’ve no doubt she has had an amazing weekend. Let’s hear from her as she shares some background on her new wedding business.

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Sian founder of Chaplin Events

Day 11:

Hi I’m Sian and my events journey began almost 10 years ago when I had the pleasure of working for the UK’s largest bridal trade show, The Harrogate Bridal Show. This was a fabulous introduction to the industry & really ignited my passion for events. I just love to see an occasion go from notes jotted onto a piece of paper to a completed celebration, seeing ideas come to life and being proud of the end result!

Over the years I have worked in many roles, strengthening my skills and furthering my love for all things events. I am quite fortunate that in my current role I am actively involved in organising events all over the world in some wonderful countries; India, China, Thailand to name a few!

With a broad events background and the enjoyment of planning my own wedding, I made the exciting decision to launch my very own event planning business in January 2017, Siân Chaplin Events. The introductory wedding business course, organised by Pamella Dunn Events was fantastic and offered a huge stepping stone into the industry. The course provided me with encouragement, positivity and motivation to go it alone and use my skills and experience to support clients with their planning requirements. 

The services I offer are ever growing and can be tailored to suit each and every individual client.

Venue Sourcing – UK and international, I can help you find your dream venue for any occasion that you’re planning. Once the venue is sourced you’ll be surprised at the sense of relief, then the fun really begins!

Supplier Sourcing – There are so many aspects to think about when planning any event, the list of people involved can become endless. I understand the importance of making your celebration perfect and will work closely with you to source the perfect suppliers based on your vision.

On the Day Coordination – Having an events professional at your wedding or special occasion can make the world of difference. I can take on the management of all suppliers, leaving you to enjoy the celebrations and spend quality time with your guests.

Event Support for Small Businesses – Do you own a small business and love the idea of running a floristry, craft, cake decorating workshop but aren’t quite sure where to start and feel you would really benefit from some admin support? I’d love to be involved!

Weddings, birthdays, baby showers, hen parties; there isn’t an event I don’t love to be involved in! 

Why should you book me as your event planner? I care about each and every event as if it’s my own and have a tremendous amount of passion for the industry. I will work with you every step of the way, keep you in the loop and relieve the stress that organising your own can cause. My priority is for you to feel completely comfortable in my company and trust in me to offer an excellent service.

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A photoshoot collaboration

What’s next in my event planning journey? I’m currently working on some fabulous styling collaborations and gathering inspiration for my next styled shoot, after having just coordinated my first wedding shoot and loving every minute! Keep your eyes peeled for exciting announcements over the coming months!

No job is too big or small, let’s meet over a cuppa and start making plans! 

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Chaplin Events branding

Siân x

Follow my event planning journey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Photography credits

Headshot – Cream Photography

Styled Shoot image – Arabella Smith Fine Art Photography

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Introducing Pamella Dunn Brand Ambassador Amy Of ‘Something New Wedding Planning’ ..

Be inspired by this girl boss making her business dreams a reality! Amy was one of our original interns, we are so proud of her, and she has so earned her wedding planning and styling stripes.  This feature is a Saturday night treat; enjoy.

Day 11 ….

blushing bride,Amy Of Something New Wedding Planning,
Amy ….

PAST

I was known for two things as I was growing up; my love for lists and my obsession with highlighting everything (and I mean everything). Apparently to everyone around me, friends, teachers and family, this meant I was destined for organisational greatness. 

 With a first class degree in events management, 4 years in corporate hospitality under my belt and a subscription to brides magazine I decided the area I really wanted to work in was the wedding industry.

stylist at work,behind the scenes,new wedding business,
Behind the scenes

 I enrolled on a course at the UK Academy of Wedding and Event Planning to expand my understanding of the industry, and that is how I met Pamella Dunn; an amazingly charismatic and generous individual both with her time and her knowledge. My first day working with Pamella was on a double wedding over Valentine’s Day weekend (no pressure then) at two very different venues with two very different concepts. Seeing her passion and love for the job and her commitment for perfection really motivated me and emphasised this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to makes peoples dream day a reality. Pamella pushed me to set up my own business and truly made me believe I could succeed. 

wedding website logo,uk wedding planner,uk wedding stylist,
Something New

 PRESENT

A couple of years later and that’s where I am now. I am the extremely proud owner of Something New, a wedding planning and styling business. We have an ever expanding catalogue of beautifully rustic wedding props to hire and a keen eye for detail. Combine that with our clients ideas, taste and love story and you have got yourself the perfect combination to create an unforgettable day.

