Hiring a Wedding Planner – Who, What, Why, When & Where


Images by Hannah Duffy Photography.

I’m feeling all kinds of emotional this morning and I’ll tell you why…

Today is the first post of the New Year from my dear friend Katrina Otter. Kat is our resident wedding planner here at Coco Wedding Venues and she provides us with a wealth of planning tips and advice on these very pages. But she also happens to be the Wedding Planner of the Year 2017 as of last week’s The Wedding Industry Awards and I was there to scream, clap and ugly cry at this brilliant announcement.

This award-winning planner has the most incredible vision but her skills are firmly rooted in the logistics, schedules and spreadsheets that are the backbone of your wedding day. Planning a wedding can be quite a daunting process and for some couples this might be the very first (and only!) time they try to organise such a big event. If you’re finding yourself a little lost right now then this feature is perfect for you as Kat will be taking you through the 5 w’s of hiring a Wedding Planner – who, what, why, when & where.

We hope this post offers some guidance about what Wedding Planners do and if their services are something you feel you require, we’ve also included links to some of our absolute faves for you to research. To kick things off we have a beautiful behind-the-scenes film by Roost Film Co. from a private garden wedding Kat planned last Summer. This couple are also quite special to us as we introduced Claire & Tom to Katrina and together they created a truly stunning day.

So press play and see the role of a Wedding Planner in action!

The Five W’s to Hiring a Wedding Planner!


A big hello, a belated Happy New Year from Katrina Otter Weddings and welcome to my first wedding planning feature for 2017!

If you’re recently engaged (congratulations BTW!), new to the world of wedding planning or a newbie to the beautifully stylish pages of inspirational pretty here on Coco then here’s a quick re-cap about me and my partnership with Coco Wedding Venues

  • I’m an independent Wedding Planner and have been organising weddings throughout the UK since 2012.
  • I’m one half of Coco & Kat – Creative Direction for Wedding Venues & Beyond.

And in 2017 we’ve got some more deliciously detailed and essential collaborative planning features in store for you, covering everything from roles and responsibilities to a three-part series with florist supremo Jay Archer.

Kicking off our 2017 series is today’s feature, the five W’s to hiring a Wedding Planner.

I have to be honest with you, today’s feature has been a rather long time in the making and one that I’ve postponed for at least a year now!


Well, over the years that I’ve been working as a Wedding Planner I’ve met with, learnt from, collaborated with, supported, mentored, listened to, socialised with and formed friendships with some truly incredible and inspirational UK and destination Wedding Planners.

As a profession, we work incredibly long and unsociable hours, our job can often be stressful, tiring and frustrating, we’re on call 24/7, we go above and beyond for our clients and we do all of this with a constant and unwavering sense of calm and positivity.

It’s because of all of this that I’ve procrastinated – I desperately want to do justice to this feature, our profession, the role we play and the work we do and of course to my wedding planning colleagues, mentors and friends.

So, it’s finally time to stop procrastinating (one of my 2017 wedding planning resolutions) and breakdown the Who, What, Why, When and Where to hiring a Wedding Planner…


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HOT Wedding Venue Trends for 2017


Image by Kristen Marie Parker.

Our couples (that’s you by the way!) know what they like. They have their own individual styles but keep an eye on emerging trends from fashion, interiors and design. They of course want their wedding & their wedding venue to reflect all of this and more…

The venue search is one of the very first steps of wedding planning and it’s often the point at which you’ll feel those first stressful ‘planning’ moments where it seems the venue of your dreams just doesn’t exist. The wish list that you can find yourself penning prior to the search can be, let’s say, optimistic. Sound familiar…? Well don’t worry, I’ve been there myself.

The crushing reality is that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ venue but I can say with confidence that you will always find the right venue that gives you all the feels and connects with your big day plans. So whenever I tell a newly engaged bride-to-be to relax, breathe and enjoy the venue search journey I really mean it. It’s a wonderfully romantic part of the planning process.

So shall we take a look at what we predict you’ll be loving this year in the world of wedding venues…?


We know that our couples will visit on average 4 locations before they find ‘the one’ and a relaxed affair with family & friends is still the top priority for wedding days so couples are wanting to find a venue they feel at home in – warm, welcoming and super friendly.

In 2016 we saw the rise of the ‘back-garden wedding’ where the at-home vibe overflowed. This isn’t going away for 2017, but not all couples are fortunate enough to have a tipi-sized field as a garden so we’re seeing home-from-home venues becoming increasingly popular. One such venue is the wonderful Weekend Weddings at The Copse.

