Meet Celeb Planner, Ms. Slomique!

We had the pleasure to sit down with celebrity wedding planner Slomique Hawrylo to get her thoughts on the latest trends in wedding décor and fashion, as well as her insight and suggestions to making your special day what you envision! This is Part One of a two-part discussion. Check back for the next installment!

We are excited to share that Ms. Slomique is part of the SIGNATURE BRIDE family! If you have questions for Ms. Slomique, you can send them here. We will feature your questions here at Ask Slomique.

SIGNATURE BRIDE: What trends in bridal/wedding are you loving right now?

Slomique Hawrylo: I love the interactive experience of the guests. From a dinner and show experience with live aerialists or strolling magicians to beauty bars to keep the ladies fabulous as they dance the night away. These trends allow you to still have a timeless designed event while enjoying sprinkles of popular trends that accent your wedding, yet not dominate the signature style of the bride.

SB: What will brides see in terms of color, décor, menu and receptions in the 2018-19 wedding season?

SH: Pastels are moving out and bold colors are moving in. With Ultra Violet this year’s Pantone color, it assists the brides in making the push to a bolder color palette. If brides find themselves a little shy, they can always blend in pastels to soften the look.  

Unconventional materials for stationery are all the rage with more adventurous brides. Materials such as fabrics, woods, stones and leaves are what brides are utilizing to showcase their wedding text needs instead of paper. For example, a wedding invitation with embroidered text on an amazing fabric housed in a custom foiled stamp box. This invitation reads WOW! and sets the stage for a breathtaking event!

Jaw-dropping backdrops this year will be stronger than ever. From fresh floral walls to hand-painted murals showcased in outdoor ceremonies, photo booths, custom bars and head tables, these backdrops are designed for instant social media sharing.  

Interactive food stations allow guests to be active participants at the wedding and not just guests. Having a late-night potato chip bar, where guests can add their own seasoning from lemon pepper to cayenne, to taking the signature drink to the next level where guests can become their own mixologist by selecting not just their mixers and garnishes, but also selecting a name for their magical drink all while leaving their recipe for the next guest to try and experience.  

Menu selections are now designed with the couple in mind. Couples are taking it a step further from the “his-and-her signature drinks” and expanding that concept to their food.  So the next time you are invited to a wedding, do not be surprised to see his-and-her meal options on your reply card. For instance, his options could be filet mignon, garlic mash potatoes and steamed vegetables where her meal option could consist of white fish in a butter sauce with steamed asparagus, or vice versa!

SB: Bridal floral is more than just bouquets and centerpieces; it’s become art in the overall décor of the church and reception. What advice do you have for couples who want to have dramatic floral design? What should they consider? Look for? How do they go about designing? How does this factor into the overall budget? How can they achieve the look on a budget?

SH: The artistry of floral can take a space from drab to fab when done correctly. When designing your art piece with your flower specialist, make sure you place your biggest WOW! factor designs where guests can truly sit and enjoy them, especially if budget is a factor. An entryway into the reception is a great display area for your floral art. This gives your guests an immediate “wow” as they approach the dinner space, and it’s a consistent reminder each time you enter the space that they are entering a special event.  

If budget is not an issue, gradually build your floral art. Start with the church/ceremony with a romantic but impactful design. Build the aisle with dramatic cascading floral from row to row ending at the altar with oversized floral and canopies accented with chandeliers. From there, grow the design at the cocktail hour with floral walls, custom floral seating areas for photo opportunities and a cascading entry area into the main ballroom. Lastly, blow them away at the reception! This is where you can get creative. Build oversized floral chandeliers over the dance floor, accent the corners of the dance floor with floor to halfway to ceiling floral pieces that draw the guests’ eyes not only to the dance for but also to the head table. Build the parameter of the stage with floral and add a floral backdrop with custom frames, vessels and faux candles. Lastly, design eight massive WOW! factor guest centerpieces to balance the room.  Accent the other tables with softer designed floral, but making candles its biggest impact.

Think of other areas that allow you to offset the floral cost. Use house linens on the tables that have dramatic over-the-top floral design. Use the venue stage for the head table to save the cost of renting one. Lastly, always build your floral. Make the reception the crescendo of your masterpiece! No matter what your budget, your reception should display your biggest WOW! factor.  

SB: How can brides get that celebrity WOW! factor if they can’t have you plan their day?

SH: Balance is everything! Build your event like you are building chapters to a book. The first chapter catches the attention of the audience. It lets the reader know that this book is worth reading. This is what your invitation relays. So, a great investment in stationery is never overlooked. It sets the stage on what is to come. From having a casual event to a weekend black tie affair on Martha’s Vineyard, your wedding invitation prepares your guests for the journey to your wedding.  

The middle chapters take you on a journey. Your ceremony and your cocktail hour is a reflection of this analogy. Your ceremony, although beautiful and romantic, should also not be the full show-stopper to your wedding. It should showcase the couple’s love and exude the romantic elements in the decorations while not superseding the reception experience and décor.

The last couple of chapters of a book are when the audience is anticipating the culmination. They cannot wait to experience the long-awaited end to a great book! From unique food, amazing décor and body-moving entertainment, your wedding reception embodies the success of the last chapters of an amazing book, leaving the audience raving and wanting more!   

SB: What’s your advice for couples as they begin planning their wedding?

SH: Set a budget! The budget is your bible to all purchases. This will allow you to understand what you can afford and what should be placed on a wish list. If you do not know how much you want to spend for your wedding, you will find yourself spending more than you ever thought. Most couples underestimate the cost of weddings and find themselves scratching their heads after booking vendors without a concrete budget. To avoid going over budget, consult with a wedding planner to assist with constructing a budget. Planners know the going rates of vendors and venues, as well as costs such as parking fees and service charges.