Today I am chatting with award winning wedding planner Hannah Rose events about her leap from working full time in hotels to go out on her own… and lets just say the timing wasn’t exactly perfect!
Hannah is one of the biggest action takers I know and you can’t fail to be inspired by what she has to say!
In today’s episode we talk about my Wedding Pro members lounge! If you want to be part of that community, just like Hannah, take a look below:
Find out more about Hannah:
Find out more about how I can help you grow your wedding business over on my website or Instagram page:
Hannah: [00:00:00] So I quit my job in, as in I handed my notice in, in January, I had to give two months notice my due date to leave. My date to leave was the 25th of March. And we went into lock down on the 20th of March. So Boris told us on the Friday. We’re shutting the country down. I was due to leave the following Wednesday.
Becca: I’m Becca Pountney, wedding, business, marketing expert, speaker, and blogger, and you’re listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get going with today’s episode. In today’s episode, I’m going to be talking with one of my amazing wedding pro members. Hannah. I first met Hannah at a networking dinner. I was speaking at in January, 2020, and we hit it off with our shared love of musical [00:01:00] theater. Then Hannah went on to join my membership and I’ve worked with her ever since.
Over the last two years, I’ve watched her quit her job, navigate a global pandemic and grow successful luxury wedding planning. And you are going to find her story so inspirational. She is the definition of an action taker. So for me, she’s a dream client. So let’s get into it. Hannah is great to have you on the podcast today.
Why don’t you start by just telling everyone who you are and what you do.
Hannah: Hello, and thanks for having me first of all, um, I’m, I’m Hannah Rose. I’m a wedding planner event manager, wedding coordinator. There’s many different titles that you could use for me. Um, I work mainly in with high-end clients, but I also work directly for venues, catering companies for freelance event management.
Um, for my private work, I mainly work in London and surrounding areas, but, um, Happy to go all over the UK. So basically I’m there to work with couples to plan their dream day [00:02:00] and yeah, that’s what I’m there
Becca: for. So that sounds incredibly busy. So let’s go right back to the start and work out how you got to where you are now.
So take me right back. How did you get into the wedding industry in the first place?
Hannah: So basically it’s pretty much all I’ve ever done. Um, but so when I was at school, like you mentioned massive love for musical theater. When I was, um, doing my GCSE, obviously you start looking at colleges, what you want to do.
Um, I was very much wanted to go into performing arts. I wanted to go into musical theater. I wanted to go to a musical theater school. Um, Yeah, that, that was what I went on to do. I went to college, I did performing arts. I went and got a job on a holiday camp, singing and dancing entertaining.
And I then decided I didn’t want to work away from home. You know, I I’m from Norfolk originally. I was working away. I was working [00:03:00] in Yorkshire, and I was a bit. Uh, this is an earning me loads of money. I want to earn some money. I want to do something a bit different. And what I really loved was everything that was happening backstage.
And when I was, I was in the theater worlld my whole life, and I loved everything that was going on behind the scenes. Um, so I was like, okay, I want to go into like entertainment management. Um, so the behind the scenes and, you know, booking the acts on the holiday camps and things like that. So that was what I wanted to do.
So I thought, right. I really, I, I want to go home. I want to go back and study again. So I decided to do a degree in events management, which I had seen when I was at school and I was interested in doing so I went back to uni when I was 1920, something like that. And, um, did a degree in events management. I said I was never going to work in weddings.
And then while I was doing my last year at uni, um, my cousin actually sent me an advert for a wedding planner. At a hotel that it was [00:04:00] looking at for an assistant. So I went for the job. So I had something alongside my degree and a bit of experience in events and, um, got it. And I’ve never looked back.
I’ve been in weddings ever since. And that was now 12 years.
Becca: Amazing. So you’ve been in the industry a long time. You’ve worked in venues for a long time. If you’re honest, you kind of fell into it in a, in a way, even though you knew that you loved what you did. So during that time working for the venue, what kind of things did you learn that have helped you get to where you are now?
Hannah: I think it’s so important. To just know the basics. So for start the customer service. So when I was studying for my degree, everybody else was just, you know, having a job to have a job. I went and got a job at Marriott hotels, and I worked selling gym memberships and at the time, and didn’t even go to the gym but I was selling gym memberships.
But what it [00:05:00] taught me was how to sell, how to sell well, how to talk to people. You know, I got that job because I worked on holiday camps. And I went into my interview and was telling them that I used to dress up as an elephant and, you know, they loved that and they loved who I was. And, and that’s kind of what you need to sell.
Well, I think that’s so important now because if you can’t sell yourself, you can’t progress your business, you need to be able to sell yourself or you’re not going to get sales and you’re not going to make any money and you’re not going to have a business. So think just the basic like that. And then there’s other basics things like for me as a planner, if you can’t lay a table or you can’t waitress, how can you expect everybody around you?
To be able to do that. You know, if you have a waitress dropout or a wedding, you need to be able to take that place and be able to step in and do that. And it taught me all the basics. You know, it taught me how to go into the kitchen, speak to a chef properly, how to run a hot plate, how to, you know, like I say, lay a table how to manage a restaurant.
