July 5, 2021
Wedding furniture hire: Spotlight on event planner – Sophie Amor
As event and wedding furniture hire specialists, at Rio Lounge we are lucky enough to work with some of the UK’s top event planners. London-based event planner Sophie Amor has been hiring our furniture for her spectacular weddings and events for several years now. We were delighted that she chose some of our rattan pieces for her first post-pandemic wedding. We caught up with her for a chat last week to find out a little more about her work, and how she’s been coping over the past year in challenging circumstances.
How long have you been an event planner, and how did you get started ?
I have had my own wedding and party planning business: ‘By Sophie Amor’ for 4 years now. However I have been planning client’s parties and weddings for over 10 years. Working for a boutique events agency in Covent Garden, I joined the events industry back in 2010. I fell in love with event planning and then went on to work with three of London’s leading event companies. There, I planned and executed some of the most amazing parties and weddings!
What do you love most about being an event planner ?
Creating experiences! Life to me, is all about experiences. I want to wow clients and guests, and I want every party or wedding to be a real feast for the senses. I want everyone to remember the visual details, from florals to entertainment to table detail; the scents they could smell as they entered the room; and the music that wowed them when they walked in. Most of all I want them to relax, smile and laugh all night long! A true experience is one that is never forgotten!
From your own point of view, what was it like being in the events industry over the past year during the pandemic ?
The past year has been a turbulent one filled with every emotion. As a Planner, my job is to provide solutions and clear direction for my clients to plan some of the happiest and most memorable times of their lives. Over the last 18 months, the sheer level of uncertainty and lack of clarity, particularly within our sector, has been such a challenge. However, our industry, which is one of the most robust, flexible and supportive, has allowed for so much emotional support and shared advice. We have all felt a sense of unity in the worst circumstances. So, throughout, I’ve remained open, accessible and optimistic, combined with a sensible and realistic level of caution. Each one of my clients who is either awaiting their wedding or party, has been so inspirational with regards to how they are handling the uncertainty.
What was it like planning a wedding for your client during Covid ?
Fortunately, I live life on the optimistic side of the fence and, whereas not every day has been full of happiness, clarity or positivity, I had the most amazing wedding couple. With an abundance of constant communication and practicality we had established Plan A, B and C options for their wedding on 21st June.
We started planning the wedding in December 2020 with a full guest list of 120, including a number of international guests. However, we also had to be realistic and I had asked my clients to prepare two additional guest lists: one of 30 guests and one of 60 guests. Communication, throughout this whole process, was key. It wasn’t always led by government updates – sometimes we all just needed to chat through the emotions and frustrations that surrounded us as we tried to plan a wedding in a pandemic.
How did you tackle the uncertainty?
Communication with all of my incredible suppliers was imperative – so as much as we didn’t know our final plan until just days before the wedding – it was so important that I kept all of the suppliers up to date with the wedding planning progress and potential reduction of guests numbers as best as possible.
What sort of changes did you have to implement to comply with the rules/restrictions?
Following the final government guidance in relation to wedding restrictions, issued just 4 days before the wedding, we had to make some final adjustments to the day which included:
– Lateral Flow tests sent out to all guests in advance of the wedding for guests to take on the morning of the wedding. This was for added safe-guarding for all of the guests on the day.
– All suppliers remaining on-site throughout the wedding took lateral flow tests on the morning of the wedding
– Arranging for masks for all guests for different stages of the day (as we had outside elements)
– Additional anti-bacterial hand sanitiser stations;
– Ordering additional lounge and reception furniture to allow for the seated drinks and canape reception;
– Creating separate areas for all suppliers during their down-time (eg – separate area for photographer / videographer / the band / catering staff so as not to mix smaller groups unnecessarily).
How did you help the couple decide on the right look for the wedding ?
Syon Park is the ultimate blank canvas wedding venue which allows for so many different styles. The couple wanted bold, statement colours with a sophisticated ‘boho’ feel. We showcased this effect with florals, and small touches such as water glasses and pashminas for guests. We kept all other furniture and styling to a neutral palette with elements of boho furniture and more relaxed rattan seating.
Why did you choose Rio Lounge wedding furniture hire for this event in particular?
The rattan seating from Rio Lounge was just perfect, it allowed for the extra seating needed throughout the drinks and canape reception. The white set was neutral and worked brilliantly in the Cactus House. It was also ideal for this setting, as this was the space used for the Tisch, a tradition at Jewish weddings. This is essentially where family members and friends of the groom get together to toast the groom ahead of the ceremony.
Hassle-free outdoor wedding furniture hire from Rio Lounge
Thanks so much to Sophie for chatting with us! And also for the glowing testimonial that she sent for our hire and delivery team. Sophie is one of the best planners in the business, and comes highly recommended by all her clients.
If you are planning a fabulous post-pandemic wedding, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for your lounge and wedding furniture hire needs. You can give us a call on 0845 46 77483, or send us an email.