A Q&A with Wedding Planner + Designer Alice Wilkes

Written by Caitlin Hoare
Image by Katie Julia.
There aren’t many names that spring to mind when we think of luxury wedding planners pushing the visual and sensory boundaries of design. But renowned luxury wedding planner and designer Alice Wilkes is one of them.

We are thrilled to have Alice gracing the pages of our planning Blog today for many reasons, but mainly because…

  • Alice Wilkes Design embodies an aesthetic and vibe that we know many of our couples will aspire to.
  • She designs and delivers the most exceptional weddings and events. We know this because we haven’t stopped crushing on her Instagram page since following her account many moons ago.
  • She likes to keep things super-personal to the couple, and uses her wonderful imagination and luxury event experience to reflect their tastes and vision in her show-stopping (and achingly-beautiful) designs.

We grabbed a few minutes with Alice to ask her some of your top wedding planning questions and to find out how you might be able to sprinkle a little bit of Alice Wilkes magic onto your wedding day.

Q&A with Alice Wilkes

How can couples create a truly memorable experience for their guests?

For me, creating a truly memorable experience for guests should start from the moment they arrive. Having an impactful opening to the day i.e. via music, entertainment or welcome drinks will ensure guests remember the wedding and feel completely taken care of. Throughout the wedding I always tell my client that unique design moments, personal touches (i.e. personalised ribbons tied round napkins, or favours created by the couple) will ensure guests feel a part of the day.

How might a couple inject their own personalities into their wedding day?

My tact is to always start by getting to know the couple before I start any planning processes. I get to know them, their likes and dislikes and make recommendations from that point forwards on how they can inject their personalities throughout the wedding.

I use a very unique supplier network too and ensure each supplier is handpicked for the couple allowing each part to be personalised and very on brand with the couple I am working with. It’s imperative that my clients know that no two weddings will ever be the same with me and I ensure this happens by including very personal touches and being inspired by each couple. 

When planning / designing a wedding, where do you begin?

Our process begins by getting to know the couple. I want to know everything that makes them tick, what excites them, what are their big no-nos. I then look at creating the design thread that will underpin the entire day, from the initial save the dates all the way through the parting ways with the guests. It’s imperative that every element is planned to perfection but I can only do this by knowing the couple well. 

Of course we completely understand that not everyone will have the luxury of opting for a wedding planner. For those couples who are considering planning their wedding just the two of them, I would always recommend agreeing a budget first, creating a guest list to ensure you have a firm idea on potential numbers on the day and then shortlisting venues to visit based on both of your preferences, wants, needs and overall style of wedding. The venue will underpin the entire wedding and will set the tone for all other elements, so it’s imperative this is agreed on first. 

Which element of a wedding is often given the least amount of thought or consideration but actually has the greatest impact?

On the day stationery is deemed as an expensive cost but allows you to express yourselves through design. Bespoke font, beautiful details and personalised name cards that can be used as keepsakes will go a long way at your wedding and will remain with guests.

If you could only share one piece of wedding planning advice with our couples, what would it be?

It’s incredibly difficult to pick just one piece of advice but my main words of wisdom to any couple would be – be realistic with your expectations of your wedding vs. your budget.

For couples to be realistic on their budget and to ensure costs don’t spiral, we always recommend researching ahead of committing. It can sometimes be easier to go for the first option but it’s important to shop around, discuss those aspects of the wedding you may be willing to go slightly over budget for and keep a strong line of communication between the couple and the planner.

Enjoy the planning and don’t let stress and emotions take over. Follow the journey with a positive attitude. Trust the experts – that’s what we’re here for!

With thanks to

Planner Alice Wilkes

Photographers Katie Julia, Benjamin Wheeler, Andrew Bayda, Claire Menary and Camilla J Hards

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