All these things I [00:06:00] had to know, and I had to be able to step in and do it because I’ve worked in small boutique hotels and I’ve worked in big brand hotels. Um, and yeah, it’s knowing the basics is, is vital so important.
Becca: Yeah. I think that’s really important. And I think. Yes. Everything you did was in weddings, but you talked about your holiday park experience as well.
I think for those people listening, sometimes you start your wedding business and you just kind of forget all the stuff that came before. And even if, even if that work was in a completely different environment, doing something completely different, there will have been things. In that job that you can now use in your business.
And that is what makes you uniquely you. And that was what will make you stand out from your competition. So if you are listening to this, think back about what you either still do on the side or what you did previously and what you can take from that, what you learned from that position to take into what you do now.
Now a little secret for everybody, not only to me and Hannah have musical theater in common, but we actually both [00:07:00] worked at the same holiday park. Not at the same place, or at the same time that would have been fun. We have both worked in holiday parks. And I think even from that, uh, you mentioned it a little bit, Hannah, there are things that you can take even from that.
And I know I do now, which you take into the. You do now. So yeah, just an encouragement to people listening, whatever job you’ve had, whether it’s dancing or singing or calling bingo or holiday park, you know, selling newspapers in the local news agent working as a teacher, there will be something in there that you can take and use in your wedding business.
Yes. So you talked about working at the Marriott. Talk to me about different venues where you’ve worked. Um, and yeah, it. Did you stay at the Marriott forever or have you been in different places?
Hannah: No, I definitely didn’t. I was not a fan of them. Sorry, Marriott. I like, you know, um, no, it’s just, um, for me.
Um, so I’ve worked, like I said, I’ve worked in big chain hotels. I’ve worked in small boutique hotels and. Working for big [00:08:00] brands is very structured. Okay. So when I was working in sales for selling gym memberships at Marriott, I had a script. So it was like, okay, you need to say this things like, um, uh, back then I actually had brown hair, but I’ve actually had, uh, red hair for God knows.
I think as soon as I left the Marriott, because you weren’t allowed to have red hair working for Marriott. Right. Yeah. So you had to have natural colored hair, so like brown hair, blonde hair, like that. I think it maybe spurred me on to have red hair. And it’s just maybe not like massively who I am. I massively about personality and be who you are.
I mean, it’s probably changed now I worked for Marriott when I was 19, so nearly 15 years ago, so long time ago, but yeah. I then went on. So probably a bit of a random story in my life. But, um, so I was living in Norwich, I worked at Marriott left my, um, finished my degree. Um, just before I finished my degree, I got my job.
So I was where I was doing a [00:09:00] full-time degree. And then I got a job which is a full-time job, but I persuaded them to let me do three days a week alongside my degree as a. Wedding planner or assistant to the wedding planner. And, um, they said, yes, that’s fine. You can do that for three months. And then the day I left my degree, I literally did my last exam or module, whatever I had to do.
I went bang straight the next week into full time. And then found out three months later that the wedding planner was pregnant and they’d be like, oh, okay, that’s fine. Cause Hannah can do it. I don’t even, I’d only been doing it for about five months. Um, so that was a very small boutique hotel, but they did 180 weddings a year, which was in say we did two a day and it literally gave me such a kick up the
bum, like, do I, do I know that, um, to just go and learn everything that I [00:10:00] possibly could. So I was doing about 60% operations and 40% admin. And the only reason the admin was 40% is because I physically didn’t have time because there was so many weddings and there was two of us doing the job. So, yeah, that was, that was just absolutely crazy.
That really, like I say, it gave me an insight into every possible point of the, of the, uh, of a hotel. Then I met my other half, um, who I’ve been with nine years. And he lived, we used to commute each other. He’s from Luton, I’m from Norwich and
he was moving to Birmingham, um, to, uh, for his job. And, um, we only been together three months and he said, oh, it’s a bit far to commute.
You know, it’s two hours as it is, but this is going to be three and a half. I was like, okay, well, I’m kind of looking to move to London anyway, because. Industry is bigger there. And he said, well, you can come to Birmingham with me if you want. So we’ve been together three months, probably seeing each other on less like a count on less than two hands.
How many times I’ve had [00:11:00] actually seen him and I moved to Birmingham with him and I joined. So that’s my little love story though, and I I joined a small, another kind of hotel chain, but it was, um, I think they had 10 hotels at the time Corus hotels, brilliant chain really enjoyed working for them. And it was very much.
Uh, a small kind of hotel set up and they just had a few hotels. So I took on a hotel which had five weddings a year and they said, Hannah, we want 20 weddings a year in this place. And it was, um, I absolutely loved it and that place will always hold a place in my heart. And I’m actually really sad because it closed last year.
Um, Yeah, we did it when I did. I stayed there a year and by the time I left, we had 30 weddings a year. Um, and it was just basics. It was like, the team just had no motivation. Everyone had been there years. Everybody was just like, no, it’s not going to happen. People don’t want to get married here. They were stuck in their ways.
And I went in, I changed the brochure. I implemented packages cause I’ve come from a package hotel, the one that did [00:12:00] 108 to in the year, it was all package. Uh, low package, medium package, high package. That was how it was. You booked the package you wanted. Um, and then you’d add your add ons. That’s what we did. We, we created three packages.
