Better Together… Sarah Haywood

DESTINATION: ST. TROPEZ

PHOTOGRAPHERS: PIPPA & CATHERINE

Last night saw the launch of the new edition of Sarah Haywood‘s Wedding Bible. The Launch Party was a lavish affair and was held at The Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane. I was delighted to be invited and was really pleased to help Sarah celebrate the launch of her book. The party was full of familiar faces and it was great to catch up with so many friends. I also came away with my own signed copy of the Wedding Bible and I can’t wait to have a good read through.

We have been very excited about the launch and have been thrilled to have been involved. The front cover uses one of our photographs from a wedding that we worked on with Sarah in St. Tropez and many other photographs from that wedding have also been used to illustrate the inside of the book.

The Wedding Bible is crammed full of ideas and tips to create the most stunning wedding. It’s an invaluable go-to source of info for any bride to be. The Wedding Bible is on sale at Amazon. Click here to get your copy.

Take a look below at some spreads from the Wedding Bible to give you a small snippet of what to expect.

To help celebrate the launch of Sarah’s Wedding Bible we thought we must do a Better Together blog. We asked Sarah a few questions about her business to get an insight into working at the very top of the wedding industry.

So Sarah…

What made you become a wedding planner?

I fell into event planning by accident!  I used to plan the parties at the TV station where I worked, first as a news producer, and latterly as a presenter. Being an event producer (and I prefer that label over wedding planner!) and a TV producer are not dissimilar; both require organisational skills, creativity, the ability to work to a budget and to a deadline. Both require flexibility when the programme or event are underway to ensure you are not simply being formulaic.

What has been the secret to your success, to become one of the world’s most highly sought after luxury wedding planners?

I am running a business and I never forget that. For every event we ensure we have the infrastructure to deliver first class service and a world-class event. You cannot do that if you’re not running a competent business. You also can not sell luxury if you do not know what it is – so we ensure we work only with suppliers who can present well and consistently deliver. I know we are only as good as the worst supplier we hire; so everyone must be able to deliver an exemplary service and be at the top of their game. I want to hire people who make me and us look good! I devote a lot of time to ensuring the team we surround a client with is the right one – and that team changes from event to event.  Someone at a conference recently asked me why I thought I had been so “lucky in securing high net worth clients”. Luck has played a part, but my answer was “I have worked incredibly hard, taken lots of risks and invested heavily in my business to be this lucky!”.

What was your brief for Vivian & Anthony’s wedding? What challenges did you face along the way?

We had only 8 weeks to plan and our brief was for a chic but fun St. Tropez gathering over several days. They are a high profile business couple and it is not within our gift to share too much detail. But we hired a private villa where the wedding took place, and enjoyed a few fun days before and after the wedding, yachting and experiencing the St. Tropez nightlife.  The wedding itself was intimate but fun, and the design elements tried to give a nod to the couple’s international background. We also nearly did not have a cake – it would not fit into the couple’s jet (they failed to tell us there was an engine obstructing full access to the hold) –  I even posted a blog about it.

Tell us about your new Wedding Bible.

This is an all-new edition – completely revised and redesigned – of my original Wedding Bible.

It is luxurious and with inspirational imagery from real weddings presented alongside tried and tested advice – and not just from me – but from some of the most successful names in the international event industry. I am thrilled with it and hope it can live up to the success of the original Wedding Bible, which right up until it went out of print was consistently the UK’s top selling bridal book. I know that is a tough act to follow when we are now competing with a plethora of online advice that was not available or accessible a decade ago when the original book was published, but I hope that the fact I actually plan weddings will mean it is a valuable resource to couples.  It is also a great gift as it is so sumptuous!

What exciting plans have you got coming up?

Next – and before Easter – we have a new website to launch. Then as well as our core event work, this year I am speaking and lecturing in Mauritius, China (we recently planned the wedding of Asia’s King of Pop, Jay Chou; it has resulted in a lot of interest in us from that part of the world where the press kindly described the celebrations as: “The Wedding of the Century”) and later in the year I have been invited to speak in Kazakhstan. We are also looking at new offices as the team has grown. We will also be expanding our Education Programme to include a new Wedding Planning Certificate – I just need to find somewhere in the year to slot it in. But I am passionate about raising standards in our industry, as they are not always as high as they could be – socially with regard to event planners – largely due to lack of training.  That is something that’s so easy to fix!

Finally we’d love to show you a selection of photographs from Vivian & Anthony’s 3 day wedding in St. Tropez. A big thank you goes to Catherine, one of our associate photographers who shot alongside Pippa on the wedding day itself. The collection below is a mixture of Pippa and Catherine’s photographs. You can really get a feel for the amazing work that Sarah does to bring such a luxurious event to life. As Sarah mentions above it really was a fun few days in one of the most luxurious locations available. Due to client confidentiality we can’t show you any photographs of the groom but the collection below gives you a great sense of what a wonderful time was had by all.