He’s planned parties for everyone from Bill Clinton to Princess Mary, organised Roxy Jacenko’s wedding and arranged Nelson Mandela’s 79th birthday, so when it comes to hosting an impeccable event, it’s safe to say Philip Carr knows what’s what.
The Sydney-based celebrity event and wedding designer chatted to marie claire about what he wishes brides would do more of, what he’d prefer to never see again and shares his best ever wedding tips - read on to glean more inspiration from Australia's wedding guru.
What’s the key to an amazing wedding?
- Find your own style of function that is reflective of you as a couple rather than being dictated by social media.
- Get inspired by what is around you, and then adapt it to your own personality.
- Employ a professional event person to manage your day so that you are not micro-managing your own wedding.
- It is imperative that you focus on quality of all aspects of your function. This does not necessarily mean expensive. Simple things at the right time can be incredibly luxurious.
- Consider your guests and their needs.
And what not to do?
- Show people everything that you thought of.
- Don’t make people wait at the wedding (think waiting for the bride to be “late” or for long photo sessions). It spoils the mood.
As weddings become less conventional, what traditions do you think are worth keeping?
The traditions of your religion and family. Keeping those traditions a part of the wedding is what adds to making the day so special.
And conversely, what wedding ‘rules’ are meant to be broken?
Unnecessary long speeches that are aimless. Bad best man speeches. Not discussing everything in a speech that should not be for general public knowledge.
What are the most important questions for a couple to ask prospective reception venues?
Do they actually ‘event’ the function in a personalised way or are they just the venue managers? In that case, you are better off with an event professional. How many people does the room actually hold with a proportionate-sized dance floor? Are there other venue rooms with other guests arriving at the same time or will there be noise from another room when speeches are being made?
What’s the most amazing wedding you’ve ever been a part of?
I did a wedding for 2520 guests over four days. It was interesting with regard to learning so much about the family’s customs and traditions.
What would you like to see more of at weddings?
More colour, less beige events. More understanding of what the guests actually want and would enjoy rather than conforming to what they ‘expect’ a wedding should be like.
What’s your best wedding planning tip?
Get a professional. There is enough for the bride and groom to focus on with regard to their union and life after the wedding. It can be very stressful if one takes on all the organisation of such a day.
What’s the biggest wedding disaster you’ve witnessed?
Breaking off the wedding three days before in front of me. But they say they both lived happily ever after...