Reset, Recover, Reopen

Day 4: 25th March

Our final day of the Summit and we will be looking to the future, helping you understand where the sector stands and where it is heading. We’ll also be discussing the team, joined by resilience expert Cath Bishop (author of The Long Win) and Debbie Lewis, functional medicine expert. Finally, we will focus on Bouncing Back with venue marketing consultant Kelly Chandler and expert panel.

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The Future of the Wedding Sector

Our first panel of the day will focus on looking ahead; discussing the future of the wedding sector; it’s governance and leadership, and the impact of the Law Commission’s recommendations.

Panel Guests: Professor Nick Hopkins, Law Commissioner for Property, Family and Trust Law; Hamish Shepherd, Founder & CEO of Bridebook, Stuart Owens, UK Wedding Taskforce, Ben Cowell, Historic Houses and Mark Dawson, WVSG

Moderated by Emma Hardcastle, Founder and CEO of Hostology.

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The Future of the Wedding Sector

Professor Nicholas Hopkins, Law Commission

Nick Hopkins is Law Commissioner for England and Wales with responsibility for family law. He was appointed Commissioner in October 2015 and led the final stages of the Commission’s Scoping Paper on weddings law, Getting Married. He is the lead Commissioner for the current law reform project on weddings law.

Prior to appointment at the Commission he was an academic for over 20 years, and holds a Chair in Law at Reading University. He is an honorary bencher at Middle Temple.

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The Future of the Wedding Sector

Hamish Shepherd, Bridebook

Having left a career in banking Hamish spearheaded the transition of his family home, ​Hedsor House​, into an award-winning wedding venue in 2008. Now credited as being one of the UK’s most prestigious wedding venues.

With a history steeped in ​royalty and revelry,​ Hedsor House has regularly welcomed Kings, Queens and royal children from nearby Windsor Castle throughout its fascinating 800-year history. Hedsor was the venue of choice for hundreds of highly glamorous and sensational weddings, including Royal Weddings (for members of the Saudi royal family) and celebrations for some of the most high-profile British high society figures, A-list movie stars and musicians.

At the same time as planning his own wedding Hamish became enamoured by a mission to make wedding planning easy and readily available for all, and more importantly, to make it as enjoyable as the day itself… and so ​Bridebook.co.uk​, the wedding planning app, was born.

One in three engaged couples in the UK are now using Bridebook.co.uk to plan their wedding, with over ​100,000 weddings planned​ in the first year since its launch, the​ comprehensive digital platform has taken the bridal industry by storm.

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The Future of the Wedding Sector

Stuart Owens, UK Wedding Task Force

Stuart Owens is the Director of Artemis Venue Services, the owners and operators of multiple ‘exclusive use’ wedding venues. Stuart is also a founding Director of the Wedding Venues Support Group and Chair of the ‘opening up’ working group of the UK Wedding Taskforce. His expertise lies in providing wedding venue solutions that centre around property acquisition and development, operating multiple venues, sales and marketing, catering and customer service.

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The Future of the Wedding Sector

Ben Cowell OBE, Historic Houses

Ben Cowell is the Director General of Historic Houses, which represents 1,500 independently owned country houses across the UK, many of them venues for weddings. Before he joined Historic Houses, Ben worked variously for the National Trust, English Heritage, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Judicaelle was previously a senior civil servant and has over 20 years of experience in policy design and implementation at BEIS, Defra, HM Treasury, as well as the Food Standards Agency. She holds an MBA (Distinction) from Imperial College, London.

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The Future of the Wedding Sector

Mark Dawson, WVSG

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The Future of the Wedding Sector

Emma Hardcastle, Hostology

Prior to Hostology, Emma conceived, developed and successfully launched several business platforms (SaaS) and innovative consumer services. She fulfilled senior roles at major publishing and digital brands Macmillan Publishers, AOL and Science Navigation Group, and steered innovative Startups Production Wizard, Screen Library and Pocket Issue.

During the pandemic, Emma and the Hostology Team have doubled down to focus on hosting 23 well-attended sessions through the Hostology COLLECTIVE to help venues navigate finding financial support, legal, HR and marketing advice.

The team work closely with the WVSG, ABWB and are involved with the UK Wedding Task Force. All this, alongside delivering important improvements to the platform for 2021!

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The Team is Everything

Focussing on resilience and keeping team morale high, this panel includes Functional Medicine specialist Debbie Lewis and Olympian and team-building expert Dr. Catherine Bishop (author of the Long Win). Not to be missed!

