Unfolding plans 173 – The wedding planner

If I understand Shakespeare correctly I am somewhere within the fifth and age of man.  I realise that I am in fair round belly with eyes severe and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws and modern instances.  I’ve only got two ages left and so I’d best get on with what I have left to do. I also know that I am in the fifth age as the prospect of arranging a weeding is looming large.  I never knew it was such a complicated business.  Either it wasn’t the same when it was my turn to get hitched or I wasn’t involved enough to notice.  It’s a whole new world of chair covers, centre pieces and table favours.  I’m still trying to work out what these all mean.

Over the last few weeks I have visited every wedding location in the region.  There are a fair few.  Each of them offers something a little different to the others yet they fall into two main categories: a room or a building which you hire and you arrange everything that goes on within it or; a venue where nearly everything is done for you.  They have ranged from a walled garden, through semi-abandoned country houses, refurbished barns to four star hotels.

On first pass it doesn’t seem as if there is much cost advantage in doing it yourself.  By the time you have added all the extras to the basics they seem to even them out but then again it has nothing to do with money, does it?  I guess the real choice is how much effort you want to put in.  The do it yourself option is just that, a lot of doing yourself while the other option, whilst perhaps a little less personal certainly seems a lot less hassle.  The ‘everything done for you model’ also has the added advantage of having someone in charge of bringing it all together.

It’s not my choice though.

Now having visited a lot of locations I have got to meet a lot of individuals earning their living in the wedding business.  I note that it is entirely, to my experience so far, a female profession.  There is definitely a diversity issue here.

What I have noticed though is that the impression that I am left of the location is, in a large part, down to the person who shows us around.  Some have been engaging and professional while others have seemed aloof and even disinterested.  Some have been warm and convivial while others have been cold an arrogant.  I got the distinct feeling that one was even hungover.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that weddings are expensive things these days.  There is the venue to find, catering to lay on, cars to provide and the dress to buy, not to mention a lot of other add-ons.  It’s a big business worth about £10 billion a year in the UK, so why is it that at times I’ve felt I’ve been doing them a favour by turning up.  I forgot to mention we went to one place where they didn’t turn up

Let this be a lesson to anyone in business.  You’re never going to get a sale if you don’t show some level of interest in your prospects.

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