Wedding and Event Planning Courses Online: We offer our courses in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.

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Academy TV is your chance to learn from our Director, Kylie Carlson. The Academy is unique in the fact that we are the only training company producing free-to-air videos for aspiring and novice wedding professionals. It is a great way to get a sneak peek of the quality of education and training you will receive as a student of the Academy.

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The Academy Google Hangouts are a chance for our students to chat with a tutor live on air and give a great insight into what life is like as an Academy student. It is great publicity for our students and a chance to talk about what it is they are trying to achieve, their business, or their job in the events industry.

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Podcasts

The Business of Weddings Podcast Show

The Business of Weddings Podcast show is available on iTunes and is hosted by several of the staff at the Academy. Each podcast brings you an up close and personal interview with a different expert within the wedding and event industry to help you learn from those already out there enjoying success.

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Industry News

Arabian Academy Networking Luncheon with Chelsea Lavere

Bonita is the career advisor for the Arabian Academy of Wedding and event planning, based in Dubai. Before joining the Academy Bonita worked with the UAE’s leading wedding inspiration website BrideClubme.com in their advertising sales division, she has a media background and is passionate about helping both new and established wedding businesses succeed. Today Bonita shares her round up of last week’s networking luncheon with Chelsea Lavere, which she co-hosted on behalf of our Arabian Academy. 
Last week I had the privilege of talking to the amazing Chelsea Lavere at a networking and education session here in Dubai.

It’s always daunting meeting one of the wedding industry’s top personalities. Chelsea’s CV reads like a dream come true for any wedding entrepreneur.
She started out as a wedding photographer specializing in styled shoots for Bit of Ivory Photography and Orchestrated Stylised Shoots before starting Tidewater and Tulle, the number 1 wedding blog in Virginia USA and is the founding co-owner of Aisle Society  which features the wedding industry’s top blogs globally including Burnett’s Boards, Bridal Musings, and B Loved to name a few.
When we heard that she was coming to Dubai it was a chance to invite both established wedding planners and some of our local students to a networking luncheon and Q&A session at the Arabian Ranches Golf Club, our hosts for the morning.

Chelsea and I spoke at length about her journey as a wedding entrepreneur. What is apparent is that Chelsea is an astute marketer and business strategist for anyone who is in the wedding business and would be a great mentor to any wedding planner, stylist or photographer.
We touched on some of the more difficult topics we face as an industry, such as to why you need a blog on your website as a wedding planner and why using Instagram isn’t enough of a platform to use as a tool to show potential customers what you are all about and showing off your work. Chelsea also answered questions about doing styled shoots and how to collaborate as an industry to produce some excellent images and how important it is to ensure that those amazing photographs are properly accredited to both vendors and the photographer to ensure that everyone gets the necessary mileage of such a collaboration.
Matchology is a new tool on Aisle Society which makes it easy for both wedding photographers and stylists to submit styled shoots to the blogs listed on the website. Chelsea gave us a quick run-down of how it works and how simple it is to get published on the blog relevant to the style of the images – a really innovative piece of technology developed specifically for the wedding industry.

All in all, it was a fabulous morning and we really enjoyed hearing from an outstanding lady with some interesting insights as to how we could really grow the industry locally and it was great to catch up with fellow industry pros and students.
We’ve managed to do a Facebook live session, so you can catch up here. 

Photography by Velvet Images
The post Arabian Academy Networking Luncheon with Chelsea Lavere appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Arabian Academy Networking Luncheon with Chelsea Lavere

In Conversation with Wedding Business Consultant Sam Lloyd

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of the newest members of our team, Sam Lloyd. Sam is the founder of The Wedding Owl and an experienced Wedding Business Consultant and soon-to-be Tutor for the Academy of Wedding & Event Planning. She is also a Venue Consultant for ProVenue.  Sam is a talented and creative member of the wedding industry in the UK and along with our interview I am excited to be able to share with you some of her work; please see image credits below. But for now, I hope you enjoy meeting Sam Lloyd.
Christine:  Sam it’s a year since you launched The Wedding Owl.  For those reading this, who don’t know what you do and how you might be able to help them, can you introduce your business to us?
Sam:  Yes I have been busy this week, popping a few corks, as I have been celebrating my first year of starting up my own business as a wedding consultant, but with a difference; I work for businesses in the wedding industry.

