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 Two of our discussion.
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: The SIGNATURE BRIDE is sexy, playful, daring and insightful, as well as synonymous with style and elegance. How can she transform the BIG DAY into extraordinary?
Slomique Hawrylo: Make your wedding not only unique, but timeless. The modern-day bride should focus on a timeless feel with accents from current trends. Trends change from year to year; what is fabulous today could be a “What was I thinking?” five or 10 years from now. A great example is uplights accenting the wall in hot pink, giving a Barbie club vibe to your reception. This was trendy five years ago, but today it would be a W.W.I.T moment.
Trends should be used as little moments in your wedding — a unique dinner experience (comfort gourmet foods from around the world), a statement escort card display (personalized bud vases with each guest’s name that can be transported to their table to become an accented piece to the overall centerpiece) — while leaving all other elements of your wedding to timeless moments that will last a lifetime.
Focus on a mood or a vibe for your wedding versus a color palette or theme. For example, Organic Love or Timeless Romance. This allows your guests to experience a journey and not just a wedding. Use aromatherapy, such as lavender, to fill the room with an organic vibe along with entertaining your guests at the top of each hour at your reception with an acoustic rendition of popular love songs.
Lastly, always have a statement piece in your design. Your statement piece is a jaw dropping moment. From an oversized floral chandelier that resides over the dance floor to detailed designed head table suited for a king and queen and their court. Remember, extraordinary events are not just about décor but the journey. As you are thinking about the floral arrangements, linens and the cake, also think about the love story you are telling.
SB: Lounge areas — are they still popular at receptions? If so, what is your take on the lounge area and what advice do you have for couples who want to incorporate a lounge area? If not, what can couples consider doing to create intimate spaces for family and friends during the reception?
SH: Lounge areas have lost popularity over the past few years. I recommend a lounge area if a couple is having an outside dinner reception that needs to be moved in indoors at a certain time.
A beautiful way to create intimate seating spaces is to incorporate unique dinner seating around the dance floor. Positioning the dance floor in a diamond shape is a potential first step in taking a traditional element and adding a WOW factor at little to no cost. Next, position smaller tables (a little bigger than cocktail size) around the dance floor to resemble an old cotton club vibe. Accent the table with candles and floral to stay true to the sexy vibe of the old-time club. At each point of the diamond add satellite specialty bars (Whiskey Bar, Vodka Bar and Wine Bar). This will keep the guests drinking and on the dance floor.
SB: Lighting has become an essential element of wedding décor. Are there any fast rules to follow? Do brides need to hire a lighting design team?
SH: The art of light design has become a must-have at weddings. As brides spend thousands of dollars on floral, it is the lighting team that makes the floral come to life at the dinner reception. It is a true art to balance a room with lighting. From the perfect amber ambiance on the walls to showcasing the artistry of the centerpiece with pinspots (light), your lighting team brings your event to life.
The first rule is based on budget. Lighting can run thousands of dollars, especially if you have many guests, a large venue and several centerpieces. To make it more economical, inquire with your DJ or venue if they provide lighting and to what extent. By you using vendors that you already have (and need), it will save you on delivery fees, as well as they are more likely to provide better pricing for their services since you have already hired them.
Secondly, make sure your lighting team works with your floral team. This will ensure that the lighting team knows how many pinspots are needed, as well as the height of all the floral pieces.
Next, don’t forget about your cake. A pinspot hitting the cake will allow for that perfect WOW factor. Lastly, if you are on a budget, use a lot of candles in your design. The more candles you have the less lighting you need. Design half of the wedding with low centerpieces accented with candles and the other half with high centerpieces with pinspot lighting. This will keep your cost down while still providing the WOW.
SB: What advice do you have for brides who want to have the popular “mainstream” wedding celebration but also want to incorporate African traditions in their ceremony/reception?
SH: Do it! It is a part of the wedding that allows your guests to experience something new while the bride stays true to her culture. In having the pleasure of planning weddings for different cultures, I feel that incorporating their traditions was one element of the wedding that made their BIG Day that much more special and unique. However, if you select to add African traditions, take your guests on the journey — especially if you are having multicultural guests attending. Introduce the meaning of the traditions in the wedding program, or have the MC explain at the reception. Further, allow them the option to participate and experience some of the traditions firsthand. For example, have a dance instructor to assist with a cultural dance or place a popular African appetizer or dessert on the menu with the history or origin of the food. This will make your wedding that much more special and your guests will be able to walk away knowing not just a little bit more about you but your culture.
SB: The DIY Bride is becoming popular with the Millennial generation. What advice do you have for brides who want to DIY when it comes to planning, getting a wedding coordinator, etc.?
SH: Creative Millennial brides have a lot to offer to their wedding with their DIY talents. It is nice to have special touches throughout the wedding that the couple designed and made. However, I have found that most of the time DIY Brides become overwhelmed and the wedding becomes more of a project than an experience. Balance is everything. Select projects that mean the most to you and can be completed at least two months prior to the wedding. I also recommend hiring a wedding planner on an hourly basis to guide brides through the DIY journey and to bounce ideas off each other. The planner will be able to tell you what you should make your investment in versus what you should DIY. Sometimes brides spend more money doing the DIY project versus using the planner’s connections.
SB: At SIGNATURE BRIDE our motto is put your “signature” on your wedding day, no one says bridal must be boring. What advice do you have for brides who want to put their own signature on their day yet follow fashion trends?
SH: A bride should always leave her signature on her wedding! Her signature is more important than any trend! Trends come and go. Who you are in that moment on that day lives on forever and becomes a moment in time for your future children and their families. I always say, “A guest should be able to attend your wedding learning a little more about you without even speaking to you.” When you can accomplish this, your signature has been made. Once you accomplish your signature on your wedding, sprinkling in a couple of wedding trends here and there is just icing on the cake.
SB: What are your Top 5 rules [or tips] for planning a wedding?
SH: Remember why you are getting married and keep that a focus; have a budget; use trends sparingly; take your guests on a journey — tell them a story, not a theme; and always put your signature on your wedding