B.LOVED Edit Supplier Spotlight: Couture Events
See our exclusive interview with Susannah about Couture Events, where we learn more about her signature style, the amazing events she’s working on as well as her passion for authentic weddings led more by her couple’s unique style than fleeting trends! Captured by the wonderful Helen Warner Photography!
Tell us about Couture Events Ltd! What services do you offer and what locations do you cover?
As the name suggests, we specialise in the creative design and immaculate management of bespoke luxury events, tailor made to suit your exact requirements in terms of style, scope and budget. With over 15 years’ experience in organising events in London and the Home Counties, we are experts in the planning and organising of beautiful weddings, stylish private parties and distinctive corporate events.
What is your signature wedding style?
I believe that as a wedding planner, it’s not my job to project my taste and preferences onto my clients but rather spend time getting to know them and listening carefully to the journey of their relationship and from there, to design and deliver an unforgettable day which reflects their personalities, their preferences and their stories and which guests would all agree is tangibly “them”. I do have a signature approach to wedding planning though which I am often told is a combination of meticulous, calm and collaborative.
What are your favourite wedding trends right now?
I’m not really a fan of trends which by their very nature are all the rage one moment then passé the next – which then risks making your wedding or party look really dated. Also by following a trend, you risk the look being really over-saturated and therefore unoriginal! I prefer to work with couples to create a day which is authentic and uniquely ‘them’. I think social media is a great source of inspiration so I recommend that clients use what they find as a springboard and then together we create a personal, meaningful twist on it.
Do you have any upcoming things you’re excited about?
I’m really lucky that my work includes a good mix of weddings, private parties and corporate events which means I get to work in a range of venues and locations from luxury London hotels and prestigious historic venues to country stately homes and marquees and with a huge variety of suppliers and budgets. No two days are ever the same and I can never predict what my next brief will be, which keeps me fresh and on my toes! I’m really excited about a very different styled shoot I’m working on early in the New Year and also about some new collaborations I’m developing – watch this space to find out more!
Tell us a little about yourself, your life as a wedding planner and favourite parts of your job
I’ve been in events for my entire career – starting out as an event manager at the Barbican Centre, moving into account management at a corporate hospitality events company (planning and organising the VIP hospitality facilities for corporates hosting their top clients at events such as Wimbledon, Ascot, Twickenham and Cirque du Soleil) and then 12 years as Director of Events at a London party planning company. Setting up Couture this year has been a dream come true – working for myself gives me a huge sense of professional fulfillment as well as allowing me the freedom to be around more for my three children.
One of the best things about being a wedding planner is being able to help people at a critical time in their lives – often I meet clients who have got lots of ideas but who just don’t know where to start or who to trust to translate their ideas into reality, or clients who are in a state of overwhelm and panic when they should be enjoying a very special time in the start of their lives together as newly engaged.
When clients realise that they can share it all with me, and rely on me to get things done swiftly and efficiently, with no detail overlooked, it’s such a weight off their shoulders, which gives me huge sense of satisfaction. Also, we often form an emotional bond formed which lasts well beyond their wedding day which I always really value as well.
What are the unique, standout elements about Couture Events?
With over a decade of professional party planning behind me, my clients know that they are in very safe hands – benefiting not only from my wide and varied experience but also from my network of trusted venues and suppliers. With such a wide and varied ‘supplier Rolodex’, whether a client wants me to arrange a surprise video for their other half featuring all their friends and family singing a favourite song or to organise an aerialist suspended from a giant helium balloon at their reception, I’ve done it all … so I know how to source it, what the reasonable cost should be and how to make it happen without a hitch!
What exciting things have you experienced in your career as Couture Events to date?
I’ve just had the best summer working in some of London’s most prestigious venues including Claridge’s, the Mandarin Oriental (pre-fire!), The Ritz, The Savoy, The Silver Sturgeon, Sky Garden, Guildhall,The HAC, Westminster Abbey and the Ham Yard Hotel to name but a few. Particular highlights have been working on an event in Stockholm for 2000 guests in May and arranging a very special private performance by a pop star for a teenage party in June – the guests were blown away!
Couture Events’ Top 3 Tipsfor couples planning their wedding
It’s hard to keep it to three only … but I would suggest:
Be organised – a folder, a timeline, a to do list and a budget – or get help from a planner!
Be clear – discuss and agree what are the ‘must haves’, the ‘nice to haves’ and the ‘could do withouts’ and allocate time and budget accordingly
Be calm – don’t sweat the small stuff – the most important part of the day is the ceremony and the celebrations with loved ones. No one will notice if the napkins don’t match the exact shade of your earrings so don’t lose sleep over it!
What does your dream wedding look like?
I’m lucky enough to have been happily married since 2003 and our day was most definitely a dream come true – it was a beautiful summer’s day, one of my brothers drove my father and I to church in my father’s beloved 1921 Jaguar Mark V, we were then surrounded by 120 or so family and friends for a reception on the lawn followed by dinner and dancing in a marquee and my parents surprised me with one thing I had been longing for – a romantic tree swing covered in beautiful flowers which I had dreamed of having at my wedding since I was little.
Are there any specific venues, or types of venues you adore working with?
In all honesty, I don’t have one favourite as all venues offer their own unique benefits for a planner – for example, when you are working at a top London 5 * hotel, whatever you need in a crisis or a hurry, they either have it or can get one super quick! Then again, working in a marquee – whilst it gives you no infrastructure to fall back on, instead you have a blank canvas to style, no limited supplier list to work from and no start or finish time restrictions!
So how did you become a luxury wedding and events planner?
I’ve loved weddings ever since I was little – I grew up dreaming about owning a wedding dress shop, I had it all styled out in my head right down to what my antique desk and chair would look like! I feel that my career path through venues, hospitality and party planning has given me a very solid foundation in terms of insight, experience, network and an understanding of how to manage clients – both the dream ones and the less than easy ones!
There is no doubt that is a huge responsibility to be trusted with a client’s vision, dreams and budget for their dream day and I am grateful every day that the work I have put in during my career to date has now given me the opportunity to run my own business and to love what I do. As Rumi said “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”.
- Photography: Helen Warner Photography
- Concept Design, Co-ordination + Styling: Couture Events
- Venue: B.LOVED Hive
- Styling Assitance: Styled by Louise
- Floral Design: Adventures in Flowers
- Etched glassware + cutlery: Couvert Hire
- Hair + Makeup: Mari Chase Hair + Makeup
- Stationery: Peony and Rose
- Calligraphy: Kirstie Bird Calligraphy
- Linens, Napkins + Ribbons: Silk and Purl
- Perfume Favours: Design In Scent Weddings
- Pink velvet chairs, pink glassware, candlesticks, ribbed plates, : Couture Events