Last weekend we were delighted to attend the Luxury Wedding Retreat Preview hosted by UK wedding planner extraordinaire and Academy Advisory Board member Pamella Dunn. Pam is a prominent member of our UK Academy community, supporting our students with work experience opportunities and helping them nurture their own wedding & event careers. She is an inspiration to so many of our students wanting to embark on their dream wedding planning career. So when Pam invited our Academy CEO and industry speaker Kylie Carlson to be part of the event’s expert panel, it was a resounding yes!

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Kylie was joined on the panel by other successful industry professionals who all shared their inspirational career journey in the wedding & events industry. First up was the incredibly inspiring Helen Davies from the stunning regency era venue Rise Hall. You may recognise Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire, as the building rescued from dereliction in the channel 4 series “Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare”. Since then Helen has taken on the challenge of turning this beautiful historic building into a profitable wedding & event venue. Next up was the fabulously funny and inspiriting Anita Massarella of Anita Massarella Design, couture bridal and evening wear design studio. Anita has been running her successful business for over 25 years, eschewing London to bring her haute couture talents to the City of Leeds. Anita’s big break came when she was commissioned to design and make some bespoke pieces for former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Over the years she has established a loyal following of clients through her honest and meticulously detailed approach to her business. We rounded off the inspirational session with motivational words from our very own Kylie Carlson from right here at the Academy, who shared her incredible career journey and advice for success in business. So what are Kylie’s key tips to takeaway? Always go with your gut, no idea is a bad idea, growing your confidence is essential in business, and some failures are a good lesson but nothing that can’t be got over by a good old cry.

Luxury Wedding Retreat Preview

One of the highlights of the day for us was the fantastic presence of UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning students in attendance. It was a pleasure to catch up, inspire each other, discuss the courses and everyone’s career plans over the delicious lunch served in the beautifully decorated marquee. We have an active online community in our student Facebook group with over 2000 members, and it was great to be able to put faces to some of those names. And what a great snap of us all together!

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All photos are courtesy of Soniya Zeb Photography and credit goes to the Woodlands Hotel for hosting us, and other vendors and brand ambassadors included in the event LK Liz KeetingFlowers by Jade, The Golden Letter Paper Studio, Whitehouse Event CrockeryTo Have and to Hold Films, Swoon Balloons, YSL Harvey Nichols LeedsRedamancy,  Sheer Bliss , To Have and to Hold Films, Pop-Up-Wedding and Brand Yorkshire.

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