They were not doing wedding open days. Um, they weren’t, you know, they weren’t marketing themselves properly. It had a really bad reputation with the local communities. So we invited the local community in for afternoon tea and we redecorated and yeah. Did all these things. Done really well. Um, then, you know, the area managers and kind of started to get to know who I was.
So I was sent down to London to do a presentation on how I’d transformed this hotel. So I was promoted. I was then put in charge of two hotels and yeah. It kind of went from there. I then, um, left there. I decided, right. I want to work more in luxury hotels. So I want to work for a accor for a beautiful, um, four-star luxury hotel in Stratford, upon Avon.
And so, yeah, I then [00:13:00] experienced a suppose a more high-end way of working. More higher budgets, but at the same time, it just kind of back to the Marriott way. So you had to wear a uniform and I had to wear a scarf around my neck and I had to be at my desk by 10:00 AM. Whereas the previous place loved me so much.
It did what did what I wanted, you know, and rock up
Becca: at what I wanted the days I wanted,
Hannah: as long as I got the job done. And at the end of the day, I was massively exceeding myself. So yeah. I suppose that’s where the self-employed comes in me when I was like, okay, I like to meet, like, Marriott’s probably a, you know, a brilliant brand to work for as is Accor but it’s very structured and some people love structure and I don’t.
So I suppose that was where it kind of started to come from that. Eventually I wanted to work for myself. Um, I then went on to work for my last job. So my last job. I went to, Whittlebury park, which is an amazing resort just outside of London, about an hour [00:14:00] away. If, if you know the UK, that’s the best way to describe it.
It’s like towards Milton Keynes way. Um, and, um, yeah, huge place we’ve got, they have like 50 meeting rooms, five different function rooms for weddings, like absolutely massive. I suppose what I kind of forgot to mention was back when I then joined chorus, I started to do a bit more corporate events as well.
So what I actually went on to do, um, when I went to a core, again, it was, it was mainly. When I joined, um, Whittlebury park. I then, um, started as like a supervisor and then worked my way up and ended up being the events manager there. And I had a team of 10, um, and that was purely in corporate. So I was then doing all the corporate events, working for people like Jaguar land Rover national grid and Buckingham university.
some massive brands who were coming to us as to Martins and really cool people with massive budgets for these big. Um, so, yeah, and that was, [00:15:00] um, my last job, which taught me to work in a, getting even bigger luxury, bigger budgets, people that have a hell of a lot of money because it was corporate and also managing a team that was, uh, uh, a very new thing for me.
Like I say, team of 10, and that was, uh, That was a challenge, but it taught me a lot.
Becca: Amazing. You’ve clearly had a huge amount of experience. You clearly loved working in all these different venues at all these different weddings and corporate events. Now, when we met, uh, in January, 2020, you were on the cusp of going self-employed.
So what was it, despite loving all of this stuff that made you think now’s the time for me to take the leap and own my own.
Hannah: So it always be my dream, like, oh wait, like, well I say, oh, like I think it always kind of came to me when I ever went to these big brands and say, okay, what is it that I, that I’m not enjoying here?
And it was the structure and I just don’t work. [00:16:00] Uh, under somebody else telling me what to do, I suppose say telling me I have to be on my desk at nine. So I’d always kind of, I think I’ve always had my, my dad was self-employed his whole life. I felt like I massively get that from him. Um, I always felt like I was born to be self-employed.
So it’s always been at the back of my mind, but I never, ever thought i’d have been able to do this early. I’d always said by the time I was like mid thirties, I’d like to go. Self-employed maybe towards my forties. Um, and I went self-employed when I was 30. Um, and it was, and it was because, you know, I cut down my time at Whittlebury.
I knew I’d done my time. I had the best team. My manager was amazing. Still really have high respect for him. Um, It got to the point where I was like, I feel like I’m done here. I’m not, I’m not the kind of person that manages I could manage the team, but my full-time job was managing a team of 10 and I was kind of moving away [00:17:00] from actually planning events and that’s not what I wanted to do.
And I was like, okay, I want to still manage a team. I want to do well. I want to earn money bottom line and. You know, I want to go and do a bit of weddings. I want to do a bit of corporate. How can I do this? How can I find a job that incorporates all of this? I actually debated going and being a hotel manager.
Um, for again, I would have done a boutique hotel that I thought, okay, so I can, I can get involved in the sales. I can get involved in the ops. I can run the hotel, how I want to run it. And then I was. Or I could just do my own thing and I’d always see, I’d always felt a bit like I used to, especially when I was at Whittlebury, especially working for a Accor, people would say to me, okay, are, you know, I want this wedding, I want this event, but we’d really.
It all planned. We’d always kind of say like, you know, you can add that service on, but it’s an extra charge. We can recommend supplies for you, et cetera, et cetera. Um, but we, you know, it’s not really something we [00:18:00] do need to hire an external planner. So when I went to the boutique hotel, We did kind of, I did do that because that’s just me.
