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From wedding planning advice and articles to pulling back the curtain on how ByChenai Events are put together, the Blog is an invaluable source of inspiration for those on their wedding planning journey as well as those who love to read about the art of celebration.

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Now that you have more of an understanding of what professional wedding planners do and how they can help you, it’s key to get an understanding of how much they cost so you can factor this into your wedding planning.

PRICING STRUCTURES

It’s important to preface this piece by saying that wedding planners costs are reflective of more than just the time (an average 200-300 hours) it takes to plan a wedding. They are reflective of our experience, the logistics we need to manage, ability to identify opportunities to maximise our client’s budgets, they cover our business costs, the team we will have in place to support on the day, our ability to save you money and the many benefits you receive from tapping into our trusted networks.

We are experts at planning weddings in dry hire spaces as well as purpose built structures, marquees at home for example, as well as transforming spaces to meet the expectations you have for your big day. Planners in the Luxury wedding space particularly, don’t crowd their calendars , you are normally part of a small group of clients who we take on annually to ensure you get the attention your celebration deserves.

Costs of Full Wedding Planning Support

Generally speaking, pricing is dependent upon the level of support and services you require. Most UK wedding planners charge a Percentage of your total budget .

  • The industry average is between 10 -15% of your total budget and normally there will be minimum fees that apply.
  • Minimum fees for reputable wedding planners in the UK can range from £5000 – £10000*
  • For high end, big budget weddings (6 figures and above) a fixed fee will often be offered to clients.
  • ByChenai Events offers a very comprehensive full wedding planning service and for weddings of 100+ guests we charge 12% of the budget and we are happy to agree fixed fees for very large budgets . The same fixed fee approach is applied for multi day or weekend weddings where more than one event needs to be planned . Events such as welcome parties, rehearsal dinners and recovery brunches.
  • For smaller and less complex weddings, the minimum fee would be applied over a percentage here at ByChenai Events.

Costs of Micro Weddings

Ever changing regulations during this pandemic has seen weddings of just 15 or 30 guests allowed – this is classed as a micro wedding. Couples are still engaging planners to support them with these types of weddings. We are here to help source venues appropriate for smaller numbers, help you transform the space and source the best suppliers permitted within the guidelines. Most wedding planners have a fixed fee approach to this as well.

Cost of Wedding Day Management /On the Day Coordination

This service is for those of you who have organised most of your wedding but would like someone to handover to , a professional who can manage suppliers, oversee the set up and ensure timings are adhered to on the day, amongst other things.

  • Reputable Wedding day coordinators charge a fixed fee. That can start at £950 , this starting figure is normally for those who specify a limited number of hours.
  • For a full day of support with more hours cover, you can expect to pay in the region of £1200 – £1500, again should your wedding have large guests numbers and added complexity, this must be taken into account as the fees will increase. This is the case at ByChenai Events.

OTHER SERVICES

Event Design & Decor only services really vary and this is because size , scale and scope of work has to be determined before even a tentative quote can be provided. That is a key point to bear in mind when approaching a wedding planner or event designer. It is useful to get in touch when you have a venue/location in place at the very least and the venue should ideally have a strong in-house team who we as designers can collaborate with.

Extra Costs

Often there little to no hidden costs in the fees however, you must always ask the planner you are engaging if they charge travel and accommodation separately for example. It’s not uncommon for planners to require accommodation if the wedding is happening over a few days or is in another part of the country.

If you would like to talk about this in more detail and you think hiring a wedding planner would suit your plans, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, I’d love to have a virtual coffee with you!

*researched in UK wedding market in 2020 , all information is a guide, specific prices are provided by planners based on their skills and experience.

How much does a wedding planner cost?

January 10, 2021

Wedding Planning Advice

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A New Year brings with it New enquiries! The most commonly asked question from prospective clients is mainly about what I actually do. Here are 12 key ways a wedding planner can help you. This piece has been widely shared and can be seen on Rock My Wedding blog too!

WEDDING PLANNERS WILL SAVE YOU TIME

The perception of a wedding planner being an extravagance reserved for fictional characters in Rom Coms is fading away as couples realise the value that we bring.Wedding Planning is a huge time investment, between 200-300 hours in fact and it can be stressful if project planning and management is not your forte. Wedding planners effectively give you back your time so you can focus on the more enjoyable elements of the wedding planning journey.

