Guest Blog | Ladybelle Weddings

Think you don’t need a wedding planner? Read about Michelle before you make your mind up. You might be surprised about the many different ways that she can help.

A little bit about Michelle

My name is Michelle, (that’s me above at one of my Christmas Eve weddings where the bride and groom hired reindeer for the children to pet and feed, it was an amazing surprise) I am 35, I live in Manchester with my husband of almost 10 years and our two children. I was born in Canada and moved to the UK when I was 4. My passion for weddings began when I was 11 and a bridesmaid for the first time for my cousin, I loved everything about the day and I loved being a part of it. My next experience with a wedding was 13 years later when I began to plan my own, I did everything from making the invites to checking the room was set out how it should be and how I wanted it. I wish I’d have thought of becoming a wedding planner back then. I have now been in the wedding industry for 10 years as I started out making wedding invitations and doing wedding makeup. But I found that I was spending more and more time helping people plan their day and realised that this is what I was good at, so I took the plunge and set up Ladybelle Weddings in 2013. It was the best thing I did and I absolutely love my job.

How do couples benefit from your service?

Couples benefit from my services in a few different ways, depending on the level of help they require from me. I canCelebrant Manchester Blog | Unity Civil Celebrancy help them from the beginning of their plans right the way through to the wedding day. If they are half way through their plans I can take over them and help right the way through to the wedding day or I can help them on the day. One thing that is consistent is that no matter how much help they require they will all receive a professional and friendly service.

I keep in regular contact with the couple and they have the final say on everything to do with their wedding day, I don’t take over and I am not pushy. I am there to help and advise them. Think of me as your middle person, the person who you can scream and shout it if it all gets too much.

What do you love most about your work?

Ooooooh that’s a hard question. It’s one I am asked a lot and if I am totally honest there isn’t one specific thing I like I love it all. I love the planning, the preparation and the wedding day. I love sitting and chatting my couples and finding out bits about them and how they met.

I suppose If I have to choose I would say I love the day the most when I see all the hard work and preparation come together, the family and friends of the couple enjoying everything they have planned for their big day. I love that moment when the couples see’s each other for the first time, it’s so special and you can see the love for each other, I’m very privileged to witness that moment.

What will couples get for their money?

When you hire Ladybelle Weddings, you are hiring a first class service without the first class price tag. I will help and guide you with your wedding plans. I will be as involved as you want me to be. I have a long list of reputable companies who I have worked with and can trust to make your day special. I will negotiate all quotes for you ensuring you get the best price. When it comes to the wedding day I am there as your eyes and ears making sure everything is as you want it to be and that you have the most wonderful day that you deserve. I am contactable every day and with unlimited contact you are safe in the knowledge that I am looking after your day as if it were my own.

How creative can couples be with their wedding?

I encourage my couples to be creative when it comes to their wedding day. They can be asCelebrant Manchester Blog | Unity Civil Celebrancy creative and as innovative as they like, the possibilities really are endless. For example, I have had a couple who had a wedding in their parent’s field with old bath tubs filled with bottles of beer and bales of hay. As you can see in the image at the top of the page, one couple wanted Reindeer after the ceremony with Elves and Father Christmas. I believe your wedding day should be reflective of what you like as a couple and as individuals in some way. The couple that you can see on the right, Olah and Bola had a Civil Wedding then had a religious blessing and changed into their traditional African wedding attire.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a couple, what would it be?

Hire a Wedding planner!! It will give you that freedom to carry on with your day-to-day life without the worry of rushing home to get hold of the venue, or photographer before they close. I will take care of all that.

Be organised too, if you don’t have a wedding planner then sign up for my tips on my website its FREE and will help you along the way.


Liz Thompson is a Civil Celebrant based in Manchester in the UK and working across the North West of England, Liz creates unique and personal ceremonies and services for life events such as Weddings, Civil Partnerships, Baby naming, Vow Renewal and many more. Follow Liz on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest

Guest Blog | Jo Gendle Films

Quirky Weddings | Unity Civil Celebrancy Jo and I met at a networking event and realised we had a lot in common, a love of all things creative, getting to know people and having the odd pint to name but a few! We have become friends and I for one can’t wait for the opportunity to work on the same ceremony or event. We had a right good chat over a couple of drinks.

Something about you and why you became a videographer?