If a couple came to me, I was, I had, you know, I could, I had a lot more flexibility, so I could say to a couple. Yeah, no problem. I’ll book that for you. Yeah. I’ll get that sorted for you and, and get a lot more involved in the planning and the timings and the suppliers. But I wasn’t supposed to, as a hotel coordinator, I shouldn’t have really done that, but that was just me.
And so I kind of felt that that aspect was missing and I’d speak to other hotels and other coordinators they’d say, oh no, no, we don’t get involved in that. We don’t get involved in this. And like I say, when I went to the big brands, I wasn’t allowed to get involved in that kind of thing. So I felt like that was missing.
I had the experience and doing it um, I enjoyed doing it. So. I just thought, you know what? I feel like it’s time to go out on my own. And then I am in summer of 2019. I met a fabulous owner from a fabulous catering company or based in Northamptonshire [00:19:00] um, I spoke to him and I said, look, I really want to go self-employed.
Um, but I need, I need something to fall back. I need like something I’m getting busy. I kind of, sorry. I skipped a part. I then when I was at Whittlebury felt like something was missing and set up at the time it was Complete Rose Events, so I was doing it alongside my full-time job. So I was going to the office Monday to Friday for my full-time job.
And then I was, um, after work then doing like my emails and I was taking to be fair. I was taking bookings, I was doing on the day management, but I wasn’t taking any full planning because I didn’t think it was fair on couples to say, oh yeah, you can book me for full planning, but, um, I’m not available Monday to Friday nine till six.
So. Uh, that I just offered on the day management. So I went to this owner of this catering company and I said, look, I’m getting, I’ve started this business alongside my full-time job. I want to do it. Full-time but I need something else. And he said, yeah, of course you can come and freelance and do event management.[00:20:00]
So I went and did literally from the, for the rest of the few months before I quit my job, I went and worked for him every Saturday, managing of weddings. I was doing my full-time job. I was still taking inquiries and doing my business and creating my website and all of these things. And I got to the point where 2020 was so packed with business.
I was like, Yes. and I remember being on a plane, going to New York in December, 2019, and I’d had a few gins and I’d watched a star is born and I had, so I was like, this is it. I’m going to do it. I’m going to quit. I’m going to go back to work in Janaury and I’m going to quit. And that was that moment then I
Becca: absolutely love that.
So there’ll be lots of people listening who are kind of in that position right now, so that they’re doing a job and then they’re running their business on the side. And they’re thinking about. Kind of quitting their job, but it feels really, really scary, but I love what you did is you kind of put in a security blanket with, uh, the catering company, uh, [00:21:00] and that kind of thing.
However, let’s be honest. We’re going to take you from where you were on that plane. You made your plan, you had your backup and then something unexpected happened. You quit your job. And then all of a sudden there was a global pandemic. Tell me about.
Hannah: So I quit my job in, as in I handed my notice in, in January, I had to give two months notice, um, my due date to leave.
My date to leave was the 25th of March. And we went into Lock Down on the 20th of March. So Boris told us on the Friday night we’re shutting down the country down. I was due to leave the following Wednesday. It was like, I’m, I’m not gonna lie. I was one of those people that was, like I said, worked in hotels for 12 years.
Everybody was panicking. Everybody was like, oh my God, like the world is going to be shut down. I didn’t really even flag about COVID to be honest until like March, I don’t know about anybody else, but I didn’t really listen to the news. I didn’t really think a lot of it. And I remember a couple [00:22:00] of weeks before being locked down.
My other half was working in America and he was like, this is getting pretty bad. They’re sending me home. And I was like, oh, It must be bad. They’re sending us home. And I remember everybody panicking the week before we locked down that they’re going to look us down. They’re going to shut the hotel. And I said, guys, I’ve worked in hotels for 12 years.
They don’t even shut the hotels when there’s like foots of snow outside. There’s no way they’re going to shut a hotel for a bit of flu. That was always my mindset. So it wasn’t until the catering company called me a couple of days before and they were like Hannah we are losing weddings. We’re losing weddings.
We’re not going to need you on these dayes, he says, he says, and I was like, okay, well, we’ll keep you updated, but it’s not looking good. Everyone’s panicking. I was like, okay. I don’t know what they’re all panicking about it. It’d be fine. So it wasn’t literally until we locked down that it hit me that this was actually real.
I don’t remember the day. Before Boris announcement. When we all knew it was going to happen sitting in the canteen at work. And [00:23:00] literally just like breaking down, I was just crying because I was like, what am I going to do? Like, I can’t now then obviously not going to let me stay because they feel like they’re going to have to close.
They don’t need me. And. Well, all of my work was then starting to be postponed that all the catering work had gone. All my private work was they were all contacted me to postpone and it wasn’t until then I think that that final week from what I can remember, that it was. That it dawned on me that what was happening
Becca: now for most people at that point, they would have stayed where you were the canteen at that point of breakdown thinking, oh my goodness, it’s all gone wrong.
This was a terrible idea. I should’ve stayed in my normal job. Even my backup plan hasn’t worked out. But I know for a fact, because I remember that time very, very well that that’s not what you did at all. So just talk us through. What you did next, how you kept yourself going through. COVID how you bought income in and how you use that time to benefit your business.
