Blog, Ideas & Inspiration

COVID: Wedding planner Hannah Sheppard offers advice

July 22, 2020

Wedding planner Hannah Sheppard offers her advice, guidance and views on planning a wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recently posted an article featuring Sarah Hammond of Rhubarb catering. Sarah joined us, along with several other events industry experts, for a live webinar where we discussed wedding planning during the COVID-19 crisis.

The webinar, entitled ‘My New Normal: How to Create A Special Wedding Day And Stay Safe’ also featured the lovely Hannah Sheppard. Hannah is a freelance wedding planner and events director, specialising in creating incredible wedding experiences for her clients.

Hannah’s create flair and passion for design first came to life when she worked alongside interior designers at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre. But Hannah’s passion for events soon saw her turn her hand and finely honed creative skills to wedding and event planning and design.

Hannah Loves to work with colour palettes, ensuring coordination between all aspects of wedding design. Tying together important elements such as invitation design, tableware, furnishings and floristry. For Hannah, it’s not about having a central ‘wow’ piece, it’s about ensuring that each element works together and compliments one another.

Webinar presenter, Tanya Selley, posed the questions, Hannah providing her with careful and considered answers. Watch the video below, or read on for a synopsis of their conversation and wedding planner Hannah’s advice:

What are Hannah’s clients most concerned with at the moment?

Regarding client concerns, Hannah was unequivocal ‘Their venues…’ Can they still have their venue? Can they have it on the date that they originally booked? If not, what are their options?

Beyond that, Hannah’s explains, her clients next concern is what their wedding day will actually look like. Will they have to reduce guest numbers? What elements will they need to put in place to ensure that the governments advice for preventing the spread of COVID-19 are implemented?

“For us, in the (wedding) industry, we are learning just like everybody else – day by day” For Hannah, as for the rest of us in the wedding and events industry, things are changing constantly. New regulations and guidelines are appearing all of the time. It’s a case of keeping up to date with, and adjusting to, the government’s latest advice.

Tricky as it is, Hannah remains pragmatic, “…what we are learning is that it’s not impossible, there are solutions for most of the problems that we come up against”. As an industry, we’re still focused on ensuring that our clients have the best possible experience. “…we want to make sure that our clients have the best day of their lives…It just might have a few extra bits in place this time around”.

What social distancing measures is Hannah putting in place for her clients?

“…it depends upon the venue. Ideally they would all have a marquee from Inside Outside!” Hannah explains that, unlike brick-built venues, marquees can be made bigger to accommodate guests and the related social distancing requirements. “…you can create zones, so that your guests aren’t all congregating in one area, so that you can spread people out… and that makes it a lot easier”

For Hannah, understanding and addressing guest ‘flow’ is a key factor in creating a safe, successful wedding venue. Hannah advises couples to consider venue entrance and exit points, access to toilets, and how guests will manoeuvre themselves about the space. These elements will be key in establishing and maintaining safe, social distancing parameters.

The top three things couples should think of when planning their wedding

For any wedding planner, the top three will look quite different today than it did six months ago! Adjusted for COVID-19, here are Hannah’s top three tips for wedding planning in 2020 & beyond:

  • Step by Step planning:

Don’t rush or try to do everything at once. Take a deep breath and make a list of things that need to be done and tackle each, one at a time. Start with the venue, then consider what will be taking place within the venue. Address the catering, the bar and finally the aesthetics. It can seem overwhelming, but don’t panic! If you take it step by step, nice and slowly, you will get there and you’ll enjoy the process, rather than feeling bogged down by it.

  • Explore your space:

Think about how you can best utilise your chosen venue. Think about the layout and guest flow. Consider where you want to put your bar, how the tables will be laid out. Consider using signs to direct guest flow. Whatever you choose to do, consider social distancing – guest experience is everything; you want to ensure that your guests enjoy themselves, but also feel safe too.

  • COVID themed wedding favours:

It’s always nice to have wedding favours on the tables. So why not change things up slightly and replace gifts with hand sanitiser? No one is likely to forget attending a wedding that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a nicely branded, personalised bottle of hand sanitiser would make for a unique and very sensible gift.

Interested in finding out more?

We’d like to thank Hannah for taking part in the ‘My new normal’ webinar. It was fantastic to hear advice, views and opinions from a well respected, luxury wedding planner.  View the full webinar by clicking here. Alternatively visit Hannah’s LinkedIn profile to find out more about the wedding and event planning services that she offers.

Pandemic wedding planning? Talk to us.

We’d love to speak to you about your big day. We can help you to find clever marquee solutions; whether you are looking for a physically distanced wedding experience or just a fabulous wedding venue.

Our consultations, site visits and quotations are all obligation and cost free. Why not speak to a member of our experienced team today? Call 01372 459485 or email sales@inside-outside.co.uk

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