I have the privilege of working with wedding venue and vendor owners to help them with market research if they are just starting-up, or launching a new product.  I also work with business if they want their systems improving, or an area I really love, they want to grow their market share. My work has included devising marketing plans for Blossom Wedding Stationery and writing website copy such as for Fleur Challis Photography and I write press releases, host open days for venues and do venue styling; all of which I totally love doing.
I can work in an emergency capacity covering illness and maternity leave (when I go back to hosting weddings etc), but I also have experience of builds, having worked with some incredible architects such as Sir Norman Foster and Daniel Libeskind and I have converted a historic building into a four-star hotel. So I advise on how best to layout wedding venues, to give the best experience for couples, but also advise on menus/service, delivery/ kitchen layout and food hygiene if an owner wants to bring the catering in-house, which we did successfully at The Old Kent Barn.  I’m currently working on a very exciting project with Hayne House, building a new purpose built Orangery.  We are opening April 2018; more cork popping on the horizon and we can’t wait!

Christine:  What motivated you to start this business and what do you love about
what you do?
Sam:  I love all things to do with Weddings and have over 170,000 followers on Pinterest; so setting up a business that allows me to think about weddings 24/7 was all the motivation I ever needed.
Christine: What have learned from your career so far, that you are using in the work you are now doing with Wedding Owl?
Sam:  Throughout my career, the most important things for me is never to be afraid and to always deliver the very best experience you can under the circumstances. I have to be honest, I’m a little competitive, so if I’m set a challenge, I will rise to the occasion, as I hate losing. Recently a client was extremely nervous about a couple who when they booked announced that they had already cancelled two venues and they were taking a caterer to court. Throughout the planning process they were demanding, but I built up a strong relationship based on trust. I hosted their wedding. Even with all my 11 years experience of delivering weddings and more, despite feeling nervous at the start of the day, I wasn’t afraid, as I knew the team and I would give them the very best day they could possibly hope for. Subsequently, the venue has received a five-star review on Facebook, the owner is extremely pleased and grateful.

Christine:  You are clearly passionate about helping others and for making a contribution to the success of the wedding industry in the UK. What is one thing every wedding business owner could be doing right now, to make their businesses better?
Sam:  Wow, such a great question, as it depends on the venue or the vendor.
However, for me, the most important thing is to train, train and re-train. You can never know everything, you can get lazy and cut corners and of course, you can forget things. For me learning is inspiring, motivating, gives you confidence and enables you to ask the question; could I do things better?
Christine:  You are clearly a busy person with a lot going on.  Even though you love what you do, you must have strategies for staying on top of it all.  Do you have any tips for how others can manage their time, especially when following a dream or passion and combining that with other commitments like family, work and study?
Sam:  For me planning your diary is really important. I use it for everything. If you have a task to do and it needs to be done by a certain date, add it to your diary, just the same way you would an appointment. That way you don’t have to think about the task until the reminder appears on your screen. I even put in my diary when my husband and I are having days off, that way he can also check my diary and arrange social events. It doesn’t mean when we are down at the beach-hut, I’m not thinking about some aspect of work, but I am relaxing as it is really important to take time out.
Christine:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Sam:  Hopefully, my business will go from strength to strength and that I can help more wedding owners improve their business and students to pass their modules.
Christine:  Do you have a message for students reading this?
Sam: I totally love sharing, as I’m like a big sponge who absorbs information and I just love passing it on, so I am happy to field questions from students if they want a venue perspective.  I also love when I get the opportunity to learn something new, one is never too old to learn.  Last week I passed my first aid training, at the ripe age of plus 50, such a great days learning and just yesterday I was privileged to attend a seminar put on by www.sleepinggiantmedia.co.uk where we learned all about How to Build a Kick-ass Brand: – great title and great content, all about having a competitive strategy and realising your business can come under threat from really wide balls.  The example they gave was carrier bags manufacturers who have been hit with legislation (which is a positive thing for me, as the winner of the best wild life friendly garden in Kent, UK), so don’t forget to diversify!

Image Credits
Easter Styling:   Easter Styling entitled Melt Some Hearts with an Easter Wedding. Venue www.Haynehouse.co.uk; Photographer www.seanweeklyphotogrpahy.co.uk;
Chair covers www.bowschaircovers.co.uk; Stationery by www.byblossom.co.uk; Jackalope by Lynsey, Creative Mash Ups 07952827806; Flowers by www.dreamofflowers.co.uk 
National Fragrance Day:  Client www.Haynehouse.co.uk; Photographer Emma Midgen www.whitelightphotographic.co.uk“
The post In Conversation with Wedding Business Consultant Sam Lloyd appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
In Conversation with Wedding Business Consultant Sam Lloyd

Our Top 10 Real Weddings and Events from around the World

As we continue with our Top 10 series of posts to celebrate the Academy being in business for 10 years I thought it would be fun to look at some of the real weddings and events that have caught my eye over the years.
Now obviously it is hard to capture all of them as there have been many and some I don’t have images for anymore, but below are the ones that I find inspire me, and I hope they do you too.
Mindy Weiss
This event is simply stunning and is set in Paris. As I have a house in France it is no surprise that I love this one and it features in my Top 10. The boldness of the red offset with the gold is gorgeous in this Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte wedding. To see all the images click here…