A WEDDING PLANNER WILL CREATE YOUR WEDDING PLAN

Wedding planners are excellent project managers and will create a planning timeline specific to your wedding so you know what is happening when. Often they will schedule your appointments where necessary so all you have to do is show up to the tastings or the fittings (the fun stuff) whilst we take care of the boring ‘wedmin’.

A WEDDING PLANNER CAN CREATE AND MANAGE YOUR BUDGET

Professional wedding planners will agree that creating a realistic budget (and sticking to it) is one of the most important parts of ensuring a smooth planning journey. The benefit of having a planner is that we understand the market, we know what it costs to translate your vision into a wedding day reality and we can guide and advise you accurately throughout.

A WEDDING PLANNER CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

Yes, you read that right. We often guide couples to make decisions that align with their priorities and offer suggestions on how best to allocate resources. I always have a conversation about wedding favours for example, couples like to spend money on these gestures that are often left on the table or thrown away at the end of the wedding. I always highlight where this money could be better spent – like food and drink, an area that will always add to the guest experience.

Rustic Wedding Planning ByChenai Events

Rustic Wedding Planning ByChenai Events

A WEDDING PLANNER CAN HELP YOU FIND YOUR VENUE

Often clients come to a wedding planner with an idea of when they want to get married, the size of their wedding but no venue booked. Wedding planners are adept location scouts who can work with your ideas to show you the best locations taking your vision, any cultural considerations and budget into account.

A WEDDING PLANNER CAN DO ALL THE RESEARCH

A planner can be your fixer. We draw from our extensive networks and also put in hours of research to find the right caterers, bands, DJs, florists, cake makers, lighting designers, production specialists to fit your style and budget. You may not know that we also take the time to review supplier contracts to ensure their terms are reasonable and aligned with the experience we are trying to give your family and friends.

A WEDDING PLANNER CAN HELP WITH PERSONAL STYLING

I pride myself on having a great eye for styling. I truly enjoy accompanying my brides and grooms to search for their wedding day looks. With a network that includes bridal designers and great independent boutiques, I enjoy being able to recommend the right designer, tailor or boutique to suit my client’s style and budget.

A WEDDING PLANNER CAN TAKE CARE OF YOUR GUESTLIST

Guestlist management is all part of a full planning service that is offered by professional wedding planners. It’s also one of the most time-consuming parts of wedding admin. To ensure you don’t have to respond to countless emails answering questions about parking, hotels and directions (even if you have clearly put the information on your wedding website ), wedding planners will take this stress from your plate.

A WEDDING PLANNER WILL INSPIRE YOU

Wedding planners aside from being experts in executing events can also be a great source of inspiration for the design of your wedding. If your priority for your wedding is the look and feel, hiring a planner who is also a great stylist or designer guarantees that you have someone who can inspire you beyond the pins on your Pinterest mood board.

Tablescape Planning ByChenai Events

A WEDDING PLANNER CAN GET THE PARTY STARTED

Wedding planners bring great value in creating a wedding day timeline that will ensure a great flow for guests. Quiet periods and lulls in the day are not conducive to an epic party. The guest experience is a paramount consideration when I’m planning a wedding. I always encourage my clients to have a few surprising and delightful touches to keep guests entertained, even if it’s just walking them to a different location to do drinks, or adding a wedding illustrator or unexpected entertainment act; little points of interest that guests will keep talking about for years to come when reminiscing about your big day.

A WEDDING PLANNER WILL RUN THE SHOW

On the wedding day itself when your focus should be on you and the day ahead (rightly so) wedding planners are quietly bringing the months of planning together, like a symphony conductor. Managing the suppliers, the setup, keeping the flow of the day going to time, we handle last-minute emergencies, whilst soothing nerves and ensuring you enjoy your day.

A WEDDING PLANNER WILL BE YOUR SUPPORT

Ultimately you hire us to advocate for you in all things we do. We will listen, always give sound and objective advice and we never get bored of talking about your wedding!

If you’d like to hear more about working with a wedding planner, please get in touch . I would love to schedule a virtual coffee date and hear more about your wedding plans!

What does a Wedding Planner Do?

January 4, 2021

Wedding Planning Advice

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A visit to London’s Hatton Gardens to see how engagement rings are made by a family run business, Diamonds Hatton Garden.

