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About Us: Guides for Brides' Journey and Our Impact


Alison Hargreaves
Alison Hargreaves Updated:
9th of May 2023

Guides for Brides was founded by Alison Hargreaves in 1995. When she was planning her own wedding, Alison found it difficult to find suppliers for her wedding purely through word of mouth or recommendations from venues. Knowing that other brides would be in the same position, she decided to launch a local wedding planning guide.

The aim was to help wedding businesses who were new to the wedding market to reach the right audience and couples planning their big day to be able to create a wedding that suits their style with great recommendations of wedding venues and suppliers.

Our History and Reputation

Over 25 years, the company developed at a momentous pace with a driven team that were dedicated to supporting their clients and couples. Over time, nine guides were produced across the South East, South West and digital guides also published for counties in the North and Midlands. Many successful wedding fairs and events were run within the Thames Valley and the Guides for Brides website featuring a comprehensive wedding directory, blog and online wedding planning tools were developed to support couples who were planning their big day find everything they need.

In 2017, Beyond Weddings was launched. This sister site was designed to help couples looking for trustworthy venues and suppliers that work within the luxury market and grew Guides for Brides' name on the international wedding stage.

February 2020 saw the launch of Pride Guide, designed to showcase wedding businesses that are trusted by and experienced in delivering weddings for couples in the LGBTQIA+ community, were developed as the company grew and the team became increasingly passionate about ensuring all love is celebrated and all couples could find the right suppliers for their day.

Fast-forward to the pandemic, Alison and the team were central to the formation of the UK Weddings Taskforce and worked with the Government to ensure weddings were allowed to reopen in a way that was safe for all. Guides for Brides also proudly supported and advised both wedding businesses and couples through regular Facebook and Instagram Live updates about policy and rule changes that proved exceptionally helpful.

UK Weddings Taskforce meet in person when weddings begin reopening

In 2021, the team launched Guides for Brides - The Wedding Podcast which was specifically crafted to support wedding couples with their planning. Hosted by Nikita, Guides for Brides' Head of Strategy and a 2023 bride, the podcast has proven hugely popular with wedding couples and suppliers alike due to the exciting and informative episodes that often feature industry specialists. The podcast is available on all good streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and more.

Today, Guides for Brides continues to be an internationally recognised wedding industry leader and has worked with some of the biggest names around. From partnerships with shows like The National Wedding Show and RSVP Club (formally Bridelux) to media coverage in OK Magazine, Vogue and more, we have a reputation for our hard work, clear vision and excellent team.

Guides for Brides customer service awards finalists 2023

Company Philosophy

We aim to put businesses and couples in touch with each other with the minimal cost and the highest level of professionalism for businesses, and with the minimal hassle and a friendly informative approach for couples. In all that we do strive to do very best for all our couples and clients.

Our Clients

Our clients have a lot in common; they are all wedding related businesses who would like to be in front of the brides and grooms that want to use their services.

We are proud to list many of the large and prestigious hotel groups and PR companies as clients as well as sole traders and artisans and we strive to meet the marketing needs of every one of them.

Our Couples

Our couples tend to have the same goal; they aspire to organise the most perfect wedding they can and enjoying the journey from engagement to the honeymoon.

Many are professionals with limited time and high standards and need a no-nonsense website as their main source of information.

What We Do

Our Team

Guides for brides team on Christmas Jumper day 2022

We have a small but 100% dedicated team, many of whom have been with the company and looking out for their clients for over 10 years. We're constantly growing and adapting to meet the demands of a changing industry, but at our core we've stuck to our traditional principals to help get the best for our customers and couples alike. 

Learn more about the people behind our brand.

Our Vision

In an online ocean of over-information, Guides for Brides will offer a multimedia source of inspiration coupled with essential information and tools that makes wedding planning quicker, easier and more reassuring for couples and makes marketing quicker, easier and more reliable for wedding businesses.

Our heritage will form a strong foundation from which we can safely innovate and grow to become the long term market leader in wedding data and information.

Our Values

Person creatively drawing a word cloud in the shape of a lightbulb about business values

These are the values that we base all decisions on. We live, hire and fire under this set of values.

Our Mission

We put wedding consumers and wedding businesses in touch with each other.

We deliver the most accurate, helpful and unrivalled depth of information to brides and grooms so they need look nowhere else. Our clients thank us for being the most effective and trusted place to promote their businesses.

Loyalty

We take responsibility for enabling a long term relationship with our business customers and our team members.

  • Account managers look after their own clients.
  • Clients are advised with next year's business in mind.
  • We take only calculated business or financial risks.
  • We enable a good work/life balance. 
  • We care about the physical and mental health of team members.

Integrity

We offer businesses the right long term solution for them regardless of our own financial objectives.

  • We find solutions for the maximum return on investment for clients.
  • Team members are honest with each other and their clients.

Respect

We respect the wishes and feelings of clients and other team members

We contact clients in appropriate ways and at appropriate times

  • We respect and support management decisions.
  • We respect the importance of making mistakes and learning from them.
  • We encourage and respect differing views regardless of age and experience.

Simplicity

Our information is delivered in a way our customers can easily navigate and understand.

  • Technology is our friend.
  • We use appropriate technology to allow users the best experience across all devices.
  • Our site is laid out to help couples rather than to promote high-spending clients.

Accuracy

We only publish information for brides and businesses that we genuinely believe is correct.

  • We are accurate and honest with our site statistics.
  • We are accurate and honest with the performance of our clients' adverts.

Prudence

We are prudent with time and money.

  • We agree a plan before starting projects.
  • We don't waste resources or each other's time.
  • We don't re-invent the wheel.
  • We work hard.
Supported by iSfB secured by OxLEP Business.

Supported by iSfB secured by OxLEP Business.

Judging Credentials

Sustainable Wedding Alliance 2023

Guides for Brides founder and Director Alison Hargreaves was honoured to be asked to be part of the judging team of the UK's first national Sustainable Wedding Awards in 2023. The focus of these awards was to celebrate the work and impact of businesses who have created a balance of the triple bottom line (people, planet and profit). It champions those who are progressing in their sustainability journey and it encourages other businesses to do the same.

Alison Hargreaves

About the author


Alison Hargreaves

Alison founded Guides for Brides in 1995 and has been advising brides and businesses ever since. She has an unrivalled knowledge of the wedding industry and is part of an international network of wedding professionals and entrepreneurs. Alison frequently appears on podcasts and expert panels as well as judging various wedding awards.

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