Paula Hardman has built a name for herself as a weddings and honeymoons expert. She talks to Abra Dunsby about her success and offers agent tips
Since getting married in Cyprus two-and-a-half years ago, Travel Counsellor Paula Hardman has picked up plenty of business from brides-to-be, booking nuptials in Greece, Cyprus, Mexico and Barbados after joining various wedding forums and publicising her expertise on social media.
“I joined the forums and people started asking for help on there, then all of a sudden I was booking weddings to Olympic Lagoon in Ayia Napa, where I got married,” explains Hardman, who uses the forums to promote the benefits of booking a wedding with an agent.
“It’s handy because many wedding coordinators on the forums aren’t travel agents, but I can sort the wedding as well as the holiday element,” she explains.
“If you book a wedding abroad yourself, you’re liaising with the hotel, the wedding coordinator, the cake maker, etcetera – it’s an awful lot if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Hardman’s experience means she is often contacted by other Travel Counsellors seeking advice with their wedding bookings, and was even recommended by head office to rebook nuptials for clients who originally booked with Thomas Cook before its collapse.
“Some of those brides have been on the phone to me in tears, as they’ve had to deal with their wedding being cancelled twice – once when Thomas Cook went bust, and then again due to Covid,” says Hardman, who currently has 12 weddings this year and next, some of which were cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.