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The Rise of Revelry Events

TOAST chats to founders Holly and Susannah about their unique style of ‘rulebook-free’ weddings and events, and next year's top event trends!

TOAST chats to Holly and Susannah, founders of award winning event company Revelry Events, about their unique style of ‘rulebook-free’ weddings and events, their dream clients and next years top event trends.



Big or small, there is no denying that planning an event can be a bit stressful at times. You want it to look great and taste fantastic, you want everything to run on time, for Grandpa not to fall over, and you definitely don’t want to run out of booze, and above all else you just want your guests to have a fabulous time. This can be applied to any party, big or small, but the mother of all events has be – a wedding. I mean, there’s a reason that the term ‘bridezilla’ exists.

“We haven’t experienced any crazy bridezilla moments!. Perhaps it’s because the kind of relaxed, fun weddings we plan don’t attract the bridezilla type, but we’ve been very lucky whatever the reason!” explains Susannah, event planner extraordinaire and co-founder of Revelry Events.

“I think that you have to realise that no wedding or event is ever completely stress-free and that’s okay. In fact, it’s human nature and it shows you care so embrace it! And once you’ve done that - great.  You can then get on with breaking the jobs into bite size pieces to avoid getting overwhelmed and tick tasks off one by one!”  adds co-founder Holly, encouragingly.

Holly is one of those enviable people who has always known exactly what she wanted to do – so much so that she first started planning weddings when she was just 6 years old, for friends in the playground! As soon as she could, at the age of just 16, she interned with a wedding planner in North London before going it alone when she was just 19. Susannah’s path was slightly less linear; having spent 10 years working in PR creating events and campaigns for UK and global brands, she decided to jump in to the world of weddings when she realised that her 9 to 5 just wasn’t fulfilling her anymore.

“I fell in love with Holly’s work, asked if I could shadow her for a summer. We clicked and a beautiful partnership was formed!” Susannah explains.

“Our skillsets are similar, however Holly tends to take the lead on design and I more on logistics, but we find that our work styles compliment each other and it all comes together pretty naturally”

In 2015 these two exceptionally organized and incredibly creative women joined forces to form Revelry Events, and together they are London-based event and wedding planners who love nothing more than organizing seriously stylish rulebook-free weddings. Their specialty may lie in nuptials, but they can also plan private events and corporate parties too - wherever there’s revelry, basically...

“We went for the name ‘Revelry’ because we wanted something that hit the right note for the kind of people we like working with - it’s not uber-feminine, glitzy or glam. It’s about having an amazing time and a badass celebration of two people. Revelry seemed to do that for us!” enthuses Holly.

“Rulebook-free means throwing the traditional wedding rulebook out of the window, or at least gently folding it in half! We encourage couples to think about what they want on their day and not to just blindly follow traditions like cake cutting or throwing the bouquet if they don’t want to. It also means putting the couple’s personality front and centre on the day so it’s different to everyone else’s wedding!”

We’ve all experienced the traditional, formulaic approach to weddings, from the first dance to heartfelt speeches, and whilst this absolutely has it’s place and can be a complete joy to behold, Revelry Events are very much at the forefront of a growing movement of modern couples who are looking to mix things up a bit, and Susannah and Holly are on hand, ready to nurture that feeling of wanting something a bit different.

Christina Rossi Photography Revelry Events

(Imagery: Cristina Rossi)

Revelry Events

“We find that lot of couples know they don’t want to have a ‘traditional’ wedding day but they aren’t sure how to go about it or what that looks like - so we’re here to suggest ways of doing things differently that they are going to love” enthuses Holly.

“We listen, make suggestions, add our own ideas and get organised. All of that combines to make a wedding that truly represents the couple but is also expertly planned and runs smoothly on the day” adds Susannah.

Susannah and Holly’s approach is most definitely working, as earlier this year the dynamic duo were crowned 2017 Wedding Planner of the Year for London and the South East by The Wedding Industry Awards.

“We must be doing something right!’ exclaims Holly.

“We’re pretty down to earth and forward thinking and we care a lot about giving couples not only a great wedding day but a good planning experience as well. We’d like to think that it’s not just our rulebook-free approach to weddings but our client service that sets us apart”

Another thing that sets Revelry apart is their boundless creativity, versatility and their serious sense of style. Previous events have been varied; they don’t just do one ‘type’ of wedding or event; just a quick flick through their Instagram or website and you’ll find an inspiring mix of East London cool, magical woodland whimsy, festival vibes and some Italian romance thrown in for good measure.

Havana Revelry Events

Lyndsey Goddard Photography Revelry Events

(Imagery: Lyndsey Goddard Photography)

“The first source of inspiration lies in who the event is actually for, especially when it comes to a wedding - if it’s not reflecting the personality, likes, hobbies of a couple then what’s the point?” asks Holly.

