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Charlotte Balbier’s wedding diary: The joy of wedding planners

Bridal designer Charlotte explains why she called in the professionals to help organise her wedding 18 months into planning

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Charlotte’s go-to girl Charley Beard

Two years ago, Teddy got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and the best part of those two years have been spent planning our special day. Like most brides, I already had an idea of what I wanted and being in the biz meant I knew which suppliers to approach. That’s why, for the first 18 months of being engaged, I was adamant that I did not want or need a wedding planner as I could do it all solo…

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But I’m sure I’m not the first bride to find that planning my wedding has been a much bigger project than I at first anticipated. Yes, I know a lot about weddings, but actually putting it all together to a time scale while holding down a full-time job resulted in Miss Balbier realising she had bitten off more than she could chew! While I like to think I’m super organised (in my own messy, creative way), with a wedding you need to be military-style organised and get things done immediately. This has been one of my biggest problems; I always seem to be just behind on everything.

Another thing I’ve come to realise is that so many little details crop up that you just wouldn’t have thought about. While the dress, venue, cake and flowers are all a given, the little things that no-one tells you about take up more time than you would ever imagine. This week alone, my venue asked me who our compère was for the day, whether we would want to use our own PA system or the venue’s and if we’ll be hiring a knife and cake stand. Good question, as I hadn’t even thought about it! 

But it’s not just remembering every little detail that’s made me crave a helping hand, it’s the stress factor too – and boy have I been one stressed bride-to-be. Thinking back, I’m not really sure when I thought I was going to fit in organising the wedding and working full-time (for me this is sometimes seven days a week and very, very long hours). Squeezing in time to see wedding suppliers, organise fittings, source suppliers and products all takes time and I have often wished I had someone (a wedding planner) to do all this for me.

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The wedding planner’s blog

18 months into the planning I realised I needed help – cue a call to the fabulous Charley Beard at London Bride, whose blog I love and talent I had heard about through meeting many of her brides. One cocktail-filled evening later, Charley was on board to help make the wedding planning and day run smoothly. Seeing as I’ve already done so much, I have booked Charley to be involved for just the lead up to the day and for the three days over the wedding (I know that’s a lot but my wedding is in general a tad OTT!). I want to know someone will be there on the day who will ensure everything runs smoothly and Charley is definitely the right woman… If only I’d teamed up with her the moment I said ‘I will’!

I asked Charley for tips for brides who are thinking of hiring a wedding planner. This is what she said:

“Common misconceptions of a wedding planner are that they are a ‘luxury’ and may ‘take over’ your plans. However when hiring a planner they can do as much or as little as you require throughout the process, and are ultimately there to guide, advise and take away the stress for you! It’s great for couples to have that impartial support who can bring their expertise and knowledge to the planning. After all it’s likely to be the biggest event any couple has organised. A planner is a great addition to those short on creative inspiration, or who would like the extra assurance and management on the day so they can really relax with their friends and family.” Charley Beard, London Bride

So fellow brides, whether you’re at the start of your wedding journey or even nearing the end, my advice is get yourself a planner as I know first-hand how stressful going solo can be… Now pass me the vino!

Until next time,

Much Love

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Charlotte xxx