Panel Guests: Debbie Lewis, Functional Medicine Consultant; Jade Hedley, Head of Sales, Hostology; Dr Catherine Bishop, Olympian and Team Building Consultant.

Moderated by Samantha Vaughan, Dewsall Court.

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The Team is Everything

Dr Cath Bishop, Olympian and Author

Dr Cath Bishop is an Olympian, former diplomat, business coach and consultant, and author of ‘The Long Win’, listed in the FT’s Top 10 Business Books 2020.

She competed in rowing at 3 Olympic Games, winning World Championships gold in 2003 and Olympic silver in Athens 2004. As a diplomat for the British Foreign Office for 12 years, Cath specialized in policy and negotiations on conflict issues, with postings to Bosnia and Iraq.

Cath now works as a business consultant, leadership coach and author, and teaches on Executive Education programmes at the Judge Business School, Cambridge. She is also an advisor and advocate of ‘The True Athlete Project’, a non-profit organisation working to create sporting environments that enable athletes to thrive and recently become Chair of ‘Love Rowing’, British Rowing’s Charitable Foundation aiming to bring rowing to more
communities around the UK.

Cath speaks at events globally on topics of leadership, high performing teams and cultural change. Her first book ‘The Long Win: the search for a better way to succeed’ was described by the Financial Times as ‘a deep and rewarding exploration of human motivation in sport, politics, business and our personal lives’.

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The Team is Everything

Debbie Lewis, Functional Medicine

Debbie is one of the few fully certified IFM Practitioners in the UK and a Registered Nutritional Therapist with The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT). She runs two private practice clinics in Hereford and London working with lifestyle-related disease and has a particular interest in women and children’s health

Debbie is also a qualified Social Worker, Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and a visiting lecturer at the University of Worcester.

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The Team is Everything

Samantha Vaughan, Dewsall Court

Having spent her formative years in the throes of Manchester life – completing a degree in English and then Psychology, working in the television industry and teaching teenage gangsters in Mosside – Samantha was pulled back home to Dewsall Court in Herefordshire when her father sadly became ill.

After he passed away, she and her Mum, Jane, her husband and brother, set up Dewsall as a wedding and events business. Opening in 2010, just after the last big economic crash was interesting!

Things went well though and 5 years into running the business Samantha and team invested hugely in their party space, as well as bringing all of the catering in house. The gamble paid off and Dewsall has just celebrated its 10th year in business. Unfortunately the exciting plans for a big year were somewhat thwarted by the pandemic. The team are now looking ahead to what will be a better, if crowded 2021.

Samantha is also very proud of being part of the Hostology team, developing planning software for the wedding and events industry. Hostology is a game changer for Dewsall and for many other venues, and a wonderful way for the founding venues to ‘bake’ their collective knowledge and experience into a system which will help both their individual businesses as well as the industry as a whole: uniting couples, guests, venue and suppliers in one happy collaborative place!

Watch this panel

Bounce Back: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Ending our summit on a high note, we will be focussing on promoting your venue and optimising for growth, specifically marketing tips around attracting new couples, perfecting the show-round and boosting confidence in your venue.

Panel Guests: Samantha Vaughan, Dewsall Court; Philip Godsal, Iscoyd Park; Anna Winkworth, Thicket Priory and Emma Hla, Coco Wedding Venues, Annabel Beeforth, Love My Dress.

Moderated by Kelly Chandler

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Bounce Back: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Samantha Vaughan, Dewsall Court

Having spent her formative years in the throes of Manchester life – completing a degree in English and then Psychology, working in the television industry and teaching teenage gangsters in Mosside – Samantha was pulled back home to Dewsall Court in Herefordshire when her father sadly became ill.

After he passed away, she and her Mum, Jane, her husband and brother, set up Dewsall as a wedding and events business. Opening in 2010, just after the last big economic crash was interesting!

Things went well though and 5 years into running the business Samantha and team invested hugely in their party space, as well as bringing all of the catering in house. The gamble paid off and Dewsall has just celebrated its 10th year in business. Unfortunately, the exciting plans for a big year were somewhat thwarted by the pandemic. The team are now looking ahead to what will be a better if crowded 2021.

Samantha is also very proud of being part of the Hostology team, developing planning software for the wedding and events industry. Hostology is a game-changer for Dewsall and for many other venues, and a wonderful way for the founding venues to ‘bake’ their collective knowledge and experience into a system that will help both their individual businesses as well as the industry as a whole: uniting couples, guests, venue and suppliers in one happy collaborative place!

Watch this panel

Bounce Back: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Annabel Beeforth, Love My Dress

Annabel Beeforth is the Founder of Love My Dress®, a heart-led wedding media platform and directory, established in 2009.

