Call the Midwife Event Planner!

Sometimes it is hard to believe that I have been doing this job for over 11 years now – time really does fly by when you are always working at least 12 months in advance, and non stop busy to boot!

It is always interesting to see peoples reactions when I tell them what I do for a living – not least when I tell them I plan about 50 weddings a year! From being impressed to downright horrified, and every emotion in between!

When I am asked what I like most about the job the answer is easy – it is the sense of being part of a community, and of course helping couples plan one of the most important days of their lives.

I know for some living in London can be a lonely experience. But I honestly feel like I live in a village! In day to day life I am rarely more than 2 or 3 miles from home!  I live just 1 mile from work, the venue I plan weddings for (The Horniman Museum & Gardens) is just up the road, and my daughters both go to local schools. The Horniman Museum is a place I have often visited over the past 20 years with my partner, my children and ‘mummy mates’ (though those coffee and cake meet ups seem a long time ago now that my youngest is 10 years old!).

My job gives me a huge amount of satisfaction because not only do I help to make lots of wedding dreams into a reality but also because 100% of the venue hire couples pay when they book the venue is used in order to fund many of the Museums special events and exhibitions. The Horniman is a huge benefit to the local community, and every private hire event that takes place there is helping to fund it’s future – what could be better?

I am also lucky because a lot of the people who book the venue are local so I get to bump into former brides and grooms quite often, sometimes with new additions to the family when I am out and about. We have even had the odd ex Bride call in on her way to or from Peckam Park with a new baby in a pram and there is nothing nicer than to give them a big hug and reminisce about their big day.

Before I wrote this I was googling for a bit of inspiration, and I looked up what “being part of a community means”, one of the answers was a list of benefits for entrepreneurs who join a business community, but reading it I thought to myself, this could just as easily be tweaked to be a list of reasons to book Suzanne James for your wedding or event:

  • Learning from each other’s mistakes – instead should read – we will support and advise you so that you don’t make many of the most common (and expensive) mistakes
  • Exchanging tips of the trade – instead should read – We will give you lots of tips and tools to make planning your event easier
  • Passing on knowledge – instead should read – This is probably your first time, but we have done this many, many times before, so let us share our knowledge with you to make your day as good as it can be.
  • Making connections – instead should read – We have an amazing list of useful contacts that we are happy to share with you; reliable, professional florists, DJs, Photographers, Bands…..the list is endless!

I take huge pride in my job – enthusiasm, attention to detail and a little bit (OK a lot) of OCD make for excellent event planning, even if it means I don’t get to switch off very often, even when I am supposed to be away from work!

Over the years I have been privileged to plan so many wonderful weddings, and to meet clients that I will never, ever forget -plus  a few have become firm friends!

I don’t quite fit into the ‘traditional’ community role of Priest, Midwife or Doctor, but I do love my little corner of South London and I am very glad to be a part of it!