In the past, I have been in the fortunate position to have met some of the most amazing wedding suppliers in Suffolk and across the UK, with many of which becoming great friends. I know that many of my prospective and current clients check out my blog from time to time to see what I’ve been up to, which got me thinking. What better way to introduce some of my trusted vendor friends to my clients than to give them the spotlight for 5 minutes here on my blog where they could tell us about their business, their inspirations and what makes them tick. So here you have it, a new series of interviews has been born, I hope you enjoy them.
Today I had the chance to sit down with Cambridge Wedding Planner Katrina Otter, who organises weddings throughout Cambridge, The Midlands, London and across the UK. Katrina is someone I follow regularly on social media and through her blog as she creates some really valuable content for couples, which I would really recommend checking out.
Ross: For those readers who may not have come across your work before, please can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into wedding planning?
Katrina: From the age of 17 I knew I wanted to be a wedding planner! I also wanted to travel and knew that I needed to gain a solid foundation in the events industry before I set up my own business. After leaving University I worked for a global brand experience agency in London and was fortunate enough to organise corporate conferences, gala dinners and events across Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia. 8 years later and with a wealth of experience in event management under my belt I knew it was the right time to start my own wedding planning business – Katrina Otter Weddings & Events.
Ross: In three words how would you describe your brand/business?
Katrina: Personal, passionate, supportive.
Ross: Who or what inspires the creativity in your work?
Katrina: Within the wedding industry I gain inspiration from leading bridal publications, wedding blogs, fellow planners and suppliers. I am also slightly addicted to Pinterest! Outside of the wedding industry I gain inspiration from the world of fashion, design and interiors. I also regularly attend the theatre and visit museums. Finally, I can’t talk about inspiration without talking about my co-stylist Emma from Coco Wedding Venues (http://cocoweddingvenues.co.uk/) whose work, passion, vision and motivation inspires me daily.
Ross: What trends are you currently seeing and how do you predict the future looks for wedding planning in the UK?
Katrina: The trends that I’m currently most excited about are…1960’s bohemian beats, wild garden bouquets and blooms, all things blush, toned down and understated elegance and fashion-forward crop tops.
In terms of the future of wedding planning – weddings are rapidly becoming more complex to organise. With couples now having increasingly busier careers and less time to plan their weddings I believe that there will continue to be a growing demand for professional support in the UK.
Ross: How far in advance do you suggest couples come talk to you about their wedding?
Katrina: For full wedding planning I usually start working with my couples at least 12 to 18 months prior to their wedding. I’ve also organised an entire wedding before in less than 6 weeks so anything is possible…but 12 months is ideal! For partial wedding planning services then the timescale varies depending on the planning requirements. For on-the-day management I usually receive enquiries 4 – 6 months in advance.
Ross: Which wedding blogs or magazines do you recommend that
couples check out, in order to gain inspiration?
Katrina: Some of my favourite magazines include Brides and You & Your Wedding and when it comes to blogs I regularly read:
Style Me Pretty (http://www.stylemepretty.com/)
Love My Dress (http://lovemydress.net/)
Rock My Wedding (http://rockmywedding.co.uk/)
Elizabeth Anne Designs (http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/)
Hello May (http://hellomay.com.au/)
If you are looking for wedding venue inspiration then the Coco Wedding Venues blog is a great starting point as it is focused purely on the first step of the wedding planning journey. On the Coco Blog you can also read my Wedding Planning Series which is jam packed full of wedding planning advice and top tips, including some pretty pinnable cheat sheets!
Ross: What advice would you give couples when choosing their wedding planner?
Katrina: Know what kind of wedding planner you need, do your research and then make sure they are the right fit for you. It is essential that you get on with your wedding planner – even if their work is stunning, it will seem like a really long few months (or years) if you don’t get along with them. A good test is how they respond to your ideas, and if you feel they’re really listening to you. If every default answer is “no” or they seem to be ignoring your plans in favour of their own, then they may not be right for you. A good wedding planner will be proactive, flexible and friendly. That doesn’t mean they can perform miracles, but that they’re willing to do their
very best to accommodate your needs. It is also worth asking a planner about their commission policy prior to booking them.
Ross: Finally, what's the best thing about being a wedding planner?
Katrina: The best thing about being a planner is that every day I get to do something that I truly love, all thanks to the couples I work with and suppliers I get to meet and collaborate with along the way. It is a career path I have always wanted to take and one that I am so fortunate to be able to do.
My sincere thanks to Katrina for her time. If you would like to speak to Katrina about your forthcoming wedding, please check out her website over at www.katrinaotterweddings.co.uk. Also be sure to follow her on Facebook & Twitter,