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Sarah Reid Pitcher, St James’s 1981 Leaver

Malvern Alumnae 100 Sarah Haywood

Ranked No. 1 in Vogue USA’s International Wedding Planners (2018), Sarah’s company, Sarah Haywood Weddings & Celebrations, is one of the world’s leading party planners and event designers; sought by luminaries, public figures, and international royalty. Sarah has been described as “the ultimate insider” by The Sunday Times,“Britain's most sought-after wedding planner and an authority on multimillion-dollar weddings” by TIME magazine, and “one of the most highly-rated wedding planners in the world” by Paris Match. She is known for creating spectacular, immersive and magical experiences for her A list clients all over the world.

Sarah has also brought about industry standards in event planning, co-founding EPIC (the Event Planners International Collaborative). Her workshops and courses are designed to assist professionals improve their businesses by introducing quantifiable standards of service and delivery. She is also a best-selling author of the Wedding Bible books, and regularly appears in media across the world. Her new TV series The Wedding Fixer airs this autumn on the W channel.

Sarah has received a Pink Shoe Icon Award from the Pink Shoe Club which was set up by entrepreneur and Senior Parliamentary Advisor Helene Martin Gee. Its aim is to shine a spotlight on high-achieving females who will act as beacons for others; proving that with determination and ability, anything is possible.

Sarah studied at Warwick University. An early fore-runner of her writing and editing skills was the publication of Vi et Virtute A Celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of St Jamess, West Malvern, named after the schools motto (Vi et Virtute translates as ‘by force of courage’).

What does success look like?

For me success means the freedom to make my own decisions. Those decisions have not always been good ones, but I have learned as much (if not more) from my failures as my successes.

What is your best piece of advice?

Just wanting something and working hard for it is not enough; know, accept and work with your limitations as well as your strengths. Indeed, this is your responsibility to yourself. You make your own luck in this fiercely competitive, fast-moving world (and I have worked very hard to be this lucky!). I think my teachers and class-mates may be surprised to see me on this list! I was not a high achiever in my school days and have been a late bloomer. But I am living proof that it is not all about exam results - there is room for all of us to blossom and grow.