Professional wedding planner Siobhàn Craven-Robins has been arranging stylish, elegant and beautiful weddings since 1996 when she established the first dedicated wedding planning business in the UK. Siobhan is now established as one of the UK’s leading wedding co-ordinators.
Siobhan's famous clients include Joan Collins, Barbara Windsor, Greg Kinnear, Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck, Des O’Connor and Ronni Ancona.
Her beautiful weddings have featured in Hello, OK! and many bridal magazines in various countries around the world. Siobhàn is frequently invited to appear on national radio and television to advise on planning the perfect wedding.
Siobhan loves to help new talent develop in the wedding industry and she is incredibly generous with sharing her knowledge and expertise with our wedding planning students. This year she presents three exclusive wedding planning summer schools for The Event School London.
We asked Siobhan to provide some insight into her wedding and event planning career and her passion for the wedding industry.
Hi Siobhan, could you tell us about a few of your career highlights?
Making my DVD in 2003/4 was a real highlight for me and realisation of something I had wanted to do for such a long time.
I wrote and presented it and interviewed all of the suppliers featured in it. It was great fun travelling around the country filming it and it was well received on its release. It just felt a worthwhile project and a great way of condensing all my wedding planning knowledge into a useful tool for couples.
Forming the National Association of Wedding Professionals in 2013 with my industry colleagues felt an achievement. It was something the UK Wedding Industry really was crying out for and I am proud of what we have built so far, with much more to come and our membership grows and the NAWPUK word spreads!
Photo by www.rupaphotography.co.uk
What has changed in the wedding industry since you first started out?
Siobhan: So much! I started out in 1996 and seen so many changes in that time. For a start the way we advertise and promote our business is unrecognisable.
I had a classified advert in the back of the leading Bridal publications and this yielded a full diary. The advent of websites, which I was quickly on board with, only further extended the audience you could reach. Print advertising now is rarely a consideration and whilst websites are essential, they are no longer the key way to engage an audience and advertise your business.
Social media, and in particular Pinterest and Instagram, are essential for any business. The wedding industry is a visual one and these two platforms are necessary for every business now. We are also our own editors now and able to publish content in blogs or on our Facebook page with no wait for a bi-monthly magazine publishing date!
The industry has become increasingly creative as couples have become more imaginative when it comes to their weddings. There is no 'template' now for a wedding - it can be what you want it to be - you have a choice in where you marry, who marries you and the sort of occasion you want.
Is there anything you wish you had known when you first got started in your wedding planning business?
Siobhan: To not deviate from advertising or promoting to purely your target audience. I wasted a lot of time 'experimenting' with advertising in the wrong publications, exhibiting at shows and giving talks.
Has there been a great role model or mentor that you admired who helped you progress in your career?
Siobhan: My father, he was go-getter and if he had an idea, he ran with it. No problem was unsolvable.
Is there a “dream” wedding you wish you could work on?
Siobhan: I think the obvious answer is a Royal Wedding. A full state occasion, Royal Wedding.
I would find the protocol and behind the scenes view into how things are done, who's invited, how you plan seating - just all the different elements you would need to consider in planning such an event - so interesting!
A few favourite photos of Siobhan's weddings and Siobhan in action at work
If you would like to learn more from Siobhan's extensive wedding and event planning experience and expertise, you can join her on a London Summer School.