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Wedding and events caterers don’t get caught out! The law surrounding food labelling and allergies

Our appeal dedicated to Nainika Tikoo

This blog article is dedicated to Nainika Tikoo who sadly passed away on 25 May 2017 as a result of anaphylaxis owing to an allergic reaction to blackberries. We have noticed a number of wedding and event caterers who regularly fail to comply with their legal food labelling obligations. We hope the below provides some guidance. If you are an events caterer, wedding planner or couple, we are offering free food labelling consultations and best practice advice to ensure your next event is compliant with the relevant legislation. All we ask is that a donation is made to the allergy awareness campaign set up by Nainika’s parents (Lakshmi Kaul and Vinod Tikoo) (www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nainika)

Facing the facts

It is shocking to see how many caterers at weddings and events, fail in their legal duty in providing information about allergenic ingredients in the food that they serve to guests. This has the potential to cause serious harm. We have put together some tips to assist caterers with their obligations.

In the UK, it is estimated that 1-2% of adults and 5-8% of children have a food allergy. This equates to around 2 million people living in the UK with a food allergy. This figure does not include the number of people who have food intolerances, which would in turn substantially increase the number of people who are impacted if they have a food allergy or intolerance.

About an allergic reaction?

An allergic reaction can be produced by a tiny amount of food ingredient that a person is sensitive to. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild symptoms such as rashes to more severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and on occasions anaphylaxis. Around ten people in the UK die from allergic reactions to food every year.

What can be done?

There is no cure for food allergy, therefore the only way to manage the condition is to avoid the food that makes the person ill. When you are attending events (including weddings) it is important that caterers provide clear and accurate information about allergenic ingredients in their products. Food Information Regulations 2014 introduces new rules for food businesses relating to the labelling and provision of allergen information.

What ingredients must a caterer declare to consumers?

The following ingredients must be declared to a consumer if they are added to food (the most common ones are in bold):

  1. Cereals containing gluten namely wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats and their hybridised strains and product thereof, except:
    1. Wheat based glucose syrups including dextrose
    2. Wheat based maltodextrins
    3. Glucose syrups on barley
    4. Cereals used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
  2. Crustaceans and products thereof (for example prawns, lobster, crabs and crayfish).
  3. Egg and products thereof.
  4. Fish and products thereof, except;
    1. Fish gelatine used as carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations.
    2. Fish gelatine or Isinglass used as a fining agent in beer and wine.
  5. Peanuts and products thereof.
  6. Soybeans and products thereof, except;
    1. Fully refined soybean oil and fat
    2. Natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherols, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate and natural D –alpha tocopherol succinate from soybean sources
    3. Vegetable oils derived phytosterols and phytosterol esters from soybean sources
    4. Plant stanol ester produced from oil sterols from soybean sources
  7. Milk and products thereof (including lactose) except:
    1. Whey used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
    2. Lactitol
  8. Nuts (namely almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, pecan nut, Brazil nut, pistachio nut and Macadamia nut (Queensland nut) and products thereof except for nuts used for making alcoholic distillates including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
  9. Celery and products thereof.
  10. Mustard and products thereof.
  11. Sesame seeds and products thereof.
  12. Sulpher dioxide and/or sulphites at concentrations of more than 10mg/kg or 10mgL (litre) in terms of the total SO2, which are to be calculated for products as proposed ready for consumption or as reconstituted according to the instructions of the manufacturers.
  13. Lupin and products thereof.
  14. Molluscs and products thereof (for example mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, snails and squid).

