Interview with: Lisa Johnson
Company Name: Carmela Weddings
Location / Coverage: Nationwide
What does Carmela Weddings do?
Carmela Weddings creates stylish, modern weddings for fashion-forward couples.
How did Carmela Weddings come about and how long has the business been going?
We’re a husband and wife team (Sam and Lisa) and we’ve run Carmela Weddings for three years now. The business came about as I had worked in events for about 15 years and had organised a few friends’ weddings.
I loved it, but particularly liked unique, urban, luxury weddings that had a real sense of style, so when Sam came on board we decided to concentrate on that style of wedding.
Have you always been interested in weddings and wanted to be wedding planners?
I had always loved events and always loved a planning spreadsheet. Sam loved design and has a creative flair so it just worked out brilliantly.
Which areas of the UK do you cover? Do you offer your services outside of the UK?
We mainly cover London and Surrey but have done weddings further afield (there are some fabulous warehouse locations in Birmingham).
We also specialise in Malta weddings as I am Maltese and have a base there. We’re so familiar with all of the venues and suppliers in Malta (we even got married there ourselves) so we provide local knowledge whilst couples are still able to chat to us face to face in the UK.
What services can Carmela Weddings offer to couples planning their wedding?
We offer lots of different options as couples don’t always need the same level of assistance. We do full planning, partial planning, on-the-day coordination, venue sourcing and inspiration sessions, so we really do capture all needs.
Do you offer any services other than wedding planning?
We do – I am a qualified celebrant so can also write and perform your wedding ceremony. This comes in handy for those couples who either want a really personalised ceremony or want to marry somewhere that isn’t licensed, such as a forest, warehouse or beach.
Why should a couple choose to use you to help them plan their big day?
Two reasons – we’re possibly the only husband and wife planning team in the UK (we’ve yet to find another), and as half your guests will probably be male you need that perspective. Secondly, we don’t believe in formulas or rules, so your wedding won’t be like anybody else’s.
Have you taken part in any wedding planner training or courses?
I have an advanced diploma in wedding and events planning with Absolute Perfection, so I went through rigorous training as well as being qualified with the UK Society of Celebrants.
We’re also members of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, so as well as adhering to a strict code of ethics we also get to attend seminars regularly, keeping our knowledge up to date.
Which part of helping to plan a wedding do you enjoy the most and why?
We love the concept design the most – when couples come to you with a vague idea of what they might want and then you go back to them with a lookbook of their wedding. It’s great to see them get excited, knowing their vision can be a reality.
Do you have a specific style of wedding that you like to help create?
Yes, we favour the modern, urban wedding. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are always city based – we’ve designed country weddings and created them to be very fashion-focussed and stylish. We definitely prefer a unique venue.
What is your most memorable experience of planning one of your clients’ weddings?
Recently we were lucky enough to plan a wedding on behalf of the charity Gift of a Wedding – they are a fabulous organisation that provides weddings for terminally ill brides or grooms.
It was such a memorable day and completely beautiful. The couple were a dream to work with and had some great ideas – we were all in tears at the ceremony. It was such a memorable wedding, and as we had to plan it all within three weeks the challenges that brought will be remembered too!
What’s your top tip for planning the perfect wedding?
This is easy. Stay true to who you are as a couple. Don’t do things you really don’t want to do just because somebody says ‘it’s tradition’ or ‘it’s just what you do’. Make your own traditions.
I’ve lost count of the number of brides and grooms who have told me they really don’t want to do a first dance/wear a long ivory dress/invite 200 people. So don’t; have your wedding how you want to and make it unique by pouring your personalities into every bit of the day.
Random question… When it comes to music, who/what’s your guilty pleasure?
Sam says that all of the music I like is a guilty pleasure to most people! I love pop – the cheesier the better. One Direction, Katy Perry…
Sam loves indie bands and plays guitar in a band, so he’s much cooler than me, but even he has a guilty pleasure of listening to Little Mix when he thinks nobody can hear it!
Where can I find out more about Carmela Weddings?
- Website: www.carmelaweddings.co.uk
- Blog: www.carmelaweddings.co.uk/#!blog/mhtvm
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/carmelaweddings
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/carmelaweddings
- Twitter: @carmelaweddings
Visit the Carmela Weddings supplier page on The Wedding Community