Hannah: I’ll [00:24:00] tell you what I did on Monday morning when everybody was like, wahey we don’t have to go to work. I got out my laptop. My other half actually took over. Which is very annoying. So I’d already set it up, like my office to be like, oh, I’m going self-employed. And so we’ve taken that over because he needs three screens and blah, blah boring.
And so I found somewhere else to work from in my house. I got my laptop out. I got myself up, I went to my desk at 9:00 AM, as I usually would. I cracked on and I joined your group and I joined, um, some other groups on Facebook and I was like, right, what can I do? So I put out there that I would do these like free.
Lives on Instagram to help people. And I got really up to speed with what the, what the actual rules were and the guidance. and I just kept at it. I just kept really in tune with what was happening. Um, and, and, and everything else at that point for me, COVID was the best thing that ever happened to my business, which sounds crazy.
But I didn’t understand, [00:25:00] everybody was offering free training everybody, and I wouldn’t have been in a position at that time to have been paying coaches. To help me. And I was literally signing up to like every business coaches, you know, free sessions on, you know, how you can cope and how to do this and how to do that.
And literally there was so much stuff that I didn’t know. I didn’t have, I was one of those people. In March, 2020, if you’d have said to me, who’s your ideal client? I would have said, well, people that are getting engaged and now somebody says that to me, I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no. So if you’re sitting there now and your ideal client is somebody who’s engaged, please talk to Becca.
because that is not an ideal client. I didn’t know this. I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t know this, I understand massively about branding, and, you know, I’d called myself complete rose events, but that was because that popped into my head on a trip to Norwich one day. And, and my branding was done by a guy that I was in a band with.
And, you know, it was it. Yeah. Nothing was nothing fit properly. [00:26:00] And, uh, you know, I was doing social media as and when, but I hadn’t really thought about what do I want to do when I had 12 years background in hotels? Like I know hotels like the back of my hand. So it’s like, for me, it was the other way around. I had all this experience.
I didn’t need to be able to taught, how to plan a wedding or how to work in a hotel or how to work with venues. I needed to be taught everything else. Like how. Yeah. Find an ideal client and how to use Pinterest I’d never used but I thought Pinterest was where I searched, how to design my nails the next week, you know, and, um, blogging I was blogging regularly and SEO is, is huge and I’m still learning SEO and all of these things,
yeah, I just, I just spent, I mean, I do not remember being bored in lock down and I definitely didn’t bake banana cake, banana cake.
Becca: I don’t think any self-employed person was bored during a lockdown. I feel like we all just went like full out, but like I said, at the [00:27:00] beginning, you’re such an action taker.
And instead of panicking, you realize you could use that time to your advantage. And while you may not have written it that way, if you look back, actually, that did really benefit your business. So you absorbed yourself in learning and learning. Because again, what happens and most people listening may know this as well is you’re really good at what you do.
You are really good at planning. Weddings. People are really good at making cakes or designing flowers, but they’re just, they just don’t understand the business element of it. So. That’s what you up-skilled
Hannah: in and don’t, and don’t get me wrong. Like people are listening here financially. Absolute struggle.
But I do want to add that I was very lucky because Whittlebury did rehire me and I furloughed me until August. So financially, because obviously we were saving money as well. There was a lot of things, you know, you weren’t going out, it was spending money. So we’ll just add that in when people are like, well, how did you live?
Like you do have anybody that wants to quit their job. I’m not telling you to just go and quit your job because that’s impossible. [00:28:00] But there are ways around it. Like if you’re a photographer go and get some dates secured for freelance, go be a second shooter. Like, make sure you have got something else or just go down to like two days a week or have something, but maybe something.
Well, even if you’ve got something you don’t care about as much like the, again, when I was saying I was furloughed and then I had enough business, then thankfully, the world was opening up a slightly little bit in like August 20, 20. So I did some summer weddings. I was doing some freelancing and then I went and worked at Royal mail over winter for three months, because two days a week, Because it was earning me enough money and make sure you know, how much money you need to get by and make sure you are earning that some somehow, whether it’s freelancing, whether it, because everybody in the industry can freelance at the end of the day and every wedding supplier right now is so bogged down and busy.
Go and freelance for them work out? What else are you good out? I then started doing social media for other businesses, because I was like, I’m really good at social media and a lot of people are really [00:29:00] rubbish at social media, so I’ll help them with their social media and make some money. So I think you just need to think about.
Becca: Yeah, absolutely. That’s really important. So during that initial time, I remember you coming to the realization that actually you weren’t for everyone and you wanted to move into more of the luxury end of the market. And what did you do in your business during that time to take yourself from complete rose events to where you are now to start trying to get into that luxury market?
Hannah: Yeah. So first up I hate the word luxury. Sorry. Becca, no, it’s just. Yeah. I don’t know why it’s thought of, it’s just, it’s like higher budget, you know? I don’t think you need to be like, I’m not luxury. I’m a Norfolk girl. And, and when I first, this is the thing, is that when I was like, I want to work in luxury.
I felt like I had to be luxury, let me post that I’ve gone, Yeah, I’ve got some Tiffany jewelry. Let me post that I’m going to Tiffany to get my jewelry cleaned. Then I suddenly realized I need to be luxury. I just want to [00:30:00] work with people that have higher budgets. You don’t need to be luxury. You don’t need to be a luxury business.
