Tip of the Day
Colin Cowie on Wedding Chic
Play into the five senses to provide an exquisite experience for all!
Weddings are supposed to be a source of joy marked by the promise of a glorious occasion which is inspired by the vision of a blissful bride to be. Yeah, right! At the risk of being cynical, planning a wedding is often best described as a series of angst-filled months fraught with all the emotions evidenced in the popular show Bridezillas!
Lifestyle expert Colin Cowie is just the man to put the romance, glamour and JOY of planning a wedding back into this most sacred and special of occasions. Wedding Chic by Colin Cowie is a visually stunning and inspirational collection of more than 1,001 photographs of weddings along with chapters that step-by-step convey the importance of the details that ultimately allow the big day to flow like uncorked champagne. If God is in the details then Colin is the god of wedding planning. From flowers (he can make carnations look like the rarest of flowers through his masterful arrangements), to his favorite topic: traditions and rituals that can be incorporated into the ceremony and celebration, you can be certain that your wedding will reflect your style in an appropriate and personal way.
If you want a little inspiration and a lot of style while you are planning your wedding or you know someone who has a wedding in her future, Wedding Chic is one of those books that you will want to have or give. If you can’t have Colin on your speed dial (Oprah does), this book is the next best thing!
I had the opportunity to speak with Colin about how he creates a masterpiece of a wedding. You’ll love his tips and insight for throwing a fabulous wedding day you and all of your guests will never forget!
Jen: The five senses play a central role in the way you create the perfect wedding. In fact, you talk about the idea of ‘playing to the five senses’ in Wedding Style. Explain why this is of so much importance.
Colin: I like to think that I am responsible for the guest’s experience and I like to take the guests on a journey with a beginning, a middle, and an end. I want to appeal to the five senses from the beginning with everything that the guest will feel, taste, smell, touch and hear and manipulate it accordingly. This helps me tell the story. It’s not about how much money you spend. It’s more about the experience that you are providing. The music can be an orchestra, string quartet, a ghetto blaster or an iPod. What creates harmony between what we touch, feel, taste, see and hear is timing. Everything is usually twenty minutes too long. The most important aspect of a wedding is production value: moving it along.
COLINS TIPS FOR GOOD FLOW AT YOUR WEDDING:
-The bride walks down the aisle fifteen minutes after the scheduled invitation time.
-Cocktail hour should run 45 minutes long, allowing fifteen minutes to get from ceremony to the reception.
-Dinner is one and a half to two hours. There should be one or two speeches at the most! Most toasts/speeches should have been given at the rehearsal dinner the night before. This is not a time to hear from your third grade teacher. Before you even look at your watch, the whole evening has taken place.
-Pay attention to the details. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to lower the music during dinner and turn it up when the dancing gets under way. Lighting should be adjusted according to timing and mood. Dimming the lights during dinner to allow candlelight creates ambience.
Jen: What are your thoughts on the destination wedding? In these difficult economic times, are they gauche?
Colin: It is gauche to make people fly to Italy or to an Island and spend tons of money. However, a destination wedding is a wonderful opportunity to spend 72 hours with a small group of people in a special place rather than a few hours with a large group of people in a hotel or at a club. A Bed and Breakfast can be the perfect destination – all of the local flavor without being over the top.
Jen: What is the funniest experience you have ever had in creating a wedding?
Colin: I was working in L.A. with a bloke who was making a grand wedding cake. He was measuring in centimeters and millimeters while I was measuring in inches and feet. When the cake arrived it was barely big enough to feed the wedding party let alone a large number of guests. We ran out to Garsons (a local market in L.A.) where we had to get twenty or thirty cakes to stack one on top of the other. We covered the cakes in a sumptuous buttercream frosting. As we carried the cake out, the top fell off! I grabbed one of the centerpieces from one of the cocktail tables and placed it atop the cake. Nobody knew the difference.
Jen: What is the single most important piece of advice that Colin Cowie gives his brides?
Colin: Focus on the big picture and think not only of yourself, but of your guests. The focus is on you as the bride and groom but also as the quintessential host and hostess. So concentrate on giving your guests a good time. It’s not about impressing them. It’s about making them feel comfortable and welcome.
Jennifer Goodkind is the co-host, with Jayne Chase, of A Fashionable Life. They are fashion reporters for ABC News NOW, where they cover the red carpet, Fashion Week and the business of fashion.