An Interview with Alice Wilkes, Events and Wedding Designer

0 Posted by - 16th January 2017 - Decoration, Designer, Planning, Q Weddings, Wedding

MILLY

How did your journey with Quintessentially start?

After graduating University in Fashion Communication and Promotion, I decided to take a leap of faith and move to London to gain work experience where I was lucky enough to work for the likes of the British Fashion Council and London Fashion Week. After working as a freelancer for a number of seasons, I moved to Quintessentially to gain more experience in Luxury Events and Weddings and three years on I have worked on a multitude of events for luxury brands and discerning individuals across the globe.

What skills do you bring to the team?

I am a confident and passionate person with a huge amount of drive to create memorable experiences for our clients. I am a creative at heart, constantly finding inspiration in all strands of life which breathe energy into my designs. In this industry you need to work hard and be able to think on your feet whilst remaining calm in stressful situations. For instance we produced a luxurious 50th birthday party in Paris with a very short lead time. We needed to install a ceiling of flowers over a fountain in just 4 hours which had enormous challenges but we always find a way to achieve the vision and we did.

What is the most memorable event your team has organised?

We produced a wedding in Mallorca last Summer at the location where the Night Manager was filmed. This was one of the most stunning locations we have experienced, set on a peninsular with incredible ocean views the property feels like you are in your own private village.

We were able to bring the very best of the best for this wedding and the design elements were all created to work organically with the landscape and the stunning flora on the property.

Guests danced under the stars surrounded by thousands of candles creating a pattern throughout the gardens with flaming torches lining the pathways – it was truly magical.

Can you give us an example of when you have had a difficult request and managed to pull out all the stops to make it happen?

A bride last Summer decided she wanted to have her ceremony in the courtyard of a luxury boutique hotel in the south of France. The logistics of this were insane as we had 200 guests that needed to arrive through this space + guests sleeping in the hotel while we worked (silently) through the night to realise her vision. We ended up with stage worthy theatrical curtains which covered the Chuppah while guests arrived and a crew of 60 people to set the space in 15 minutes prior to the ceremony.

What kind of person is your typical client?

From a Charity Fundraiser, to a High-Profile Launch Event or an Intimate Wedding, each event is unique and should be personal to the client as they all have a different vision along with a list of priorities. The design needs to be a journey and cohesively run throughout the event from the invitation right through to the Thank You notes.

We had one instance where our client gave us an image of a stunning flower filled  Dior fashion show – we were able to secure the same florist used by Dior to realise her vision which transformed the Shangri La Hotel in Paris and realised her dream.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The greatest fulfilment comes from seeing the events and weddings I have put my heart and soul into for many months come to life in front of my eyes through our amazing teamwork. This paired with a happy client is the ultimate reward!

How does the creative process unfold when you’re tasked with a new event?

The creative direction continually develops throughout the whole event timeline via mood boards, sketches and animations and is a collaborative journey between the client and myself. Sometimes a client comes into the studio with their vision all worked out and I can support by adding those special touches that turn an idea into reality, other times they seek much more direction so we start from scratch, building on their passions & our experience until we have something we’re all proud of.

Where do you seek inspiration before proposing ideas to clients?

Everything is inspiration but I am particularly interested in fashion, travel, architecture and I also try to visit interesting exhibitions. I have a huge collection of magazine clippings I have gathered over the years as inspiration and my blog is full of pending ideas for future work. Technology is becoming increasingly popular in events and I always try to stay up to date with the latest innovations to expose guests to new experiences.

A 'Key to a Happy Marriage' Tree Installation containing 1000 Hanging Keys

A Colourful Private Dinner under the Stars in the Cote D'Azur

A Exoctic Viney Wedding Ceremony complete with Chuppah

Mismatched Chairs and Foilage Chandeliers in a Garden Marquee

The Deustche Bank VIP Lounge at Frieze in collaboration with Sarnath Banerjee

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