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Alice Wilkes on Designing a Fairytale

wedding planning

A behind-the-scenes look at how Alice Wilkes crafts events to remember, from Valentino launch parties to Pixie Lott's fairytale wedding.

Words by 

Megan Hill

Published on 

January 26, 2022

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A regular feature in the pages of Vogue, Alice Wilkes designs weddings akin to those in fairytales. Alice marries seamless planning with boundary-pushing design to provide her clients with the big day they've always dreamed of. Alice's fantastical creations have also set the backdrop for industry events hosted by Maison Margiela, Pandora and Valentino.

Alice offers a "peak behind the curtain" of her process with the help of an infamous wedding day tradition...

Something Old

I am completely satisfied when I see the vision and the hard work from the last few years of planning come to life in real-time. It is great to see the delivery of the amazing designs we have been conceptualising from the start. I always find that taking some time to digest the day after, before moving on to the next project, is invaluable. It not only helps with the planning for the next wedding but is a great motivator for myself and my team.

Something New

I pride myself on being a flexible planner and for me, the most important element with new clients is understanding how they work and how much communication they require. I can then implement their preferences in an effective manner.

I start by asking my clients to send inspiration imagery to show designs they like via cuttings from magazines, Instagram and, of course, Pinterest. Each couple has their own way of archiving and storing their dream wedding so it’s up to me to draw that out of them. How much I encourage them really does depend on the client though.

I also need to understand how important the overall aesthetic and the details are to my couples—are they really invested in a beautiful photographer to capture the editorial shots? What’s important to them as a couple to ensure we’re a good fit?  Do they care about the detail? That’s what truly helps me to understand my couple.

Something Borrowed

As a wedding designer and given my passion for creativity, I draw inspiration from everywhere. From a film to a piece of music through to a place I’ve visited. Being inspired by the actual location and using the ingredients of the surroundings and weaving them into the actual wedding is a magical feeling.

As we move into 2023, we are noticing more and more couples focusing on dramatic and incredible table scaping. It’s all about the detail and ensuring elements such as layering, vibrant colours and bespoke touches are seen across the table. We are also noticing couples are far more concerned with ensuring their guests come away from their wedding feeling special and unique with couples looking at items such as hand-drawn table placing, handmade tapestries and artwork produced on the day.

Something Blue

The colour is the starting point for a client—what excites them? Most couples do have an idea of a certain hue they want to be seen at the wedding–it’s then about me ensuring they know that colour can and will dictate most of the other design elements.

Visit Alice Wilkes' website here, or browse an archive of her work on Instagram.

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