Should you use a Wedding Planner?


Hi everyone, today’s post has been one that has been simmering in the background for a little while, but yesterday I heard a wedding story via another supplier that made me scrunch my eyes up, hold my breath, feel anxious and encourage me to post it.  It may not be everyone’s opinion and of course that is absolutely ok, but here goes…..

The main focus of the story was that a friend of the bride had organised her own wedding a couple of years ago, did a fantastic job and she absolutely loved doing it.  She offered her services to her newly engaged friend, and, as a wedding present to the couple, undertook to take the role of a wedding planner.  Everyone was thrilled with the arrangement – it was a very generous gift, the engaged couple were happy that they would save a substantial amount of money in hiring a qualified wedding planner and the friend was over the moon that she could help, share her personal experiences from her own wedding and could be so involved.



Sadly the agreement didn’t work out as everyone hoped and the wedding planning became increasingly stressful –  the budget wasn’t managed as it should have been, suppliers let them down very close to the wedding weekend, the day did not run smoothly and with hindsight, the couple hugely regretted their decision to use a friend to plan and manage their wedding.

So this post is about the use of a wedding planner  / co-ordinator .  If you are thinking of hiring one for your wedding, why you absolutely should employ an individual who has previous clients you can speak with, genuine testimonials from couples that you get confidence from, a website with their previous weddings shown and finally, someone who doesn’t just have experience but also has the relevant insurances (so important) and is a member of a wedding body in a largely unregulated market.

It is one thing to have organised your own wedding, or managed and co-ordinated the wedding of a family member or friend, but is entirely another to work for clients – a couple who are paying for a service.



I am not saying at all that you absolutely must hire a wedding planner (it is really ok not to!) but I sincerely believe in the value of researching your professional wedding planner.   This can be said of any wedding supplier really.

Ok, so with my personal opinion out of the way (!) here are a few reasons why you may consider hiring a professional wedding planner.

– First things first, every supplier you use for your wedding has to be the right one, whether this is your caterer, dress maker or florist.  You should feel at ease with them, like them and feel confident in their understanding of what it is you are looking to achieve.    You should want them at your wedding and have the moment of ‘you are the one’.  Most wedding planners will offer a free first consultation so it is worth while speaking to more than one.

– You need help focusing your vision.   Geez we all know that Pinterest is the fountain of inspiration but this can have it’s own problems when you are trying to focus on the style, colour, theme or feel for your day.  Too many ideas can be overwhelming and it can be really useful to have help with piecing together the wedding puzzle.

–  You don’t have time to plan your wedding.    I have read more than once that it can amount to a part time job to plan a wedding – which is around 15-20 hour per week!  An average wedding can take around 200 hours of planning to pull it all together.  A dedicated wedding planner can take a sizeable amount of this time off your shoulders.  This can be particularly useful if your own job is a standard 9   – 5  as many wedding suppliers and venues will work around these hours too.    So let your lunch hour be free for wedding shoe shopping and let your wedding planner take some of the stress from you.

–  You are lost with your money , what you have spent and what you have left to spend, have a dislike of spreadsheets and balancing the books.  A professional wedding planner will have vast experience of managing a budget, negotiating the best prices with suppliers and most are a strange breed who are friends with their calculator and Excel.

–  You want to enjoy your day and not be worried about the schedule, ensuring suppliers are there when they should be, dealing with minor emergencies and the little details of the day.  Your wedding planner is there to take all of this away from you and your families, leaving you to really relax and have fun, which is what it is all about.  This is the bit that really cannot be overestimated and is difficult for a bride and groom to plan for as they really don’t know how the day will run and what will happen – this is when I think a ‘go-to’ person is invaluable.  The calm that you need.


There are many super talented and experienced wedding suppliers out there who are truly passionate about their work and, most importantly, have the confidence and experience to back up their offerings of wedding planning.

Over the last four years I have worked with, spoken to and spent time with a handful of pretty amazing ladies who are worth speaking to if you decide you would like to find out more about what they can offer you.  There are many more of course, and a good place to start is by checking their background and their accreditations.    The main body is The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners.

Bennessamy Weddings and Events

Unique Wedding Planning

Carmen Weddings

Pure White Wedding Company

Pretti Gracy Weddings and Events 


Happy planning.


Karen xx


Featured image – Matt Brown Photography

Image one – 

Image two –

Image three –



17:47 25 November 2014

The Vintage Inspired Afternoon Tea Party

50s High Tea Styled Shoot (248 of 892)

Hello everyone!

