Rachel Overall is the owner of Mirabella Weddings, providing luxury wedding planning for detail-driven couples. With a background in branding and marketing, she also offers consultancy services to other small business owners, as well as a range of helpful resources for both couples and suppliers alike.
Rachel reflects on longstanding client relationships, the beauty of a scaled-down celebration, and the emotional impact of colour with the help of an old wedding day tradition: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue...
I’ve always enjoyed planning and organising but also had a keen eye for design and detail. I spent ten years working in marketing but knew I wanted my own business. Wedding planning offered a great way of being able to apply the skillset I’d developed during my career, whilst also allowing me to really tap into my creative side through the styling aspect. I love that every wedding I work on is so different. It’s such a personal job—I love being able to work and build strong connections with so many great people, both clients and suppliers alike. It’s a real honour to be trusted to deliver the biggest day of someone’s life, and I’m very fortunate in that many of my clients become friends whom I remain in contact with well beyond their wedding day.
Many of my couples have shared very kind words thanking me during their speeches (though I often turn a shade of beetroot at this point), but the biggest compliment for me is when their family and friends go out of their way to come up to me during the day and tell me that it’s the best wedding they’ve been to, or that the wedding is so "them". Whilst my priority is always that my couples have the best day, it is also crucial that their guests have an amazing time and so it is always lovely to hear that.
With COVID having turned the wedding world upside-down, we’re seeing more couples looking to challenge traditions and re-write the wedding rulebook. Whilst the pandemic sadly forced many couples to have smaller guest lists, it also helped couples to feel confident in having smaller celebrations—without the pressure of inviting long-lost relatives and distant family friends. With people becoming increasingly conscious of budgets, shrinking the guest list is also an easy way of scaling back the budget and allowing them to prioritise their spending elsewhere.
Another key trend is that we’re seeing a real shift in couples looking to make their weddings more sustainable. From renting wedding suits and dresses to ensuring their florists are using seasonal, locally-grown blooms, sustainability is becoming an increasing consideration for couples when selecting wedding suppliers.
When I receive an enquiry, I start with an initial consultation call. I think it’s really important to get to know my clients as people before we get into the nitty-gritty of the wedding! I like to ask my clients, "What three words would you like your guests to use to describe your wedding?" This really helps me to understand where their priorities lie—whether it be an elegant and stylish affair or a full-blown, boozy party til the early hours.
Once I know more about what they’re looking for, I follow up with a detailed proposal. If they then choose to book, we either meet for a drink or jump on a video call to really get into the details. As planning progresses, I encourage clients to share their ideas and inspiration with me so we can build a really visual representation of their wedding day. We check in regularly to discuss the details and ensure everything is on track.
Social media platforms and wedding blogs are naturally great for gathering ideas, but they can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, I encourage couples to think outside the box and draw inspiration from all over. For example, I encourage those who love to travel to draw inspiration from their favourite places, or I prompt foodies to take ideas from their favourite restaurants. Also, interior design is great for looking at general upcoming colour trends and styles.
As couples gather their ideas and share them with me, I collate them in a bespoke moodboard that provides direction for the styling and details of their day. It helps so much to have a visual representation for us all to refer back to and ensure we’re on the same page.
With a background in branding and marketing, I really believe that the colours chosen for a couple’s day are crucial in setting the right tone. I ask my couples not just how they want their wedding to look, but how they want it to feel.
When helping couples to choose a colour scheme, I really encourage them to think about the colours that they’re naturally drawn to and those that reflect their personalities. It’s also really important to consider the season in which they’re marrying—winter naturally suits deep, bold tones whilst spring is a great time to play with pastel shades and keep things light and bright). For couples struggling to decide, I have created downloadable colour palette guides packed full of inspiration.
One of my favourite colour schemes used recently was for a wedding at Wilderness Reserve. Nestled in the Suffolk countryside, the grounds of the Estate were full of dried grasses and wildflowers baked from the July sun. We embraced the palette of the venue and its surroundings, replicating this across the styling details of the day. We used racing green notes for the stationery to give a luxury feel, whilst the flowers used nude and natural tones with deeper pops of purple and touches of lilac to lift.