Meet the Team – Find out who does what at Wedding Ideas magazine

We’ve got to admit we’re a little bit spoiled here at Wedding Ideas. Not only do we get to sit in a fabulous historic building every day, but more importantly we’re incredibly fortunate to work with some of the most enthusiastic, creative people in the wedding industry. Add in the fact that they’re also some of the nicest people you could meet and you have a marriage made in heaven!

Come and meet the team (metaphorically speaking) and find out who does what for the company…

Rachel Southwood - Founder/Managing Director of Wedding Ideas magazine

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Quite simply, Rachel Southwood is the glue that keeps us all together: we just don’t work without her. The inspiration behind Wedding Ideas and there at its inception, our Mummy Giraffe keeps a watchful eye over all her herd. And like any protective mother, she feeds us up with a delicious supply of deadline treats; administers little pearls of wisdom and is ever-ready with a hug.

She has the true knack and wonderful gift of putting everyone she meets at their ease, and her day-to-day schedule reads like a distinguished list of the ‘Who’s Who’ in the world of weddings. She finds the time to write some cracking destination features, writes bits and pieces for the website and is the main voice of @wimagazine

Jade Pearson - Editor of Wedding Ideas magazine

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Editor Jade was BORN to work at Wedding Ideas. Her enthusiasm and passion for the magazine are second to none.

With a sound background in creative writing, a passion for new ideas and a natural artistic flair, Jade dictates and directs the magazine’s content, commissions the features, manages the editorial team, liaises between each department to make sure that the magazine hits the shelves on time and looks brilliant.

With her very own nuptials coming up in July 2014, Jade has been busy with wedding planning, work and her two gorgeous cats Mr Sprinkles and Thomas O’Malley but still finds time to be passionate about Liverpool FC and Bryan Adams.

Jade tweets from @jadewimag

Sophie Grabham - Deputy Editor at Wedding Ideas magazine

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Smiley Sophie hot footed it to the herd from Cardiff Uni with an English Language and Communication degree under her arm – very handy.

She loves shopping (this alone would have got her the job) and is a self-confessed geek when it comes to organisation. As Details Editor it’s her job call in images, co-ordinate our details section and manage our features’ list and subissions, as well as being on hand with gorgeous accessories at our cover shoots.

If you want to be featured in the UK’s best Wedding Ideas, it’s Sophie Grabham that you’ll need to be nice to. It’s not difficult, she’s really very lovely.

Andy Allen - Art Director at Wedding Ideas magazine

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Longest-serving Giraffe Andy is the most popular team member, mostly because of his unique take on life and his wicked sense of humour.

With a design background, Andy came to us via DJing – quite a local superstar he was too. Since hanging up his headphones and demolishing his decks, he now heads up the design side of the magazine, concentrating on the front cover, directing our photoshoots and all of our marketing material. In his spare time he designs the features with Colin and Ben. At his absolute best at the National Wedding Shows, where he really comes into his own. Northern monkey.

Ben Melville - Deputy Art Editor at Wedding Ideas magazine

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We’ve known Ben a very long time. So long, he’s grown a beard. David Baddiel lookalike and professional printer assassin, Ben Melville is a gentle and fun guy (not to be confused with fungi) who has so many ideas we can’t keep up.

Tasked with designing the magazine alongside Andy and Colin, he’s so lovely he sometimes makes us cry. Ben professes to have the show bug. This scares us…

Amy Elves - Apprentice Design Assistant at Wedding Ideas magazine

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We have an Apprentice, just like Alan Sugar! Young Daisy Lowe lookalike Amy loves the colour red, drawing and designing, fashion and music.

The great thing about loving all those things is that you can include them all in every-day life, which Amy does, with great aplomb. When asked at her interview how she would get a giraffe into a fridge, she said that she would make it really appealing for the giraffe and then encourage it in. Yes, we really did ask her that.

Amy works with the art team and co-ordinating all our featured weddings, which fits neatly round her love for Bowie and the film the Labyrinth. While she loves working at Wedding Ideas, she secretly yearns to play the role of Sarah in the re-make…

Pippa Ward - Brand Director at Wedding Ideas magazine

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What can we say about Pippa? As Brand Director she gets to go to lovely luxury launches, all the shows, long boozy lunches with the cream of the wedding industry and is so Bridal A-list that people lend her dresses these days.

She also manages to squeeze in all the magazine’s fashion clients, management of the online side of the business and spend much of her time in London, where she now lives, but we still get her back at least once a week. We’d like to think that since moving to London ‘she’s changed’ but she hasn’t – she’s still our Pips and still a million per cent committed to the brand that she manages.