Ok Liz well I’m Jo and I run Jo Gendle Films, I create wedding films that are Colorful, Quirky and contemporary you won’t have seen wedding videos with my touch of originality before. I have been making films for 15 years so rest assured you’re in good creative hands when you work with me. After graduating from Staffordshire University in 2004 with an honors degree in Media Production I went on to have films and documentaries featured in many film festivals across the UK. I also won the BBC Guerilla Prize award for my camera work on a foreign documentary, which I am immensely proud of. I decided in 2013 to set up my own videography business creating wedding videos with my own unique take on it. I’d seen a lot of wedding videos that were very dated and a bit boring to be honest! I thought it’s about time someone injected some personality and modernism into them.

Couples will find that I give a really personal approach

Well Liz when you work with me you’re getting a Film Maker to capture your wedding and not a bog standard videographer who only films weddings. Celebrant Manchester | Unity Civil Celebrancy Having worked in the media industry for sometime I have a unique take on how to capture and edit stories into a film that’s very different to most Wedding films out there. Couples will find that I give a really personal approach, I take the time to get to know you and hence best represent you on film. Everything in your film is designed to be about you both from the music the styling effects and titles, these all tell the story of your day.

Every time I send a DVD off I can’t wait to hear the feedback

I love nothing more than telling a story and creating a piece of work that will bring absolute joy to its recipient. Every time I send a DVD off I can’t wait to hear the feedback, and so far it’s been amazing! I know when I watch films back and they bring a tear to my eye I have done a good job! Also I love that every week I get to meet so many different people and experience lots of different Wedding Days

All the laughter, tears and memories rolled into one film

Celebrant Manchester | Unity Civil Celebrancy Blog

You would get the most important day of your life captured in a way that reflects you best. You’d get all the laughter, tears and memories rolled into one film to cherish forever! You can never put a price on memories, however I do not charge the earth because to me my Job is a pleasure.

Every location brings a different feel and creative vision

Generally I ask a couple which video they were most drawn to on my Show Reel, Every film I create is as different as every couple I meet. I am open to any suggestions a couple may have! I love it when we can bounce creative ideas off each other.  Essentially it all depends on what they want and where their getting married? It could be the cool urban vibe of the city or an Art gallery? Perhaps a swimming pool or even a traditional church, every location brings a different feel and creative vision in my eyes. I can make a film look like it’s from the 1940’s with a very vintage theme. I can also make a film look like a Hollywood dream, with flashing lights, animated colours and explosive titles the choice is yours?

I listen to what they want and make suggestions of how it might look and what I would need from them on the day.I have recently branched out into “Marrioke” where you can create your own original music video on the day with your guests miming too your favourite track!

Who inspires you the most and why?

Baz Lurman has definitley had an influence on my film making because his films are full of Romance, Colour, Quirkiness and surprises! You only have to watch Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge to see this.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a new engaged couple,

what would it be?

Have the things that matter the most to you on your day! If you don’t like something don’t have it, remember the day is all about you so have what you want, enjoy it and never forget it.

Here is a sneaky peek at one of Jo’s creations – enjoy

Liz Thompson is a Civil Celebrant based in Manchester in the UK and working across the North West of England, Liz creates unique and personal ceremonies and services for life events such as Weddings, Baby naming, Vow Renewal and many more

Guest Blogs by Liz Thompson

In my work I am extremely fortunate to be able to work with many like minded people whose passion and creativity combine to bring you a professional, seamless service. In our lives there are many rites of passage that mark life changing events from birth to baby naming to coming of age, partnership ceremonies such as weddings, blessings and vow renewals right through to house blessings, endings, funeral services and beyond. We naturally want to celebrate and mark those occasions by  creating some sort of ceremony or service.

Tradition with a Twist

When I meet people to discuss their ideas and needs they are often pleasantly surprised and sometimes a little bit nervous about the idea and possibility that they can do things differently. Breaking away from tradition or mixing tradition with something different to create something so beautifully personal and unique can be quite scary but also quite liberating and empowering. The knowledge that you can and do have choice and control over your ceremony is exciting. Bringing inspiration and unlocking that creative energy is our job.

Mixing it up

In this part of my blog I will be introducing you to some of my favourite people to work with, not only in providing services to celebrate or say goodbye but also to the people that often work in the background providing help and support to bring you some fantastic events, creating spaces and support to us as providers or by raising awareness of social issues in the community.

Liz is the proud owner & founder of Unity Civil Celebrancy and enjoys working with all kinds of people, creating beautiful and memorable ceremonies that celebrate their important life events in their own unique style. Connect with Liz on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram