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Friday, November 23, 2012

Destination Wedding Expert: Colin Cowie Weighs-In

Words by Carolyn Gerin
Photos courtesy of Colin Cowie Weddings
Colin Cowie: The Interview
Artful Innovation and Personal Style Trumps Overspending on W-Day


“Your wedding day is just the first of many in a life entwined.  It should be a joint statement of both your styles – your very first as a couple.” – Colin Cowie


Colin Cowie: celebrity wedding planner, international thought leader and tastemaker brings bold, fun, elegance to everything he creates with an eye on innovation. Into a sea of predictable wedding day offerings, he brings freshness and individuality, (with an eye on the couples’ tastes and lifestyle), translating their DNA into an event as unique as a thumbprint. Taking his cue from the couple and working with theirsignature style is what makes his signature style all the more special and relevant. What does the Adorii team adore the most? Artful innovation over overspending: with Colin it’s not about how much money you throw at the event, but how you weave the elements together to arrive at the sweet spot. Clearly, we share a philosophy: true style isn’t about cash, it’s about creativity.
 

To celebrate the release of his stunning new wedding planner,
Colin Cowie’s Wedding Planner and Keepsake Organizer by Sterling Publishing we interviewed Colin about budgets, ideas, doing more with less (fewer courses, one signature cocktail, event flow/timing) and how to bring on the magic.

Q: Define a Colin Cowie Wedding and couple -
A: I don’t have a signature style. My inspiration always comes from the client. I interpret their likes and dislikes, edit, then design and produce a wedding that is uniquely and utterly theirs.  However, my events are always, bold, elegant, fun and tastefully executed with tremendous attention paid to every detail and production value.

Q: How can your book help engaged couples, how is it different than other wedding planners?
A: This is a stylish planner and keepsake organizer that makes fabulous weddings accessible to everyone. It’s a great way to have me right by your side throughout this journey no matter your budget, location, etc…

Q: How do you get your inspiration and how did that impact the book?
A: I'm inspired by many things: my travels, my friends, magazines, movies, the stores I shop in and many that I just browse.  I love food and find inspiration from the many great chefs I’m fortunate enough to work with. Most importantly, everyone wants something personal and I love learning about my clients tastes – their likes and dislikes, then creating something that reflects their personal style and always exceeds their expectations.

Colin Cowie’s Wedding Planner and Keepsake Organizer is designed so that everything you will need for your wedding arrangements and planning will be in one, organized place. Inside you will find worksheets, timelines, templates and checklists that you can photocopy, fill out, punch with holes and arrange to your liking within the binder.

Q: What are the TOP 5 Great Ideas to make your wedding truly memorable?
A: 1. The comfort of your guests is most important. Your wedding is a statement of style. True style has nothing to do with what you wear or how much money you spend.  It’s about how you treat your guests.  Your wedding is your first joint statement of style and an opportunity for you and your fiancé to function as the quintessential host and hostess. How you treat your guests and make them welcome is more important than the food you serve or the dress you wear.

2. There is an art to throwing a wedding and it’s all in the timing. A well-produced wedding has a distinctive beginning, middle and end with everything smoothly orchestrated without down time. Guests are never looking at their watch wondering when the next thing will take place. Whether it’s the ceremony, which always happens within 15 minutes of invitation time, to cocktail hour being just that, one hour from start to finish which means 45 minutes of cocktails with guests ready for dinner and seated by the end of the hour. The meal is usually served usually within an hour and a half with no lag between courses while appropriate music is playing. I consider lighting and sound to be fluid and constantly adjusted to control energy and ambiance. In the end, everyone leaves saying it was the best party ever and they can’t believe it’s already over; the reason being it moved along so smoothly and elegantly. 

3. A remarkable wedding should be entirely about the bride and groom, their likes orchestrated into a celebration that’s uniquely and personally theirs, in every detail.  From the type of party to host to the color scheme, the food served, the cocktails offered, the music playing and of course the décor.

4. The food and beverage plan.  What’s served and how it’s presented are of equal importance.  A delicious piece of grilled chicken that’s properly cooked is much better than a fancy dish with a sauce on top that no one recognizes.  If it’s a seated meal, it should be served within an hour and a half with no lag between courses, appropriate music playing in the background to enable conversation when guests are seated around the table. I consider lighting and sound to be fluid and constantly adjusted to control energy and ambiance. In the end, everyone leaves saying it was the best party ever and they can’t believe it’s already over; the reason being it moved along so smoothly and elegantly. 

Q: What is your pet peeve on wedding overspending? What to spend on/what to scrimp on?
A: Pick three things and do them well rather than 5 things on the skinny.  Spend your money where your guests will get the most out it. Offer a better cut of meat and quality of wine instead of party favors; serve a delicious 3-course meal including dessert instead of an elaborate multi course menu. Offer a signature cocktail instead of the proverbial red wine, white wine and water, save them for the meal service.  And rather than hiring a band, book a DJ...find one who understands how to work the energy in the room so when it’s time to party everyone is on the dance floor.

Q: One piece of parting wisdom that every couple should do to make their wedding unforgettable?
A: A great party is more than just beautiful flowers and great music, it’s a combination of all the elements woven together that creates a journey from the moment guests arrive until they depart, with a carefully thought out beginning, middle and end.

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