Tips for caterers to avoid breaking the law with regards to food labelling

  1. Businesses should review ingredients information for foods provided by them and ensure that their suppliers provide them with the necessary information to meet their obligations.
  2. Every caterer has a responsibility for ensuring that allergen information they provide is accurate.
  3. Should you not make reference to allergenic ingredients within a menu, it must be clear to a consumer where such information can be found. In such situations, there must be a statement that can be found on food menus or food labels. All mandatory allergen information on menus or signpost statements should be easily accessible and visible, and clearly legible to the final consumer regardless of whether they have a food allergy or not.
  4. Where food is provided through a buffet format, the allergen information should be provided for each food item separately.
  5. Some catering businesses may find it difficult to ensure written menus are kept up-to-date and displaying accurate information regarding allergenic ingredients used in products. Caterers do have the flexibility to provide such information orally. In such cases, consumers must be able to obtain information from members of the catering staff. If a catering business operates this approach they will need to ensure that there is a written notice, menu or label that is clearly visible, at the point that the consumer chooses their food, to indicate information is available from a member of staff.
  6. Caterers are recommended to have a system in place to ensure that when allergen information is provided orally to consumers, it is support by that information being available to staff and others in a recorded form (in writing for example) to provide consistency, accuracy and verifiable safety procedures.

The sanctions against Caterers for failing to comply?

Wedding and event caterers who do not comply with the above, risk committing a criminal offence. If found guilty, the fine can be of an unlimited amount.

For more information: contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

 

Reference – https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/food-allergen-labelling-technical-guidance.pdf

 

 

Could you lend your wedding outfit for 1 day to a bride or groom who has lost out due to the sudden administration of their wedding supplier?

We need your help!

Dozens of brides and grooms who are due to get married have been left devastated to learn about the sudden closure and administration of bridal boutique, Dan Kerr Brides.

According to the Lancashire Post, a number of wedding ceremonies may be cancelled after a representative from Dan Kerr Brides said it has “no alternative but to close”.

For brides and grooms who paid by credit card, there maybe some recourse to obtaining their money back from their credit card company. However, for a number of brides and grooms who have paid using cash or cheque, there is a possibility that they may neither get their bridal dress/wedding suit nor their money back.

With some couples potentially losing out on between £200 and £5000, we are looking to assist those who cannot afford to purchase a new outfit.

Could you lend your spare bridal dress for one day?

If you are already married, you may have a spare bridal dress/wedding suit that is not currently being used. If so, we are appealing to anyone who maybe willing to lend their dress or suit for a day to a bride or groom who has lost out on getting their outfit from Dan Kerr Brides and is unable to obtain a refund.

How does it work?

If you think you can lend a wedding dress/suit for one day, please email Pranav@theweddinglawyer.co.uk stating your:

  1. Name
  2. Where you are based
  3. For Brides – Size of your wedding dress
  4. For Brides – Style of wedding dress – Either by sending an image or similar image of the style of your dress.
  5. For Groom – Size of trousers, blazers and shirt.
  6. For Grooms – Style of suit – Either by sending an image or similar image of the style of your suit.
  7. Contact number (optional)

We will then look to pair you up with a bride or groom who has lost out on getting a wedding outfit. The bride/groom and lender will then communicate with each other to organise the logistics of borrowing the wedding dress.

Are you are bride/groom who has lost out?

If you have been adversely affected by the closure of Dan Kerr and would be interested in borrowing a dress or suit, contact Pranav@theweddinglawyer.co.uk stating your:

  1. Name
  2. Date of wedding
  3. Where you are based
  4. For Brides – Preferred size of bridal dresses
  5. For Brides – Preferred style of wedding dress
  6. For Grooms – Preferred size of trousers, blazers and shirt.
  7. For Grooms – Preferred style of suit
  8. Contact number (optional)

We will then look to connecting you with someone who maybe willing to lend you his or her outfit for your big day.

The Wedding Lawyer

We appreciate weddings can be expensive and stressful. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring every bride and groom has a wedding day to remember. Therefore, if you can assist us, please do. For any more information about The Wedding Lawyer, contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

The Wedding DJ/Band: 6 important clauses to include in your terms and conditions

Weddings are great fun! But everyone knows the real fun only really kicks off once the DJ or live band have taken to the stage. This means DJs and band musicians are spectacularly important during the wedding day, in particular the reception. Ensuring you have airtight and a comprehensive set of terms and conditions will help to ensure you have the protection you need if the big day does not go to plan.

