Liz Linkleter Talks Bridal Style

Photography: Robbins Photographic

Liz was Global PR Manager at the iconic British brand, Alexander McQueen, when she and Fraser, got engaged. She loved planning her own wedding so much, soon after, she set up Liz Linkleter Events. Having worked on fashion events for over a decade, she knew she could help like-minded clients create their dream day. Liz is now known in the industry for her creative and elegant design concepts which don’t succumb to trends and are truly unique to each couple she works with. We speak to Liz about her own bridal style, and what she’s learnt from designing and planning weddings for others.

Liz’s Bridal Style

Did you find it easy, or difficult to decide what you wanted to wear for your wedding?

I had a very strong idea in my mind of what I wanted to wear at the start of the process, but I ended up wearing something completely different! I originally wanted to wear a version of a dress that featured in the Alexander McQueen A/W 2006 show ‘The Widows of Culloden’. It was butterscotch lace, with long sleeves and a high neck, and a ruffled skirt. I was working in PR at Alexander McQueen when I got engaged and I’d been obsessed with this dress for a long time – long before I was hunting for a wedding dress. But in the end, it just all became too expensive – good lace isn’t cheap and I had been spoilt working in fashion for so long, so had developed rather high standards. So I started trying on other styles, and found that I was actually leaning towards simple, slim, backless styles rather than anything too embellished – so I ended up in a David Fielden with a high neckline and dramatic low back. I did wear McQueen later though when I did a little outfit change…

Did you find it hard to find your dress?

Yes – I tried on a lot. I hated the vast majority of the options I found – too fussy, too girly, too embellished, too traditional. It was hard to find unusual, stylish options then. I got married in 2014 and although it doesn’t sound like a long time ago, there has been such an explosion in bridalwear in recent years and I feel like brides are so lucky now with the range of styles and designers on offer. I was quite boring in retrospect when I was looking and stuck to the major London bridal boutiques – now there are so many small, interesting designers out there that I just wasn’t aware of back then.

Did you always want a dress change? Tell us about yours…

It wasn’t always on the agenda that I’d wear more than one dress but I’d been in love with a beautiful Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2013 dress for years – an amazing short ivory paneled velvet and macramé number with a cape. I hadn’t planned on an outfit change, but I was very lucky to be loaned the sample from the McQueen archive, so of course I went for it. It was a great dancing dress.

Where did you get your shoes? Did they stay on all night?

Jimmy Choo silver sparkly sandals – which I still wear all the time. I was never interested in bridal shoes. And I changed into flat sandals around 10pm when I changed into my party dress.

If you were getting married now, is there a designer/ or dress you’d love to wear?

If I was getting married this year, without a doubt I would want to wear bespoke Emilia Wickstead. She is my bridal designer crush at the moment. Her dresses are simple in terms of embellishment but very structured so they have an amazing presence. I also love Lela Rose for the same reason- chic, structured, unembellished – and I love Naaem Khan whose work is the opposite but still so stunning.

Describe your hair and make-up to us? Who did it for you?

I knew I wanted to wear my hair up, to make the most of the low back of my dress and to accentuate my neck. I went for an undone twisted up-do.  Make-up wise, I went for a fairly natural look – just me on a very good day! I used Portraits Bridal who are friends and brilliant.

How many bridesmaids did you have? What did they wear?

I had six – quite greedy, I know, but I found it impossible to whittle it down, and I still regret not having a seventh. They wore J Crew mix-and-match chiffon dresses in two colours and two lengths, a blush pink and a pale grey green.

Do you have a favourite bridal store?

In London, I like The Mews and Browns.

When you plan  a wedding, does the dress ever have an influence on the decor, or vice versa?

Absolutely – it all depends what comes first. Ideally the venue comes first, then we always advise our brides to choose a dress that works with the space, i.e. not choosing a huge traditional gown for a low-key urban setting.

Do you have a favourite bridal site or Instagram?

White Dossier of course!

Who’s your ultimate bridal crush?

I loved Christina Ricci’s Givenchy dress. I also had a serious crush on musician Caroline Polachek’s gown.

With hindsight, if you were to give yourself a piece of advice when creating your wedding look, what would it be?

Seek out smaller, less established designers – you don’t need to stick with the major boutiques and most established designers. There are so many great ones around.

Photography: Robbins Photographic

Liz’s Wedding

Date

24th May 2014

Wedding Location

Stoke Newington Town Hall and MC Motors, London

Number of Guests

120, with another 40 in the evening

Style

Our wedding design was simple and elegant, in a palette of muted pastels, in an urban setting. The venue was the star of the show and the decisions we made were all based around it – it’s full of amazing furniture and Iprops, with so much character, and incredible natural light from the skylights. The walls are an amazing crumbling pale blue in the dining area so we started there when thinking about colour.

Stationery

We designed these ourselves with the help of my Dad who’s a graphic designer. They were very simple but printed beautifully, text only, letterpressed onto gorgeous thick textured paper.

Flowers & Decor

Flora Starkey did our flowers and they were amazing! Aside from flowers I wanted décor to be simple, as the venue made such a strong statement. We went for white linen with wooden folding chairs, with classic and elegant tableware. Paul Antonio Scribe did our place cards on kraft paper. We hung brown paper bunting and festoon lights, and made a table plan from an old café peg board with the letters sprayed gold.