As full service wedding planner, my clients often come to me for recommendations for all manner of wedding related things. My work usually starts with clients once they are engaged, sometimes one partner would have proposed with an heirloom which acts as place holder for a ring they can choose together at a later time. I’ve always been curious as to the process of ring making and I do like diamonds , so one (pre lockdown) afternoon I took a stroll through the historic heart of London’s jewellery quarter to meet the team at Diamonds Hatton Garden.

The team at DHG, a family run business, have assisted generations of clients across the world with all of their jewellery needs. From diamond engagement rings to bespoke pieces, fabulous fancy coloured diamonds to costume jewellery. The team may be small but their knowledge and passion are, conversely, very big.

On entering the recently renovated workshop, the centuries worth of knowledge, tradition and passion seem to inhabit every work bench that the team of craftsmen sit upon. As the whizzing and buzzing of various tools create a background hum, Daniel, 3rd generation jeweller, shares his insights into the industry.

“When a prospective groom arrives at our workshop I think that he is as interested in the creation of a piece as he is with the idea of marrying his love. It makes me proud to see the excitement on clients’ faces as they can see our teams creating pieces in front of their very eyes. This is an excitement and passion that we also share. ”

It is this love of their craft, a real joy in what they do, that is apparent when visiting their workshop. The teams comprised of four jewellers, two gemologists as well as Daniel and his father radiate a warm, proudful attitude.

DHG see what they do as a continuation of a long tradition. They really try to understand their clients, tastes, interests and style in order to help them find the perfect engagement ring. For them , it is not about spending three months worth of salary but about finding something that truly captures their partner and their relationship.

It is this care that can be seen from both the work being undertaken and the welcome that I received. Arriving in the workshop feels like a step back through time where talent, exceptional material and tradition combine to produce beautiful pieces of jewellery.

The Infamous 4 Cs…

“We aren’t a huge company who will forget your name we are a smaller one who takes the time to be supportive. We like to guide our clients and to take them on a very special journey. The very top tip I can offer my clients is to consider the 4cs. The price of diamonds is influenced by what is known as the 4 Cs – Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat.”

Clarity is the number of small blemishes or inclusions found in the diamond and the clearer the diamond (FL being the highest grade) the higher the price.

Cut, interestingly does not refer to the shape of a diamond, but more about the skill of the cutter and is judged on a range of factors including symmetry, proportion and polish. These are key factors that relate to how the light is internally refracted within the diamond that gives it more sparkle. The better the cut the better the sparkle.

Colour, as you can imagine, relates to the colour of the diamond and is judged on a scale of D to Z. The higher on the scale, closest to D, the diamond is judged to be coloured meaning that the diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or colour.

Finally, the carat refers to the size of the diamond. Essentially, when buying a diamond all of these factors, or scales, influence the price of a diamond. Those diamonds that are judged, independently by leading gemological associations, to be higher on the scale command a higher price due to their rarity and the combination of these 4 elements.

What if you are looking for something very, very different?

DHG can help you with that too. One of the biggest things they are proud of is their inventory of fancy coloured diamonds. These diamonds are the rarest of the rarest and make for the most exceptional pieces of jewellery. Daniel’s father is the mastermind behind this side of our business and, in recent years, they have become more well known for our coloured diamonds than their clear diamond jewellery. Whatever the client wants they will do for them.

As I wander through the workshop, drills and machines still humming, I can’t help but relate to the philosophy of the business. Much like my own, I too believe in exceptional service, of supporting and assisting a client. Tradition and modernity both meet in the style that Bychenai has and, I do believe, that offering a specialist service is far better than trying to do everything. Leaving the workshop I reflect on the experience. It seems far away from the vast boutiques of Graff or of Tiffany’s . Independents can offer a truly one of a kind, unique experience that has a true personal touch and I highly recomemnd a visit!

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

November 27, 2020

Behind the Scenes

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Extraordinary times such as ours call for flexibility and adaptability, particularly when planning an event. Ever changing guidelines and continuous restrictions mean that right now, the only kind of wedding celebration that can be planned is a micro or smaller wedding. I’ve put together some tips on how to scale back your wedding whilst still ensuring you have a memorable celebration.

1. Take back your time

You have a wonderful opportunity to focus on making your intimate wedding uniquely yours as you have more time to work with. Wedding Planning is a huge time investment , it’s a job in itself and can be stressful if project planning and management is not your forte particularly when you are planning a wedding with large numbers. The admin that comes with guest management, RSVPs , planning seating, accommodation, transport is all vastly reduced and in some cases entirely removed as these are not necessary for smaller weddings.

