Image: The Patriotic Peacock
Earlier this year, I became a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, so I thought I would write a little post about my experiences so far.
The alliance works in a number of ways, but the most useful part for brides and grooms, is that it is essentially a directory of wedding planners (and some other suppliers too). The best part about this for these potential clients, is that each member has to sign up to a code of ethics, which can give them piece of mind that we all conduct ourselves and our businesses, a certain way. Because we all hold the same values, this also makes it easy for us to refer work to each other, if we are unable to help a client on a certain date.
Here is the Code of Ethics:
- Respond to enquiries within 48 hours
Respect client confidentiality
Disclose all suppliers that you have a vested interest in
Always pass discounts and/ or commission onto the client
Ensure your Public Liability Insurance is up to date
Never give client details to any third party unless for the sole purpose of the wedding
Respect copyright of all planners, co-ordinators and related suppliers
Represent each client fairly and honestly
You may think that some of these are obvious, or a ‘given’, but you might be surprised at the number of planners that will happily take commission from suppliers, or share their details with other suppliers before being given express permission.
The second way in which the alliance works, is providing a support network for the members themselves. Lots of people who own businesses in the wedding industry, work for small businesses, and often, ‘one man bands’ , so it is lovely to know that there is a group of likeminded business woman, and men, who we can go to for advice, ideas, and sometimes just to let off steam! The way that I find this most useful, is through the Facebook page as it is quick, easy, and convenient, but there are various events throughout the year, which allow us to meet up face-to-face, and it is always lovely to meet new people, and put faces to names!
The third way, is access to PR opportunities, which is wonderful for small businesses like mine, where having a ‘PR budget” is not always possible. Since joining in March, I have had bits and pieces published in leading wedding magazines like Brides, and You and Your Wedding, and while I don’t think that this is the main route that my clients contact me through, it is all part and parcel of building your brand and reputation, so every little bit helps.
Ultimately, I think choosing to become part of the UKAWP is one of the smartest business decisions I have made since starting Alexandria Events. Not only have I gained some wonderful clients since joining, but I have also made some great friends, that I have learned a lot from.
Are you a member of an organisation connected to your business? If so I’d love to hear about your experiences too!