Thursday 14 March 2019
In conversation with Sophie Griffiths - my top tips as a luxury wedding & event planner
The Golborne girls are frequently asked about their lives as luxury wedding & event planners. It's one of the most sought after jobs out there. Stressful at times but extremely rewarding. We decided to put some of the top tips from our experts together and interviewed our luxury wedding and event planner Sophie.
Sophie initially started at Golborne on an internship years ago and never left! We feel very lucky and grateful that she walked through our doors. She has a background in hospitality and is the ultimate professional and dedicated event planner. We sat down with her to get her insight into the wonderful world of events.
What made you want to get into events?
In my personal life I’ve always been a planner – I love to be organised and have always got a list on the go. When it came to my social life I would always be the ones organising everyone, researching things to do as a group and bringing people together. I just loved socialising and planning – even if I was hosting a dinner party for six people I’d have a seating plan and decorate the table. I just love creating experience and memories. It was then a natural progression for me to explore the events industry and now the fact I get to do everything I loved as a job is amazing. I find it so incredibly rewarding. Being a luxury wedding & event planner really is a dream come true.
Tell us about your favourite event you’ve created.
It’s very hard to choose so I think I’ll have to go for two because they’re just so different.
The first was the wedding for Alice and Cassian at the Wallace Collection. It was my baby and was a year in the planning. I really clicked with the couple and really enjoyed planning their day. We used such beautiful spaces, from the ornate church to the summer marquee on Manchester Gardens and then the gorgeous courtyard at the Wallace Collection. It was a full day of experiences and so incredible to see after the planning.
In contrast I then loved the launch for Westin Maldives at the Natural History Museum. The lead time was so short – just two months. I got a real buzz from the short planning time. It was a very creative event with the brief being to recreate the experience of the hotel within the Natural History Museum. We had a spa using the same oils as in the hotel. A flower crown station using tropical flowers from the island. For drinks we had coconuts being cut with a machette and made into cocktails. I loved the bed photobooth with the hotel bed flown in especially – it was so different. Creating a tropical experience within the Natural History Museum was so different and really fun.
Tell us about your favourite event you’ve attended.
Definitely the BAFTA Gala event I attended recently at the Savoy Hotel. It was so glamorous. I felt like a true VIP arriving on the red carpet. There were fans waiting outside to get autographs from the famous guests which made it sink in that this was a big deal. We were rubbing shoulders with true film royalty. Patrick Stewart, Joanna Lumley and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne were all there – I was in my element! To attend such a high profile, exciting event at an iconic London hotel, with beautiful styling was a dream. The venue looked amazing. Of course we adored the flowers. Wild About Flowers did such an incredible job with an impressive floral archway. The Great Hire furniture looked so stylish - we’re currently in love with their gold Gianni poseur.
Work perks don’t get much better than a night at The Savoy for a Bafta Gala!
What is your favourite venue in London?
It’s so hard to choose just one as it really does depends on the brief. However if I have to choose then I’d go for the Natural History Museum. I just adore the scale of the venue. No matter what you do to the space it’s always provides such a wow factor. I also feel a true sense of privilege being there after hours. So many thousands of people walk through the door every day and then we get to be there when everyone has gone home. Sometimes I think ‘how have I manged to get to be the person doing events here?’ I feel so lucky to experience that.
I also love the one hour turnaround from museum to event space. You can’t do much at that stage so it’s all in the planning. When everyone comes in they just know exactly what they’re doing. We brief our suppliers in detail and trust them implicitly. I love to see it all come together on the night. It’s such a big space to transform and I’m blown away every time.
What would your wedding be like?
It’s hard as I think I’d like to pick all my favourite things which then means it wouldn’t match at all! I’m torn between a fresh green and white vibe or a meadow full of colour. I’d also like touches of gold for contrast.
I’m very into floristry so I think that’d play a large part. I would love to have a flower crown station – it’s definitely one of my favourite things at the moment. I would also love floral structures or chandeliers over the tables. They create amazing impact.
In terms of entertainment I think a live DJ with percussion and a sax creates a brilliant atmosphere so I would definitely have that.
What do you think makes a successful event?
I think it’s all about your team. If you have a good, strong team around you who you trust you can do anything. Because at Golborne we are a small team, we both know the events inside out and I love that. We work very closely with our suppliers and see them as an extension of our team. I am also meticulous about my ops schedule and plan to the minute. It gives me a good structure to the day and ensures I don’t forget anything. That and a good briefing on the day.
What do you think are the important factors to consider for an event?
I think keeping people engaged is really important. Whether that’s through plenty of entertainment or even just flowing canapés and champagne. It’s really important to make sure that people are well looked after. We look for that value in our suppliers and they’re well known for it. Ensuring that the staff are smiling and caring for the guests is key.
It’s also really important to make sure that there’s something for everyone. Our events see a real range in demographic of both age and gender. You must make sure everyone is happy. I also think personal touches and mementos to take away go down so well. Leaving people with a memory is so important.
And off she goes, notebook in hand to carry on planning dream days and luxury events.