Tell me a little bit more about your business...
I founded Essentially You in 2005 and I've now been planning & co-ordinating weddings for over ten years. Our aim, our goal and our business is to ensure that our couples have an amazing, memorable and enjoyable day. Whether we are planning the entire event or just applying the finishing touches, we are professional and committed. Our knowledge and expertise means that all we work with can rely on our excellent advice. We work closely with our couples, to deliver their perfect day but never taking over.
What's so great about working in the wedding industry?
Everything! To me, this industry is something to fall in love with. Meeting with lovely couples and being part of the magic of the day and seeing the smile on a bride's face when she sees her special day come together is priceless. For me, this isn't a job, it's a lifestyle.
In your opinion, what are the most important questions a bride should ask when booking suppliers?
Really, I think they should have a list of what exactly they need to achieve with each specific suppliers and work to a specific budget. It's very important to cover all the groundwork at the early stages and then there's no surprises further along the line. A key question is always costs - do quotes include VAT? Are there any extras such as mileage charges? But mostly, you have to ask yourself if you like that supplier and want to give them the honour of being involved with your wedding.
Feel comfortable with every one that will be working on your day, especially suppliers such as photographers as you'll be spending a lot of time with them over the months of planning and on the wedding day itself. If your clever with your budget, you'll be able to afford an 'on the day' co-ordinator and they will look after you and make sure the day you've planned is the one you get. It's an affordable but invaluable service.
What makes a wedding really fabulous?
Personal touches. A wedding should be all about the couple and guests should be leaving saying "that was a great wedding because it couldn't have been anyone else's day but theirs".
Have you seen anything really great at weddings recently?
A recent wedding had a fabulous 'secret midnight party' - the majority of the guests left and then the bride, groom and their closest, most party loving friends, went on dancing through til dawn and they had breakfast together at dawn. It was great!
How do you prepare for a wedding?
Prior to the day, I have a comprehensive questionnaire that I work through with my couples and once this is complete, I meet the couple again to run through the day with them. On the day, I work to this planner and check all is correct and and to check that everything is just as they wanted. The aim of the game is that the couple and their friends and family relax and worry about nothing. It should be a seamless day and one full of memories for the right reasons.
What do you think the next 'big thing' in weddings will be?
Right now, whatever happens at the Royal Wedding in April will be big news but other than that, we look to the US for a lot of our trends - they tend to hit the UK 12-18 months later!
If you could give brides one piece of advice, what would it be?
Relax and enjoy the day - it's once in a lifetime.
To find out more about Julie and the services she offers, including the very popular 'on the day' co-ordination, visit her website - www.essentially-you.net or follow her on Twitter - www.twitter.com/julietooby