Live Q&A: How to become a wedding planner

If scale of excitement about the upcoming royal wedding was measured from positively dreading it to over the top, flag-waving, counting the days, unparalleled joy, I’d come in somewhere around the mildly interested mark.

Aside from catching a glimpse of the dress when it is finally revealed – admit it, you’re curious too – it’ll be rather interesting, after a six-month countdown, to see what the couple have planned for their big day.

And with a day as big as theirs – the live coverage will be watched by an estimated 2 billion people – you can’t blame Prince William and Kate Middleton for calling in the professionals. Although they’ve not plumped for a big name planning agency, they do have a tight-knit team of organisers and advisers at their disposal.

While few weddings will be as prestigious, it’s not just the royal couple who are turning to professional help to make sure their big day has the wow factor. The BBC recently pointed out how the use of wedding planners is on the rise. But what exactly does the role entail?

British wedding planner and author of The Wedding Bible Sarah Haywood told the BBC it is to make a couple’s big day “run like clockwork”. She added: “Hiring a wedding planner is like hiring an interior designer, they are able to translate your vision. Wedding planners know where to go, can narrow choices and have connections with suppliers so can get good deals.”

So, what skills, experience and knowledge do you need in order to shape the perfect wedding for clients? How can you get established in this profession? And, how often do you find yourself dealing with a bridezilla? Take some time out of your royal wedding preparations and ask our panel of experts in a live Q&A on Wednesday 27 April.

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Our panel:

Kit Sadgrove is CEO of the Institute of Professional Wedding Planners.

Josie Hendrick is the founder of Savoir Weddings – a London-based wedding planning and styling company.

Amber Hunter is a senior tutor at The Wedding Planner School, which teaches pupils the skills needed for the profession. Amber has spent more than 10 years working in the wedding and event planning industry.

Rebecca Holt is creative director of Harlequin & Romance, a wedding and event design company.

Bernadette Chapman launched Dream Occasions, a wedding and event coordination company, in 2002. Bernadette is also the training director for the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, which runs training courses, seminars and workshops for planners.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the principal consultant at Event Wishes – a bespoke wedding planning and events management company with offices in both London and Cambridge. Jennifer had previously worked as a freelance event planner and now heads up the London office at Event Wishes.

Lisa Sabin is owner of Just Bespoke – a boutique wedding planning consultancy offering a planning service for clients across London and the south-east.

Sally Pulvertaft is managing director of correspondence course provider ICS, which offers a wedding planning programme.

Kate Fletcher is owner of Kate Fletcher Events, a bespoke wedding and event management company offering a service to clients across East Anglia and further afield. Kate also launched Vintage Style Hire in 2011 to help other planners and brides style their weddings.

Sophie Gowen is the director of EventAngel – a London-based bespoke wedding planning and event management company. Sophie has previously worked as an event planner for many years and is experienced in wedding planning as well as both private and corporate events.

Jeannine de Sousa set up Illyria Events, a wedding styling and planning company, following a career in construction and property consultancy.

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