You just need to push yourself to work with higher budgets. So I put together some shoots with venues I’ve wanted to work with, because for me also, it wasn’t even necessarily about working with high-end. I wanted to work. Hotels. And I’ve wanted to work with the Savoy, Mandarin Oriental, all of these places.
So I plan shoots with them. And when I say I planned a shoot, I didn’t just email them and say, hi guys, can I come and do a shoot? I went in, I met them and it was a great, this is the other benefit of COVID is that everybody had nothing to do. All these hotels. I was emailing them like, hi, I’m a wedding planner.
I’d love to come in to meet you. And they’re like, yeah, great. Come and meet us because they had the time. Um, so we’d go in, I’d meet them. I’d have a chat with them. I’d build a relationship with them and then I’d be like, oh, it’d be really nice to shoot with you. Let’s do it. And they’d be like, yeah, great.
We haven’t got anything else going on. Obviously now it is a little bit more different, but you can [00:31:00] still do that. You know, winter times in quieter a month, you can still get them and you can still build those relationships. So I just kind of, you know, I used that time to build relationships with venues. And then I also reached out to a lot of luxury suppliers.
I just used the word myself, didn’t I know high-end suppliers. So people I knew that were working with people with a hundred grand budgets and the likes of the Savoy. I found out who these people were and I contacted them. Yeah. I’m not going to lie. I had a lot of people that just ignored me, but I also had the, some amazing people.
Um, people like John Nassari absolutely amazing photographer. And he was like, yeah, let’s jump on a call. And he called me and I was so happy. I got to book him for a wedding this year because he was one of the first people that like actually took me seriously. And didn’t look at me and say, well, you’re already working with people that are, you know, got 30 grand budgets.
Um, um, uh, don’t have any interest in you. He gave me the time of the day and he gave me really good advice. Um, and there was quite a [00:32:00] few people like that. Um, They took me seriously and just, um, would happily go on a zoom call with me and say, well, you need to do this and you need to do this and you need to look at this and you need to look at that.
Yeah, it was just networking just yeah. Helped.
Becca: Definitely. Absolutely. And you know that I’m big on networking now. You also rebranded as well. You changed your business name. Tell me about that.
Hannah: Yeah. So people buy people at the end of the day, and this was Louise Perry, who is another incredible wedding planner.
She is somebody I’m very aspire to. Um, she said to me, but you know, I had a meeting with her and she said, You are the face you are the name people by people. So who is complete rose events? Nobody used to remember either. I’d go to, if somebody introduced me, I’ll never remember. I’ll always never forget, go into a venue.
I’d known this venue really, really well. And they just sat and there was somebody else there and they introduced me and they’re like, oh, this is Hannah Rose. But, and I was like, oh, Hannah Rose, the wedding [00:33:00] planner. And I was like, oh, it’s complete Rose events. Like we used to always have to correct people and say oh yeh it’s complete Rose events
They’re just like, oh, it’s this is Hannah from rose events or they always got it wrong. Um, so I was like, well, I’m just me. I’m just going to brand myself as, as me. I’m me, And not only do I just plan people, you know, I don’t just book people to plan their weddings. I don’t just book people to on the day management, but I do freelance work as well.
So when a venue books me to come and do freelance they are booking me Hannah Rose. So it makes sense. Yeah I was hannah Rose, wedding and events is actually my tagline, my brand is just Hannah Rose, why not?
Becca: I love that. And you also, at that time, decided to invest some money in getting that website branded. Why did you do that?
Hannah: Just because I feel like for as a planner, I mean, you really need to look into your ideal clients. Whoever’s listening to this, but as a planner people, the I’m one of the first points. So for me, it’s really important to connect with venues [00:34:00] because a lot of people will go and find their venue and then say, oh, we really need a planner.
And they’ll then recommend a planner. But also there’s people that the first thing they do is find a planner. So people that I’m targeting who don’t have time because of their jobs, their families, they don’t have time to be looking around for somebody. So they will just go onto Google and type in wedding planner in London, wedding planner in, you know, Birmingham wedding planner in Northamptonshire, they’re not going to be looking around.
They’re not going to be going to Wedding Fairs. They’re not going to be going on directories. They are just going to be trying to find. Um, online. So for me, my first port of call for people is nine times out of 10, my website, so for me, I just knew that that was really important, but that took me a while to grasp as well.
And I’m not gonna, I tried directories, I’ve tried magazines and stuff. Yeah. It didn’t work for me. It’s the same with shoots. The reason I do shoots is to build a connection with a venue. It’s not necessarily to have content, good content because from, from weddings, I mean it helps [00:35:00] content. You have to have good content, you know, on your Instagram.
But, um, yeah, I think you need to really think about the reason that you’re doing things and where these people are coming from.
Becca: Yeah, absolutely. Now I’ve seen you go on this journey and it’s been an absolute privilege to watch you grow and change and take action and do all these things. And there’ll be people listening that struggle with that.
