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Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
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Pictures include the traditional gypsy caravans at South Farm, a field wedding venue, the DIY Wedding Fair, LOVE letters set up at The Sharnbrook, The mansion house at Beechwood Park School and more lOVE letters set up on the balcony of the stables at Tew

The Best of 2019

It's hard to believe that Your Wedding Friend turned 2 in December 2019. It has been a busy old year in many ways and I've learned so much, but where to start? I've visited lots of wedding venues for the first time. I've worked with some lovely couples and wedding suppliers. I've seen so many interesting ideas and shared them with my subscribers. So, what might you have missed?

First up, where have I been?

The biggest highlight of this year for me has been getting to help out at one of my goal venues, South Farm. I was there helping the lovely Flowers by Suzanne Randell on a gorgeous wedding. I've known about this wedding venue since I first started looking at venues back in 2012. It consistently popped up in my searches as having a unique and fun offer. If you've not had a look at this venue you should definitely follow the link below.
It was also my first time working at Dodford Manor, Sharnbrook, Villiers in Buckingham and Tewin Bury Farm Hotel, amongst others. I'm starting to reach out further than my usual Herts/Beds border area with some of these, plus I met the lovely owner of Furtho Manor Farm to find out what they offer (it's awesome by the way). I'm still finding out about some of these Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire wedding venues and identifying those that I've yet to visit.

I've lots of plans in 2020 to visit some new venues and I've got a list of wedding venues I'd love to work at. Of course, seeing new places gives me lots of new Venue View blog reviews to line up. To start the new year, I'm including my picks for top venues in each area and of different types, so watch this space for some instant venue inspiration.

The learning continued

As always, I continued to embrace learning in 2019. On-line and in-person learning is key to moving forward in any business, and as I can't possibly be an expert in every aspect of my business I've also learned to use my contacts to take on those jobs that I'm not best placed to do myself.
Whenever the opportunity arises to get together with other wedding suppliers for training, I'm keen to get involved, so in November I took part in a mastermind day, with the Engage members network. These opportunities are great because I get to know the other suppliers, and I'm always looking for new people I can introduce you to.

2020 will continue in much the same way. I'll be looking for further training opportunities and developing my skills in new areas. I will complete my Introduction to Coaching certificate and I'm looking to learn about other tools that might help you with your wedding planning; I'm listed on Bridebook (see link below), but haven't really learned how it might help you make your wedding planning that bit easier. Anything that I can do to help you plan your wedding, or if there's something you'd like me to look into, just ask.

Working with suppliers

I've been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to work with some great suppliers this year; from my continuing relationships with Add A Little Sparkle, Flowers by Suzanne Randell and Creative Decorations, to building new relationships with the lovely JSB Events & Entertainment, Meadowsweet Cakes, Ariella Strings and more. I love working closely with these brilliant skilled suppliers as it gives me so much insight into what they put into their service and I pick up so many ideas on how they can help you with your wedding planning.

I'm very much looking forward to working with these and more suppliers in 2020. Yes, I even have a hit list of suppliers who I'd love to get to know better. I'll also be continuing to introduce more marvellous wedding suppliers to you over the course of the year, sharing some of their ideas about what you need to know and how they go above and beyond what you think they offer.
Recommendations are a key part of how the wedding industry works; when you've got so much choice for your potential providers, it's difficult to know who the good ones are and who should be avoided. A wedding planner thrives or fails based on the suppliers they recommend so I will continue to work hard to find the best people for your budget, who also offer the best possible service.

What else happened in 2019?

This was the first year where I really focussed on my goals and used on myself some of what I've learned through the coaching course I've been doing. I practice gratitude every day and visualization alongside my motivational mantra - if I'm going to recommend my couples do these things then I figure I should have a go for myself. I've found it really useful and rewarding, and I've found that my general positivity has improved. I hope what I've learnt will also be of some use to you.

Anyone who has ever struggled to get their family to understand what you do for a living, will appreciate the greatest compliment I received this year. One of my relatives said to me 'you really Do know what you're doing' - high praise from a close relation. Doing the job is reward itself, but it's always nice to receive a thank you or comment from a customer; it helps boost the morale! One of my goals for January is to do reviews for some of the suppliers I've worked with this year.

What is in store for 2020?

Well, I'm working on some exciting plans for my subscribers; I want to make sure my special team get the best bits of me reserved just for them. I've got offers planned that only they will receive and tips/advice that I only share with them. Of course, I'd love to have more people sharing in our community, so I will never close the door on new subscribers (see link below to sign up).
The DIY Wedding Fair will be back at a new location for 2020 - subscribers will be the first to hear about that when it's announced! And I have bigger and better ideas planned for the workshops/talks. It's going to be amazing.
Who knows what else will crop up this year but the biggest part of what I have coming is working with amazing couples just like you on some of the most gorgeous wedding ideas. 2020 is going to be a big year and an amazing ride, I'd love to have you along for it.

For now, watch this space and my social media for news, advice, ideas, inspiration and hopefully some laughs as we all journey into a new decade! Eeek. Happy Planning lovely X