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Making your big day just perfect: What it's like to be a wedding planner

Planning a wedding is incredibly exciting, but it can also be more than a little daunting.

 Lynda has been planning weddings for many years and set up her own business, LMS Weddings, in 2015
Lynda has been planning weddings for many years and set up her own business, LMS Weddings, in 2015

On hand to take away the stress and ensure everything runs smoothly on the big day is Lynda Smallman.

Describing herself as "a bit of a wedding crasher", she loves helping couples to celebrate this important milestone in their lives.

"I'm really passionate about what I do because I love weddings," says the wedding planner and coordinator who lives in Madeley with her husband and two children. "It's a good excuse to see so many different themes and styles, every wedding is different."

Previously working in the hospitality industry, Lynda has been planning weddings for many years and set up her own business, LMS Weddings, in 2015.

The 45-year-old now works with couples across Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, and the West Midlands.

From finding the perfect venue to sourcing suppliers Lynda, who is accredited with the UK Academy for Wedding and Event Planners, can take care of every organisational detail.

Lynda helping one of her brides Photo: James Merrick

When it comes to the day of the wedding, she will make sure everything runs like clock work and according to the happy couple's plans.

"I started out wedding planning but then I realised that more couples wanted to plan their own weddings themselves and that couples were having DIY weddings where they hired a marquee in a field, a barn or a village hall and they tended to want some somebody to manage it on the day.

"If a couple are having a wedding at a hotel, there is usually a duty manager or coordinator to look after the timings and deal with suppliers on the day but if they doing it on their own, they need somebody to do that so they can focus on getting married."

Most couples will book Lynda's services well in advance of their wedding day. "Most book between nine and 18 months before their wedding and I have bookings for next year already.

"I can take care of as much or as little as they would like me to. I can help them find suppliers - I even went wedding dress shopping with one bride.

"With on-the-day coordination, I generally get involved about a month before the wedding. I like to meet the couple where they are going to get married. I can offer them advice and guidance, but it is their day to have their way and I can help them with their plans.

"I always do a site visit to the venue so I can make sure to pass on useful information to suppliers like if the sat nav might take them to the wrong place, so they're not getting lost on the day.

"I contact all the suppliers two weeks before and the day before I meet the couple and finalise all of the timings then I manage it for them on the day," explains Lynda.

"Managing everything on the day can be quite stressful especially if there are any problems like suppliers being late.

"But as long as the couple don't know about it, I can handle the stress so they don't have to," says Lynda.

It's a job that can mean having to be "a jack of all trades", she adds. "I've had to get involved with everything, even electrics and plumbing. Nobody - the bride and groom or the guests - wants to be dealing with a blocked toilets or lights going out because the generator is playing up.

"I keep saying to my husband that I should do a maintenance course," she explains. Recently, Lynda was delighted to be named among the winners of the Hitched Wedding Awards 2022, which honoured the UK’s most recommended wedding vendors.

Lynda prides herself on her attention to detail Photo: James Merrick

Decided by couples leaving positive feedback, the awards aim to highlight the wedding businesses that have provided exceptional quality of work and customer service.

Zoe Burke, from the wedding website, says: "Here at Hitched we are delighted to be able to celebrate wedding businesses who go above and beyond for their couples.

"It's been an unbelievably difficult few years for our sector, so it means so much to us that we can commend these businesses, and reward and recognise them for their efforts, based on honest feedback from the couples who have worked with them. There is no better judge than a happy couple who have experienced the vendor’s work first-hand, after al."

Lynda, who prides herself on her attention to detail, says she was "chuffed to bits" to receive the award, especially as she was chosen by her customers.

"Hitched is well-known within the wedding industry and a lot of couples go there to find suppliers so to be one of their winners is fantastic," she adds.

For Lynda, seeing all the hard work come together on a perfect wedding day is the most rewarding part of her job.

"The best thing about a wedding is knowing it's the day has all gone to plan and the couple have had the day they dreamed of. I also enjoy meeting the couples and building up a rapport. I love weddings which is why I am so passionate about what I do," she tells Weekend.

For more information, see lmsweddings.co.uk or facebook.com/LMSWeddingplanner

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