I am delighted to be interviewing one of our very own, ultimate Girl Boss and owner of  To Have & To Hold & Flowers in The City –  Sandra Looney!

To Have & To Hold is an award winning wedding planning and styling company. Sandra & and her teams aim is to  provide a professional and dedicated service to those who wish to create a stylish wedding or a party to be remembered!

Let’s dive right in!

What advice would you give to couples on choosing their wedding location ?

There are a lot of factors to think about when choosing your location, such as the distance from your ceremony venue, the grounds on site or nearby for your photographs and whether or not it has sufficient accommodation for all your guests! If you plan on having the ceremony on-site, make sure that the venue has the space and facilities to accommodate both the ceremony and the reception in a seamless manor. Also, its a good idea to see the hotel set-up for a wedding before you decide.
However, the most important advice of all, is to choose a location that reflects who you are as a couple & allows you to create the right environment for you, your family & friends.

Have you any insider tips for styling a wedding like a pro?

The time of year that you choose to marry, the venue that you choose and the colour palette you opt for will determine the overall look and style of your wedding.
Our insider tip – introduce a second shade to compliment the main colour theme or you could risk everything looking bland!
Whether it be contrasting or similar, elements such as flowers, decor, stationery and linens should pull all of the decor elements together! Make sure you also decide on your metal – silver, gold, copper or rose gold and keep this throughout your day!

Where should a couple start on choosing their style and decor?

When you have your date & venue secured, the season your wedding is taking place in will have a big impact on the best decor options for you. The next important step is to determine what decor items the hotel offer as part of the wedding ‘package’ and see if you are happy to incorporate those into your style or if you would like to change them out completely.  Take note of the colour palette, lighting, space and the original theme the venue holds. When you come and speak with us, we will then be able to create a beautiful & bespoke vision with all this information in mind and of course incorporating the unique styles and colours that you wish to have also for your special day.

What in your opinion are the essential styling details that carry the
most impact at a wedding venue ?

The hottest styling trend right now is called ‘table-scaping’.

This involves dedicating the majority of your budget on restyling the dining tables at the reception. The table is transformed by changing the table linen, napkins, cutlery, glassware etc and adding in beautiful table center pieces- typically fresh florals and/or foliage.  It is simply beautiful and a trend that is here to stay for 22/23. If in doubt, fresh florals and foliage is always a great investment to create a ‘wow’ for a wedding venue.

How can couples make their wedding venue unique to them as a couple?

Your wedding is about one thing & one thing only, the celebration of you as a couple! There are so many opportunities to bring your story and personalities into the finer details of the day.  Introduce wedding props that can be personalised like welcome signage, table names/numbers, photographs of the couple on a ‘Love Story Board’. If you have a particular hobby or something that you love to do as a couple then you can introduce elements into the decor- travel theme, music theme and so on.

Can you offer any money or time saving tips?

If you invest in decor for the ceremony, try to re-use it again in the reception area. Fresh florals/foliage, lanterns and other props can be moved to the room and repurposed again.

To save money, use the decor provided by the hotel where possible. Do some DIY if it’s something that you enjoy- make your own table plan cards or add in some homemade wedding favours- these all save time and money in the long run.

What are the many mistakes you have seen in the past weddings that you
could help future couples to avoid ?

Many couples try to add too many decor items to a venue with a result that it can look confused and cluttered. Often ‘less is more’ and it can be more effective to invest in a few larger and more expensive props or decor items that have a bigger impact than lots of little items that add clutter. Keep to a theme and run it right through the day from invitations right through to the end of the day. If you don’t know what style you want or where to begin styling a venue, then get an expert to help you- it will be worth it!