Who: Caroline Gould from Caroline Gould Weddings
What: Best Wedding Planner
Where: Online www.carolinegouldweddings.co.uk | On Facebook | On Twitter
Why did you enter TWIA 2015?
I was lucky enough to win the regional award in my category in 2014 so decided it was only right to come back and defend my title! I was encouraged to enter the awards by fellow wedding suppliers and just thought why not?! I am so pleased that in both years of entering every single one of my clients has voted for me…
Tell us about yourself…
My background is in IT and Call Centre Management! I was made redundant and decided on a complete career change. Weddings looked like fun and I was lucky enough to secure a role at a local hotel as an in house Wedding Co-ordinator. Whilst working at the hotel I learnt so much about running events and always felt I could do more for my clients so I made the move to set-up as an independent wedding planner. I spent a lot of time planning the business and undertook some training with the UKAWP (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) of which I am now a member. I launched Caroline Gould Weddings in 2009.
I love my first meeting with new clients, I like to find out all about them, how they met, the proposal story and their ideas for their wedding day. Getting to know them throughout the process as we turn ideas into reality is fantastic. I also love being there on the wedding day, getting to know the families and seeing those two people joined together forever
How confident did you feel about winning?
I was so pleased to win the regional award (especially for the second year in a row). When I looked at all the other regional winners in my category it was great to see several fellow UKAWP (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) members and friends. I wasn’t particularly confident going to the nationals as there were so many fabulous planners in my category, I was just over the moon to be a regional winner and national finalist. I was just pleased that if I didn’t get the national award, that it would be a friend that did!
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the awards ceremony as my 6 year old daughter had chicken pox (how unorganised!). I was following the awards on Twitter and saw that my colleague Val from Benessemy Events was highly commended, I was so thrilled for her and busy tweeting my congratulations when I saw a new tweet come in announcing the news that I had won. I just had time to let out a little yelp before my good friend Helen from Amelie’s Kitchen who was at the awards ceremony phoned me and we had a little scream down the phone at each other (she also won a national award!). I spent the rest of the evening on social media and phoning friends and family to spread the news!
What does winning The Wedding Industry Awards mean to you?
It’s such a fantastic accolade. To know that what I’m doing for my clients is appreciated and valued – there’s no better reward! The wedding planning industry is not subject to legislation, so this award will not only encourage confidence in my skills and expertise but help establish my company as one which offers quality and a completely professional, bespoke service.
It’s brilliant to get recognition within the industry as well. The judges are people I really respect so to have their seal of approval as well is fantastic!
How has winning an award affected your business?
I’ve had my busiest year yet for enquiries! January and February are always a busy time for new clients, but this year has been a bit crazy, I seem to always be out meeting potential clients for consultations, writing up proposals or creating the initial files for new clients. I also seem to have developed a niche with clients from Australia getting married in Suffolk – I’m currently working on three!
What has been the most valuable part of TWIA 2015 for you?
Without a doubt, reading the wonderful comments from my clients. I feel very lucky that in both years of entering the awards every single one of my clients has voted for me. It really does make all the late nights, long days and hard work worth it – I wouldn’t want to do anything else!
What was your favourite feedback from your voter comments?
It’s so hard to pick a favourite, but I think this one stands out for me:
“Caroline’s performance on our wedding day was outstanding. Her knowledge and confidence allowed us to enjoy our day without having any stress at all. With a “Yes” attitude, Caroline managed our day without any hiccups at all – even when we had extra guests arrive at the last minute (not to forget how she gave our MC some last minute advice, found missing parents for speech time, and managed the timing and setting of our flash mob). Finding Caroline online was such a blessing. What a star!”
If you are hesitant and unsure of whether to enter, take a deep breath and just go for it. It’s a great experience and even completing the entry form was a really good exercise for me – I realised just how much I do! If nothing else, you can attend some great events and it’s fabulous to read the wonderful comments from clients.
I’m planning to enter again in 2016 – why wouldn’t you?!