Food

Goldilox catering – sadly they aren’t around anymore which is a shame as they were fantastic. We had canape stations including a whole leg of serrano ham, manchego with quince jelly and gazpacho served in little cups. For the meal itself, we started with a whole side of gravadlax salmon which guests carved at the table, followed by a Tuscan slow-cooked lamb stew and white beans, served family-style. We didn’t bother with dessert – but our friend made an incredible cake.

Music

Our DJs were The Wedding Smashers who nailed it as always.

One standout moment

The ceremony itself at Stoke Newington Town Hall was amazing. I was so nervous before I walked down the aisle, but the minute the doors opened and I walked in, and saw all my friends and family beaming at me, and Fraser waiting at the top, I immediately relaxed. I also made a mistake and said ‘I do’ too soon, which got a big laugh, and made me relax even more. After the ceremony is over, walking out as a married couple with everyone cheering is a totally amazing thing.

One thing you wish you’d known before planning your wedding

I can’t think of anything I wish I’d known! It was all wonderful.

Photography Wedding 1: Dominique Bader. Wedding 2: Holly Clark

Liz’s Life as a Wedding Planner

Explain your role as a wedding planner…

We work with our clients every step of the way, making something that can feel very complicated and time-consuming a genuine pleasure. Our role is to balance creative design flair with meticulous event management, coordinating every element of the day from design through to execution. Our full planning service is the whole package – we take the reins right from the start, allowing our clients to be as involved as they like in the areas they enjoy, and totally forget about the areas that you don’t. We find the perfect venue, create the design concept, hunt out props and furniture, and source the best suppliers and entertainment. We then bring it all together, so our clients can relax knowing no detail has been overlooked. We schedule, we budget, we plan, we design, we liaise with all of the suppliers, and we deliver it all on the day – and take it down afterwards! We typically work with our clients for a year or more, so we become very close, and often stay in touch afterwards – a big part of our role is offering personal advice and support through what can be a stressful time.

How would you describe your clients?

Our clients are style-conscious and discerning, and they often find us as after a long search as they have been looking for something different and struggling to find it. Either they are creative themselves but time poor and want a trusted ally that can help them deliver their vision, or they aren’t necessarily creative in their day-to-day lives and want someone whose taste level they know will deliver.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Without doubt, seeing it all come together on the day. We did an amazing wedding in the Cotswolds recently and I actually cried standing in the marquee when the whole thing had been transformed and looked so beautiful. I love seeing our clients walk around the spaces for the first time, and I love hearing about all the details and moments they loved afterwards. I always cry during the ceremony too, as the couple are friends by that stage. It’s the most rewarding job and incredibly satisfying seeing all the hard work of the team pay off on the day.

What’s your one, most valuable piece of advice for couples planning their wedding?

Always think about your guests and giving them the best experience you can. People always remember when they were hungry, cold or uncomfortable – make sure you have plenty of great food and drink, that you’ve thought about the temperature and hired heaters or air conditioners, and that you have cushions on the chairs. The flow of the day is also really important – don’t leave your guests waiting around, always make sure it’s clear what’s happening and where people need to be, and never leave people waiting without something to eat or drink. The design of the day is so important to us and is always a priority, but you never forget a wedding that’s thoughtlessly organised.

What are the trends in bridal planning at the moment?

In general we try to avoid trends as they can become dated and can make our work feel unoriginal, but there are definitely some general ways in which the aesthetic of weddings is changing and evolving. The florists we work with have a natural, loose and creative style, never traditional or formal. The luxury wedding industry is now all about the old world, rather than hotel ballrooms – stunning, crumbling venues with a faded grandeur and lots of character. It’s about a deep connection to the past and celebrating the history of a location. Authenticity is key now – our clients want to work with artisans, creatives that are working at the top of their fields. Maximalism is also a trend that’s increasing in popularity in interior design, and that will carry through into weddings – statement prints, colour and textures, often influenced by Northern Africa and India. The vintage, mismatched, ‘quirky’ aesthetic has become so ubiquitous now that it no longer feels interesting and wedding design needs to move away from that look to feel contemporary now.

Where do you get your inspiration from? What are your biggest influences?

We try to always look outside of the wedding industry for inspiration. Pinterest can be a rabbit hole for our couples and we often advise them to steer clear – it’s important not to forget that the weddings on Pinterest are old now and those trends will feel tired by the time yours rolls around. I find interior design is one of our most regular sources of inspiration – I love magazines like Cabana and Architectural Digest, and I’m obsessed with Posh Pedlar, By Gloria Gonzalez, John Derian Company and Dimore Studio on Instagram. Travel is always a constant inspiration too. In fashion, we often look at the young London designers for inspiration – Simone Rocha and Halpern are cropping up regularly at the moment.

How do you think channels like Instagram and Pinterest have changed/ are changing the bridal industry?

They have given small, emerging designers a platform – not just in bridalwear, but for creatives across the board, from calligraphers to florists, and planners too of course. It’s a very exciting time to work in the wedding industry in this country, as it has just exploded, and there are now so many opportunities. Social media has undeniably played a huge role in increasing the options couples now have and giving them much more freedom and flexibility than ever before.

If you’re looking for a wedding planner who has incredible taste and offers a highly personalised service with meticulous attention to detail contact Liz  at www.lizlinkleter.com

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