Here are just some of the clauses you may wish to consider incorporating into your terms and conditions if you have not already done so.

  1. Electricity Supply:

It seems like an obvious one but has the potential to ruin the big day. It is becoming more common for weddings and reception to take place at country estates and marquees rather than in established longstanding structural buildings. Therefore, ensuring there is a suitable electrical connection for you to carry out your service is crucial to the performance of your services.

The Client undertakes the responsibility for ensuring that [DJ Name Roadshow/ band] are given access to the venue and use of earthed mains electricity supply on their arrival. [DJ Name Roadhow/ band] assume the event venue meets the electrical safety standards to operate the Client’s selected package. In the event of any electrical risks being posed, [DJ Name Roadshow/ band] have discretion to reduce the size of the Client’s selected package in order to operate safely. The Client will continue to be liable for the agreed sum of the selected package. 

  1. Power Cuts

We have witnessed a surprising number of power cuts when a wedding reception is in full flow. This has been particularly common following thunderstorms in the hot months of July and August (which also tends to be wedding season) or where the electrical mains have not been able to cope with the output necessary to operate the sound and lighting system.

[DJ Name Roadshow/ Band] will not accept any liability for power cuts which interrupt the service provided, however, will endeavour to co-operate with the venue to try and rectify any problems. If reducing the equipment booked by the Client will overcome power supply problems at the venue then [DJ Name Roadshow/ band] are given full authority to do so without consulting the Client. The Client understands that no compensation or price reduction will be given for power cut issues or for the reduction of equipment due to power supply problems.

  1. Venue Restrictions

It would be important to make it clear that DJs and Bands cannot be responsible for any venue restrictions which could detrimentally impact on the delivery of services. For example, many hotels and country estates have sound limitation monitors and smoke alarms. The client making the booking should be responsible for ensuring venue limitations will not impact the delivery of your service.

The Client will be responsible for checking and resolving any limits or restrictions attached to the venue, which could negatively impact on the ability of [DJ Name Roadshow/ Band] to carry out their services. This includes devices such as smoke alarms and sound limitation monitors. The [DJ Name Roadshow/Band] will not be responsible for any interruption to the service provided due to venue limitations or restrictions, unless [DJ Name Roadshow/Band] were notified about these at least 14 days prior to the [event date].

  1. Time required to install and take down equipment

Ensure you have protected yourself to have enough time to set up and take down your equipment without the risk of incurring any penalty. Unfortunately this clause will not protect you if you arrive late, therefore, it is important that you arrive on time to set up and have accurately estimated to the client how long it takes to set up and take down your equipment.

The Client is responsible to ensure [DJ Name Roadshow/ Band] has sufficient time to set up and dismantle their rig/equipment based on the package booked. [DJ Name Roadshow/ Band] will not accept any liability for insufficient set up or dismantle time that results in either the booked package not being set up prior to the event or any additional charges for late exit of the venue. [DJ Name Roadshow/ Band] can provide an estimate set up and dismantle time for the Client to plan accordingly. 

  1. Additional artists to perform alongside the DJ or band

An increasing number of couples are booking celebrities and other performers to perform alongside the DJ or Band at their wedding/reception. This can sometimes cause technical or communication hiccups, particularly where the equipment belonging to the DJ or band has to be used for the additional artist(s) to perform. Therefore, it may be an idea to have full transparency as to any additional artists who may be performing on the evening.

If the Client invites any additional artist(s) (independent of [DJ Name Roadshow/Band]) to perform at their event, the Client must inform [DJ Name Roadshow/Band] as to the identity of the artists and whether they require any technical requirements to execute their performance at least 7 days before the date of the event. The Client’s failure to do this may result in [DJ Name Roadshow/Band] not being in a position to cooperate with the additional artist(s).