2. Maximise your Budget

The other obvious pro of a smaller wedding is that you can maximise your budget , with more resources to use on fewer guests. You can invest more into the parts of the wedding that are most important to you as a couple , where your priorities lie. If you are foodies for example, consider a more elaborate multi course meal or an indulgent dessert station over standard wedding fayre.

3. Guest list

Having fewer numbers gives an opportunity to celebrate with your favourites and also an excuse to not invite the people on your list who perhaps were there to appease your parents or family. If you are having a non religious ceremony, consider that your guest list will automatically include your witnesses , your immediate family – parents /siblings who may also have partners, leaving room around the table for just your very closest pals.

4. Location, Location

Scaling back opens up the possibilities of different types of venues and more locations. Destination weddings become more attractive as again, costs are not prohibitive because of numbers. Similarly venue options such as a wedding at home, glamping, private dining spaces in restaurants, boat hire, boutique hotel spaces and other non traditional ‘wedding venues’ are options because they compliment the smaller size of wedding.

5. Guest experience

You get more quality time to spend with each guest at an intimate wedding and in turn guests have fewer people to socialise with and can get to know each better too. You could tailor welcome gifts for each individual guest for a destination wedding, giving meaningful

6. Styling

Personalisation at every step becomes easier with an intimate wedding. You can actually achieve the tablescape you’ve been curating from the pins you’ve saved on Pinterest and ideas you’ve gathered on Instagram. You can really splurge on hiring beautiful tableware as you’re not constrained by budget in the same way as you would trying to replicate this for 100 guests.

7. The seating plan

You can play around with table seating to add to the guest experience ensuring guests get to know each other better . Seating people on a round at the ceremony ensures everyone gets a great view is a popular trend right now as well as opting for alternating pews and chairs, even lounge furniture over traditional wedding ceremony seating.

8. Entertainment

Whilst a 10 piece show band is not the best choice for a small wedding or small wedding venue, there is scope to have a variety of entertainment options. A suggestion would be to have an acoustic set or acoustic performers which always lend themselves to more intimate settings and then you could play your own playlist for the party to ensure you get exactly the music you want to cut a rug to .

9. Planning events around the wedding

Intimate weddings give the possibility of extending celebrations beyond the traditional wedding day to other events like a welcome dinner or hosting a brunch the next day. As “buddymoons” become more popular, it’s easier and more desirable to plan post wedding trips and activities with your group of guests after the wedding.

10. Things you can possibly skip

Ditch the traditional format entirely. Change up the timelines of when you do speeches or how you serve food as you won’t be constrained by the format of a bigger event and there isn’t a need for more rigid timings.

10 Tips for scaling your wedding back to an intimate celebration.

August 14, 2020

Wedding Planning Advice

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I am beyond thrilled that ByChenai Events has been added to the Harper’s Bazaar Top Planner’s list which has been updated to include new & noteworthy businesses alongside the established best of the very best. That my name appears among these greats, whose work I so admire, astounds me. Especially in these trying times, it keeps me motivated to do more, lear more, keep growing to ensure every single ByChenai Client has a wonderful experience.

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/wedding/planning/g6965/best-wedding-planners/


Harper’s Bazaar Top Planners in the World

July 3, 2020

Wedding Planning Advice

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I am beyond THRILLED to have been invited to chat to Fiona on the amazing platform she has created, that spotlights female business owners.I spoke about my journey of building ByChenai Events and the UK wedding industry in general and how the BLM movement has shone a light on some great businesses and encouraged fruitful conversation. Check out the segment on the link below!


https://shecanshedid.com/founder-of-by-chenai-events/

Podcast Interview: She can, She did.

July 1, 2020

Behind the Scenes

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If you are new to the blog, this series of posts are from a real bride & groom’s experience of working with a wedding planner. I introduced my clients Jacinta & Jeffrey to you here , we started working together in November of 2019 and they very kindly agreed to share their hints and tips to help you , what better way to get a real understanding of what planning is like than from a couple in the same position as you will be?! In this post Jacinta talks us through her wedding dress shopping experience and gives some really honest and insightful tips on the process, finding THE dress/dresses , as well as allowing yourself to change your mind to ensure you are happy with your choices.

Jacinta & Jeffrey , ByChenai clients.

