We're kicking the week off with some super helpful tips and dreamy inspiration from one of the coolest new vendors on the wedding block, Sundari Uthayakumar, aka The Wedding Stylist.
You may recall, we met Sundari a few week's back, she's the creative cat helping our real bride Gemma, and her fiance Tom, keep their glitter-dipped, beer-laced wedding day visions on track.
We're so chuffed that she's shared one of her first ever inspiration shoots with us, a pretty silver and sage wedding set-up, complete with lanterns, baby's breath, and chic glassware, photographed by the wonderful Ross Holkham Photography.
And not only that, but we sat down and asked her to share her expert advice on wedding planning, budgeting, the role of the stylist, “cutting the fat”, and what it's like to set up shop in the wedding biz…
1. What are the biggest trends you're noticing in weddings at the moment?
Definitely the splashes of sparkle & elements of patterns. From sequins, stripes to glitter; couples are really going for that metallic abstract look.
I think this reflects more in that couples are letting their imaginations run wild with being bolder and louder with their days.
2. How can couples create the kind of weddings they love from blogs and Pinterest, while still making it personal and timeless?
What makes a wedding personal to the couple is that they’re the ones creating it.
I think people worry too much about being unique and just need to run with what is truly important to them, whether it’s the food, music, or small intimate guest list.
It’s always best to start from where your heart is. Do you both LOVE popcorn? Have a popcorn bar instead of a candy bar, because you totally can! End of the day, weddings are timeless!
3. What areas should couples invest most in for their wedding?
Now that’s a toughie and totally depends on the couple, one couple it could be the drink and for another, the honeymoon!
A wedding is just the start of a bright and beautiful life together so I think invest in first and foremost your love together.
It’s super easy to get overwhelmed in wedding planning so make sure you two have the breathing room to just enjoy this time; you’ve both decided to announce your love and adoration to each other!
If you’re really worried over the cost of all certain things, go back to the start. Walk away from the spreadsheets and inboards, and focus on what are the most important aspects.
4. What areas do you think couples should save most on their wedding?
Cut the fat!
Drowning in DIY projects that aren’t looking how you dreamt them to? Cut! Take those paint pots and ribbon away and chuck em! If something is becoming more of a task than a joy, cut it. or ask for help!
If you don’t end up with those beautifully hand written name places everyone will survive.
If you’re in the nitty gritty of your budget and really need to crunch those numbers. Write it all out by hand (I always find hand written things therapeutic).
Don’t feel pressured to spend more money on this and less money on that, because end of the day it’s completely up to you. It’s your day, your choice.
If something is feeling a little too costly, it’s your gut telling you something isn’t quite right. I, personally am an avid eBayer, so if I find that gorgeous something on Etsy, I will undoubtedly ALWAYS check on eBay to see if I can grab something cheaper.
5. Weddings are often a lot about dresses, flowers and soft tones, what are some ways that grooms can make more of a stamp on their day?
Grooms are JUST as important as the bride, I mean they’re exactly 50% reason why the wedding is even happening!
If your wedding is DIY, make sure you DIY together.
In a lot of cases the groom does just let the bride run free with her dreams but I think it’s really important that before anything even begins, the groom insists on having a sit down chat and talk through his lady’s ideas!
It gives them the chance to actually hear what might happen and also gives the bride a chance to actually hear if he doesn’t like gold glitter dipped feathers *cough cough Tom ahem* before she steams away creating.
Also, there will be a multitude of compromises on both sides undoubtedly and then there won’t be that panic moment four weeks before the wedding with that oh-so-helpful comment of “You went for that colour ribbon?”
6. Aside from blogs, magazines and Pinterest, is there anywhere else couples should go to for wedding inspiration?
I personally, as a wedding dreamer, get a tonne of inspiration visiting new places and in particular shops!
I personally love a good old shopping trip and finding gorgeous shop windows is one of my favourite hobbies! I always find they’re super creative and bold & colourful which is totally my style.
Having a background in architecture have a love for spaces and the use of say my favourite cafe. It’s all about how people circulate which for me translates straight into weddings. There’s no point having a candy floss cart inside when most of the party is happening outside!
So look beyond the computer screen and feel inspired by your simply everyday, it could even be Mary Berry’s cooking show! I was definitely inspired by that recently.
