Splendid Investigates: Does Experience in PR Help you Plan a Wedding?
To celebrate not one, not two, but THREE staff members getting hitched, Splendid’s Culture Council took it upon themselves to throw a legendary Hen Do, affectionately (and appropriately) called Splen Do.
The night out was definitely one for the books, with (semi) nude Life Drawing, booze and lots and lots of glitter.
After seeing photos and hearing all about it, our CEO, Alec Samways, wanted to first know why the hell he wasn’t invited and – more importantly – get the scoop on Olivia, Laura and Alex’s big days, learn more about what was involved in the planning process, and answer once and for all the age-old question: Do PR’s plan the best parties?
Here’s what Splendid’s brides and groom (he had a separate Stag Do in Manchester, for the record) had to say.
AS: Do you think planning a wedding was easier because you’re in this business?
LH: YES. 100%
LH: We had Look and Feel documents, Excel spreadsheets …
AS: Wait, did you do like…an Event Bible?
LH: No…but I did do a Roles and Responsibilities document….
ALL: NO YOU DIDN’T!
AS: So as PRs we can approach our weddings as we would a client event with plans and timelines. But…what’s harder: planning your wedding or planning a client event?
OG: With a client project, if something goes wrong, you’re in the shit. On your wedding day, if something goes wrong, you are going to be the only one who knows about it. No one else will really notice.
LH: And there’s no coverage KPIs with your wedding …
AS: What about managing the budget?
LH: Well, of course, it’s easier when it’s not your money! My husband and I saved for two years.
OG: I literally have a 20-tab spreadsheet with budgets. The overall budget, catering, bridesmaids dresses. And without that, I’d be…I don’t know. Screaming.
AS: There’s a lot of talk about spreadsheets. I take it your career has helped you manage your wedding better than most people would?
LH: I wasn’t that clever to have a spreadsheet for my budget. But yes, the career and client work has definitely helped.
AS: Okay so we’ve covered budgets. We’ve covered timelines and elements of production. Let’s talk social media strategy …
LH: We had an official hashtag – #newbehiggins, as Higgins is my new (double-barrelled) name.
AC: We didn’t opt for a hashtag. We wanted guests to unplug from their phones and enjoy the moment.
OG: Yes, we’ve done the same
AS: So wait, the two social media specialists in the room today had a social media blackout at their wedding?
AC: Yes to be fair I did wonder afterwards whether we should have had a hashtag because in the end, guests made their own up and we ended up with loads of different ones.
AS: No social media guidelines … that’s a big miss mate!
AS: On to your celebrity and influencer engagement policies, how many celebs/influencers did you have at your wedding?
LH: I had a major vegan influencer attend, the one and only Laura Barns. Lots of vegan pulled pork for the occasion.
AS: Anyone else?
AC: I had my good friend Robert Simpson, one of the top 20 bartenders in the UK. He actually created a custom welcome cocktail for the guests which was wicked.
AS: Was the cocktail story pitched to any media, or given as an exclusive?
AC: No, no media pitches or coverage for the cocktails….we got a few offers but we just wanted to fund the whole wedding ourselves, didn’t we?
AS: Right. Well, I was also there so the celebrity count was at least one.
AC: Obviously you were there which is a big deal and makes two celebrities/influencers. That also explains why there were paps flying overhead trying to get the shot.
AS: Did you set up any parts of the wedding to be Instagram-able? I mean, I’m right in thinking that’s a thing now, right?
LH: We had a photo booth. I did have a friend say that it looked like Pinterest shat all over my wedding. Obviously, I said THANKS SO MUCH!
AC: We gave all of our guests those Instagram Polaroid cameras so they could snap photos and add them to our guestbook
AS: So did those sort of things replace a traditional wedding photographer?
AC: I had a different approach. We went with a portrait fashion lifestyle photographer instead of a wedding photographer
RE: *GASPS* (It was a literal gasp…) WHERE IS THE ALBUM?
AC: I’ll share it with you. It really is exceptional. Because we didn’t go the traditional route, it meant we didn’t have those photos of her and I like, leaning up against a wagon wheel or bounding through fields of hay. It was all very candid and casual and cool.
AS: That’s a perfect segway into my next question. Tell me about your music. What was your first dance or what will it be?
OG: We’re using a cover to a song you probably wouldn’t recognise.
LH: We danced to a jazz song by Mel Torme called Comin’ Home Baby…we didn’t properly dance because it is a faster song. We just jigged around for two minutes while the photos were taken and then had everyone join us.
AS: That’s quite a cool jazz track. It fits with my theory that, because you plan events regularly, you want to make everything cool and original and avoid the cheesier, more common elements – usually the things that people love most about weddings. #
AC: Absolutely. We went for Naive Melody by Talking Heads.
AS: Okay, all of you, did the DJ play Dancing Queen at your wedding?
AC: Yeah, no. We gave the DJ a list of songs he wasn’t allowed to play.
AS: Now that I’ve gotten the scoop on your weddings, I have one final question. Now that you’re married, how can you assure me that you’ll stay married to the job?
Congratulations to Laura, Olivia and Alex on tying the knot and proving – once and for all – that we really do throw the best parties. *Cue Dancing Queen*
Also, for those still thinking about the (semi) nude drawing at Splen Do…here you go. You’re welcome.