“From there it could be anything from the season to the setting of the party - an era in time or a favourite film! We’re working on an event for next summer inspired by all Wes Anderson movies, and another inspired by a Midsummer Night’s Dream - we’re pretty excited!’

The rule of the event planner is of course notoriously stressful – the pressure is most definitely on when you’re responsible not just for the logistical elements but the all-important creative aspects too. In this day and age, beautiful flowers and good weather alone no longer cuts the mustard – party hosts and wedding couples are after all encompassing themes, immersive elements and unforgettably personal events that truly have the wow factor. I mean, take Revelry’s upcoming Wed Anderson-inspired bash for example – once Holly and Susannah have developed the ideas, how do they ensure that they the reality will look as impressive as their initial concepts?

Maryann Weddings Photography Revelry Events

(Imagery: Maryanne Wedding Photography)

Megan Elle Photography Revelry Events

(Imagery: Megan Elle Photography)

The Hendrys Photography Revelry Events

(Imagery: The Hendrys Photography)

“You have to be realistic from the start! We’re very mindful of managing expectations when we’re working on design concepts, not showing off too many unachievable set-ups and details - that way disappointment lies!” explains Holly, wisely.

“And we always take into account budget and the space we’re working with - is something you’re showing a client going to be logistically or financially possible?”

And so as we enter a New Year, a whole world of entertaining opportunities awaits and a whole host of new and exciting trends to look forward to. If, like me, you’re terrible at making decisions then it’s good new - throughout 2017 Holly and Susannah noticed party hosts and couples actually embracing their indecisiveness, and they believe it’s a trend that’s set to continue in to next year.

“2017 was all about variety. Can’t decide between Vietnamese street food and pizza? Serve both and then some with food stations. Not sure whether you want a DJ or a band? Plan shorter sets and do both. Keep your guests guessing!” explains Susannah.

“We’ll see that ‘variety’ trend continue, but we’ll also see more of our favourites like transparent details - think glasshouses and ghost chairs, black accents and eclectic wedding decor. We’re also seeing weddings get smaller and more intimate - no longer are couples inviting the world and his wife to their nuptials, they would rather keep it smaller and spend more money on what’s important with their nearest and dearest”

To further cement their reputation as the UK’s leading experts in the untraditional – Revelry Events hosted the very first Unruly Wedding Show in October 2017– an immersive, fun and interactive showcase of Revelry’s unique ‘rulebook free’ approach, featuring some of the most innovative talent in the industry. Visitors (an eclectic mix of engaged modern couples, curious party hosts and industry pros) were encouraged to ‘drink the cocktails, taste the street food, pose in the booth, try out a free workshop and enjoy the party’. Sounds pretty good to us…

“Unruly was born out of a boredom of the average wedding fair format we've seen. We thought brides, grooms and suppliers deserve better than 'a sea of trestle tables' in a church hall or conference centre!” enthuses Holly.

“It was time for a refresh so we decided if you want a job doing well then do it yourself! Year one was a great success so we’re starting plans for year two. If any suppliers want to be involved next year they can apply online

And so when the Revelry ladies aren’t busy planning unique weddings, fabulous parties or modern-day wedding shows, I wonder if they ever find the time (and have the energy) to entertain at home themselves. 

“I do enjoy throwing a good themed party - whether it’s 1930s inspired New Year’s or a fancy dress surprise birthday! I love it. My daughter’s first word was ‘cat’ so naturally her 1st birthday party was a cat themed picnic in the park!’ laughs Holly.

And Susannah?

“Well I like to cook so I’m a big fan of dinner parties. Also, I’m currently pregnant with my first child so I am in the middle of planning a rulebook-free baby shower known in our house as ‘La Bambino Casino’!

I would expect nothing less imaginative. Speaking of parties - one of the year’s biggest celebrations is just around the corner and whatever you do - don’t miss Holly and Susannah’s top tips for throwing a fabulous, Revelry-filled New Years Eve bash this year, over on TheEDIT now!

REVELRY 2018 DREAM PROJECTS

Holly - It’s Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth and they want to throw a week-long wedfest (well, at least if the rumours of a secret wedding in April are false). Either that or anyone who wanted to take us to Canada or the Scottish highlands!

Susannah - Prince Harry and Megan Markle! They seem like a couple who want to throw out the rulebook and I reckon they’d be super fun, plus it would be a good challenge balancing what they have to do as a royal wedding vs what they want to do as a couple.


If you’d like to work with Revelry Events you can find more information on their page in TOAST’s Little Black Book, and for their top tips on how to throw a fabulous NYE party, check out TheEDIT!

 
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