Welcome to our “Day in the Life” series! We feature wedding and event planners from around the world with many different levels of experience. If you would like to be featured, download our questionnaire here and email your responses and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to feature Manchester wedding planner Liz Taylor today!
Name: Liz Taylor
Business Name & Location: The Taylor Lynn Corporation – TLC LTD, Manchester, England.
Years Working in the Event Industry: 30+ years
Years Owning Your Event Planning Business: I set up my own event-planning business in 1986, which became the Taylor Lynn Corporation in 1995.
Business Facebook Page: Taylor Lynn Corporation
What is your typical day like?
I’ve always been an early riser. I love early morning because it’s a time just for me, when I can gather my thoughts about what’s coming up without any interruptions. I’m fortunate to have a home gym, so at 6AM I start my daily workout. Getting moving first thing energizes me and I find if there are days when I can’t work out, I really miss it.
My first meeting of the day is usually around 8AM. After my workout, I’m ravenous and I find that clients are more open to meeting early if we do it over breakfast. By 9AM, I’m usually on my way to visit a venue for an event. Although based in Manchester, England, I work internationally, so this could literally be anywhere.
Manchester is situated centrally in the UK and has excellent transport networks within the UK, as well as an international airport. I’m writing this on the 9:15AM train to London. It is a fast train, which takes about two hours to get into the center of the city. I’ve got a meeting this afternoon at one of the Royal Palaces to discuss an upcoming event and I want to make sure I’m in London with plenty of time to spare.
Traveling by train gives me time to catch up with emails and other administrative work that can be done quickly and isn’t confidential. It also gives me an opportunity to call the office and check-in with my staff to find out how the plans are going for a wedding we’re organizing later in the week.
I’ll arrive in London by 11:20AM and take a cab to a London hotel that I’ve been thinking about as a potential party venue for a client. I’ve booked a table for an early lunch with a celebrity friend. It will give us a chance to catch up and I can check out the service at the same time, before booking a formal tour as a party planner. I work with a lot of celebrity clients so it is essential for me to know that the venues I choose are high-end and discreet. The person I’m meeting is a good friend and I value her opinion on work as well as her conversation and company.
My Palace meeting is at 2PM and I’m planning to be back at the station to be on the 3:20PM train back to Manchester. That will give me time to go into the office before the team leaves at 6PM. I want to run through the checklist for the wedding with TLC operations director, Ellie Barnes, to ensure she has everything she needs and all preparations are in place.
On the train home, I’ll call my granddaughter and new baby grandson. They are a real light in my life and although I don’t get to see them every day, I can’t go a day without speaking to them both. Everything about grandchildren amazes me and their view of the world helps me keep life in perspective and see everything around me with fresh eyes.
All being well, I plan to catch up with the Swan Band just after 6PM. I manage them exclusively in the UK. They’re flying in from Paris today for a TLC wedding and I want to talk to them about some other events I’ve got lined up for them in the coming months. At 6:30PM, I’ve got a SKYPE call scheduled to speak to a DJ in New York that a client has asked to play at his son’s 21st birthday celebration in a few months.
I want to be home by 7:30PM to have dinner with a great friend. I recently moved to a gorgeous penthouse apartment and am loving entertaining at home. Thankfully, I am not cooking….I have ‘got the caterers in’!
After traveling today, I’m feeling that by 9PM, I’ll be lighting a Jo Malone scented-candle and lying back to soak in a warm bubble bath. Then I’ll do one last check of my emails and catch-up on the news. Since I don’t have any parties today, I’ll be in tucked in bed by 10:30PM so I can be ready to hit the treadmill again at 6AM.
How did you get started in the industry?
In many ways I fell into event planning. After high school, I joined a management training scheme with British retailer, Marks and Spencer. It was a great training ground in business and I got to work across all areas of the company. For three years I worked as an area manager, but while I enjoyed it, the hours weren’t compatible with a young family. So, after my first daughter was born, I left the job without knowing what I wanted to do. I just knew that I would like something that would provide more flexibility around child care.
I began planning small parties for friends as well as doing some part-time work in public relations for a fashion chain. I was thinking about ideas for the fashion company and wondered if the manager of a new Manchester hotel might be interested in us providing clothes for guests who needed last minute outfits. I never got to pitch my idea because when I arrived, the manager told me he was hosting a Hollywood-themed launch party and had no-one to organize it. I put myself forward to do the job. The success of that party led to two other jobs, and the business grew from there.
What inspires you?
My family inspires me in everything I do. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my daughters and wanting to have a more flexible work life to be with them.
I also greatly admire Marina Dalglish, whose charity is one of TLC’s nominated charities for this year and whose charity grand ball I’ve organized now for several years. Marina set up the charity in 2005 after being successfully treated for breast cancer. It’s focus has remained simply ‘to make a difference’. Marina has certainly done that. Her fundraising started with a target of £1.2 million pounds to create a new Chemotherapy Unit. Eight years later, it’s still thriving, having treated over 2,000 patients. The center also offers complementary and holistic treatments for breast cancer patients to help ease the side-effects of chemotherapy and reduce stress levels. And as Marina says, ‘a mani-pedi never hurt anyone!’
What are your favorite online resources for your business?
I think it’s important for anyone running a business to keep abreast of a wide number of news sources. I always read the Financial Times and the business pages of my local paper, the Manchester Evening News, as well as international websites like entrepreneur.com.
For events, I find the Planner’s Lounge website extremely helpful for tips and also for introducing me to other people working in the business from all over the world. As I organize a lot of high-profile and luxury weddings I do read specialist media such as Brides Magazine as well as celebrity titles, OK and Hello.
Aside from wedding and event planning, how do you spend your time?
I always say that being an event organizer isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. Everywhere I go, I’m always networking and taking opportunities tell people about my business. In one sense you could say I’m never away from work, but in another, it is because I genuinely love what I do.
That said, it is essential to make time to unwind and to nurture relationships with loved ones. As a Jewish family, Friday evening for us is sacrosanct. I also make time every day to speak to my grandchildren and see them as often as I can – which is usually restricted more by their social life than mine! I have another grandchild due to be born in the Spring; in New York! So, I try to visit the Big Apple as much as I can to see my daughter Katie. So exciting.
Because I’m on the go so much, I like to get away for a break where I can completely unwind. At the moment my favorite getaway is the Lone Star hotel in Barbados. When we go, it feels like we’re a million miles away from the concerns of everyday life; almost as if we’ve stepped off the world for a few days and entered a paradise island.
Liz, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and a day in your life. If you are an event planner and would like to be featured, download our questionnaire today and email it to us along with a photo. If you aren’t sure about being featured, take a few minutes to read how it can help your business.