#herblovedlife: Day in the Life of Liesl Lamare of Lamare London
We’re incredibly excited to share the latest instalment of the #herBLOVEDlife series with a peek behind the scenes with luxury wedding and event Planner, Liesl Lamare! We wanted to know what a day in Liesl’s life looks like as her role as the Founder and Creative Director of Lamare London, co-coordinating opulent weddings and events in London and beyond – but also as Wife and Mother-to-be!
Where do you live? In a 4-storey terraced, Georgian House in South London with my husband and 3 dogs.
What’s your background, how did you get into what you do now?
I made the decision to study Business Management at university as I have always had a very entrepreneurial spirit – it all started in the playground where I would sell homemade sherbet or sweets in my father’s used camera film pots which I branded with stickers during the lunch break – and was intent on having my own business one day. Fresh out of university, I started my career as an accountant, but after one year I was quick to realise that despite being a whizz with numbers, my creative flair and interests were stifled. So I resumed my career planning corporate events for a finance boutique in Mayfair for 6 years. But, as much as I (still!) enjoy planning a corporate event, I soon fell in love with the personal side of weddings in 2010 and have passionately been planning weddings ever since.
The aim of my wedding planning business was to break the “package” mould being offered to couples in the UK which I found limiting and impersonal. Instead I wanted couples to experience tailor-made luxury weddings, unique and reflective of their own personal style. I incorporate the same ethos into planning private parties so that the host’s personality shines through, as well as with planning corporate events ensuring the celebration reflects a brand’s core messages and identity.
I’m definitely a morning person, although my husband gets up earlier than I do to go to the gym or work, so he usually wakes our three dogs (a Beagle and two Maltese),who have a ‘Doggy Den’ downstairs,and takes them outside into the garden. Meanwhile, I’ll reach for my phone to catch up on social media (more often than not, it’s Instagram!), whilst still in bed, by which point the dogs have breathlessly run upstairs to our bedroom to say hello and to take advantage of a morning snuggle. On weekdays (and Saturdays when I have a wedding or event) the morning “lie in” with the dogs is short lived, so I’m usually out of bed by 7.45am so that I can have a shower and get dressed for the day.
First I’ll feed the dogs their breakfast, and then I’ll hit the latte button on the Nespresso machine for my morning caffeine fix along with a bowl of porridge or granola. I’ll sit and enjoy that at the dining table whilst scrolling through new emails and my action list for the day.
By 9am I’ll be at my desk in my office which is in the lower ground floor of our house, overlooking the garden. My office is always tidy – it’s the only way I’m able to get anything done as well as get creative without anything to distract me. Being a planner, everything has its place, and I have a very meticulous filing system for all of my events, parties and weddings. My office is filled with some of my favourite prints and photos on the walls and is predominantly white and grey with pops of on-brand pink and turquoise. I also enjoy fresh flowers on my desk – usually in pink or white – and a scented candle (Diptyque Baies is my favourite). The dogs keep me company – although they can usually be found snoozing on the office rug or by my feet under my desk.
The first thing I do, is respond to emails as I like to keep my inbox very tidy to keep on top of things. I’ll also make any necessary calls if I need to follow up on any emails or supplier quotes. I usually have meetings with suppliers in Central London from around 10.30am – whether it’s to see a venue, a florist, or a stationer, for example, so I leave Lamare London HQ around 10.10am as it only takes me on average 20 minutes to commute into the heart of London.
Lunch is usually 1pm(ish). If I’m out and about in between meetings in Central London, I usually grab a salad or some sushi on the go. If I’m working from the office, lunch is usually a warming soup in Winter, or crushed avocado with chilli flakes on toasted sourdough in Summer. I often use 30 minutes of my lunch to check up on social media again and to spend some good play time with the dogs to break up my working day.
My days vary quite a lot, but if I’ve had meetings out of the office earlier in the day, I use my afternoons to sit at my desk to collate quotes for clients from suppliers, review each clients’ action list of items left to secure for their special event, make any necessary payments to suppliers on behalf of clients and update client budget spreadsheets. I’ll also use any leftover time to work on back-of-house admin such as marketing and accounting. However, ifI find myself having meetings in Central London in the afternoon – usually over tea and a cheeky slice of cake (my sweet tooth is my weakness!) –I will make sure I’ve done all my desk work in the morning instead.