The Style Co
These Australian stylists are amazing and I am a huge fan of their work. This event, Feast in the Field, has such a wonderful Aussie flavour to has continued to pop up on my radar over and over again. I love the simplicity of it although I know it was from a simple set up. To view all the images click here…

Olivier Dolz
Nothing in Dubai is done by halves and I have long been an admirer of the events Olivier produces. The focus of the decor for this engagement party was an old tree in the middle of the space adorned with hundreds of bare light bulbs, hence the name Tree of Life. To view all the images click here…

Sasha Souza
Her eye for detail makes Sasha one of the most sought after Event Designers in the world and she has produced some beautiful winery weddings in the Napa Valley. However, this 64-foot long table with fire down the centre is my absolute favourite. To view all the images click here…

Jessie Thomson
Based in the Cotswolds in the UK Jessie captures the essence of the quintessential English wedding beautifully, and this one is no exception. This glamorous garden wedding is just lovely and set in a stunning location so there is much to drool over. To view all the images click here…

Preston Bailey
Unless you’ve been living under a rock then you will know Preston’s work. It’s large, over the top and takes your breath away. Its hard to pick a favourite, but for me, there is something about this event with the combination of flowers and translucent globes that is just stunning.

Kristin Banta
At the cutting edge of trends, Kristin’s events are always dramatically different and I love her work and her uninhibited style. This Glam Noir wedding is possible my favourite event I have seen of hers inspired by her couple’s love of the colour red and two big bird cages owned by the client. To view all the images click here…

Lisa Vorce
As an A List planner Lisa has worked with some big names and more recently has teamed up with Ralph Lauren Fragrances. This wedding caught my eye because not only is it beautifully designed, but I have always been a sucker for a bit of vintage elegance and chandeliers hanging from unusual places. To view all the images click here…

Diana Sorenson
Who wouldn’t want a wedding in Capri, Italy? With a setting as beautiful as this one, the styling needs to reflect the location and this wedding took my breath away. Although there is a lot of design within this the outcome makes it look simple and striking. To view all the images click here…

Jung Lee
One of the most sought after designers in the world it is easy to see why Jung has made the top 10 list. This theatrical bohemian glam wedding set in downtown New York draws you in immediately with its rich jewel tones and candlelight. To view all the images click here…

 
The post Our Top 10 Real Weddings and Events from around the World appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Our Top 10 Real Weddings and Events from around the World

Tuesday Tutorial – NZAWEP Sits Down with Aimee Jane Cake Design

Lizzie Waterson is a recent addition to our New Zealand Academy tutor team, as well as the proud owner of Elizabeth Jean Weddings and Events. She has planned, styled and executed celebrations from an intimate 18 to large scales of over 120+ guests. This week Lizzie sits down with NZ based wedding cake expert, Aimee of  Aimee Jane Cake Design. 
Some say it is not a party without cake…some say life is too short to say NO to cake. Here at the New Zealand Academy, we believe sometimes the answer is cake, no matter what the question.
Aimee from Aimee Jane Cake Design has been creating unique and delicious masterpieces in her home town of Taranaki for over 6 years. She prides herself on using the best ingredients, original ideas, and innovative designs. Aimee works with each couple to create something personal and memorable for their wedding day. Our New Zealand Tutor Lizzy sat down with Aimee and got an inside view on how a cake designer may work alongside a planner/stylist.
As a creative in the industry, how can a planner/stylist help the client in the process with cake design for their event?
Something that Wedding Stylist/Planners can do to help in the cake design process with their clients is to provide me with visuals. So whether that is pictures of styling that will be used, flower choice (so that I can match my sugar flowers to suit the bouquets), colour swatches so that I can match the fondant or buttercream to the colours being used. Also knowing the theme of the Wedding, so that I can give design and idea that will suit. At Aimeejane Cake Design I pride myself on coming up with designs that tie the Wedding Cake in with the rest of the styling details.

What do you think are the pros and cons of working with a planner/stylist?
The pros of working with a planner/stylist are that quite often I get recommendations from the stylist to the Bride and Groom about using me as the Cake Designer. Stylists like to be able to rely on the Wedding Vendors that they work with so will often have a list of those who they work with. I personally don’t think that there is a con with working with a planner/stylist.
What makes you want to work with a specific wedding planner/designer….and what would completely put you off?
In the 6 years that I have been in business, I have found that I love working with people who are creative and like-minded. Something that would put me off is a Wedding Planner telling me how to run my business or not allowing me to be creative with my designs.

The post Tuesday Tutorial – NZAWEP Sits Down with Aimee Jane Cake Design appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Tuesday Tutorial – NZAWEP Sits Down with Aimee Jane Cake Design

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