With the latest addition to our family there’ll be a few subtle changes to the schedule of the blog for the coming weeks while I’m adjusting to life with our new baby.
I’ll still be posting the very coolest real Jewish weddings every week, but there’ll also be a brand new feature running where I interview all sorts of inspirational women in the wedding industry whom I greatly admire. These women successfully combine running their own business with married life and in a lot of cases, raising a young family.
The series is called Chitter Chatter and the twist is is they have to answer my questions in just 140 characters or less….
Today I’m chitter chattering to Anna MacDougall, the ‘Go-to Girl’ for all things weddings. Simply put, she plans, preps, and provides the sense of calm you need if planning your wedding day becomes a little stormy. She’s one of the UK’s best wedding co-ordinators and I’m proud to also call her a guest writer for Smashing The Glass.
Anna lives in a small and crumbling (former) Chapel in Buckinghamshire with her husband Calum, and two dogs, Barley and Rufus. She runs her business full time from home, where the doors are always open for visitors.
What was your first job?
I guess my very first job was helping out at my granddad’s apple orchard during harvest. My first ‘real’ job was with an advertising agency.
Tell me more about your career before launching Bride & Glory
I worked in marketing and events for a London agency, mainly in and around Formula One. Lucky me, that also meant living overseas for a while.
What made you start Bride & Glory?
The realisation that today, couples plan their own weddings but have no one to hand over to so they don’t have to project manage the day itself.
What inspires you to keep growing and developing your business?
I can’t say this less cornily: the unwavering belief in the value my service offers and the sheer love I have for my job and my couples.
What obstacles have you overcome along the way?
Launching and running my own business has been the scariest thing I’ve done but what I’ve learnt through it is literally priceless.
Image: CP Photography
What is the best opportunity Bride & Glory has brought you?
I get to work with some fantastically talented people, artisans and artists, and some of them have become friends for life. How glorious is that?
What’s your best tip for a work / life balance?
My mentor’s words: you are your business’ biggest asset — without you there is no business so you must take care of yourself.
What are your top tips for working from home when you’re self-employed?
Learn to shut off. Just because your office happens to be inside your home doesn’t mean you’re obliged to work around the clock.
97% of Britain’s small creative businesses are run by women. Why do you think this is?
Oh wow, I did not know that. Instantly wants to make me hum: Here Come The Girls, lalalalalala.
How did you meet your husband?
Oh boy! We were the office romance (he was actually on my interview panel, yikes) and thought nobody knew. Duh!
Image: Anneli Marinovich
What was the highlight of your wedding day?
Can I have two? My little sister and one of my best friends singing for us during the ceremony, and my husband’s (drumroll) speech. So much love!
Was there anything standout about what you wore?
My dress was a lot more wedding(y) than I thought it would be but the first thing Mac (aka the husband) said was ‘it’s so very you’.
Looking back, is there anything you would change about your wedding?
Just one thing: I would have worn orange shoes!
What are your top tips for brides-to-be when planning their wedding?
Dial it back – remember you’re not planning a wedding day, you’re planning a marriage. You and your best friend, that’s all that matters.
Secret to a happy marriage?
Am I qualified to answer that after ‘just’ six years? In a marriage, it’s not just about you any more, it’s about what’s best for both of you.
Oh to come up with something profound here… Love is… What I feel in abundance for my husband (and the Chapel hounds).
Nobody puts Baby in the corner. I think. Or: You’re gonna need a bigger boat.
My Jawbone Up24. It reminds me to move my butt from my desk every half an hour and tells me how to sleep better — how clever is that?
Easy A — Emma Stone and Stanley Tucci at their best.
Image: Lucy Stendall
Marrakech — such a beautiful place with some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Can I go back now please?
If you could be trapped in a lift with any living person who would it be and why?
Sara Bareilles — such a talented musician with the most mischievous sense of humour. I’d try to convince her to be my friend, pretty please.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know… preferably non work-related?
I fell head over heels in love with San Francisco a few years ago and secretly really, really want to live there one day.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Gin O’Clock. And peanut butter.
What did you do today?
Wrote two proposals for prospective clients, answered 26 questions and took up as trainee shepherdess watching over some lambing ewes.
The best is yet to come…