Charlotte Dodd, Founder of Charlotte Elise Wedding and Events
Planning luxury events and weddings throughout the UK, as well as destination weddings abroad
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen ‘Father of the Bride’. It was my go-to movie every Saturday from a young age. Franck the wedding planner was one of the main characters; funny, eccentric and organised, he transformed a marquee into a stunning venue with the help of glistening lights and beautiful flowers! It was my dream job!
I studied for a Business Management degree at the University of Newcastle, but over the holidays I assisted at a luxury wedding venue back home in Cheshire. My plan was to help various wedding planners here in the UK and at destination weddings. I knew that being a trusted pair of hands behind the scenes – soaking up all that first-hand knowledge and experience – would put me in good stead.
Weddings are so special that you’re often dealing with a lot of heightened emotions. I wanted to bring a sense of calm and order to the process, and give great customer service, so I launched my own events business in September 2015.
Since then, I’ve become an approved luxury wedding vendor and planned everything from an intimate gathering at a country residence to spectacular Asian weddings for up to 350 guests.
Increasingly, I’m being asked to rent out restaurants for rehearsal dinners or to host a casual next-day barbecue. Some couples want to extend their celebrations into a three-day event, and I offer them that much-needed flexibility.
People are so busy these days with kids and careers they often start planning and then hit overwhelm. I’m there for them whatever stage in the journey they find themselves at.
My phone is always open for texts, phone calls and WhatsApp messages, and I admit I get a bit obsessed with my weddings! The flipside is all that communication leads to lasting friendships. I get invited back to organise private birthday parties or baby showers!
I won ‘North West Wedding Planner of the Year’ at the 2017 and 2019 Wedding Industry Awards. It means more because it’s voted for by my clients, but as nice as it is to receive accolades, nothing beats seeing my wedding couples enjoy their day. It’s a wonderful feeling of pride and satisfaction.