Contact Pippa if you’ve got a new commercial idea, innovation, digital strategy, launch. Or a bottle of Champagne that needs drinking. You can find Pippa on Twitter too at @pippawimag

Martha Cooke - Advertising Sales Manager at Wedding Ideas magazine

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Martha Cooke is one of the office favourites, mostly because she’s mastered the art of listening – perfect for those of us who like to go on a bit. Like most of us. Toned and often tanned, Martha loves the gym and develops brilliant relationships with her many clients – display advertisers (they’re the ones with the big ads running throughout the magazine). She also manages Jola, Hannah and Linda.

Smiley, tactile and feline-esque in looks, Martha’s your contact if you would like to advertise in Wedding Ideas with something more than a classified advert. Or if you enjoy seriously hilarious emails – Martha thinks a lot and would make an amazing author. Or if you’d like to chat about just about anything. This girl is seriously unshockable. Yes, really.

Hannah Mawditt - Advertising Sales Exec at Wedding Ideas magazine

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Local girl Hannah Mawditt hotfooted it to Wedding Ideas via Exeter University and Virgin Active, where she was a top sales person despite her love of food and hatred of exercise.

Other things that we have learned about her is that she has a spaniel called Susan and a car so old and scruffy that she’s too embarrassed to drive to work. Luckily for us she’s always happy and smiley, showing off her cute dimples – another reason we love her!

Linda Weller - Advertising Sales Executive at Wedding Ideas

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Linda Weller is responsible for looking after getting local and national businesses into our online directory. Coming to us with an intimate knowledge of online advertising, two kids and some pets, Linda is the one who reminds us how lucky we are to work at the UK’s best Wedding Ideas. Like we need reminding.

We tell her that she got the job because she ‘loves selling’ (that’s what she said at her interview) but actually we employed her because she’s simply one of the nicest people you could care to meet.

Judith Kassapian - Publisher at Wedding Ideas magazine

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Judith Kassapian, better known as Judes, is our fierce but fair publisher who has the prickly job of paying us as well as collecting the money from everyone in order to do that. When not doing payroll or credit control, Judes is busy liaising with key suppliers, including our distributors, printers, doing print orders, looking after our auditing, management accounts and working with our accountant to get the figures looking good and more importantly accurate. It’s a tricky job, but she’s brilliant and one of the most popular members of the team. And not just cos she pays us, either!

Sandra Dodson - Finance and Admin Assistant at Wedding Ideas magazine

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Sandra Dodson is an old (well, young) faithful, who knows Wedding Ideas magazine inside out and back to front. She’s the first port of call for any question that anyone has about anything (wedding related or not), which makes her the perfect company backbone. She’s also front of house for payers (and non-payers, too – beware!), and she deftly organises our logistical arrangements for awards and shows, earning her the ultimate accolade of ‘control freak’.

Sandra really could organise a booze-up in a brewery, and she’d be the last one on the dance floor at the end of the night. Guaranteed.

James Payne - Online Manager at Wedding Ideas magazine

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What can we say about Mr Payne? Webmaster, internet guru, design god… James manages and maintains everything that leaves Giraffe HQ with a .com on it.

Responsible for most of the IT (because he’s the only one who can, poor chap), purchasing of all of our computers and maintaining our servers and systems, James always puts a brave face on it, even when dealing with the worst kind of incompetents. Namely the rest of us. James Payne is your man for everything related to Wedding Ideas online as well as our e-newsletters. Oh, and he knows quite a lot about cricket, guitars and fishing, too.

Rachel Morgan - Creative Content Director at Wedding Ideas

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Having handed over the ‘editor’ baton to Jade in 2013, after eight years at the helm, Rachel has now immersed herself in the online side of the business, writing brilliant features, making everything search engine friendly, and working with Izzy and James to keep us ranking highly in the wedding world wide web. Rachel also produces covermounts for the magazine and manages all of the Wedding Ideas Awards literature and coverage for the magazine and the website.

As calm as the Caribbean Sea and a self confessed ‘completer finisher’ (aka ‘perfectionist’), Rachel loves nothing more than cheese and biscuits. Oh, and she has a pet rabbit called Harry.

Rachel tweets from @rachelwimag

Izzy Hicks - Online Content Co-ordinator at Wedding Ideas magazine

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A self-confessed child at heart, our online content co-ordinator spent her 22nd birthday drinking Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida and said that she has: “never been so happy.”

Yes, our blond bubbly Izzy loves a theme park and would love to marry her long time beau at Disney World. We’re 100% supportive of this idea. But it’s not just the fun and frenzy of a theme park that Izzy loves – she also loves skiing, animals and Shakespeare – that heady combination.

And once, the film The Vow once rendered Izzy completely inconsolable on a transatlantic flight. We’ve provided a picture of her here just so that you can avoid sitting next to her on your next trip…