Being a wedding photographer, I’m in awe of how everything comes together to create a wonderful day for all wedding couples. There are the dressmakers, the caterers, the venue, the decorators, the transportation, the hair and make-up artists, the vicars, the registrars, the photographers, the videographers, the bands, the DJs, the florists – have I forgotten anyone? Everyone does their bit, and a lot of work goes on in the background leading to the wedding day and on the day it just all happens, just like that; or so it seems, when you work with people who are professionals and know what they are doing!
I thought I’d get to know a little more about all these wedding suppliers, what kind of people they are, how they work and what they like about working in the wedding industry; what kind of stories they have to tell, and what tips they can give to couples planning a wedding.
I shall start with and interview with Lisa Fox of Wedding Dressings. I met Lisa at a wedding fair a few weeks ago and was really impressed by the flair and beauty of her wedding dressings – the room Lisa had decorated looked simply stunning. The table centrepieces she creates are truly unique, and give a wedding a stylish look. Lisa caters for a variety of wedding venues, and she is the main wedding decorator of Brighton and Hove Bandstand weddings.
Lisa, how did you get into the wedding dressings business?
I worked for most of my life in the music and interactive entertainment industries. After a rewarding career and lots of hard work and lots of fun, the commute just became a bit too much for me and so it was time to hang up my videogame boots and start a new career. I wanted to be able to leverage the skills I had learnt over the years, but in a time frame that would allow me to manage other aspects of my life too.
Having always had a customer-facing role, with lots of time and supply chain management experience, the wedding management business seemed to me to be a great fit. Also having run a festival in Edinburgh for three years, I knew I enjoyed the challenge of creating something out of nothing.
I had the fantastic opportunity to work with The Bandstand in Brighton and Hove and grabbed that prospect with both hands and really, that’s where it all started.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Weddings are an extremely happy time for couples and I really enjoy working with them to help them realise their vision for their special day. I have found most couples to be relaxed and willing to be open-minded about suggestions, so the liaison is great fun. Stepping back and looking at the finished result before anyone sees it gives me a buzz too. I’ve had some lovely testimonials from people that really make you feel like you have genuinely made a difference to their day – which is incredibly rewarding.
What are the smallest and biggest weddings you have catered for?
The biggest was probably about 100+ and the smallest 12. The small wedding parties sometimes feel they need to explain – of course they don’t. Their day and guests are equally as important!
What are the pros and cons of a location like the Bandstand?
The Bandstand is one of the most elegant, listed outdoor venues on Brighton and Hove seafront for a wedding or civil partnership ceremony. It is truly majestic, in an unrivalled position, elevated over the sea. Pros are exactly those!
Cons are the vagaries of the British weather. But with a bit of magic we can transform the indoor venue downstairs.
What tips do you have for brides and grooms choosing the type of decorations and colour scheme for their wedding?
Really most colours work well – what I wouldn’t recommend is trying to mix colours together just because you are trying to accommodate each other’s favourite colour in to the theme; this can result in a clash of colours. So keep it simple, but not necessarily neutral! Zingy colours like tango, lime and fuchsia look as stunning as the more traditional neutrals, like white, cream and greens, and can be presented in modern, contemporary or traditional ways.
Keep your centrepieces tall on the guest tables so that they do not obstruct the experience of the interaction of your guests (this is a common mistake). The taller centrepieces tend to be hire-in items as they are very costly to buy – but you can hire them at very affordable prices, and customise as you like.
Keep the decorations on the top table relatively low lying, so the wedding party can see and engage with their guests, after all that’s why they are all there.
Don’t be afraid to use artificial flowers…. there are some fabulous ones out there and they can be given as gifts/keepsakes afterwards, whereas real flowers, as beautiful as they are, often just get left behind after the big day, or die quickly after, which is such a shame and waste.
If you have a lot of kids coming get some entertainment in for them like a magician or goody bags – these work wonders – they have a fabulous time and the parents get to share in celebrating the special moment and day too.
Thank you, Lisa, for all your tips and info!
For more about Lisa’s services, go to the website Wedding Dressings and give Lisa a call.
Who else would you like to see interviewed in this blog? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below!