Jass,where did you go for your dress shopping experience?
Initially I was set on simple, no fuss and modern style of dress, so I went with the wonderful Andrea Hawkes bridal as the designer of both my dresses. I completely fell in love with how Andrea combined elegance, simplicity and modernism into all her dresses. From the moment I received comms back from the AHB team, I knew a bespoke service was definitely the way I wanted to go. The communication was personal, detailed and so warm and this has been the sentiment throughout the entire process. I chose 2 looks from Andrea and started the process before Christmas.

Jacinta & Andrea Hawkes at Andrea’s London studio.

As my wedding planning gained momentum however, and I had more conversations with my Mum around the overall vision for the wedding, I began to start getting a taste for a dress that brought some glitz, glam and DRAMA. So with this in mind, I reached out to my wonderful wedding planner, let her know my thoughts and that my vision had slightly developed and she was able to help guide me to where I could potentially find a dress that fit this vision, with ease and to an amazing standard of design. In essence I wanted to still keep 1 gown from Andrea Hawkes, but source a different one in style to have contrasting looks for the day.
Chenai booked me an incredible appointment at The Wedding Gallery. I was met with the most enthusiastic and fabulous consultant Dominic to help find the dress. The Wedding Gallery is truly a little piece of heaven and beyond dreamy! I would recommend booking an appointment to any bride-to-be, even if just for the inspo and the unmatched experience.My dress journey has been interesting to say the least, from being completely adamant on one style, to then being open to the complete opposite! One thing that’s for sure though is that my outfits for the big day (ceremony gown and evening ensemble) definitely serve both visions and I couldn’t be happier with the choices I have made.


How did you find both wedding dress suppliers?
I found Andrea Hawkes Bridal on Instagram! Hashtags really did help on this occasion as well as seeing tagged real brides. I found the wedding gallery through my wedding planner. As hilarious as it seems, I never knew they did wedding dresses so I never considered them before Chenai made the recommendation and arranged my appointment.

Jacinta jumping for joy at the prospect of trying some really fabulous gowns at the Wedding Gallery .

Who did you take with you to your appointments?
I have been lucky enough to have two experiences with this. My first appointments I went along with my Maid of Honour and my wedding planner. And my last appointmentsI had my Mum, my little sister and Chenai . They were both experiences we will remember for a very long time. We had lots of laughs, breathtaking moments and I felt like such a Princess on both occasions.

Was it helpful having your wedding planner Chenai there?
Absolutely! It certainly made me feel closer to her as it’s such an important and personal piece of the planning process, so it was great from a relational perspective. It was also reassuring because a wedding dress purchase is quite significant in terms of cost and what that dress symbolises, so to be able to have her there to guide me to not feel so overwhelmed was very, very helpful.


What Top tips do you have for brides looking for their perfect dress?
1. Don’t limit yourself to one style, be open to styles you never envisioned yourself if. Even if it’s just to confirm you are 100% set on your initial style! 2. It’s okay to change your mind and develop what you see yourself wearing on your big day. Just ensure you are as transparent as possible with your dress designer and ensure you follow protocol for any changes being made. 3. Have a few styles in mind to share with your designer/consultant beforehand so you have a solid starting point for your appointment.
4. Share the dress shopping experience with those dear to you, and take loads of pictures to remember the moment!

Thanks to Jacinta again for being so kind and open , stay tuned for the next one in the series where we talk all things decor !! This one is a going to be a good one, Jacinta has a clear ( and gorgeous ) vision for how her day will look and we are working with some of the best in the business to bring it to life!

Finding the right wedding dress for you

May 25, 2020

Wedding Planning Advice

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ByChenai talks weddings and traditions to discontinue on the Big Day Babes Podcast .I never thought I’d hear my own voice on Spotify or Itunes, yet here I am by way of Episode 7 of the Big Day Babes‘ Podcast. These 2 babes in the wedding biz scour the web for the most hilarious /weird and bizarre stories in the wedding world. In this episode I am talking about what I do as a luxury wedding planner , weddings traditions and the 1 thing I believe should be binned/ expelled/ removed from said wedding traditions. I had such a ball recording this episode and without further ado , head over to the link below to have a listen!ByChenai talks weddings and traditions to discontinue on the Big Day Babes Podcast.


https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/episode-7-the-slytherine-backlash/id1489451331?i=1000472672445

ByChenai X Big Day Babes Podcast

May 23, 2020

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