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Why charitable Sonia seeks
By Mary Ferguson 
A NORTH London wedding planner is holding an 'afternoon of wedding inspiration' to showcase her services and raise money for charity. 
Sonia Abrams of Sparkle and Wow has organised the event in aid of Cancer Research UK, and to fill a gap in the market for high-end local wedding shows. 
Exhibitors will include John Lewis, Bang and Olufsen, The Van Hage Garden Company and Pronuptia, and a number of masterclasses will be hosted by Sonia and a selection of her key suppliers. 
She said: 'I held a similar event last year as a way of launching my business, so I am building on that success and organising something on a bigger scale. 
'We wanted to put on a wedding afternoon that wasn't a traditional fair as people get so sick of those. Our aim is to inspire and help couples reduce that wedding to-do list, as well as creating a buzzing and vibrant atmosphere.' 
The two-day show will be held at the end of February at West Lodge Park Hotel in Hertfordshire, where over 500 people are expected to pass through the doors. 
As well as exhibitors and masterclasses there will also be a catwalk showcasing luxury bridalwear, and ten per cent of all ticket sales go to charity. 
Sonia added: 'Ultimately I'd like to recreate Battersea's Designer Wedding Show but on a smaller scale. It's a great marketing activity for me as I get to do a presentation to the brides and their families, and hopefully change people's perceptions of wedding planning. 
'It's also really great to be able to do something for charity and ticket sales have far exceeded my expectations.' 
Sparkle and Wow have also teamed up with Champney's Health Resorts to launch 'Pamper and Plan Weekends', where brides can relax with Sonia and solve any pre-wedding worries. It's also an opportunity for both the bride and groom's mothers to come together and bond before the big day.
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