So you’ve been part of my. Um, for the last couple of years, I know you’ve been part of different communities, um, on Facebook and different associations as well. And you’ve invested in that. So for someone that’s sitting there thinking, I just don’t want to invest in anything like that. I’d rather just get on and do it myself.
What have you learned from being part of both my communities and other communities and why do you think that’s an important aspect of what.
Hannah: I think it is important to invest, but I think it’s important to invest in the right people. If you join a membership group and you’re like this just isn’t for me, like, if you feel like the person that [00:36:00] runs.
And then, then just then leave it. Like there’s no point investing your time in something that without people like, I’m still part of Becca’s group, because I think Becca’s fabulous. She helps me a lot. You know, I’m part of Bernadette Chapman’s group, because she’s helped me massively, you know, with difficult situations, she knows how to because she was a planner herself.
So I think it’s really important, you know, I’ve had other coaches and I just haven’t clicked with them. They’re not, they don’t have the same ethos as me. You know, as you know, they believe different things to me. I think that’s really important, but I think it’s important. You don’t need to go and invest, you know, I’ve never spent thousands with, with a coach I’ve only just joined kind of memberships, and I’ve done courses here and there, um, one to ones with Becca, things like that, but I think, um, yeah, do do do it with people that you think,
uh, right for you in your business. And if they’re not then, and you’ve tried it at the end of the day, but there are cheaper ways to do things as well, like membership. So you can go and join, you know, like [00:37:00] Becca’s monthly Facebook group, you know, that kind of thing, because you’re a community because you can then talk to other suppliers and, you know, things like that.
I think you, I don’t, I think people think, oh, to invest in a business coach, I need to go and spend thousands to do their 10 week course. And that was difficult, when the point I was in so when COVID was happening, everybody was doing these free courses. Everybody was pushing there then paid courses, which were very expensive because everybody was suffering because of COVID.
They all needed to make money. And I was at the point where I was. Oh, my God. And I remember the amount of conversations I had with my other half. Like, I need to join this course. It’s 5,000 pounds. Can we afford? And he’s like Hannah are you joking, no. And then even I’ve rang Becca before, and, but like, Becca, I feel like I need to do this course and she’s like, you don’t, you don’t need to do it.
So I think if you ever feel like you’re put in a position where somebody is making you feel like you need to do this because you’re not good enough, unless you do it, then. Because [00:38:00] that’s not the right away.
Becca: That’s a sales tactic,
Hannah: as Becca says, it’s smoke and mirrors. I love that saying from
Becca: Becca it’s all smoke and mirrors.
Yeah. That’s so true. It’s so important to find someone, if you are going to work with someone and these communities, are great places and can be great. To grow your business and to learn from, but you need to find one that’s the right fit and do your research and ask other people that are already in the community as well.
If you, if you meet people or if you meet people ask them if they are part of things, cause they’ll give you a really honest answer about what they think. Okay. So you’ve been in self-employed, uh, what we’ve talked about, a lot of the highlights and the great things you’ve done. What would you say is kind of the biggest struggle for you being self-employed over just working for.
Hannah: Um, I think it is, It can’t be the money thing because, um, I was actually, I was talking to another couple of suppliers about this. It’s really easy when you’re working for a venue when a magazine comes along or I dunno, you want to do a Facebook ad or something like that. [00:39:00] It’s not your money. So it’s so easy to just go, oh yeah, we’ll trial that.
We’ll try that. But when it’s your own money, It’s really. I dunno. I just find it really difficult to part with my money if I don’t think it’s the right thing, but then maybe that could be a strength because in, or it could be a positive because in a way you’re not just, you know, you’re not just throwing money at anything but the same time when you’re working in venue.
It’s great. Cause you can try it. Yeah. That works really well. So we’ll do that magazine again or, yeah, but when you’re self-employed to have the funds to just go yeah. We’ll just try all that. That is difficult. Making that decision. I’m not the best decision maker. I’m not going to lie. It’s one of my weaknesses, um, making decisions on things I’ve really struggled with because at the end of the day, if I didn’t make the decision.
No one else is going to make a decision. You know, I have to make a decision. If I put that money into that advert, that’s 500 pounds and it doesn’t give me any business. That’s my fault. It’s nobody else’s fault. It’s not my fault, but you know, I’ve made that decision. I’ve lost that money, whereas when I was working in a Hotel, but I’ll [00:40:00] okay.
Well, we just won’t do that again. No biggie, but yeah, I think that’s, that’s the big difficulty. I think also it’s difficult is that. It’s like I say, like you it’s your business. So if you know the amount of times I say to people, if I do it, no one else is going to do it. So if I go on a holiday and I get an email inquiry, come through, who’s going to do it, me.
If nobody, if I’m not there, and I think that’s the biggest thing that people don’t understand. It doesn’t matter how high up you are in your job. I know I’ve had this conversation with so many people who are in high, big jobs, big, important jobs in the company, and like, be you’ll never understand unless self-employed because there’s always someone that you can put your out of office to when you go on holiday but I don’t have that.
Becca: Yeah, that is so, so true. So one of the things that I know lots of people struggle with and, um, owning your own business is staying motivated. And like we talked about earlier during COVID, you could have been really [00:41:00] de-motivated and I think we all had times of motivation. De-motivation what do you personally do when you’re struggling, owning your own business?
