Today we are happy to introduce you to Olivia of Olivia Soleto Weddings….
Why did you become a wedding planner?
For the last ten years I’ve worked as a senior manager in the catering and hospitality industry, including Wagamama, and most recently, stylish British restaurant, Canteen. I’ve always enjoyed organising events, but it wasn’t until I planned my own wedding that I realised I was good at it. Organising a wedding can be very stressful, but with my professional background it’s something I’m accustomed to, along with the long hours and high expectations.
What’s your USP?
I create unique, elegant weddings for style-savvy couples – and unusually, men are catered for too. As well as the usual wedding planning services, we also offer bridal styling experience, a suit-buying day, wedding day grooming service and professional speech-writing guidance overseen by lifestyle journalist and broadcaster, Anthony Teasdale. There’s so much focus on the bride-to-be that the groom gets sidelined. This gives him an excuse not to get involved. The wedding should be a reflection of a couple’s personalities and the things they’ve done together. In terms of looking good, men are much more in tune with their feminine side these days, so they can enjoy the grooming part with their mates as much as the bride does with her female companions.
What’s your signature dish?
I make a mean paella, which is always good on a summers day. My Spanish background means that cooking it is in my blood!
Do you have a favourite venue?
My venue of the moment has to be the Design Museum on the Thames in London. It’s very contemporary and has amazing views of London, with good outdoor space.
How would your clients describe you?
Cool, calm and collected. A good creative vision and an eye for detail.
Have you ever had a challenging client and how did you deal with it?
So far, no. I have a lot in common with my clients and I think that comes across on the website.
How do you unwind?
I’m an avid kick-boxer and love a swim. I’m also a big fan of True Blood and Mad Men.
If you could plan a celebrity wedding (alive or dead) whose would it be?
It would have to be Kylie Minogue. I think she’s very stylish and elegant – and I’m sure she’d be a pleasure to work with.
Is the job as glamorous as you thought?
I never expected it to be glamorous. Each day is different, which is good. I like the fact I get to use my creativity to help people create their vision.
Which wedding planner’s work do you respect/admire and why
I admire many wedding planner’s work, but I particularly like the creativity of Grant-Riley Weddings.
What themes are you working on for 2010?
Afternoon tea party with vintage feel, a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll-inspired party with red and white polka dots, and a Cool Britannia wedding.
What’s your biggest achievement since launching?
Bringing Olivia Soleto Weddings to life and being commissioned for two jobs in the first couple of months from launching. I feel privileged to have such a fabulous job – I’m finally doing what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The future is very exciting!
What is your vice?
Champagne, shoes and cupcakes.
What trends are you seeing for 2010?
Vintage, the colour red and all things retro-British are all very strong at the moment. Multi-day weddings are also very hip.
Thanks very much to Olivia for an insight into her working world.