By Special to

Erica Thimsen, owner of Helping Hand Parties & Weddings, recently received notice from Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Abroad (DWHA) magazine, based in the United Kingdom, that she had been recognized as one of the World’s Top 50 Wedding Planners in their January/February 2018 issue which just hit our newsstands last month.

The top 50 wedding planners included 10 from the United States. The magazine is published in over 100 countries and the January/February issue is now available at newsstands and online (

In addition, with the recently announced engagement of Prince Harry (formally Henry Charles Albert David) and Meghan Markle, DWHA has decided to publish a special edition devoted to the royal wedding and since Ms. Markle is from the United States, DWHA asked each of the top 10 US wedding planners to answer interview questions and provide suggestions and photos for the royal couple to consider for adaptation into their wedding.

DWHA obtained confirmation that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will read all submissions and decide if they want to include any of the suggestions in their wedding. Erica Thimsen noted that “We did the style shoot at the Huntsville Botanical Garden and submitted the shoot in February.

“I was fortunate to have a number of our local vendors contribute their talents to the photo shoot. In addition to the Huntsville Botanical Garden offering their wonderful staff and use of their facility, I’d like to thank the following vendors for their contribution to the styled shoot: Joel and Amber Photography, Couture Cakes, Florals by Lisa Atkins, Ledgewood Stationery, Your Perfect Party, Mullins Rentals, artist S. Arias Creates, White Dresses, Metropolitan, Ice By Design, Jayne’s Salon, Klos Diamond Center, Yolo Rollo ice cream, Brooks Photography, The Black Tux, runner design and model Amy Webb, models Tessa Hays and Josh Wright, and team coordinators Lynn Cagle and Leigh Cella for all their time, energy, and resources.”

“It is truly an honor to be selected as one of the 50 best wedding planners in the world and it was a wonderful surprise that Helping Hand Parties & Weddings from Huntsville, Alabama was invited to provide a style shoot of wedding concepts and suggestions for the royal couple,” said Erica Thimsen.

Be looking for the interview and photos from this photo shoot in the May edition of DWHA magazine. The royal couple will be married on May 19th, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Erica Thimsen founded Helping Hand Parties & Weddings in 2010 and has been planning and coordinating weddings, parties, and events creating unique and memorable celebrations for all. With strong industry relationships and great attention to detail, she can put the fun in and take the stress out of any event. From small intimate parties to 1000+ events both local and international, she has been exceeding client expectations and been awarded the Most Popular Wedding Planner in Alabama by Wedding Industry Experts Award for the past three years and the winner of WeddingWire Couples’ Choice award for the past five years. She has also been featured in many magazines and blogs.