Maybe things aren’t going well, maybe things are going well, you’re just too busy. What do you do to stay motivated and to keep going?
Hannah: Yeah, I think that’s so true. I think there always are moments where you have, where you’re just not motivated. And I kind of feel that you just need to rock with it a little bit because sometimes you have a day or week when you’re a bit unmotivated.
Just go with it. If you want to have just have a bit of time out, it probably means that you’re probably burned out and need a bit of time out. Um, if it drags on longer than that. Yeah, I think you need, I know, I remember, um, having a right good old cry to you last year, Becca, actually on one of our sessions, um, because I’d been feeling unmotivated for a couple of weeks.
So I did some exercises. Um, I did, um, probably Becca probably told me to do this. I got my whiteboard out and wrote everything about what about like how far have I come? I think you, it sounds so like people [00:42:00] say this all the time. It genuinely does work. Look at how far you’ve come. Like from nothing. You’ve built it up, like what you’ve achieved.
Um, you know, I’ve just, I, one wedding planner of the year, um, uh, for south England a few months ago. And I think you have to look at things like that, and that’s huge. Like I, didn’t never in a million years expected to win that. So I need to look at that and go, wow, that’s a big achievement. So, you know, You need to be the way that I got there.
It was from being motivated. So you’ve got to pick it up, you know, and things like I’ve got sticky notes all over my wall, right in front of me with things I’ve got coming up. I’m going to, to Spain with my girls in July. Um, as in my friends, I didn’t have children. I’m going to Italy with my other half in October, I’m going to see Chicago in July.
Let things like this. I’m like, yeah, these are all really nice things that are happening in my life and then the nice things that happen in the business, because let’s all face it. There’s the good things. And then there’s the really rubbish things. There’s like the nice cities. And then there’s the things that I cannot be bothered to do and [00:43:00] procrastinate all day.
So, you know, think about those nice things you’ve got coming up in those businesses, in your business, those nice network and events, or there’s nice away days, or, you know, that venue, uh, that you’ve been wanting to work at for ages. You’ve got a wedding booked there. I think that’s the best way. I think sometimes you just beat yourself up too much, not being motivated.
And I think when you’re feeling unmotivated in your business, the position I was in last year, when I felt really down was I was not motivated in anything. And I think that’s when you need to like, reach out to somebody else. But some days I have where I’m not motivated in my business, but I’m really motivated in the gym.
So I’ll just go do a really good gym session or I could be the opposite and totally unmotivated at the gym, but I, all I keep thinking about is new ideas for the business. So I think. You just need to take some time out or yeah.
Becca: Yeah. Really, really helpful advice. Now before we finish, we are going to do my quick fire quiz, which I do with all my interview guests.
So I’m going to give you two options. You’ve just got to give me your first [00:44:00] response so we can get to know you a little bit better. Okay. Are you ready? Uh,
Hannah: yeah, I’m ready. I’m ready.
Becca: Okay. Here we go. Would you prefer to have a Barn wedding or Manor house wedding Manor House do you prefer live music or.
Live music. Are you light and airy or dark and moody, darker, moody summer wedding or winter? Summer chocolate cake or lemon cake lemon, Instagram
Hannah: or Facebook,
Becca: Instagram wedding fair, or wedding directory. So
Becca: Early riser or night owl. Early riser, work too hard or easily distracted, too hard.
Well done. You survived the quickfire wedding quiz, Hannah, before we finish our interview today, I’d love for you to just share again, a question I ask all my interview guests, what is the one piece of advice you wish you knew earlier on in your wedding business?
Hannah: Oh, well, I think we’ve touched on this already.
It’s just like, like network [00:45:00] work hard. Realize that you never going to, you can’t just put your business down, it’s you, it’s your business and it’s always going to be in your head. You are always going to have ideas. Um, yeah. I’d, I’d say that my biggest thing would be to learn all areas. Exactly as I touched on.
When I first went self employed, there was so much stuff I didn’t know. And always remember that you’re always learning every day is a learning day. So yeah. Make sure that you just invest in yourself, investing in learning. Yeah, keep going, keep going, because just visualize where you want to be. And you’ve got to work hard to get there.
I’m not where I want to be at. I’m still fighting the good fight to get there. So just keep going. Just keep going, be more
Becca: Hannah and take action, because you can learn all the things, but if you don’t take action.
Hannah: Yeah, don’t be scared. Like I see so many people, I just don’t have the confidence to just have the bloody confidence in yourself.
You have to be confident in yourself. Love yourself. Cause you. That’s the basis. Love yourself, have [00:46:00] confidence in yourself. And it’ll just grow from then, because what is the worst anyone’s going to say to you is no reach out to a venue. They say no. Oh, well, their loss, you know, Absolutely
Becca: love that. Hannah, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
If people want to find out more about you, where’s the best place to contact you?
Hannah: Probably Instagram it’s at Hannah Rose weddings or my website www.hannahroseweddings.co.uk
Becca: thanks for your time. Always a pleasure to, it’s always such a pleasure to talk to Hannah and I hope you’ve been inspired by her story and her action taking as much as I always am.
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