We love featuring real wedding business stories and this month we spoke to Amanda Ardley who runs Ardley Weddings & Events based in London, UK.
1. What does your business do?
Ardley Weddings & Events Ltd are wedding planners, dedicated to our clients to ensure they have the wedding of their dreams, without the worry and stress of organising and managing.
2. When did you start?
Ardley Weddings & Events Ltd was formed in April 2009.
3. How did you get started?
Initially I took a course for Event Management and Wedding Planning and gained my diploma, once I had my diploma, I researched the wedding industry and realised there was a market for wedding planners in my area.
4. Why did you choose this particular business?
I had planned my own wedding, and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect, but it was a few years later, when my husband was made redundant.
I am a mother of 3 children and work full time in a day job, so when my teenage daughter said she would like to become a wedding planner, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for mother and daughter to run a business together, and would mean my daughter had a career already mapped out. It’s a tough world out there, and I wanted to help my daughter. She is now 16, she will go onto college after finishing 6th form, and then she will join the business, she already contributes to the business, helping with admin, and she has her own ideas, and dreams of owning her own bridal shop and combining the businesses, giving our clients a wider option.
5. What’s been your best moment so far?
Every moment is special, as each wedding is different, there is no possible way to pinpoint a particular moment, but it has been amazing to be nominated for The Wedding Industry Awards 2012 and the Mumprenuer business awards.
6. And the worst?
I couldn’t possibly say ha ha, the worst for me, is once the wedding is over, after spending so much time with the couple and becoming a huge part of their lives, you actually miss them once the planning is finished and the wedding is over. I do make a point of staying in contact with all my couples, as they have become good friends.
7. Anything you wish you had known when you started?
There is always something that you wished you would of known at the start, but in this industry there are so many wonderful suppliers, that in a way we all work together as a team. Networking is the key to the wedding industry, I have made so many contacts and extremely good friends through networking, without suppliers my job would not exist.
8. What’s your biggest challenge going forward?
The biggest challenge for a wedding planner, is getting couples to realise that wedding planners are not there for couples with huge budgets, we will work with any budget, we are there to help save you time and money.
9. Do you have a top tip for someone starting out in the wedding business?
Go for it, it’s a tough industry but if you have the right attitude, and apply yourself, you will succeed. And Net working is definitely the key.