Wedding Journal – Hollie the Wedding Planner
Engaged and ready to take the next step? … down the isle perhaps? Well this Q&A session with Hollie from Hollie the Wedding Planner is the perfect post to get you in the mood to get that ball rolling on achieving your dream wedding.
Hollie the Wedding Planner
What would you look for in a Wedding Planner? Someone who’s organised perhaps? A people person? Someone who works well under pressure? And of course someone with an eye for the finer details?
Well with a career in Fashion Retail Management that spanned 12 years and included coaching and project co-ordination across several different countries. It only makes sense that Hollie Ennis from Hollie the Wedding Planner made the right decision to hang up her retail boots, and slip on something a little more expressive. As Hollie put it herself “I loved my job for the pace, the multi-tasking, working with people from all over the world and the thrill of simply making big things happen and fast but I began to feel like something was missing.” And so after careful consideration, plenty of brainstorming and a mentorship programme, Hollie combined her passion, experience and strengths to found Hollie the Wedding Planner, a wedding service that specialises in destination wedding planning.
Since launching in 2016, Hollie has worked with couples from all over the US, Canada, Australia, Romania, England and of course her native Ireland. Offering a completely bespoke service where no two weddings are ever the same, Hollie has planned and is currently planning weddings in the likes of Marbella, Estepona, Costa Brava and Sitges, as well as Wicklow, the Cliffs of Moher and Mayo in Ireland. But enough about Hollie … let’s get to point – to hire a Wedding Planner, or not hire a Wedding Planner – that is the question! And hopefully the following Q&A will help you answer it.
Q&A with Hollie the Wedding Planner
Q1. In your opinion how far in advance should a bride or groom start planning their wedding?
This is a trend that is changing particularly when it comes to weddings in Spain. Venues are becoming booked up for peak season dates over a year and a half in advance. Couples are starting their planning earlier and also beginning to book important things like their venue and ceremony earlier too. Ideally I would say 18 months in advance is a good time to start your wedding planning and to start booking the key elements like planner, venue and ceremony.
Q2. What are the advantages of hiring you as a Wedding Planner?
Couples today are just so busy between demanding careers and family life that finding the time truly needed and deserved to plan one of the most important days of your life can be challenging to say the least! Especially if it’s a destination wedding you are dreaming of, then the distance, times zones and perhaps even the language also come into play.
If a couple hire me as a wedding planner they can effectively hand over all the back and forth emails and hours of research and negotiations to me from the beginning saving them tones of time and energy. Meaning they have more time to spend together simply enjoying the journey!
As a planner I will also help you find your ideal venue even if you have no idea where to start! I’ll arrange viewings for you, match you with trusted suppliers within your budget, handle all correspondence and negotiations on your behalf, help you with accommodation and transport for your guests, help you to plan your ceremony, guide you through the legal’s, and even help you save on some aspects of your day as I have all the right contacts!
One of the other biggest advances is of course the on the day coordination. Meaning I’ll be on site from set-up onwards, ensuring everything goes smoothly and giving you complete peace of mind!
With no need to worry if your vendors will show up on time, how the band and DJ will coordinate with each other, if your guests will be comfortable OR if the dessert table will be there on time for the florist to add your favourite flowers all while getting your hair done on the morning of your wedding! (Nightmare!)
If couples have me on hand to coordinate the entire day then they can concentrate on what’s important, and that’s celebrating their love for one another and enjoying every second of the day together with family and friends!
Q3. What is your first and foremost piece of advice for a couple that reside in a different country to the one they plan to marry in?
I would advise couple’s to look into the legalities in advance in the country they are planning to get married in. For examples if you are from the US and you would like to get legally married in Ireland then you need to be present in Ireland at least 5 days before your wedding date to get your marriage licence. Secondly I would advise couple’s to consider the season they choose to get married in as the temperature in your destination country may be completely different to where you live. For example if you are planning a wedding in Spain in August you need to factor in the extreme heat – plan your ceremony after the hottest part of the day, ensure there is cover for guests during the cocktail hour, take your photos in the evening when the sun is lower so you don’t end up with photos where everyone’s eyes are closed! It is best to speak to a local like a planner or someone who has done it before so they can advise you on all these things you may not have considered.
Q4. If a couple has already started the wedding planning process but it all becomes too much, is it ever too late to call on you to ‘save the day’ so to speak?
No absolutely not! I have had a several couples come to me at this exact point, where they have either started their planning and perhaps booked a venue and one or two vendors, but have realised that the time is running away from them and that they are not as far along as they should be in their planning and need some quick help, or that they have an idea of what their dream day should look like and have started with one or two aspects but simply feel they cannot seem to pull all their idea’s together to make it the magical day they have always wanted. This is where a planner like myself can come to the rescue!
However if it was a legal wedding the couple wanted and they had not yet booked their ceremony or even started to look at paperwork I would need a min of six months in advance to be able to help in this case.
Q5. Include family in the planning, don’t include them – when hiring you as a Wedding Planner, do you have that option?
Oh absolutely, I have had brides say to me I have too many sisters who all have a different opinion on what the wedding should look like and it’s completely stressing me out so I need a planner to make the decision’s together with me! Which is absolutely fine.
I directly work with just the couples or one main point of contact but sometimes families will reach out to me to ask me to help them plan a surprise for the couple for the wedding day or the day before and of course I am absolutely delighted to do so!
Q6. Wedding trends come and go but what styling advice can you share?
Yes they certainly do and this is one of the many parts I love about the job! Destination weddings tend to be a little bit different and a bit more fun. Bride’s and groom’s feel they can escape certain formalities or tradition’s, let their hair down and generally be themselves. I encourage bride’s and groom’s to get creative and let their personalities shine through every aspect of their day from the styling of the venue to the music right down to the dessert!
I believe a wedding day should be an expression of who you are as couple and if you keep this in mind when choosing your theme and your venue etc. it will help guide you in making choices that feel right for you both – whether that be a laid back and bohemian setting or a formal and elegant setting, whether you should have a traditional wedding cake or opt for a cheese wheel or even a donut wall. It’s all about what feels comfortable to you!
Q7. Where in the world would you personally dream of planning a wedding for a happy couple?
I am currently offering my planning services throughout Spain and Ireland as these are my areas of expertise however I would love to help a couple plan their wedding in New York in the future!!
To get in touch with Hollie visit her website at hollietheweddingplanner.com
She's a mother, wife, dog and home owner - a travel writing, creative, design and imagery driven, art and music lovin', sustainable living, coffee (and sometimes whiskey) drinking Irish woman.
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