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Brides pick up secrets on course
THE organiser of a ‘wedding planner school’ has seen a huge surge in brides enrolling on the course, despite it being aimed at industry professionals. 
Somerset-based wedding and event planner Amber Hunter, who founded the school in 2000, said brides have been taking the two-day course to help them to plan their own wedding more capably and economically. 
She said: “I had a vision of improving industry standards by training new entrants in the market how to event plan to the best possible level. 
“It was never our intention to attract brides, and we weren’t sure about it when we had our first enquiry but we have had really good feedback. The new breed of entrants is taking up places fast.” 
Once the course has been completed the students – including the brides – receive a 12 month mentoring scheme where advice and support is given, therefore helping their wedding to be planned and executed perfectly. 
The courses are held across the country in several different cities including Bath, Swindon, Leicester, Chelmsford, Manchester, Hertford and Edinburgh.  
They aim to cover all aspects of planning weddings from start to finish including sections on venue sourcing, price negotiation, budgeting, problem solving, how to avoid disasters and how to set up a business.  
There is also the option of a home study course, where trainees can correspond with tutors through email and post.

Apple theme a-peels to judges
A CHESTERFIELD wedding planner is celebrating after receiving a top industry award. 
Hannah Skinner of Little Fish Events walked away with Wedding Planner of the Year at the Yorkshire Brides Wedding Industry Awards, held in Harrogate.  
Hannah, who has run Little Fish for four years, said: “I can’t tell you how happy I am to win the award, I’m still on cloud nine. I absolutely didn’t expect to win. 
“We are only a small company – a little fish in a big pond – and this is a fantastic way of raising our profile.” 
Wedding planners were invited to nominate themselves for the award by designing an imaginary Autumn wedding with a set budget and Hannah used an apple theme to make hers stand out from the competition. 
Her award was presented by celebrity stylist Bradley Taylor. 
Other winners at the awards – which aim to recognise bridal industry talent in Yorkshire – included Wrap It, Truly Scrumptious, Rudding Park Hotel and Pure Anticipation. 
The ceremony were designed to recognise the services wedding companies provide to brides and grooms to make their big day a dream come true.  
Yorkshire Brides show director Cathy McConaghy added: "This was our second Wedding Industry Awards and it was a terrific evening. It is great for our region's wedding suppliers to gain the recognition they deserve and be given this prestigious accolade.”  

Most brides fail to think eco-friendly on big day
JUST one in five brides consider the environment when planning their big day, according to the results of a new survey. 
Research by Wedding Chaos revealed that 21.2 per cent of those polled think about the environmental impact of tying the knot, and just over one in ten saying it was worth the extra cost to their wedding. 
But over half of brides admitted to not giving the environment a second thought when planning their wedding, citing too much cost or ‘too much effort’ as their reasons. 
However eco-friendly wedding planner Helen Molyneux of Boutique Weddings believes the figures are encouraging. 
She said: “More and more people are starting to think about their impact on the environment in everyday life and this is now starting to be reflected in the amount of people who want to continue that ethos and respect on their special day. 
“The perfect celebration in our eyes is when a couple is blissfully content with their day, whilst also having a positive impact on planet and people.”

Life's a beach for runaway bride Sharon
A GLOUCESTER bride has won the wedding of a lifetime, after a local radio station challenged her to get as far away as possible in 24 hours, armed with just a ten pound note and a mobile phone. 
Sharon Stafford won the Runaway Bride competition – hosted by Severn Sound – by travelling a total of 1465 miles in a wedding dress and trainers, to end up on a beach in Benidorm. 
Sharon and fellow finalist Katie Wint were challenged to make it as far away from the station headquarters in Gloucester as possible in a day using only public transport, with the winner receiving an all expenses paid wedding courtesy of a local hotel Bishopswood House. 
Accompanied by a chaperone from the station, Sharon begged staff at Birmingham airport to give her a free flight, which took her business class to Milan, then on to Valencia in Spain. 
Using her last few euros, Sharon took the bus to Benidorm where she made it to the beach with a cocktail for the 8am deadline. 
Unfortunately Katie, who had less luck when it came to begging for free flights, made it just 35 miles away to Bristol airport. 
Sharon’s prize includes a wedding breakfast for 60 people, bespoke bouquet, photography package, manicure and facial products, wedding cake and vouchers for dress and grooms formal hire. 
Sharon and fiancee Colin, who have been together 18 years, will travel by helicopter to Bishopswood House, where the ceremony and reception will take place. 
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