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The news for our team + our industry has been a little somber across the board as of late… but we’ve been keeping an exciting secret that we are now able to share! MARGOT IS BACK IN VANCOUVER!!!!

Yes you read that right, like she is full time back in Vancouver. While the past 3 years of her living in the United Kingdom leading the charge of #PPEUK (our UK branch) seems to have flashed before my eyes, it felt painstakingly long while she was away!

We always knew she would return – the return date was just never set in stone and unexpectedly the stars aligned for the time to be now. The original plan was for her to come back this Summer for a couple of months to execute some weddings she had in Vancouver and support the rest of our team for what was supposed to be the busiest Summer we’ve ever had (now the slowest Summer ever!) but then she was to return to Europe to execute a few more weddings she had in the works, including one in Italy. Of course the pandemic has affected weddings worldwide so postponements and cancellations followed, and with International travel being questionable for the foreseeable future, her 2 week long trip to Vancouver in early March turned permanent.

Well a silver lining has come out of these crazy times and we are so excited to have Margot back here in Vancouver! That said, we are not letting her valuable UK + European wedding experience + amazing vendor relationships go to waste – we are 100% continuing to offer our #PPEUK services in both the UK + Europe so if you are looking to work with a BC-based planner who knows the UK + EU wedding industry, Margot is your gal!

We put together a short Q&A so you can hear a little bit more about her time abroad and a few tips about getting married in the UK! Throughout the post we’ve included a couple images from many of the gorgeous weddings + styled shoots she was a part of. Help me in giving Margot a warm welcome home!!

Photos by Rocksalt Photography

How long exactly did you live in London + what was your favourite part about living there?

My London adventure lasted just over three years and while I spent the first year based mostly in Vancouver and travelling back and forth constantly, the last two years I was fully based in the UK. It was such a fun experience and I absolutely loved how easy it was to travel -both throughout the UK and into Europe. This translated so well into weddings, taking me across the UK and over to places like Ireland and Greece.

Boheme Workshops in Greece – Photos by Vasia Photography

What are a few of the biggest differences between the how the wedding industry (as a whole) works in the United Kingdom versus in British Columbia (Canada)?

When I first moved to London I honestly wasn’t really sure what to expect from the UK wedding market and unsurprisingly things vary quite a bit between London and the countryside. The biggest takeaway though is that, on the whole, weddings in the UK often tend to be a bit more traditional than here in BC. Here our couples are used to being able to marry wherever they want (inside a ballroom, out in a field, up a tree? whatever you want, we can make it happen!) whereas in the UK there are stricter rules. I think this trickles down into the overall approach and often couples feel that they have to pick between one or two options instead of letting their creativity loose and customizing to their hearts content!

Photos by Rachel Takes Pictures

How does the role of a Wedding Planner/Coordinator or Designer differ between the two countries?

All in all I’d say that the Planner’s role isn’t really all that different between here and the UK but I did find that couples aren’t as used to the idea of hiring a planner and often stick to the venue’s standard coordination services. It’s an exciting time for the wedding industry in the UK though (corona virus aside!!!) and planners are becoming more and more common, leading to couples feeling more confident to branch out and really start expressing themselves through unique planning and design choices.

Photos by The Love Factory Photographers

What was a highlight from a wedding or styled shoot that immediately comes to mind?

This is so hard as each shoot was completely different and allowed me to meet + work with a new amazing set of suppliers or try out a different venue style, etc. My UK shoots took me everywhere from a quirky former Old Village B&B, to the limestone coast of Sussex and a beautifully modern barn conversion in the countryside. The opportunity to be inspired by each of these drastically different locations was so much fun and really got my creative wheels turning!

Photos by Kaoverii Silva

What was one of the greatest challenges you had to deal with?

I think the biggest challenge was really just landing in a completely new country with a wedding industry that was also totally new to me. I worked my butt off to make new contacts and familiarize myself with not just a new country but also new rules, processes and wedding culture. It was a ton of work but it was also really energizing and now I know that I can basically plan a wedding anywhere 😉 So with that in mind… where’s next??

Photos by John Nassari

Of the venues you worked at in the UK, which was a favourite and why? And since we will still be offering our services in the UK, what are some other venues you’d love to work at?!

One of the best parts of digging into the UK wedding market was alllllll of the great venues. They’re just so different than what we have here in Canada and run the gamut all the way from royal city elegance, like Spencer House, to relaxed country barn conversions like Primrose Hill Farm or The Giraffe Shed . I really only had time to skim the surface and can’t wait to go back and help more awesome couples find their dream
venue! One in particular that I was trying to check out was Aynhoe Park -a venue like no other, mixing the grandeur of a country estate with quirky, modern aesthetics (let’s just say there’s a floating giraffe in the Orangery…)

Photos by Nigel John

What are some of the best wedding resources in the UK for couples to refer to?

There are lots of great blogs that focus on the UK wedding scene. Two of my favourites are Love My Dress and Bride & Tonic!

Photos by Manon Pauffin Photography

Any high level tips you’d share with couples considering eloping or getting married in the UK? ie. legal marriage process details or something couples may not be aware of?

Even for Brits getting married in the UK is a little more complicated than it is in Canada. First off, you have to present yourself at your local registrar’s office at least 28 days before you plan to get married to officially “give notice”. Beyond that though, if you’re not getting married in a church your venue must be registered to hold legal civil ceremonies and two registrars, working together, must be present.

For Canadians things get a little more complicated! You’ll need to obtain a Visa to legally marry in the UK and still have to physically present yourselves at the registrars office 28 days prior to when you intend to marry (some times you’ll be required to give 71 days notice though…). So, a pre-planning trip is required but to make it even more complicated you must be “resident” in the area for a min of 7 days before you can give notice. For travellers this means being in town for a week prior to your appointment with the registrars office and you’ll need to be able to provide some kind of proof of this residency (like a letter from your hotel on your letterhead). With all of that in mind I highly suggest that my North American couples hold their legal ceremony at home first and then head over to the UK for the fun part 😉

Photos by Tomasz Kornas

For fun, give us a taste of some British lingo you had to get used to!

– Wedding Breakfast (your reception dinner… dinner being referred to as breakfast really threw me for a loop!)
– Poseur Tables (high tops… to pose at? lol)
– “That’s totally pants” (that’s ridiculous)
– “I’ve got to spend a penny (go to the bathroom)
– “Give me a ring” (call me)
– “Having a good ol’ chinwag” (gossiping)

Photos by Maxeen Kim

See more of our #PPEUK work featured on:

Love My Dress

Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

100 Layer Cake

The Wedding Academy – The Wedding Trend Report 2020

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