  1. DJ/Bands are not to be responsible for USBs/CDRs devices.

It may be the case that you will be provided with a USB or CD Rom by a guest or the couple for the purposes of a performance, pictures or a song request. You may be required to insert the USB/CD Rom into your system so the music/photos can be played or displayed. It is important to make it clear that you are not responsible for that device or the contents on the device.

The Client and/or their guests will be fully responsible for any USB or media devices given to [DJ Roadshow/ band] and it is the responsibility of the Client and/or their guests to collect any USB or media devices after the given purpose is exhausted. The Client understands that any unclaimed USB or media devices following the event will be disposed of after 14 days. Further  [DJ Name Roadshow/Band] will not be responsible for any damage or distortion to the contents of the USB or media devices. 

 

If you would like your DJ/Band terms and conditions reviewed – contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

 

6 Contract Drafting Tips for Wedding Photographers

If you are a wedding/event photographer or thinking of setting up a photography business, this blog will hopefully provide you with a basic understanding of your legal rights. We also provide a basic checklist of items to be covered in your service contracts.

The intellectual property rights of photographs

Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the owner of the copyright in the photographs will be your business. This means that your customers/ third parties will not be able to use the photographs, for example for use on social media, without your permission. Permission usually takes the form of assignments (giving the rights to the other party) or licenses (giving consent to the other party to use the photographs).

Licenses are beneficial to your interests as you keep the rights over the photographs, whilst allowing your customers to keep and use them for their own personal needs. When giving license for use of the photographs it is important to clearly outline the extent of the license – i.e. what material the customers are allowed to use and how they are (and are not) permitted to use the material.

Procedure for cancellation

A well drafted service contract will always contain provisions for what would happen in situations of cancellation. For example, in the event of a cancellation by the customer, the contract may contain a grace period within which they would receive a refund of payments already made, or a deadline after which they can no longer claim a refund.

In the case of a cancellation by your business, clauses should be inserted into the contract that you will oblige your to take reasonable endeavours to provide a substitute service.

Quality of the Photography

It is important to insert a clause which provides guidance as to the quality and nature of the photographs, in order to provide legal protection for your business in the event that your customers are dissatisfied with the photographs.

Commonly businesses provide sample photographs and insert a clause guaranteeing that the photographs produced will be of the same style and standard as the samples. This ensures that as long as you can produce photographs which are comparative to the sample, customers will not be able to take legal action for any dissatisfaction. You can also add that the photographers must have the necessary artistic discretion to capture and produce photographs in accordance with such style and quality.

It may also be useful to insert a ‘key moments’ clause. In such a clause you would guarantee to use reasonable endeavours to capture a certain list of key moments (for example the bride coming down the aisle), whilst also adding that you cannot guarantee the capture of unexpected moments and will not be responsible for capturing all attendees.

Changing plans

There is an expected level of the unexpected when planning weddings. To protect your business from liability, you are advised to insert a clause stating that you will not be required to refund the customer where you are unable to attend in the event of a last minute change of location or time.

Details about the event

Remember to insert the smaller details about the events which you will be photographing. For example, making sure the photographers on the day have a contractual right to a hot meal, or if not a meal that they can have a lunch break to go and get themselves a meal.

Clarity, Specificity and Brevity

As with any contract, it is important that each clause be worded clearly and carefully, to avoid conflict between the parties due to misinterpretation. Keep sentences as to-the-point as possible, taking away all unnecessary wording. It may be important to define terms used in the contract, especially technical terms of the photography process. Look at each clause and ensure that the words cannot be interpreted differently from what you intended.

