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An Interview with Colin Cowie

Words by Carolyn Gerin

Colin Cowie is misunderstood: People are dazzled by his celebrity wedding planner prowess (J-Lo, Jennifer Aniston) and his position as an international thought leader, tastemaker and author. Yes, he’s all of those things, but the wow factor for us is his down-to-earth quality: that intangible gift not all wedding planners have – he’s a filter for his couples' signature style which makes his signature style all the more special and relevant.

Colin believes, as we do, that true style isn’t about cash, it’s about creativity:

We believe dreams do come true.

We believe great style does not have a high price tag.

We believe planning a wedding should be fun.

We believe there should be magic…

DID: When you are tasked with designing a destination wedding, what are your strategies for bringing it all together in a foreign country where you may not have all your resources at hand?

CC: We always bring in a small management team of my most trusted creative partners who work and collaborate with local resources to ensure we have a knowledgeable and capable team on the ground.  Regarding equipment, if we are not able to find local props and décor we ship it in on containers.

DID: How do you pull in the local color for a destination wedding and incorporate it into your vision?

CC: It’s important to embrace local color and culture as it will set you up for success and make an authentic experience for your guests. However, I always keep the vision of the wedding up front and don't allow myself to be too distracted from it.

DID: What's trending now in weddings? What's hot and what's not? Any colors, themes or movements you are seeing?

CC: From a color point of view we have all embraced emerald green. Shades of purple, lavender and lilac continue to be strong, as does anything reflective. Mirror and mercury glass is super popular – mirrored table runners; chargers, vases and tabletops add big doses of glamour to any room. Crystal and beaded accents go a long way too – from napkin treatments to applications on printed materials. The macaroon seems to have replaced the cupcake. The miniaturization of food is super popular, as is the idea of creating food stations that are paired with appropriate wines. Speaking of beverages, the mixologist    is a must-have at any party to create a custom drink list for your  celebration. The "Great Gatsby" is a big trend coming
down the line too.

DID: What's the most creative destination wedding you've ever done?

CC: Costa Careyes on the west coast of Mexico is a jewel and I created my most fun and beautiful destination wedding there for 56 people. Other big contenders have been the South of France, Venice, Capri and Sydney.

DID: What are the three most important things to consider when planning a wedding?

CC: To never lose sight of the fact that this is about love and not about a perfect party! That you should enjoy the journey and not allow yourself to be too stressed out. That timing is the most important aspect of the wedding. Your wedding should move at a good, well thought-out pace vs. keeping your guests waiting all the time – this is the difference between a good and bad wedding and timing does not cost a single cent!

DID: What are the main takeaways from a Colin Cowie wedding? What will the guests remember which make your events different from all other weddings?

CC: That we took them on a magical journey with a beginning, middle and end…that we transported them to a fantasy place while they were with us…that we appealed to everything they smelled, touched, heard, tasted and felt from the time they arrived till the time they left. That life is too short, and we need to celebrate when we can.

Check out the Colin Cowie Wedding Planner & Keepsake Organizer from Sterling Publishing.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall2013/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

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