Today’s wedding planner interview is with Isabel of Isabel Smith Wedding Design. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
Isabel Smith Wedding Design is a boutique wedding planning company based just outside London. We work with clients all over the world to create memorable, design-led and smooth-running weddings in all corners of the globe. We say that ‘we love luxury, but hate ostentation’ because we aren’t into over the top weddings that are just for show. Our clients like the finer things in life but want weddings that truly reflect who they are in an understated way.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding planning?
I fell into wedding planning completely by accident as it happens. When I left university, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself but I had a boyfriend at the time whose parents were to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The husband wanted the party to be a surprise for his wife so I helped out with all the planning and design and simply loved the rush when it all came together. I spent 3 years working in some of the UK’s top wedding venues learning the secrets of flawless service and wedding-day operations but always knew I wanted to run my own company so that I could work much more closely with couples and be far more creative. I launched Isabel Smith Wedding Design back in 2009 focusing initially on weddings taking place in the UK, but my own wanderlust led me to start planning weddings all over the world 3 years ago.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Clichéd as it sounds, I love all of my jobs, but the highlights are the initial consultation with a client where I begin to get to know my couples really well and start to understand their vision of the wedding, and then the day itself when all those ideas have evolved into the final design. Watching my clients at total ease having the time of their lives with all their friends and family is such a delight.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding planners just getting started?
You have to find your style/niche and stick to it. The style of weddings you personally like are the ones you are most likely to end up planning so make sure that your brand and your marketing activities reflect that look. And most of all, trust your instincts. If you get the feeling during the consultation that a client just isn’t quite the right fit, walk away. It’s hard because you want to help every couple and take on as many weddings as you can, but I guarantee that trying to fit a square peg into a round hole just isn’t worth it!
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
Well I work a lot so I often just want to veg out in front of Netflix with my cats, but during the summer there is fantastic flying trapeze rig in Regents Park which I like to get to when I can. I’ve been ‘flying’ for 8 years now – I never improve, but I just love it!
What is your current favorite color combination?
It’s a bit ubiquitous at the moment but I am in love with copper. Copper with gray, copper with dark blue, copper with warm peach tones. My whole home is becoming an ode to copper!
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
There are certain styles that don’t really fit with what my clients are looking for – like the shabby chic/vintage look – but I wouldn’t say I want rid of them because each couple should have what they want. I guess my biggest bug-bear at the moment comes from suppliers. With Instagram being so en vogue, vendors often forget that the wedding isn’t theirs to market, but the clients’ to enjoy. When they post images of the wedding before the bride has even finished getting ready or seen the spaces I get very cross!
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning?
Before you spend a single penny on anything, make sure you have your priorities very clear. Your ceremony, venue, and catering must always come first but after that, book the things that mean the most to you (be that the band, the photography or the cake). There is nothing worse than rushing ahead and committing a ton of your budget early on and finding you have run out of money for the things you really want. If you have to compromise towards the end of the process on the things that didn’t matter to you so much anyway, then so be it.
Thanks Isabel! For more information about Isabel Smith Wedding Design, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Isabel? Add them to the comments below!