For further guidance on drafting your terms of business contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

This blog is by a guest blogger –  Yavnik Ganguly

Pricing strategies for wedding photographers – 3 tips

The wedding photography industry is a competitive one. There are lots of different photographers out there, offering up their services to happy couples around the UK. Whilst the quality of your images, the professionalism of your service and of course, how much you appeal to the couple are all important considerations when a bride and groom picks a photographer. How you are priced, and how you present those prices are also a big consideration and is often what distinguishes a good photographer from an excellent one. However, the issue of pricing and in particular a lack of transparent pricing can sometimes be open to dispute.

This means that it is vital that you put together a good quality pricing strategy. So, to help you make the most of your wedding photography business, we have put together our top tips for creating wedding photography pricing strategies that really work.

Focus on a few clear packages rather than several complicated ones

Confusing your potential customers with a complicated and confusing pricing strategy is never going to encourage them to use your services. Many photographers also make the mistake of creating too many different packages to choose from, all with really subtle changes such as an extra hour or a few extra photographs.

The best approach to take is to concentrate on two or maybe even three packages, all of which have obvious differences. This means that your potential customers will be able to see the different levels of what you can offer, and decide which one is right for them or your budget.

By keeping things simple, you will also minimise the chances of disputes arising due to misunderstandings relating to the pricing scheme.

Start small and allow the customer to build up

Another great idea to tempt customers into coming to see you for wedding photography is to offer a more tailor made approach to your pricing. Start with a low cost basic package that only contains a few elements of what you can do. This will entice customers to come and see what you are able to offer, and then you can start to upsell or add in the different services that you can provide.

Not only is this method going to encourage more people to enquire about your service, but the customer won’t feel pressured into going for a package that isn’t everything that they need. Instead they can pick a basic starting point and develop it into something that is perfect for them.

One of the objectives of recent consumer legislation is to protect the consumer from feeling pressurised into entering into a contract. Therefore, by providing the consumer with discretion and autonomy to choose a package, this will assist in minimising a dispute.

Show off what you can do

You should never underestimate the power of examples of your great work. If you are looking to tempt new clients into signing up with you, it is a good idea to show them exactly what you can offer them. If you are proud of your albums, make sure you take some examples of this, have a beautiful studio that they can view their photos in, have pictures of this, or better yet, invite them to take a look round.

Remember that even with the best pricing strategy, you still need to sell yourself as a business, which means that you always present yourself in the best light. In doing this you can assure your potential clients that come their big day, they will be presented in the best light possible too!

For more information about pricing strategies or to recover an unpaid debt contact: info@theweddinglaweyer.co.uk

 

A brief introduction to protecting your intellectual property

What is intellectual Property?

Intellectual property refers to tangible or intangible creations of the mind such as inventions, literary, artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Why is intellectual property important to a wedding supplier?

The UK wedding industry is growing at a phenomenal rate and intellectual property protects more than just an idea or concept but also protects genuine business assets and the overall long-term viability of your business.

Your intellectual property can

  1. Set up your business apart from other suppliers within the industry.
  2. Be sold and licensed, providing you with an important revenue stream (particularly when the wedding season slows down).
  3. Form an essential part of your marketing and branding so it is instantly recognisable by consumers at every wedding event.
  4. Be used as security for loans.

How is this relevant to a wedding supplier?

Wedding suppliers may have branding and corporate identities that they may wish to protect, however more specifically photographers, videographers, cake designers, wedding dress designers, invitation card designers, DJs and bands, dance choreographers, designer florists are just a few of the wedding suppliers who we have assisted with their intellectual property disputes over the past 12 months.

There are four different categories of intellectual property. These are trademarks, copyright, patents and registered design. Depending on which category your work comes within, this would impact how it is to be applied, registered, renewed and infringed. Therefore, ensuring you obtain legal guidance is essential in ensuring you gain the maximum protection for your intellectual property rights.

