Val Mattinson – Creative Director and Wedding Planner Benessamy Weddings & Events
Tell us a little about yourself…
I am the Creative Director and Wedding Planner of Benessamy Weddings and Events. Based in Nottingham, we plan and manage stylish weddings and events for clients across the East and West Midlands and further afield.
I was awarded the Best Wedding Planner in the East Midlands and was awarded the Highly Commended award at the Nationals of the Wedding Industry Awards 2015 following client nominations and voting.
What brought you to the world of wedding planning? When did you launch Benessamy?
I began my professional and business career as a solicitor in the public sector before moving into external and corporate affairs where I gained my event planning and organisational experience organising corporate, ministerial and special events.
I‘ve enjoyed organising many special occasion events over the years but I think the one which helped me to realise that it was time to put my energy, passion, organisation (and list making!) skills into business was my brother and sister in law’s wedding in Barbados a few years ago. My initial curiosity and interest in the detail of their plans turned into the need to literally roll up my sleeves (kick off my rather stylish flip-flops!) and assisting with the on the day co-ordination to ensure that their dream wedding ran smoothly and in accordance with their plans. I loved every minute of it!
In 2010 decided to leave the world of corporate affairs to set up Benessamy Weddings & Events – The name ‘Benessamy’ is a combination of the names of my two children and daily inspiration, Ben and Jessamy.
Having trained with the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) I launched Benessamy in 2011 and am now a Level 2 Member of the UKAWP and have been appointed as their Regional Ambassador for the Midlands. I was really excited to be awarded the Best Wedding Planner in the East Midlands in The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA) 2015 and to receive the Highly Commended Award at the TWIA National event earlier this year.
What other services do you offer?
At Benessamy we have created a menu of wedding planning services, from full wedding planning (design, styling, planning and management) to partial planning (our Rescue Service!) and wedding day management. Clients can have as much or as little help as they need. We can even just be on hand to help point them in the right direction or to assist them with some of their wedmin tasks.
Wedding and Event Planning Blog – Via our blog (Benessamy Weddings & Events) we publish news, events and wedding planning advice, tips and experiences as well as event design and styling inspiration. We regularly invite guest bloggers to submit articles and also showcase quality suppliers and venues.
Wedding Industry Consultancy – As well as planning weddings and events we provide assistance to other businesses in the wedding industry to showcase their talents, create the right impression and to showcase their products and services to existing and potential customers. This support can include anything from planning a launch event or open day to supporting them with their associated PR and marketing activity.
Event planning and management – In addition to our wedding services we also plan and organise the full range of private events and parties. We also provide event management services for business and venue clients.
What is your favourite part of a wedding day?
Seeing my clients’ relax and enjoy themselves after all the formalities and timed part of the day has been completed, so that’s usually after the speeches and into the start of the evening entertainment. I also absolutely love to see my clients’ faces when they see the reception venue for the first time on their wedding day.
Do you offer on the day coordination?
Yes with our Wedding Day Management Service our clients effectively have a Wedding Day PA on hand to assist them with whatever they need on their wedding day. As part of the service we meet with the couple a few weeks before their wedding to discuss your plans, and take some of the last-minute weight off their shoulders by liaising with their venue and suppliers to create a flawless wedding day schedule. Then on the day we’re coordinating everything from the timing of the bridesmaids’ walk to booking the taxis home for the end of the night.
This service is designed to make everything they’ve spent so long planning come to life and go incredibly smoothly on the day. But it’s also about all the little things and hassles that inevitably come up that no bride or groom should be sorting out themselves! Here are just a few examples of some of those little details we’ve covered over the years:
- Popping out to the shop to pick up a pair of tights for the Mother of the Bride, who forgot to pack hers in her overnight bag
- Effortlessly moving flowers from the ceremony to reception venue without guests noticing
- Racing back to the groom’s hotel room to collect the speech notes he left in his suit pocket
- Keeping an eye on a special guest who needed to be made almost as special as my bride – also known as looking after ‘Aunty Mary’.
- Mending a bridesmaid’s broken dress strap
- Rounding up various guests for must-have wedding photographs
- providing countless tissues, plasters, safety pins, double sided sticky tape (for failing trouser hems), from our wedding day emergency kit
- Directing lost guests around the venue
- Arranging for my clients to have some much appreciated time away from their guests on the day to stop and take in a few special moments together.
Congratulations on winning best wedding planner in the East Midlands, how did that feel?
Absolutely amazing! It’s lovely to have such an endorsement from the clients who nominated and voted for me and to receive such recognition within this fabulous industry from the judges who gave me the award.
And finally why do you think it is important to hire a wedding planning?
A good wedding planner can save you time, money and can help to minimise the stress of wedding planning. We have great contacts and can help our clients to save money or make their money go further by selecting the right suppliers to suit their wedding style. At Benessamy we offer our clients an independent, professional service and do not accept commission from suppliers. Any discounts are always passed onto our clients which often means a saving for them and ensures that we provide advice, support and recommendations which are appropriate to our clients’ tastes, priorities and budget.