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#snwp

 FUTUREOver the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to work with some gorgeous couples at some truly stunning venues. And what is next for Something New? We have some really exciting projects in the pipeline which I can’t wait to share with you all, a diary full of wedding fairs and some very exciting  weddings spread across the country. I know it is just the beginning for us.

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Burning the candle ….

xxx

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A Pamella Dunn Introduction to Brand Ambassador Lucy From Lucy Rotchell Wedding Design

Vintage, rustic and a little boho, Lucy is just gorgeous and your dream planner for all things country chic. Lucy lives the closest to me and we have had already had some fun adventures, one day we’ll share the inside gossip but for now I’ll hand over to the girl herself.

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The always smiley Lucy Rotchell

Day Eight

Hi, I’m Lucy, founder of Lucy Rotchell Wedding Design.

With a dad in the industry, a passion for weddings, florals and all things vintage and many years experience as a PA, becoming a wedding planner always felt like a natural progression, not to mention there isn’t another career comes to mind that I could honestly say I would be as enthusiastic about and throw everything into.

I qualified as an Accredited Wedding & Events Planner with the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning in July 2016 and very shortly afterward Lucy Rotchell Wedding Design was born!

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A Qualified Wedding Planner

My aim is to create a relaxed and informal working environment where clients can come and feel totally at ease and completely without pressure, my passion is vintage/rustic and I want the eclectic and personal feel it gives to shine through in my work. So whether its a few ideas to get you started on your magical wedding planning journey or its full coverage that you’re looking for I would love to hear from you. I’m a Yorkshire girl so any excuse for a cuppa and a bit of Victoria sponge!

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A barn ceremony styled by Lucy at The Coniston Hotel

Since qualifying I have also been fortunate enough to gain amazing experience as a Brand Ambassador for award winning wedding & events planner, Pamella Dunn. The opportunities and knowledge this has afforded me have been beyond anything I could have imagined.

mood board,wedding mood board,wedding planning inspiration board,
An inspiration board for one of Lucy’s 2017 clients

The free reign of a wedding in our day and age is definitely my driving force for why I love what I do so much. Anything goes! Your wedding can be as crazy, as unique, as YOU as it wants to be and I believe helping someone create their vision and seeing it all come to life is something just a little bit special.

I would love you to follow or journey on Instagram

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Hold the front page, this girl needs no introduction; she’s going to make headlines …

Introducing Pamella Dunn Brand Ambassador Ellie Of Ellie Kime Weddings

Day Seven:

Hiya! I’m Ellie, from Ellie Kime. As you may have guessed, my wedding business is, at the heart of it all, me. My unbridled eagerness, my passion for making dreams come true, my magpie tendencies for anything remotely shiny, and my penchant for making conversation and connections with the industry’s best…all of these culminate in my wedding planning. Alongside a (terribly chosen) philosophy degree in the Smoke, I’ve been gaining experience in the industry for years: working as an events coordinator, interning under the wonderful Pamella Dunn, working for the most incredible wedding blog and network And So To Wed, and assisting with the dreamy A Most Curious Wedding Fair.

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Meet the gorgeous Ellie Kime

I’m also one of the recommended wedding planners at the beautiful Deighton Lodge, just outside York. This inimitable experience, coupled with my trademark enthusiasm and creative flair, means I want to take the wedding world by storm. In fact, positive mental attitude: I’m going to take the wedding world by storm.

tablescape,wedding table design,rose gold bear,rose gold,pineapple wedding decor,
Creative wedding design and decor by Ellie

Whether you’re a bride looking for someone who you can be confident in entrusting with organisation and styling of your big day, or as an industry member looking for someone who is a perfect fit for your next vision, I’m your gal. It’s all about making a connection, whether it’s with your perfect idea of how your entire day should run start to finish, how your venue will match your Pinterest board, or how to find the suppliers who will be as excited about your day as you are (and I am!). I live, breathe and dream weddings and happiness, and am regularly on the hunt for more adjectives because there’s only so many times you can describe something as gorgeous. Even though most things in the wedding world are gorgeous. We’re lucky like that!

collaboration,tfp shoot,wedding inspiration shoot,
Deighton Lodge Shoot

First stop: graduation. Next stop: the wedding world with Ellie Kime Weddings

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