Q&A: Our Most Experienced Wedding Consultant

Fiona Scanlon – Peter Rowland’s Leading Wedding Consultant

How long have you been a weddings consultant?
I’ve been in the events industry for more than 10 years and looking after weddings for most of that time. It’s definitely one of the most rewarding things I’ve done and I’m still friends with some of the brides that I looked after when I first started. Being able to be a part of someone’s “once in a lifetime” day is a real privilege.

What is the most spectacular wedding you planned?
I can’t recall one particular wedding that stood out over any others, however my fondest weddings have been those in which the bride and groom have put lots of thought and consideration into the decorating, even down to the small details such as a cute little sign pointing their guests to the ceremony or reception location or providing guests fans on arrival during a hot summer’s day ceremony. Lots of couples also have monograms designed of their initials, which are then used throughout the whole process from engagement invitations, ceremony booklets, name cards and menus. It all ties in beautifully.

What are the hottest wedding trends for 2014?
Bespoke headpieces in place of the traditional veil are becoming more and more popular now; almost the less is more approach. And they can stay on all night, unlike many veils, which are often removed once the reception commences.

We’re also seeing a trend in downsized guest lists for couples to be able to spend more money on quality food and beverages for their close friends and family.

Dusty shades of pinks, peaches and greys are very quickly become the feature colours of 2014 weddings. They’re quite classic but tie in well with the vintage feel we’re seeing so much of at the moment. The colours are also flattering to lots of skin tones (a note for all of the bridesmaids!) and don’t over power the reception venue.

What advice would you give to brides before tackling their search for a venue?
Take your time and don’t bombard yourselves with too many venue inspections in one day. One venue will quickly merge into the other and your head will spin! And as a result you may not remember which venue is which and who does what.

Viewing 3 to 5 venues over the course of one day would be ideal. Take some time to get to know the co-ordinators and be armed with lots of questions that might otherwise escape you once you’re there.

What is the most outrageous thing you’ve seen at a wedding?
I’ve definitely seen a few in my time that have left me with raised eyebrows. A few have stuck in my mind including one very “leggy” bride whose wedding dress was so short at the front it looked like a 1960’s mini with a drop at the back into a long train.

Unfortunately I’ve also seen more family in-fighting over guest lists, seating arrangements and menu selections than I care to remember and makes for very uncomfortable planning meetings! Of course parents should be part of the day, especially when they are the ones financing it, however they also need to remember that it’s the bride and groom’s day.

Favourite wedding theme?
I love a classic black tie affair with a black and white or champagne theme. It’s so timeless and can suit almost any venue. It’s lovely when a couple also incorporate this theme into their wedding stationary, setting the scene with the invitations and ending with a classic and elegant thank-you card. Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up in a stunning ball gown or tuxedo?

Favourite wedding venue?
I definitely have soft spots for Rippon Lea and Gardens House. Rippon Lea is just the ultimate in venue classics; a very Gatsby feel. Whilst it’s quite a traditional venue, it evokes a beautifully relaxed atmosphere which is what you want as guests mingle by the pool for pre-dinner drinks to the sounds of some soft live jazz in the background. And who can go past the quaint but gorgeous Gardens House with total privacy and lots of stunning garden areas for a lovely spring ceremony and intimate dining room for small gatherings. Gardens House is so versatile with the option of a garden set marquee for larger numbers.

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