Ask the Expert: Champagne and Sparkles Wedding Planning

I spoke with Georgina from Champagne and Sparkles as part of my launch issue of the PiPinstazine. Below is a more in depth questionnaire. If you're considering booking a wedding planner or don't really understand their role grab a cuppa and have a read. 


What is the role of a wedding planner? Why would I hire one? In generic terms, a wedding planner is a professional and an expert who can help and support you with the overall planning and management of your wedding, taking on as much or as little of the organisation of your wedding as you like, everything from helping you from beginning to end, giving you an extra pair of hands when you need it for certain elements or being there just on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly.  Most wedding planners offer a range of services to suit your requirements and budget. 

Some wedding planners are design-led and help you design your wedding but I’m a logistical and details planner, think of me as the project manager for your wedding.  I’ll be your best friend, confidante, mediator and negotiator.  I’m there to support you, never judging and never taking over – your wedding is about the two of you and I’m there to make it all happen seamlessly. I’ll help take away some of the stress involved in planning your wedding, listen to your ideas, work with you to understand your vision and help you achieve and deliver the wedding you want.  I’ll work tirelessly with you throughout the process to make sure every little detail of your wedding is carefully thought-out, logistically planned and flawlessly executed - together we’ll create a memorable experience for you and your guests.

 A meeting with Georgina to get all the ideas down on paper

How would I find you? I’m based in Surrey, but cover all of the UK, Europe and beyond.  You can find me via my website, social media links or by emailing me directly at


I have so many ideas can you help me narrow them down? Yes, of course!  With so much inspiration out there, it can be difficult not to be overwhelmed by all the ideas you see in magazines, Pinterest, Instagram – the list goes on.  I’ll help you work through your ideas, listening to what you want and together we’ll bring your ideas together to create a cohesive story, ensuring all those little details are included.


My mum wants to be very involved she doesn’t think I need an ‘outsiders’ help. What do you think? It’s always great when parents want to be involved in the planning, but sometimes it can cause issues with the relationship.  It’s important to remember that your wedding day is about the two of you, and your love for each other.  You can still include your mum in the planning stage, ask for her advice on some elements of the day, she’ll still be involved but ultimately, you’ll be making the final decisions. 


The venue provides a wedding planner as part of the package do, I need an additional one?  A venue wedding planner/co-ordinator and an independent wedding planner is not the same thing and is often confused.  A venue wedding planner/co-ordinator works for the venue and is there to make sure the spaces are clean and set to your requirements, lights are working, catering is ready (if catering is part of the venue offering) – their priority is the venue and anything that relates to the venue.  They generally won’t be involved in the planning until the final stages as it gets closer to your wedding date, for example, when they will require information such as final numbers, dietary requirements etc.  An independent wedding planner works for you, supports you through the process and depending on the service you have booked with your planner, works with you through part or all of the planning, and will work in harmony with a venue wedding planner/co-ordinator.  An independent wedding planner has your best interests at heart.


I love planning but have such a busy job I just can’t see how I can get it all done, how involved will I be still? You can be as involved as you like.  On average, it takes around 250 – 500 hours to plan a wedding, depending on the type of wedding you’re wanting.  That’s a lot of time to find if you have a busy job and lifestyle.  If you’d rather pass all the planning over to your wedding planner, while still making all the final decisions, that’s ok; if you still want to be involved in various elements, that’s ok too.  It really is up to you how much support you want from your wedding planner, and most planners will be flexible in the services they offer and how they can be tailored to suit you and your requirements.


What does a planner cost? This really does depend on your budget.  Most planners will offer different services at different price points – full planning and management which is usually charged at a percentage of your wedding budget, can be anything from 10 – 15%; partial planning and management and on the day management which are normally both set at a fixed fee.  Each wedding planners’ rates will differ so it’s best to be sure to ask that question when you are shortlisting wedding planners.  For my full planning service, I typically charge 12 – 15% of your wedding budget spend, my partial planning service starts from £1,850.00 and my on-the-day management service starts at £875.00 – this of course is dependent on your requirements and the type of wedding.


What are your favourite trends for 2020 weddings?            I think we’ll see more couples opting for sustainable & eco-friendly weddings, being plastic free and having foam-free florals.  Outdoor weddings will be big this year with couples choosing to host their drinks reception and wedding dining outside, and I think they’ll be a bigger emphasis on details such as wall art murals, coloured cutlery and fairy lights.



What trends do you hope will stick around from previous weddings you’ve worked on? More relaxed dining such as food trucks and grazing tables, and textured linens


  Beautiful back drop at the top table

Favourite wedding supplier you’ve worked with or been inspired by? There are so many!  I love Emma Soulsby Flowers for statement florals, White Olive Design Studio for luxury stationery, MonAnnie Cakes for the most amazing cake designs and Helen Warner Photography for beautiful fine art style photography.


Favourite venue? I love Nonsuch Mansion in Cheam, it’s such a stunning venue, perfect for a romantic, elegant wedding with versatile spaces and beautiful grounds, perfect for unforgettable wedding photos


Do you have any top tips for brides starting the planning process? Firstly, enjoy being engaged!  Don’t rush into making decisions, think about the type of wedding you want and the vision you want to create.  One of the first things to think about is the date, as once you’ve chosen that, it’s the anchor for booking the rest of your suppliers.  My biggest piece of advice for any brides-to-be is be true to yourselves and have the wedding you want and enjoy the planning process. 

 You can find Georgina’s instagram here and online here 


photo credits Top: 

Photography @helenwarnerphotography Styling @thebrandstudioco Florist @emmasoulsby


Photography: @helenwarnerphotography Styling & Coordination: @styledbylouise Styling Assistant: @champagneandsparklesltd Floral Design: @emmasoulsby Stationery & Calligraphy: @whiteolivedesignstudio Linen Rentals: @magpielinens Tableware: @classiccrockery Lounge Furniture: @wearehirelove photo booths : @everybooth Studio: @blovedhive

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