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Q & A With Weddings by Claire

Weddings by Claire was set up by Claire Hooper with the aim of offering brides a flexible and creative approach to their weddings. Passionate about the wedding industry and helping Brides achieve their wedding dreams, I also happen to know she’s a really lovely lady!

When I heard that Claire was organising our local wedding fayre (more on that later) I thought this would be a great opportunity to have an informal chat and find out a little more about Weddings By Claire…

Describe the role of a wedding planner?
A wedding planner works with a couple to give them the day they have dreamed of by helping to alleviate any stress and making sure everything is taken care of and organised as you want. It is our job to help you decide which way to go and to make the decisions clearer for you whilst allowing the couple to remain in full control, allowing you to relax and continue with your day to day life.
Think of a wedding planner as a personal assistant during the wedding planning saving you hours of time, hundreds of pounds and most importantly reduce your stress level in the run up to the day.

What inspired you to set up Weddings By Claire?
I have been organising corporate events and parties throughout my career, and after helping plan weddings for friends and families, I decided to take the big step and start doing something I loved on my own. Organising someone’s wedding is an amazing feeling and I always feel very privileged to be chosen to help each and every couple.

What services do you offer?
I offer a variety of services to suit all budgets and requirements from venue/supplier sourcing to help couples find that perfect venue or supplier they just cannot find through to full planning.
The most popular services are On the Day Co-ordination where I am in attendance on the day of the wedding to liaise with suppliers, set up tables, deal with any problems and provide assistance to the bride, bridal party and guests; and Full Planning which is me being there every step of the way of the planning including sourcing venues/suppliers, managing the budget, dealing with the administration, assisting with RSVPs, producing timelines/itineraries, basically anything and everything a couple needs in the run up to the day.

Biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement so far has been organising a wedding for a TV show (Noel’s Christmas Presents) with only 5 weeks notice and for 85 guests. I had to find a venue and suppliers who were willing to give their time for free, and I never met or spoke to the bride and groom beforehand. As it was a surprise for them I had very minimal details to go by and had to organise everything based on this. Seeing their faces on the day, and the comments from guests, was amazing and made me so happy.

Any advice for us Brides-to-be?
Do not rush into any decisions – take time to read all information through to make sure all your requirements are met.
On the day set aside some time for you and your new husband to have a break from the madness away from the photographers and guests, even if it is a five minute sit down in the bridal suite. The day can fly by and it is so important that you get a chance to relax and have a little time together.

Have you spotted any wedding trends for 2011?
All of my couples are putting their own stamp on their weddings, from walking to the church in their wellies through the woods after bacon butties in the local pub, to arriving by stallion for the wedding and having a popcorn machine at their evening reception.
It seems as though everyone is trying to be as unique as possible whilst keeping some of the traditional aspects intact.

The perfect way for a West Country Bride to spend a crisp Winters day, Claire has organised The Fox and Hound County Hotel wedding fayre, which will take place this Sunday 23rd January between 11am-4pm. This award winning hotel had been voted Devons Best Wedding Venue for the past two years…and when you take a stroll around it’s spectacular grounds, you’ll soon see why!

Featuring local suppliers including photographers, florists, videographers, musicians..even casino’s, there’s also a chance of winning a free wedding at the Fox and Hound…including ceremony reception and food! Find out more here.

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