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Our story

After meeting at running club in 2007, Clare and Rachael became firm friends, talking about most things as they ran through the streets of Manchester in all weathers.  Over the years they have settled in the Northern Powerhouse, developed exciting careers in healthcare and law, and found themselves a couple of lovely husbands.

And it was in getting to the husband and wife bit, that they each did endless research, at that time the only way to create their wedding visions.  Endless research for these time-poor professionals was tough, but it had to be done.  

How to I Do aims to navigate you through the wedding planning minefield.  With so many different wedding suppliers to choose from, and so many decisions to make, we aim to make the process faster, easier and more enjoyable.    

Where to start? We have started for you with our list of boutique, regional wedding suppliers. We have hand-picked smaller, independent businesses who depend on their good reputations (which we understand to be excellent).  

BBC Radio

We also have created a topical and useful blog to inspire and assist you along the wedding planning journey. After your wedding, you are welcome to contact us if you would like your wedding to be featured, or if you can otherwise contribute to the wedding planning community with your take on a topical wedding issue please get in touch.

Let’s share the love: If you have had a fantastic experience, we also invite you to recommend suppliers who are not already featured. 

Moreover, to create a community of helpful recommendations, you can comment on a supplier in the Leave a Review section on the supplier’s page.  We invite honest and helpful reviews to help future couples. How to I Do.  A community of handpicked, independent, boutique wedding suppliers; some of the very best in the North West.   

Our labour of love. 


OUR ETHOS ———————————————————————————————————————————————

Since launching our website, week on week wedding suppliers contact us and ask to be part of our directory. We look for independent businesses throughout the North West that we ourselves would want to use if it was our wedding. We also look for those who are quirky or unusual (in a good way!), and those who represent the diversity and multiculturalism of the North West. Our aim is to be gender neutral too. A wedding is about the couple, and we are certainly not about putting added pressure on brides (indeed, just over half of our users are men, on the last count). Ultimately, we want planning a wedding to be seen as a fun experience and a way to support local businesses. How to I Do: handpicked and boutique wedding suppliers for everyone.


MEDIA ——————————————————————————————————————————————————

We have taken part in a number of media efforts. In July 2018 we spoke at the launch of Edinburgh’s new Google Digital Garage, sharing the stage with politicians and other entrepreneurs. After that the Head of Google talked about us in About Manchester. With 9 days to go before her due date, Rachael and Clare spoke on Ribble FM. In fact, Rachael gave birth to her third child in October 2018 and just 3 weeks later we were on television. More recently we joined the lovely John and Albia on the afternoon show for BBC Radio Lancashire.


CLARE ——————————————————————————————————————————————————

Clare is married (happily!) to Oliver and they live in a beautiful, leafy North West seaside town with their cheeky Cockapoo Wilf. Outside of How to I Do, Clare spends her time looking after the poorly and the pregnant with her MSc in Medical Ultrasound. She also enjoys her holidays, long walks in the English Countryside, throwing some shapes at Salsa (well, trying to!), and eating out…………. a lot!


RACHAEL ————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Rachael is a Mum of 3 little smashers, and married to Dan. She lives happily in a Victorian suburb of Manchester. Apart from How to I Do, her daily life comprises representing the great and the good in her professional capacity as a barrister, and otherwise responding to “Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!” In her moments of free time you might catch her jogging along the Bridgewater canal or having a cheeky glass of wine with her friends.


THANK YOU ———————————————————————————————————————————————

Our Story has only been possible as a result of a little help from our friends… A huge thank you to those special people who have listened to our ideas develop, encouraged us to take the plunge, and who have been generous with their time and support. Katie Bentley-Chan, Amee Fairbank, Mark Brown and of course Dan and Oli, thank you. Also, we need to do a huge shout out of appreciation to the Google Digital Garage in Manchester. We have attended their wonderful Start Your Own Business course and found it helpful and inspiring. Thank you guys! Finally, a special and heartfelt thanks go to Uel Maree, “our” lovely South African, who has assisted us with our tech and web development. We daren’t recommend him too highly; we want to keep him!