Best Laid Plans By Lauren Steventon

Creative Director Caroline Hurley from Quintessentially Events takes the stress out of planning a wedding….

Best Laid Plans

Why do people tend to bring in a wedding planner?

To take the stress out of the planning process and to make sure that each element is addressed in plenty of time. Also, very much for guidance and suggestions on venues, design, catering and entertainment, realising your perfect day with a best friend who is a wedding party expert. To control budget spend, making sure that costs don’t get out of control and that there is sufficient and realistic allocation on costs from the beginning. Most especially, to manage the smooth delivery of everything on the day.

How would you respond to people who think they don’t need a planner?

No problem at all! You only want to work with clients who want to work with you and already understand and appreciate the value that you bring.

When is the best moment to approach a wedding planner to help you with your wedding?

At the very beginning, if possible. Not only can you provide recommendations as to the best locations and suppliers, but you are also very useful negotiating as you know what the costs and charges should be.

What sort of things do people tend to forget about when planning a wedding that a wedding planner can help run more smoothly?

You don’t need to plan everything in the one week. A carefully plotted-out timeline will greatly assist, as it helps create time to consider and research before making decisions. Table placement is always done at the last minute and can be stressful. Guest logistics are often last to be thought about, plus gathering various pieces of information such as the order of service or RSVPs, and correct scheduling of speeches and entertainment. Spotting the right men for buttonholes is always a bit of a challenge too!

How much control do wedding planners take away from the bride?

Hopefully none! A planner’s role is to present creative ideas and decisions in a clear and timely fashion for the bride and groom to decide upon, providing support and guidance where it is needed.

Best Laid Plans

How should a bride coordinate with her wedding planner – is it best to sit back and let them do the work, or are some brides very involved?

It totally depends on the bride (and groom) – some want a planner to take over and sort everything for them, some want to be involved in every single detail and some flutter between the things they care about and those they don’t. Ultimately, everyone is different and a good wedding planner makes a call as they go along.

Are some people worried that they won’t get to make the big decisions if they bring in a planner?

They may be, but they shouldn’t be. The big decisions should always be made by the bride and groom; a planner’s job is to short-list and guide.

What are the main differences between planning a city wedding and a country wedding?

One usually involves lovely green space with great views so it is best to make a use of them. Sometimes you need to bring in extra facilities such as toilets and power. A city wedding usually requires transforming an inside space and making it look as charming and romantic as possible.

What are the differences and difficulties with holding a wedding abroad?

Sourcing suppliers to the level that you need them to be in order to ensure that the delivery on the day is as you want it to be. Finding good furniture and props. Finding high quality sound and lighting equipment. Getting guests to and from the wedding, and moving them around in between.

What does Quintessentially offer that other wedding planners do not?

A level of attention to detail and creativity that is second to none, and access to an unrivalled network of the very best venues, suppliers and talents, worldwide.

Can you give some examples of fantastic things that Quintessentially have helped with that a couple might not have been able to do on their own?

We’ve created an entire pirate encampment in a grass car park next to a secluded beach in Devon, made chandeliers out of orchids, sculpted a bar with ornamental vases and desert service recesses out of ice.

What is the most challenging request that you have received?

A floating Chinese pagoda on a lake!

For more information, visit www.quintessentiallyweddings.co.uk and www.quintessentiallyevents.com.