We recently caught up with leading UK & International Luxury Wedding Planner and Designer Kerry Jackson-Rider, founder and owner of Kerry Jackson-Rider Luxury Wedding Planning, to find out what she does in a typical day.
Kerry says, "First of all there is no such thing as a typical day for me - it very much depends which day of the week it is and what work is on the books! As every wedding and every couple is different so every day is different depending on what projects are on the books and what my particular deadlines are for that day. I could be having an initial consultation, planning or design meeting with a client, drafting a running order, writing a Quotation and Proposal. It is a very busy, creative job which needs you to be ultra-organised, flexible and able to think and act swiftly and 'on your feet'. My day is generally therefore quite ordered, I work in chunks of time - a trick I have learned and perfected over the years to ensure I can get all my work done.
I might also be researching and liaising with venues in London or Morocco which may involve chatting with the sales manager to negotiate the BEST deal for my clients or liaising with suppliers. A lot of my work takes place over Skype with calls to Jamaica, Australia, Asia and the US and the different time zones mean that my working day is anything but 9-5! I start at 7am and often finish at 1am.
In between all this there is an awful lot of admin work involved with wedding planning and any paperwork, accounts, budget overviews etc. It’s not particularly glamorous but it has to be done and kept on top of. When I have a free moment I try to catch up with Facebook and Twitter especially, but with Social Media in general, as many of my clients are great users of Pinterest and Google+ sharing documents and design boards with me. I also try to keep a presence going on Instagram, Linked In and Tumblr too but there are not enough hours available in the day to spend on all these platforms so I just have to prioritise. Wednesday on Twitter is #ww (Wedding Wednesday) and also #weddinghour from 9-10pm. Friday is #ff (Follow Friday) and I try to participate in all of these as much as I can as they are all good ways to reach more people, get retweets and gain new followers.
I do also try to write a Blog post each day and a weekly Newsletter but with my ongoing commitments to writing articles, books and workshop materials etc. I am not always as successful as I would like to be with this. I try to spend some time on reading interesting blogs and social media feeds on Saturdays whenever I am free. I think with some of the other projects I have lined up for this year I might soon be looking for someone to help me out in this area!
Being in contact and liaison with venues and suppliers is a continuous and daily process of wedding planning as is working on Design concepts and having meetings. I hope I'm not making being a Wedding Planner sound boring as it definitely isn't! I'm just trying to highlight some of the basics which are part of a routine but, of course, you often get new enquiries or requests come in which have to be slotted in to the calendar. This is why good organisation, flexibility and the ability to think on your feet are all essential skills for this career".
What do you think is the best part about being a Wedding Planner?
"I like the diversity of the work and the clients that I meet. As I said before, no two weddings are the same and all my clients come from different backgrounds and locations which makes working with them very interesting. I am quite a people-person and traveller so I also like connecting with venues and suppliers around the world".
What do you think is the worst part about being a Wedding Planner?
"That's an easy one it's Admin! Accounting and budgets, paperwork - anything that stifles my creativity or freedom basically but it's an essential part of the work and needs to be done accurately and on time in order to meet deadlines and keep everyone else in the process up to speed".
What is your favourite part of a Wedding?
"After all the hard work put in by everyone involved, I love being able to stand back at the reception and see that everything has come together and that everyone is relaxed, having a good time and enjoying themselves. That is my favourite part of the day so about 9/10pm normally!".
What's next on the horizon for you?
"I have lots of exciting projects lined up for this year. I am attending the first Destination Wedding Congress in Athens at the end of April which is very exciting and I have a Level 1 workshop for Aspiring Wedding Planners coming up in London in May which I am really looking forward to. This will coincide with the launch of my new book "Start Up and Run Your Own Successful Wedding Planning Business" and I am looking forward to moving forward with this and with my coaching and mentoring programmes for busy Brides to Be who want to take control of their wedding planning without commiting themselves to a full service or outlaying more money than they need to. I would be delighted to talk more with any of your readers about this and to help them with all aspects of their wedding planning. Please just get in touch with me".