End of working day
I always aim to finish work by 6.00pm, but I occasionally have an evening consultation with prospective clients to work around their work schedule or I’ll have a quick telephone call or meeting with my existing clients to run through their wedding plans, so the odd working day could finish around 8.00pm.
Dinner time & evening
My husband usually gets home between 7 and 8pm, so if I can, I like to spend the time waiting for him to get home to unwind with the dogs and feed them their dinner, catch up on household admin, or treat myself to a relaxing bath. Lucky for me, my husband likes to cook, so he is in charge of dinner. (To make up for my lack of cooking, I’m the baker in our house – so I enjoy using my downtime on the odd free weekends to bake – which I find very therapeutic!)Dinner is usually something healthy such as green vegetables with either fish or chicken – so that we can treat ourselves to dinner out or a takeaway on the weekend without the guilt. After dinner, we’ll both relax in the lounge and can usually be found watching a TV series on Netflix before we head to bed. I also like to see my friends for dinner whenever all of our crazy work schedules make it possible.
Describe your style…
Feminine and modern with classic undertones. I love the stylish foundation of something classic or traditional and layering it with something a bit bold or contemporary – whether it’s in my home or what I wear. For example, I love a feminine black dress, but will add a statement necklace or a bright jacket or scarf for personality. I also have an obsession with grey.
How do you stay inspired & motivated?
I love my job! – I am always inspired and motivated by my peers and the incredible talent within the events and wedding industry. There is so much creativity and opportunity within our industry, that I’m always driven to push boundaries and inspire my clients to try something that’s not typically seen so often on Pinterest or in Bridal Magazines.
A lot of my inspiration comes from emerging interior design trends, fashion trends, travelling as well as from museums / exhibitions.
What’s your biggest business challenge?
I have a love / hate relationship with Pinterest. Pinterest can be an incredibly inspiring resource to clients when looking for ideas for their wedding day or special event, but it can also steer you down the wrong path and away from the essence of who you are, your personality and interests. Too often, I’ll see couples aspiring to recreate a beautiful wedding they’ve found on Pinterest, but it lacks that special personal touch, so I like to remind couples not to lose sight of that very critical element which makes your event truly yours! The other danger of Pinterest is that is can be misleading in terms of how much things cost and what is achievable on a “DIY” basis, meaning the value of hiring a planner is compromised as they think they can do it themselves.
I like to use the analogy of how a surgeon would not ask me, as a wedding and event planner, to perform a complex operation without the training, expertise or knowledge to do so – and therefore, clients need to understand that I can bring a wealth of experience and unbiased advice to their special event if they hire me as their planner, often saving them lots of time and wasted expense on getting it wrong on such an important day where you have one chance to get it right! That said, I still encourage my clients to be as involved in the wedding planning process as they want to be because it’s their wedding, not mine. I prioritise getting to know and understand who my clients are as people and their interests, so that I can incorporate this into their celebration. So although I don’t discourage DIY entirely, be careful not to stress yourself out in the process of trying to do everything yourself on top of your day job. It’s important to have fun along the planning journey itself so I encourage you to consider the benefits of hiring a professional planner for your event or wedding.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Because I’m so passionate about my business and what I do, it is incredibly rare for me to switch off from work entirely. I’m always striving for myself and the business to do and be better as it’s so important to me that my clients feel like VIPs and are being taken care of. The Lamare London ethos is to ensure every wedding and event is filled with TLC to give it that wow-factor and personal feel – the “TLC” at Lamare London stands for Touches of Luxury and Character. By not ‘switching off’ from work-mode, this can cause me to neglect my own health and personal time for myself, family and friends. So one of my goals for the next 12 months is to continue offering an exemplary service of excellence to clients to plan extraordinary events, parties and weddings that exceed their expectations, whilst striking up a good work-life balance.
To reinforce this goal, I’m also expecting a little girl, so I’ll be working extra hard on mastering the art of juggling “mum” and “girl boss”! So we’ll see how my “Day in the Life” adapts over the next year so I can maximise my time with the newest addition to our family, whilst making sure my clients still have the most fabulous events and weddings planned by Lamare London.