Images by Chloe Ely Photography, from the English Wedding archive (full feature here)

I’ve known Bernadette Chapman from the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners since before the English Wedding Blog even began. I know she’s an absolute professional, a true expert in her field and someone who is extremely dedicated to her work. If I had an important question about planning a wedding she is the first person I would ask.

Quality is a huge thing for Bernadette and the UKAWP, as is reputation and customer service. Every wedding planner trained by the UKAWP has integrity, honesty and creativity. And with a wealth of experience and information at her fingertips, who better than Bernadette to give us the low down on finding wedding suppliers who we can absolutely trust!


“The majority of wedding suppliers are in this industry because they want you to have your most perfect day. They truly understand how special a wedding is and know they are playing a small part in creating ever-lasting memories.

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I meet the loveliest humans sometimes – and today I’m here to tell you all about somebody who I’ve discovered is especially special! (If that wasn’t already a thing, it needs to be!) It takes a lot to manage a successful wedding business: superhuman dedication; insane organisational skills; creativity and above all kindness, empathy and that certain something which makes someone a real “people person”. When I did a quick introduction to Michelle from Elegante by Michelle J on the English Wedding insta and on our facebook page last week, the replies I got told me a LOT about this amazing lady. The reviews on her website do likewise; and while I haven’t met Michelle in person, I just know she’s something special.

So I’m delighted to be welcoming Elegante by Michelle J to the English Wedding team today. Michelle is a destination wedding and event planner in London and a professional member of the UKAWP. The Elegante by Michelle J mission is to always create the most magical and memorable of days for her couples and their guests. So let’s meet Michelle!


Carmela Weddings are Sam and Lisa and they’re not your average wedding planners. They believe that luxury and edgy are a perfect match – and make it their mission to bring them together in weddings that are unforgettable. I’m really rooting for these guys: wedding planning needs a refresh, and couples with a clear sense of style have been crying out for a duo like this for too long!

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The Carmela Weddings ethos is firmly based on luxury, but luxury rooted in style, art and fashion as Sam and Lisa believe that the potent mix of these elements is the way to create a truly unique day that reflects their couples’ personalities.

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As a husband and wife team, they are able to offer something different by seeing the wedding process through male and female eyes. This doesn’t simply mean that Sam knows suits and Lisa knows flowers, or vice versa, but their skills and experience in design, event management, entertainment, logistics and more ensures that any aspect of the wedding you want and deserve is in safe hands. They’re also a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners so you can know you’re getting a professional service too!


Have you found yourself shocked by the prices quoted for wedding flowers? You won’t be alone – seemingly expensive quotes from florists can come as a big surprise and often mean couples have to change their plans for wedding flowers to come in under budget. I wonder if the wedding magazines are misleading us by featuring shoots full of flowers and giving average cost breakdowns which simply don’t match… what do you think?

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Flowers by Jades Flower Design Photo credit Mark Bothwell

Today I’m sharing a very honest and detailed breakdown and explanation of the price you can expect to pay for your wedding flowers. Bernadette Chapman from Dream Occasions is here to tell you more. Read, digest, comment if you’d like to, even ask us a question. I hope you’ll find this advice feature useful! Over to Bernadette…

Part of my role as a wedding planner is to allocate clients’ budgets to the relevant areas of their wedding, i.e from our initial consultation I will have an idea of how much the flowers, entertainment, stationery should cost. I’m normally pretty accurate with my estimations but then I have been doing this for 10 years!


Afternoon everyone – today’s blog post is a very clever collaboration with the lovely Lou at Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. We’re introducing the UK Alliance of wedding planners (UKAWP) at work and play!

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Right here on English Wedding Blog I’m showcasing what wedding planners do: looking at the behind the scenes process of wedding planning. Over on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings (wow Lou, typing your blog name is hard work! 😉 you get to see some of the wedding planners at play! They let their hair down a bit and got dressed up in wedding dresses to create a fun and inspirational shoot. Enjoy! The photos are all by Eliza Claire Photography.

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The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) exists to promote professionalism within the wedding planning industry, but also helps to educate brides (and suppliers!) about what wedding planners do. We have a large number of wonderful members across the UK, each working independently and running their own successful businesses, but with one single aim – to provide brides and grooms with a professional planning service for their wedding day.

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Wedding planning: can you be too organised? Photo credit: CG Weddings, Cheshire www.cgweddings.co.uk

I have admiration and astonishment in equal measure for couples – and let’s face it, mainly brides-to-be – who plan their weddings. Co-ordinating everything from guest lists to menu choices, sending invitations and remembering to order everything from top hats to garters… I can’t even begin to imagine how you do it.

It takes 18 months to plan your perfect day… or does it?

The average time to plan a wedding in the UK is 18 months, I believe. Wedding magazines, websites and books offer wedding planning checklists and guides telling you what needs to be done when: have you taken out wedding insurance? ordered buttonholes for the ushers? Do you know when to order your wedding invitations?

Can you plan your wedding too far in advance?

I read a thread on the Hitched wedding forum this week, asking how early was too early to book a wedding photographer. My experience tells me that the very best get booked up anywhere from two years in advance.