Here you can be as formal or as laid back as you like. Here you can choose all your suppliers and organise your reception your way. Here you can stay with 18 guests and relax and enjoy getting ready for your wedding, staying three nights at the weekend, or one or two nights in the week.

Luxe Woods

Sticking with the outdoor trend, we love the strong statement greens making an appearance in Pantone’s 2017 colours. So where better to find this trend than in the woods, but not just any ol’ woods, I’m talking luxe woods.

Hygge has been a key word on everyone’s lips and it continues into the wedding world. Think log cabins, toasty wood burners and secret woodland hangouts where there’s an abundance of blankets, kisses and whiskey.

Sound like your kind of thing…? Then fforest weddings are the ultimate woodland wedding venue. The 200 acres of fforest farm are part of an area of unspoilt natural beauty, wrapped in woods, wildlife and wonder. fforest Farm is the perfect location for a relaxed, informal, weekend-long celebration with family and friends. It’s yours for the weekend with its choice of event spaces from giant hat tipis, dining and party barns, garden pavilion, private tiny stone pub, large communal firepit and secret woodland sauna.

This is what I mean when I say Luxe Woods!

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How to use ‘Greenery’ in your Wedding Day Décor


Image by Carey Sheffield Photography.

If you’ve just started researching weddings hoping to find a spark of inspiration for your own big day, then you’ve no doubt come across the word ‘Greenery‘. Highlighted as Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2017 it’s a colour that’s set to be big for the year ahead, in fact we were crushing on this particular hue in our 2017 Wedding Trend Report just a few weeks ago.

However, on first glance, this colour might seem a little bit daunting and a whole lot of bright. Well, to tone everything down a little and to show you how to incorporate this colour in your wedding day flowers and décor we have one of our fave florists on hand to help.

Over to the wonderful Joanne Truby Floral Design

How to use ‘Greenery’ in your wedding day décor



Each year we eagerly anticipate news from Pantone announcing their ‘colour of the year’ for the year ahead. Always guaranteed to filter through to fashion and home interiors the colour also plays a pivotal role in shaping the wedding trends for the year to come.

Last years dual combination Rose Quartz and Serenity got us all awash with pastels but this years bright injection of Greenery makes a beautiful bright contrast which can be incorporated into so many aspects of your big day. A refreshing and revitalising shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings – what could be more suited to the day that marks the beginning of the rest of your life!

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Be a Guest at Pynes House


Feature Image by WOOKIE Photography | Bedroom Images by Paul Ryan-Goff.

Hidden for more than 70 years, the 18th Century servant accommodation at Pynes House has been lovingly restored to provide six further luxurious guest rooms.

Pynes House are delighted to announce the restoration of the old servant accommodation on the top floor at Pynes House, with stunning results. The refurbishment of these further 6 bedrooms brings the total to 12 double rooms available to hire for weddings or special weekends.

Each room has been individually designed and styled by interior designer, Holly Keeling, to incorporate Lewis & Wood wallpapers, beautiful fabrics and vintage pieces. Untouched for 70 years, every effort was made to retain the authentic feel of the spaces with original features ranging from distressed beams to servant bells rivalling those of Downton Abbey. Guests can enjoy the character and stunning views alongside contemporary styling, including super luxurious bathrooms.

Now I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent a night in their luxury bridal suite, but my heart is very much longing to return to be a guest once again!

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Raw Love at Brinkburn Northumberland


Image by Georgina Harrison Photography.

If you’ve just started your venue search I do hope you’ve come across the delicious Brinkburn Northumberland. If not, then this is the moment you’ll fall in love with this magical location.

Styled to perfection by Helen from The Wedding Bazaar and captured by Georgina Harrison Photography, this styled wedding shoot will truly inspire your planning! So get those Pinterest fingers at the ready, there’s so much to love!

From sexy florals, Valentino rockstuds, touches of black and gold to twirling Halfpenny London gowns…

Notes from The Wedding Bazaar


Nestled amongst breathtaking scenery and picturesque river walks… Brinkburn definitely makes your heart skip a beat and allows your imagination to go wild at the endless beauty of this country estate venue.

With a perfect neutral palette in the aptly named white room; the inspiration behind this shoot was all about dark hues of black and gold, soft feminine hints of pink and decadent dipped feathers. We wanted raw love with dramatic gowns meets elegant simplicity.

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