Events Coordinator Louise Lobley

Louise Lobley, Events Coordinator at The Castle Hotel

We are pleased to welcome our new events coordinator, Louise Lobley.

About Louise

Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’ve worked in the travel industry for more than 15 years in various roles, including cabin crew, travel consultant and entertainments manager, both at home and abroad. I became an events coordinator 3 years ago and have experience organising everything from a meeting for 2 delegates to weddings for over 150 guests.

How did you meet your Husband?
My husband and I met working at a holiday centre here in Somerset. I’m a northerner originally and I settled down here in Taunton with him.

And how did he pop the big question?
I’m afraid there was no big romantic gesture. He was the first man who didn’t drive me crazy (he does now however), so we decided we would be together forever. We even went ring shopping together. I went massively over budget (as I continue to do to this day) and I made him ask me officially in front of a WH Smith’s after we bought the ring, which I wasn’t actually wearing because I hadn’t realised you have to order it in your size! I was very disappointed at the time.

Events Coordinator Louise Lobley on her wedding day

Tell us about your big day?
Close family and friends, ivory roses, pearls, gold decorations, Christmas dinner, fir cones, candles, mulled wine and lots of snow. It snowed on the actual day of the wedding and I have so many magical photos.

Why did you choose Christmas time for your wedding?
We love that time of year, everything about it. The decorations and festive fun, time with our families and, now that we have our little boy Harrison, it just gets better every year. The one downside is having my anniversary on the 22nd December always seems to mean I don’t get a gift because we’ve already gone crazy on Christmas presents!




12 Month Planning Guide for a Stress Free Wedding

Plan your own wedding in 12 months

So you’re planning a wedding! Don’t know where to start? Well look no further. Here’s my guide to taking the stress out of planning your wedding in 12 months.

12+ Months Before

  • Set a budget. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but once you’ve got an idea of how much you plan to spend, the shopping can begin!
  • Pick a wedding date and time – but have a couple of back up dates in mind in case your dream venue is already booked.
  • Start planning your guest list.
  • Ask friends or relatives to be in your wedding party – Best Man, Maid-of-Honour, Bridesmaids, Ushers, etc.

8 – 10 Months Before

  • It’s time to start thinking about that dress… Let the shopping begin!
  • Plan the entertainment – String quartet while walking down the aisle, DJ, band for the evening or a magician to keep the kids happy?
  • Research and book your vendors – Photographers, florist, videographer, etc.
  • Contact rental companies if you need to hire anything for the day such as chair covers, crockery, marquees, tables, chairs & table centres.
  • Register for gifts if you’re thinking of having a gift list.

6-8 Months Before

  • Book musicians for the ceremony.
  • Shop for / order Bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Start planning your honeymoon! The exciting bit 🙂
  • Send ‘save the dates’. Such a good idea to let guests know the date well in advance so they can pop it in their diaries early.

4-6 Months BeforeCool Wedding Invites

  • Shop for invites (and other matching wedding stationery) and, if you don’t already have them, chose your rings.
  • Renew passports and apply for any visas – for that wonderfully exotic honeymoon you’ve planned last month!
  • Have a ponder about your wedding cake and contact bakers / wedding cake makers. Think about flavours, colour, design – go online, there’s plenty of inspiration on Pinterest.

3 Months Before

  • Order your wedding cake. There are so many options; traditional tiered, cupcakes, cheese-cakes.
  • Order men’s formal wear.
  • Hire wedding day transport – limousine, classic cars, the Mystery Machine from Scoobie Doo (!!) the possibilities are endless!

2 Months Before

  • Write and post your wedding invitations.
  • Write your own vows.
  • Purchase gifts for your wedding party, anyone who has helped out, and for each other.
  • Book a hairdresser and have a trial run. Go with pictures and ideas. You don’t want any disasters on the day!
  • Book a make-up artist and have a trial run. Again it’s good to have an idea of what you’d like. Natural & minimal? Dramatic & glamourous?

1 Month Before

  • Have a final dress fitting; bring your Maid-of-Honour to practice how to hook up your train, so you can party the night away in comfort.
  • Confirm with Bridesmaids that their outfits are complete.
  • Start planning the wedding breakfast seating chart.
  • It’s Hen/Stag do time! Hopefully those Best Men and Maids-Of-Honour have planned you a fab time!

2 Weeks BeforePicture1

  • Review final RSVP list and chase any stragglers. You want to get those numbers locked down!
  • Provide a ‘must-have’ shot list to photographer for the formal and fun photos you can’t live without, include group shots, all your cousins, Bride’s family, Groom’s family, ‘Bridesmaids’ re-enactment shots, etc.
  • Create a playlist for the DJ or band with any special songs you’d like played or know will get your family and friends dancing.

1 Week Before

  • Provide your venue / caterer with a final guest list – highlight any dietary requirements and allergies.
  • Complete the wedding breakfast seating chart.
  • Print place cards and table plans and pass them to the venue for set up.
  • Confirm with all vendors any final details and make sure they have the Maid-of-Honour / Best Man’s number to call on the day rather than yours. You don’t want to deal with any issues on your wedding day!
  • Make sure your venue has a list of set up and arrival times for all deliveries, plus contact details.
  • Groom to collect formal wear.
  • Best Man should collect groomsmen’s outfits and distribute them.

2-3 Days Before

  • Organise the positioning of the wedding party for the processional and recessional.
  • Call the car hire company to confirm collection times and locations.

Day Before

  • If needed, decorate your venue for the ceremony or reception.
  • Chill out. Enjoy time with your family and friends before your big day.

Day Of

  • Eat a good breakfast.
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to get ready.
  • Make sure the Best Man / Maid of Honour / Ring Bearer have wedding bands to hold during the ceremony.
  • Get Married!!
  • Present parents, wedding party, any special helpers and each other with gifts.
  • Assign a member of the family to help the photographer gather people for group photos.

Post Wedding

  • Make sure you write and send thank you notes. It’s nice to include a photo from the day as a keep sake.
  • Take wedding dress to dry cleaners – you don’t want it to get smelly!
  • Change name on drivers licence, passport, banks / building societies, etc.
  • Create new email address.
  • And the all-important..… Facebook name change to make it official!


This is for a traditional wedding with 12+ months planning time. If you have less time then you’ll need to condense the ‘to do’ list.

Contributing Author: Elaine Fraschini