There is something very feminine and decadent about an afternoon tea party, especially if you add some bubbles to the proceedings.  Our vintage tea parties have been enjoyed by so many ladies over the last four years and we like to think that we have created our menu by listening to requests from our guests, tweaking sandwich fillings and we hope there is something to tempt every guest – see our menu page here

Our services are simple – we bring the tea party to you, whether that is at your home or at a venue of your choice.  It is a very popular choice for a hen party where the girls have a weekend tucked away in a Derbyshire cottage.  You choose your menu and we arrive laden down with your vintage china, linens, cutlery, bunting, food and teas.  We can set up and dress your tables for you or we can leave everything to you.  We return the following day to collect everything and best of all, you don’t have to wash up!  Simply pack the china away and we will wash it up for you at our studio.

Whether you are looking for afternoon tea catering for a hen party, birthday party or wedding celebration, get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

All images below are from our own events, to give you a taster of what we do – from a picnic in the park to a ladies gathering for 100…

Karen x



VW split screen camper van wedding hire Midlands Derbyshire

Image – Emma Cleveley Photography.  Our styled photoshoot with our VW camper van

Styling a Vintage Wedding with Darby & Joan | Vintage Prop Hire, Derbyshire | Vintage China, Cake Stands, Silver Trays, Cutlery & More

Our eating and serving china – Kathryn Edwards Photography, Matt Brown Photography

Wedding canapés at Darby Abbey Village Hall

A selection of our canapés – Kate Henderson Photography

Portland House hen party pop up tearoomMe putting the finishing touches to a hen party table at Portland House – Image Emma Clevelely Photography

National Trust, Kedleston Hall weddingScones with jam and cream – which comes first?!  Our drinks dispensers are perfect for your tipple of choice – Image James Melia Photography

The Wonky Table

A Mad Hatters tea party at The Wonky Table

Village hall tea party

Village hall tea party for 110!  Image Emma Cleveley Photography




Being filmed with Claire from Steps for ITV



vintage glamour and beautiful classic china

Hen Party for 20 in Derbyshire

Featured image – our 1950’s high tea styled shoot with Kathryn Edwards Photograhpy

7:19 18 October 2014

Seasonal Wedding Flowers

Industrial Shoot Darley Abbey Mills

Hello everyone.

A bride’s wedding bouquet is probably the most important bunch of flowers she will ever have and should be considered as an accessory to her dress.  Unless you have a firm idea of what you are looking to create, it can seem a daunting decision to make.

Perhaps you are dreaming of a relaxed rustic wedding with wild flower meadow flowers with Daisies, Sweet Williams and Cornflowers, or an old fashioned bunch of cottage garden blooms.  If your day is chic and modern, maybe the crisp, clean shape of Cala Lillies would fit the bill.  Whatever style you are working towards for your wedding, choosing your flowers should be fun and choosing seasonal and British grown flowers are a more eco-friendly and often budget friendly option.

It can also mean that you are supporting local flower farms and growers, which is a nice feeling.

Here are a few hints and tips on how to  make a start putting together some ideas.



Consider flowers that hold a special meaning to you, the Duchess of Cambridge chose Sweet Williams for her bouquet.

If your Nana is a keen gardener,maybe ask her to grow you some flowers that you could use.

We all have our favourite flower fragrance (mine has to be the sweet, delicate Peony).

Include a bloom with a scent you love, whenever you come across it you will be reminded of your wedding day.

Large headed blooms make a big statement and you won’t need many of them . Consider Peonies, Hydrangea or Tea Roses.

Double up ceremony decorations as top table details, use your bouquet on your wedding cake table, place your bridesmaids’ blooms along the guest book table.



Spring Wedding

The soft pale blues and pale creamy yellows are a lovely mix.   Think Muscari, Tulips, Primroses and Tête à Tête Daffodils – they are sweet smelling and capture the new year and season.


Spring Wedding Flowers

 Images – Wedding Chicks, Style Me Pretty


Summer Wedding

Shades of pink and mauve, using gorgeous scented country flowers such as sweet peas,  peonies and maybe throw in some fragrant herbs.

Summer Wedding Flowers

 Image – Wendy Viet, I Really Like Weddings


Autumn Wedding

Rich berries, plums and purples mixed lots of gorgeous autumnal foliage.

Autumn Wedding Flowers

 Images – Dweddings, Wedding Chicks


See our Autumnal post here.



Winter Wedding

Crisp whites and greys with masses of dusty grey green foliage

Winter Wedding Flowers

Images – Wedding Chicks, Tumblr

Featured image – Matt Brown Photography.  See the full post for our shoot here 



11:29 13 October 2014

Find out more about Darby and Joan in our News Archive below...

news archive