Liz Taylor, managing director of wedding planners the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC), celebrates her company’s 15th anniversary this year and during that time has organised weddings for over 500 couples in the UK and Europe.
Liz has built an enviable portfolio of private clients, blue-chip businesses and well-known celebrities including wedding clients Alan Halsall and Lucy Jo Hudson of Coronation Street, Manchester United football star Gary Neville and this summer, television presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.
5 Star Weddings: Can you please tell us what TLC does for brides?
Liz Taylor: The name is a happy coincidence – the company was formed when industry colleague, Dianne Lynn, and I joined forces 15 years ago and the initials of our name were used to form TLC – the Taylor Lynn Corporation. Dianne is no longer with TLC, but the name and brand stayed as it has become synonymous with event quality, care and creativity.
It’s these skills that we put into planning the big day for our couples – this can be organising the entire event for them from the venues, dress, catering, flowers and a fabulous party at the reception, or, simply sourcing the best entertainment around. As much or as little support as they need.
5 Star Weddings: Liz, you are celebrating your 15th anniversary this year. What sort of changes have you experienced?
Liz Taylor: Quite a few things have changed. In 1995 most people were sceptical about the role of a wedding organiser and few employed the services of a professional but people’s expectations have changed. Venues started to employ their own organisers to improve service levels and this has influenced the whole wedding scene. People no longer want an ‘off the peg’ hotel wedding package. They now expect so much more and are far more adventurous. They have been influenced and impressed by friends’ weddings and the celebrity culture and seek professional support to help them deliver their dream day.
Couples are now also more adventurous with their choice of wedding reception style and venue, actively looking for something individual and funky. Splashes of shocking pink or black were virtually unheard of in 1995 but today’s bride can choose from the widest colour palette. We recently organised a wedding with a turquoise and chocolate-brown theme and another with Moroccan influences, both of which worked fabulously. Venues range from marquees, to Venetian palaces to hip city centre hotels and the traditional venues seem less popular.
Wedding catering has also changed. 15 years ago everyone had chicken but today we are seeing a big demand for Thai and other ethnic foods and clients can enjoy anything from chefs cooking live in front of their guests to a Yo Sushi belt set up in their venue.
5 Star Weddings: As you know we have over 150,000 brides visiting our website monthly. They are all interested to know what are the latest trends in weddings?
Liz Taylor: Tables are all about drama. To be on trend you should think of layered and textured fabrics such as embossed taffeta and lace tablecloths, or even clear perspex tables filled with your favourite flowers. Ornate candelabra as also big at the moment. Plus, many of my brides are opting for a single top table – reserved just for you and your groom. It means you can mingle amongst your guests freely without leaving any guests on the top table to entertain themselves
Alternative catering – everything from fish and chips to oriental food on the menu. And personal mixologists visiting each table and blending a bespoke cocktail for each guest is very popular as an alternative to offering wedding favours.
Entertainment has been heavily influenced by TV shows such as the X Factor and Britain’s got Talent with many couples wanting to hire former contestants or choose acts similar to those they have seen on TV. Recent examples are a gospel choir or a contemporary string quartet in bright funky dresses and trainers playing colourful instruments – hip and fun.
And your two buzzwords as far as wedding dresses are concerned are vintage and designer. Whether someone is opting for sophisticated elegance or vintage glamour, most people want that designer influence.
5 Star Weddings: Are brides influenced by celebrity weddings or do they choose their own theme?
Liz Taylor: Brides are influenced by celebrity events – I know as I plan many celebrity weddings! I always encourage a couple to find their own style though. It’s fine to take inspiration from these glamorous, high budget weddings, but interpret this in a way that makes the wedding style your own.
5 Star Weddings: Can you please give us your insight on where and how should a bride spend her budget?
Liz Taylor: If you are working to a limited budget, I always recommend focussing on one main WOW factor such as a fabulous band or love entertainment. People will remember this long after the wedding.
Trying to spread the money too thinly will simply create a watered-down wedding style, so invest in simple but impressive styling. For example, use your venue’s white linen (often included in the price of your venue booking) and invest in bright, striking floral table decorations that will stand out. Alternatively use big Church candles on mirrored plates and lots of tea lights to create a simple and inexpensive decoration.
5 Star Weddings: Any tips on planning the big day?
Liz Taylor: Employ a great wedding planner – it takes all the stress out of it!
If you can’t afford to do that, then utilise friends and family to help keep the event on track. Make lists of everything that you need to do and include realistic deadlines. Give the best man, ushers and bridesmaids jobs such as organising the flowers, dressing the tables and gathering family members for photographs on the day.
Also, get any quotations in writing and negotiate where you can. The current economic climate means that most venues are being more flexible on prices. But, remember that sometimes quality does come at a premium so don’t expect a 5 star venue for a 2 star price – just be realistic and don’t be afraid to ask for a deal.
Most of all – keep calm, relax and enjoy it!
5 Star Weddings: Obviously in the last 15 years you have worked with celebs which wedding stands out for you?
Liz Taylor: Every wedding, celebrity client or not, is special and stands out to me in some way, but I did really enjoy working with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford this summer. A charming, lovely couple and we created a really special day for them.
5 Star Weddings: Any seasonal tips? What should a bride opt for a summer, autumn, winter or a spring wedding?
Liz Taylor: The bridal colours and style shouldn’t be unduly influenced by season – she should look to find her own personal style for the day. You can however weave in seasonal trends to the flowers and reception; for example, you could use some red berries and winter foliage in the bouquet and traditional reds, greens and gold colours in the table decorations. English garden flowers for a summer bouquet and table decorations, with simple white linens or light summer colours such as pinks or yellow for the table.
5 Star Weddings: According to your experience which is the most popular time of the year for weddings?
Liz Taylor: It is an even split between high summer and December.
5 Star Weddings: Whose wedding would you like to plan? Please name names….
Liz Taylor: HRH Prince William is a dream wedding – just the scale and grandeur would be fabulous for me. To plan an event with such expectations is a pressure, but also a fantastic challenge – just give me a call William! I also have one very special wedding that I would love to plan – my daughter Katie. I planned the wedding of my eldest daughter Goldie last December, so Katie is next. Nothing is more rewarding than planning your daughter’s big day
Contact Liz Taylor at the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) on 0161 876 6266 or visit www.tlc-ltd.co.uk
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