She is also co-Founder of and Campaign Manager at What About Weddings, a community for the wedding industry that has been lobbying for support and awareness since the start of the lockdown.

Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband, two daughters and three dogs.

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Bounce Back: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Anna Winkworth, Thicket Priory

Anna Winkworth is the General Manager at Thicket Priory, she has a background in both corporate and boutique hospitality, from Marriott International to Michelin Starred Gastro Pubs.

Anna truly loves the world of food & drink, with a particular love for the world of weddings and events. Ask her to wait tables in a quiet restaurant and she’d be totally out of her comfort zone!

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Bounce Back: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Emma Hla, Coco Wedding Venues

Emma Hla is the founder and curator of Coco Wedding Venues – the UK’s original style-focused wedding venue directory and the first place to kick-start your planning.

We bring together couples and wedding venues who share a passion for style, originality, and quality.

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Bounce Back: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Kelly Chandler, Kelly Chandler Consulting

Kelly Chandler is the founder and chief consultant & trainer at Kelly Chandler Wedding Consulting.

Dedicated to helping unique locations to thrive in the modern wedding market, ownership and wedding planning teams to surpass customer expectation, grow sales and wedding bookings, often preserving heritage alongside.

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With thanks to our sponsors: Weatherby’s Hamilton

Weatherbys Hamilton specialises in providing insurance to estate owners, from houses to horses, cars to combines, as well as the whole host of commercial activities that often take place on their properties. We provide an expert personal service, with each of our partners taking responsibility for all aspects of their clients’ insurances, and are ready to help at any time from our seven offices across the country.

Website

With thanks to our sponsors: Aon

From castle to cottages, Aon help ensure that your assets are protected. Aon’s Private Client Estates Team look after some of the UK’s largest estates and historic properties, as well as working with smaller country houses and farms.

Aon understand that no estate is the same, so your insurance arrangements need to be equally unique.

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With thanks to our sponsors: Gusto

Gusto’s Super DC immune support drinks are created with an adult audience in mind to help support a healthy immune function all year round. High in Vitamins D & C (hence the name), Zinc, Vitamin A, K and Folic acid, these delicious cans of plant-based goodness are high in antioxidants and deliver a taste explosion that we naturally associate with wellbeing.

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With thanks to our sponsors: Pitchup

Pitchup.com is a booking platform for over 4,000 campsites worldwide, including around 800 farms and hundreds of show and event venues.

Last year landowners earned up to £7,000 per day by opening a temporary campsite during the holiday season and one Cumbrian country estate has had £26,000 of bookings already this year.

With new regulations enabling land-based businesses in England to operate a campsite without planning permission for 56 days now extended to at least 31st December 2021, there’s never been a better time to take advantage of the growing trend for staycations.

Website

With thanks to our partners: Coco Wedding Venues 

Coco Wedding Venues is the leading directory of wedding venues for UK couples.

For all things venue related and actionable planning advice, head over to their website!

Website

With thanks to our partners: Kelly Chandler Consulting 

Kelly Chandler is the founder and chief consultant & trainer at Kelly Chandler Wedding Consulting. Dedicated to helping unique locations to thrive in the modern wedding market,  ownership and wedding planning teams to surpass customer expectation, grow sales and wedding bookings,  often preserving heritage alongside.

Website

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HAPPY CUSTOMERS & GUESTS

“Hostology brings everything in to one place, increasing the efficiency of our event managers, while at the same time creating a great platform for our customers to use.”

Harry & Georgina Dearden, Pennard House

“We now spend much more time with each client, meaning we can offer an even more personal service. This is what we have been waiting for since we opened in 2010.”

Phil and Susie Godsal, Iscoyd Park

“Hostology has carefully thought through how a tech solution can not only make the event management process smoother, saving in time and admin, but can also provide an enjoyable work flow for the client.”

Joshua Dugdale, Wasing Park

“The systemising, streamlining and efficiencies are a game changer for our business and equally will make planning the wedding logistics less ‘dry’ for our couples and their guests – it is a win, win, win!”

Jane Robinson & Samantha Vaughan, Dewsall Court

“Hostology is a fantastic platform that brings the many elements of organising bespoke events under one roof. It has transformed the organisation of our business, saved many staff hours and made us far more efficient.”

Phil and Susie Godsal, Iscoyd Park

“We extensively researched the market to find a software platform that fulfils all the needs we have when arranging events and liaising with customers. Hostology does and is going to massively streamline our business.”

Harry & Georgina Dearden, Pennard House