This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to a lady who personally inspires me. Wedding Planner Anna MacDougall from Bride & Glory…
Please tell our readers a bit about you & bride&glory…
Oh yikes, a bit? Now here’s a challenge – you know I can’t stop once I get started!
Controversially, b&g wasn’t born out of a love for weddings but instead out of a genuine passion for event management in general. For the past 12 years, we’ve been lucky enough to have learnt from some of the best in the world of corporate event management. Far from the glam & shiny side that’s presented to guests, organizing any event is seriously hard work – as anyone who’s ever thrown a dinner party will well know.
We’re that extra pair of hands that helps our couples to focus on the excitement of promising to spend the rest of their lives together, rather than whether the canapés are ready, the band shows up on time and your tables are laid out perfectly. We deal with the endless to-do lists and spreadsheets that drive you insane, so you don’t have to.
Where did the company name come from?
From a marathon 6-hour webcam session with my graphic designer (and bestest friend), who simply wouldn’t let me give up when I couldn’t find a name I loved and for which the domains were still available. I bet he’d just watched Pride & Glory! I instantly loved it though, snapped up the domains and have almost literally become bride&glory.
What services do you offer?
In a nutshell – whatever services you need us to. From full planning over months to help on specific projects (like sourcing suppliers or managing the RSVPs) or, the most popular service, our day-of coordination, which offers support shortly before and on your wedding day.
We don’t do packages. Our couples tell us what they need and we work out how to best help them achieve it. Our hourly rate is transparent so you always know exactly what you’re paying for.
Who is a typical bride&glory client?
They come from all walks of life and are fantastic couples, who have put an enormous amount of time and love into planning their wedding day. They mostly work full time and have extremely busy lives, so they often just want someone to help pull the last bits together and ease the stress levels. A client recently called us their ‘Go-to Girl’, which we thought summed it up perfectly.
What does a day in the life of a Wedding Planner consist of?
Depending on how many weddings we have going on at the time, it’s anything from sourcing suppliers to managing spreadsheets, budgets & to-do lists to venue recces. If we’re not working for our clients, we’re out promoting b&g, meeting suppliers, working out ways of how to improve our services or buried in accounting (we’re frequently caught hiding from the last bit though).
How do you decide which suppliers to work with?
It’s a mix of recommendations, references, personal experience of their work and that good old gut feeling. We love what we do and are proud of putting our service to our clients above all else. If a supplier doesn’t share that work ethic, they’re not likely to be the ones for us.
What is your favourite wedding style?
The ones where couples let the day be a reflection of who they are, especially the ones who are happy to play with their quirks and where guests walk in and say: ”That’s just so X&X!”
What do you think will be a big trend in 2012?
Probably sounding hideously pompous now but we don’t pay that much attention to trends. What matters isn’t what’s de rigueur in any given season, it’s what makes you happy and makes your day reflect you as a couple. So whether that’s retro quirk, vintage romance, monochrome chic, rock-chick glam or a barn in a field – if it feels right and you love it, run with it.
Who inspires you?
Our couples, who put so much love into planning their wedding days. All the fantastic suppliers, who rally together and work extra-hard to help turn the plans-on-paper into reality. My darling husband, who is always right behind all things b&g.
Oh, and Pink – for being such a cool rock chick, never afraid to say what she thinks.
If you could co-ordinate a wedding for anyone in the world who would it be and what type of day would they have?
Will you turf me out if I cheesily tell you that would be my gorgeous little sister? It would be her day, so whatever she wants – but I have a feeling there would definitely be tipi-style Kåta tents involved.
What is your greatest achievement?
Setting up b&g when some people thought it was ever so slightly insane and making a home for my husband, Barley (our beast) and I in our crumbling little Chapel in Bucks.
If you weren’t doing this job what do you think you would be doing?
Something that involves lots of lists and plenty of stationery. Oh, and ribbons, to extend our ever-growing ribbon drawers.
How do you spend your time when you are not working?
Isn’t this where I’m meant to say something really impressive, like broadening my horizon by visiting art galleries and learning Chinese? I can’t lie! It’s mainly spent with friends, walking the beast to the pub with my husband, reading (one can never have enough books!) and travelling, whenever the schedules allow it.
Do you have a current special offer for Ice the Cake readers?
How could we refuse! We’d love to offer three fabulous Ice the Cake readers our DOC (day-of coordination) service at half price between January and March 2012. So if you’re getting married some time in those 3 months, get in touch and we’ll tell you more.
To keep it fair, these packages will be awarded on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and are subject to us being available on your wedding date, so the sooner you get in touch, the better your chances.
A Message from Anna…
You don’t need a wedding planner but you may well want one. Think why you get your shopping delivered – you could do it yourself but with your insanely busy life, it’s just so much easier to get someone to drop it off.
Please ignore the clichés – most of us are nothing like J-Lo in the movie!
And if you do decide to consider getting a planner on board, just make sure you vet them properly. Check references, speak to couples & suppliers they have worked with and most importantly, meet them in person. A planner will not only become your ‘Go-to Girl/Guy’ but sometimes almost a great friend, so you must make sure you really like them. It’s a but like speed-dating: if it doesn’t click, move on. The right planner for you is out there – you’ll know it when you meet them.
Contact Bride & Glory:
Phone +44 1908 551 678 Mobile +44 777 639 2369
Thank you Anna for being such an inspiration and for such an interesting insight into your world… XX