How to protect your intellectual property

  1. Be IP Smart – Engage a specialist lawyer to assist you with reviewing your business and analysing which areas of your business can benefit from intellectual property protection.
  2. Protect what is important to others, not just you – What you may believe is important, is not necessarily what your competitor believes is important. Engage a lawyer to scrutinise which areas of your business could benefit from the most protection.
  3. Invest in a well-written non-disclosure agreement – Make sure your employment agreements; licences and sales contracts all protect your intellectual property too.
  4. Act Quickly – It doesn’t take long for a competitor to copy you. When it comes to registering your intellectual property aim to work as quickly as possible. 

For any more information relating to intellectual property rights contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

 

6 reasons why you should engage a specialised wedding industry lawyer?

There is heaps of money to be made in the wedding industry and there is a reason why the most successful suppliers have engaged a specialist lawyer to assist them with meeting their commercial, regulatory and legal objectives.

The UK wedding industry can be competitive, tight knit and sometimes ruthless. Therefore, having a lawyer on your side can assist you in protecting your business and financial interests while allowing you to focus on progressing your business.

  1. Knowing the most effective structure for your business

Choices, choices choices! Should you be a sole trader, partnership or limited company. There are choices to be made and implications that follow from your choices. A lawyer can assist you in making recommendations about the most appropriate business structure that would be of most benefit to you and your business. Whatever option you choose, a lawyer can assist you in making an informed choice during  the decision making process. A specialist lawyer can also assist you with drafting partnership agreements or articles association that suit you and your business.

  1. Having legally compliant and enforceable business terms and conditions

When dealing with consumers or other suppliers, it is essential that you have air tight and legally binding terms and conditions. These may need to comply with the latest consumer and business related legislation or reflect ethical or good practice. Having unambiguous and clearly written terms and conditions can assist in safeguarding you from potential disputes in the future. It will also ensure all parties are clear on their responsibilities and liabilities.

  1. Dealing with consumer complaints amicably, professionally and quickly

Lawyers appreciate how time consuming and draining it can be for business owners to deal with disputes. Further, any supplier will be aware of how quickly bad news can spread in the wedding industry. Therefore, being able to deal with complaints amicably, professionally and as quickly as possible will distinguish a good supplier from an excellent supplier. A specialist lawyer can assist you in resolving complaints by looking for compromises and negotiated settlements. In the event, of complaints escalating, a lawyer can ensure your business responds swiftly and robustly to any legal action that may arise.

  1. Ensuring you get paid

A lawyer can assist you in making sure you get paid on time and chase any debts in a professional manner from your customer. This will ensure your business can continue to operate with minimum disruption.

  1. Protecting your brand and creativity

With a rapidly growing wedding industry, protecting your brand has never been so important. If you are a business, it is within your best interests to ensure your branding remains unique and identifiable by the consumer. Having a specialist lawyer can help you create and file trademark and patent applications that are worth considerably more than the fee you will ever pay the lawyer.

For example, if you are a photographer you may wish to ensure your copyright in your work is protected so you can freely exploit your images in a way that you choose. Inventors and designers may also find it useful to engage a lawyer to ensure their unique designs and inventions are protected from copying.

  1. Knowing your employment obligations

Recruiting and retaining talent for your business comes with its own set of challenges. Understanding and applying the rapidly evolving employment legislations to your workforce is crucial. Businesses within the wedding industry often rely on casual working and freelance arrangements that come with their own set of peculiarities. Having a lawyer who can assist you establish work place protocols, create employee agreements and provide advice in the event of an employee dispute is crucial to keeping your business on track.

The Wedding Lawyer is a platform that can assist you with all the above and as well as the following areas of law:

  1. Commercial and Corporate work
  2. Dispute Resolution
  3. Real Estate
  4. Intellectual Property
  5. Business and spouse immigration
  6. Employment

For more information contact: info@theweddinglawywer.co.uk

 

The Wedding Entrepreneur’s Business Plan – 5 Tips

Business plans can make or break your wedding industry business and therefore it is worth taking time out to make one.

