Wed & Prosper is an award-winning wedding planning and styling service based on the Isle of Wight, co-founded by sisters Carrie and Rachel Almond.
The pair reflect on their journey into the industry and the moments that make their job special with the help of an old wedding day tradition: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue...
How we got here
We took quite different journeys into our role as wedding planners...
Rachel - I spent a few years working on cruise ships and I used to love getting asked to decorate the big events or help with setting up the onboard weddings—there is something so rewarding about helping people make memories. The things people will always remember are how a place looked, the music that was playing, or even the smell!
Carrie - I worked at the Minghella Film Festival, where I was involved in planning and organising everything from catering to driving Jude Law—that’s when I knew the events industry was for me. When I was 15, "event planner" was on my careers printout along with "bank manager". I did become a bank manager, but have since forged a career in weddings on our little island.
Now, one of our favourite parts of the job is the feedback we get from guests. Obviously, it's amazing when the bride tells us how much we have done for her, but we really love it when the guests and relatives tell us the behind-the-scenes info that we may not have known about. Such as that the bride was in tears with stress and anxiety until we showed up, or that she didn’t know what she was going to do until we fixed it!
The look on all the guest's faces when we reveal the venue all kitted out is also a big win for us! We are from a small island, so when we get stopped in the street or on the school run as someone has heard of a wedding or seen it on Instagram it really brightens our day and gives us an extra lift.
Our enquiries come via social media, website, phone calls and emails. Many of our clients don't live on the Isle of Wight and so we offer a free consultation via video as part of our onboarding process.
We always ask new clients what they love and hate, what they do for hobbies and how they want to feel on their wedding day. This gives us a great idea of what sort of vibe they want and which suppliers will suit them.
You have to like your wedding planner as you are trusting them with one of the most important days of your life so, for us, the first consultation is really important.
Make it your own
We ask our clients early on to start collecting and saving images. Some clients are super organised, with folders dedicated to different elements of the day and a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve. Other clients find the creativity side a bit harder, which is where we step in to help with our styling consultancy service.
To illustrate ideas, we put moodboards together and provide sketches of how different areas of the venue will look. We may also bring clients into our studio and put together different items for centrepieces, swapping and changing items or colour schemes until they are happy.
We really believe in making sure each wedding is different and showcases the couple's personality— that it’s not just copied from a Pinterest or Instagram post they have seen.
Lately, we are seeing a rise in people wanting bigger flower installations, along with décor suspended from ceilings and marquees instead of just focusing on the table décor. Our clients want people to be surrounded by beauty and create more atmosphere—it is all about having every angle covered for the photographs.
We are also seeing some traditions being broken. For example, instead of throwing the bouquet, brides will give all the ladies a single stem flower that everyone throws at the same time. This approach means the traditional element of the bouquet toss is still there without it ruining the amazing bouquet that a florist has spent lots of time making and you have given a hefty sum of the budget to.
Shades of influence
To start building a colour palette, we start with the dress. What colour scheme are they thinking for their own dress and those of the bridal party—is that going to suit everyone? Then the time of year also has a big influence on the colour scheme, for example, deeper colours for winter and maybe pastels for springtime. Once a few of the bigger questions have been answered we will then look into the colour of décor.
The venue and how it is already decorated also have a big impact on the colour scheme chosen, it is so great when a venue is quite clean-cut and neutral because it allows the client to really bring their personality into play. I like to start with the florals—looking at what is in season and what colours we can get hold of—and develop from there, bringing in the colours of linen and napkins, designing the stationery and making sure everything complements each other.
We call this colour palette, "All The Shades of Green". The idea was to use a mix of deep forest greens and lighter garden greens mixed in with some darker berry colours. This was an October marquee wedding and the idea was to bring the English garden that surrounded the stately home into the marquee itself.