7. How can couples ensure their wedding day itself runs smoothly?
Funnily enough wedding planning yourself it is less about the styling and more about the logistics when it gets down to it.
Who’s transporting the beer? Who’s setting up the confetti bar? What time is the sparkler send off?
Having a wedding day schedule will be the golden ticket to you I swear.
With that wonderful piece of documentation you can easily just hand it over to your stage manager/friend/cousin for the day and feel secure enough that they have every single detail.
This timeline will ensure that everything happens according to your plan leaving you to just enjoy and soak up the day.
It’s good to set timings, it’s even better to have contact details of each supplier, so if something doesn’t quite go to schedule someone is hot on the phone to them.
I think the main thing to remember is that you cannot micro manage your guests or suppliers, so if you notice in the back of your eye the cake baker arriving an hour after they were meant to, ignore it.
8. What exactly do wedding stylists do? How do they differ from wedding planners?
All wedding stylists have their own passion and flair.
Here at the Wedding Stylist I love being the one who will assist in inspiring and creating contemporary decoration and details to the day. It’s all about creating those jaw dropping spaces which make your day one of a kind.
I’ll come up with the creativeness and hand make them myself. I can also suggest how to arrange your table scape, offer my eye in composition in ensuring everything is beautifully aligned.
Or if you’re a super creative mind like my June bride Gemma, I'll be that helping hand in creating those Pinterest dreams you’ve been holding onto since you got engaged.
Wedding planners are much more heavily involved with the logistics, so all those nitty gritty details, they’ll be your personal organiser whereas a stylist or wedding designer is more for the couple who want to plan their wedding but may not have all the creative ideas or the time to get the day sparkling.
9. Why should someone hire a wedding stylist?
A stylist ensures that you’ll have knock out decor and all of those special touches that you dream of.
They don’t need to be there on the day, they don’t need to take over everything, they simply collate and bring together the creative side of a wedding and make it sing harmoniously.
They’ll continuously throw in ideas to make it even more special (that’s my favourite bit) – I love challenging the norm and getting couples to really go for it when it comes to their wedding day.
“Why don’t you have that amazing back drop for your reception table? Why don’t you have all your cutlery wrapped in the most gorgeous ribbon? Let me create that customised confetti that makes for such a gorgeous confetti throw photograph!”
We stylists make sure that your wedding is truly yours.
10. Tell us a bit about setting up a business in the wedding industry.
Starting this business was certainly one of those lightbulb moments.
I think there are thousands of people out there to help create the wedding of your dreams but I want to not only do that but inspire a couple to dive into designing their wedding day from top to toe.
You have to firstly define yourself, your brand and your client. The wedding market is HUGE but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just go for it.
Within a few short months I was already bringing together the most amazing suppliers to create this photo shoot I dreamt up a year before and it’s just the beginning of a bright future.
With the most amazing wedding in June to look forward to and meeting the woman of my dreams through that, I know that there are others out there who want to combine forces and unleash our talent to the couples out there who crave that zazzy feeling at a wedding.
A little glitter really does go a long way and I want to encourage anyone out there to just go for it when it comes to starting up your own business, I’ve made my dreams come true and will continue to do so with the support of the amazing community that surrounds me now.
The Wedding Stylist's Top 5 Tips for Wedding Planning
1. “You won’t remember how your wedding looked, you will remember how it felt” Keep this in mind throughout planning. It’s a quote I read a while ago in a book and it’s still stuck with me.
2. Make the decisions, rather than run from them. It’s easy to be piled under many options and get frazzled. You have to be brutal. Cut the fat, make your choice and stick!
3. Ask for help! Live by the saying “two minds are better than one”. This wedding is about the two of you.
Don’t get bogged down under all those DIY projects you have taken upon yourself, get the help if that beautiful neon pink dipped cutlery! Whether it’s a handy family member or a stylish friend or your groom! Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
4. Write down a list of the five most important aspects that you want your wedding to encompass as a couple. Take the time together to really discuss what is most important to you both.
Venue location, guest list size, flowers, food … etc – So later if something props up that isn’t in your budget, go back to that list and remind yourself of what matters to you most.
5. Remember you are getting married, not just throwing a big party. You’re in love, you are happy and you are marrying the person of your dreams.
Well thank you Sundari!
How helpful are Sundari's tips? I love how she says, “Cut the fat!”, such a hard thing to do, but sometimes you've got to be ruthless!