  1. Sums

Know your sums! One of the most important aspects of a business plan is ensuring the sums add up in the financials section. This is particularly important if you intend to pitch to investors, as they will be interested in understanding your calculations and projections for the business before they take a leap of faith and invest in you. Even if you are not looking for investment, knowing your sums will allow you to plan your financials better when starting out a new business.

  1. Succinct

A common misconception is that business plans have to be huge documents with hundreds of pages. An investor will want to understand your business from a quick glance and how it will make money. Therefore, keep your structure and language simple. It maybe worth having an executive summary to provide an overview of the business plan covering What the business does? How it will operate? Why it should thrive in a competitive wedding industry? Whether the sums add up?

  1. Suppliers

Know your wedding supplier competitors and your target market. Ensure your plan highlights how you are different to other suppliers in the wedding industry and who your business is targeting.

  1. Specific

Be as specific as possible about your business idea, how it will operate and how you intend to delivery your business plan.

  1. Style

A well-presented business plan could also influence whether someone may wish to invest in your business idea. Therefore, focusing on the style of your business plan can be just as important as the content.

For further advice about setting up your wedding supplier business contact: info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

 

 

6 steps to becoming a wedding industry entrepreneur

The UK wedding industry is worth over £10 billion a year and it is encouraging to see so many independent start-ups being established along side the larger more established businesses. Every year, wedding exhibitions provide a platform for new businesses looking to exhibit the goods and services.

The wedding industry is becoming more competitive but there is scope for new businesses, particularly those businesses which are creative or looking to provide a common service in a more personal way. We believe competition in the wedding industry is healthy as it assists in raising the standard of service provided to consumers.

Therefore, if you have an idea, here is our six-step guide to becoming a wedding industry entrepreneur.

Step 1 – What is your big idea?

What are your key skills or services that you can offer to the wedding industry?

It is particularly important to think about this if you are planning on bringing a new service to the wedding industry rather than buying into a franchise or buying an existing wedding business. The clearer you are about what your offering is, the easier it will be to explain to potential investors and consumers.

Put together an ‘offering statement’ or ‘elevator pitch’ about your offering. This will encourage you to think about your business idea in a concise and effective way.

Step 2 – Market Research

More and more businesses enter the wedding industry every year. It is interesting to see how many businesses enter the industry without fully completing their market research. Consider the following questions:

  1. Who are your potential competitors?
  2. What is the geographical remit of your potential competitors?
  3. Can you offer something different from your competitors?
  4. What do you consider as your Unique Selling Point?
  5. Why would a consumer or investor want show interest in you rather than your competitor?
  6. Why would a consumer hire you for their wedding day? 

Step 3 – Creating a business plan

Getting a business plan done early on will allow you to think realistically and objectively about your business, encourage you to set out your objectives, gain an understanding of the income and expenditure and assist you in checking whether you can run a profitable business.

A business plan doesn’t have to be overly complicated but should sufficiently convey the market research, financials and operations of the business that you are looking to set up.

Step 4 – Creating synergy

The wedding industry is full of suppliers and this means there may scope for your business to partner up with either a similar business or complementary business. Therefore, networking with other wedding related businesses with the view of partnering up could assist you in cross referral of services and access to a wider customer base.

Step 5 – Know the law

Before your start trading, ensure you obtain professional advice to ensure you conduct your business affairs in a legally compliant manner. In particular, you may wish to obtain advice on the following: tax, trademarks, patents, liability, VAT, business formation, employment rights and drafting of business terms. Read this blog for more information about engaging a wedding industry lawyer. 

Step 6 – Test your product or service

You may think you have a wonderful business idea but good business ideas are not enough. The aim to turn your ideas into income. Testing your business over a limited amount of time will allow you to determine the consumer demand. If you are selling goods, you may wish to try selling them on an online market place. If you are providing a service, you may wish to publicise your services (e.g. through social media) before investing in any equipment or major overheads to see how the consumer responds. Be open to making changes if necessary to operate your business as effectively as possible.

Good luck in starting up your business.

Should you require any further information or guidance contact info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk