I’m writing this month’s post from LA, where there was a pre-Oscars vibe last week; a simmering excitement about what the stars were going to wear, who was going to party where and with who. The only downside was the traffic around Hollywood Boulevard as they closed it off for the big event.
So, with the Oscars on my mind, it was fantastic to be introduced to Charley Izabella King, an award-winning wedding planner, who was also involved with the Oscars last year. I had a million questions I wanted to ask. Within two minutes I found out Charley’s background was in performing arts, just like my own. She played leading roles in the West End before heading to LA, and now she enjoys using her showbiz knowledge to create fantastic weddings.
As I listened to her talk about how she looks after the bride and how she’s the first one to arrive on the big day and the last one to leave, I think back to my own wedding and remember how on my day I wished I’d invested in a planner. There were so many elements of wedding planning that I adored, but when I was sitting at our wedding breakfast worried whether everybody had had their food, I realised a wedding planner would have been money well spent!
With Charley’s fresh approach to organising a wedding, I was curious to find out the latest trends in LA, and see if they’re different to home.
She said: “It’s still all about the rustic/vintage look here. Mason jars, burlap and lace, old books, mismatched vintage furniture, mercury vases, soft blush, pastel colors and lace, lots of lace. Kind of like an upscale shabby chic look. Farmhouse tables and chandeliers and family heirlooms.”
So I asked Charley for her five top tips on why wedding planners are worth their weight in gold.
1. It takes the pressure off the bride and her family and friends on the day knowing the planner is taking care of every single detail and all the suppliers.
2. We have the best suppliers at our fingertips. Brides spend hours online looking for suppliers, and they don’t know if they’re going to show up, be reliable and do a good job. If we’re recommending them, then you know they’ll be all those things and more. We cut out a lot of the time wasting for brides.Sometimes brides come to us with suppliers we don’t know and we can research on their behalf, making sure they’re up to standard; I’ve met some of my favourite suppliers this way.
3. On the wedding day, we shield you from anything that might not be going the way you’d planned – things happen sometimes that are out of anyone’s control, especially if it’s weather related! We think on our feet; ssometimes plan B works out better than plan A, and if we get it right, you might never even know what went wrong.
4. When a bride’s extremely busy with work, they know that we’ll keep them on schedule, book the meetings, sometimes go to them on their behalf and keep the planning moving forward, and on time.
5. We offer complete peace of mind that each bride has the best suppliers with the right price for their budget. I’m the budget fairy! I don’t only match couples to the right suppliers for their budget but I also match their personalities as well. A bride has to love her photographer, as they’re going to be with them all day! I need to make sure they’re going to love the experience from start to finish.
Finally, I asked Charley how helping planning someone else’s big day compared to the adrenaline rush of being at the actual Oscars.“There’s a rush of adrenaline when you see it all come together. My favourite moments of a wedding day are watching the brides and their fathers together just before they walk down the aisle and the emotion that comes from both of them without saying anything. It’s a look or a touch, or a deep breath that happens and encapsulates all their feelings.”
This moment was so special to me on my wedding day. My favourite picture from the day is of my dad and I just as we start walking down the stairs and I can see my husband waiting for me. A moment I will always treasure.
So it seems that a performers tenacity is exactly what is needed to be a successful wedding planner.
It was so much fun and inspirational to meet Charley and hear how she created her career as a wedding planner. Now I’m going to take another look at the fashion on the red carpet for all those gorgeous Oscars-inspired wedding dresses…
Next month I’ll be talking about choosing the American Smooth as your first dance and giving some tips on how to make it happen.
Love, Camilla x