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It will soon be 11 years since I moved to London, and I can honestly say that this is my home.

La Fete Wedding Planner Blog Living in London

Although I was born and raised in picturesque Geneva in Switzerland, I always longed to live in a big bustling city. I moved here aged 18 ready to start university and must admit that I fondly look back at my first few months in London, between excitement of ultimate freedom and worries of being in a big city. I soon strived in London, discovering my English heritage (I am half British, half French), I adapted to the lifestyle and open-mindedness very quickly.

La Fete Wedding Planner Blog Living in London

Once I had finished my Bachelor, I moved briefly to Florence in Italy for my Masters, but soon after returned with professional prospects. Now, I was experiencing London as a young professional, aged 22, I had already lived, like many Londoners, in three different zones and four different flats. London seems to have that energy that constantly makes you move around the City until you find your neighbourhood that somehow pulled you in like a magnet, and then you end up from having steadily moved house every year, to staying put for 6 years (like I have now) or even forever.

La Fete Wedding Planner Blog Living in London

The neighbourhood that pulled me is Pimlico. If you know it, you probably already know why it’s so enchanting. If you don’t, make sure to take a stroll through its quiet residential streets in the spring. The Pimlico grid, as it is known amongst locals, is actually one of the smaller neighbourhoods of London. It’s Regency architecture and numerous garden squares were initially built as an extension of Belgravia, but Pimlico has quite a different feel. White Cubit houses line long straight streets that intersect each other, making the grid a maze with its notorious one-way system (no black Cab has ever confidently taken me home). The residents are what make this neighbourhood so unique, from young families to elderly couples with small dogs, Pimlico is the home to every culture and nationality under the sun, and that is what makes it so rich.

La Fete Wedding Planner Blog Living in London

For me, Pimlico reflects, at a much smaller scale what London is about; a home to anyone that wants to call it that. It is a place to put down your suitcase, your dreams, your ambitions and build a life, a home, a career. London is full of possibilities, and Londoners are some of the nicest, kindest and most attentive people I have ever met. With its architectural variety, London is a city made up of small villages and towns that have united as one. Each area cherishes its uniqueness but also values its variety.

La Fete Wedding Planner Blog Living in London

I am so proud to say that London is my home, and yes, I am a Londoner.

I recently got asked to give some advice in relation to this subject by Wedding Venues & Services Magazine, and thought that I wanted to share with all of you as well as this is a subject that affects a lot of my brides.

Let’s just start by saying, your wedding, your rules!

If this is what you want, then make it clear from the start and never make an exception. Exceptions can be made occasionally for flower girls or page boys, especially if they are your nephews or cousins. But if you just want them there for the ceremony and photos, it’s up to you to plan how to get them back home, or have a baby-sitter there in order to not disrupt their parents’ enjoyment of the day and evening.

In regards to small children that aren’t playing a role in your big day, just explain to any friends or family that may be trying to guilt you into making them the exception, that you want them to attend your day as carefree adults who can have a drink too many and dance the night away without worrying about their kids. A good idea is to offer a list of recommended babysitters for those who might have to travel with smaller kids to the event.

Always remember, that if you are imposing rules and that these may be tricky to abide by for some guests, offer a solution at the same time. That way you will be confronted with less resistance to the idea. If you present this well and early on, often your friends and family will be thrilled at the idea of having a night away, or even a weekend away, just as a couple!

So don’t be scared of standing up for your decision and make sure that you communicate it early on so that everyone can organise themselves accordingly.

On Christmas eve, my family and I (parents, sister and fiancé), all travelled from London to St Petersburg. We had been planning this trip for nearly a year and were so excited that it had finally come!

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Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a snowy city, which truly seemed split between two eras: tall dark Soviet communal flat buildings and governmental buildings lined the large avenues from the airport into the city centre, and all of a sudden, after crossing a bridge the style all of sudden changed to brightly coloured Romanov-esque palaces with intricate details and never-ending facades. Between the snow, the cold and the Christmas decorations, I must admit that St Petrsburg was everything I had expected and more! A magical ambiance that transported you back to films was present in every street, church and palace. The harmony with which the Romanov and Soviet heritages had blended surprised but also enchanted me.

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As good tourists, we visited all the key spots: Catherine’s Palace, The Ermitage Museum, The Church on Spilled Blood (literally built on top of the spilt blood of one of the Tsars), the art galleries, so many churches, and of course the food and drink! Russian food is AMAZING! If you haven’t yet discovered it, find out quick where your nearest Russian Delicatessen is and order Pelmeni! A sort of mix between dumpling and ravioli, it’s filled with any sort of meat that you want and is insanely delicious! St Petersburg is steeped in history, throughout the city everything reminds you of a time long gone, even the frozen over river reminds you of this.

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After 4 days in St Petersburg, we left by high speed train to Moscow. A swift train ride through the Russian countryside, and we arrived in the capital. First impressions of Moscow: they have massive traffic jam problems! Moscow is very different to St Petersburg, a modern metropole, the buildings are huge and are either Soviet or ultra-modern. The Kremlin is more than just a simple building, it is the true heart of the city, a city within a city, it is magical and charged in grandeur thanks to the several museums and buildings that it houses, of which the diamond vaults, the armoury, the several cathedrals and churches and the beautiful views it has of the river.

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We also visited several art galleries, more churches of which St Basil (which is surprisingly small compared to what I had always imagined), did a fair bit of shopping (Russia is cheaper than London, but not by far), and were fortunate enough to go to the Moscow Circus and the Bolchoi to see the Nutcracker on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve is a massive deal in Russia, due to not being able to practice religions under the Soviet regime; they turned this end of year festivity into the biggest of the country. And I must say, they know how to do Christmas decorations better than I have ever seen! Russian patterns light up the main squares, whilst all trees are dripping in multi-coloured lights, with small presents hanging from them; a Christmas fanatic’s dream!

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All in all, I would definitely recommend going to St Petersburg and Moscow, even in winter. And even though it’s colder (take thermals, a Canada goose, and don’t hesitate to buy a Shapka) its magical and resonates with the Russia from our imagination.

As the weather starts to freeze around us, I thought it would be appropriate to use the current mood to create a Winter Wonderland Party mood board.

Winter Wonderland Party - London Party Planner 001

Winter Wonderland Party | London Party Planner | La Fete

You don’t need to wait for it to get cold outside to throw a party with this theme. It can be just as effective at another time of the year, as it can have the ability to transport guests to another world, which is a part of event planning anyway. However, creating this atmosphere in a winter month means that your guests get to enjoy the positive aspects of winter, instead of just having to put up with the slush, rain and cold wind.

Winter Wonderland Party | London Party Planner | La Fete

So, if you are thinking of throwing a Winter Wonderland Party, the first thing you’ll need to do is decide what your vision of Winter is: Is it Scandi? Christmassy? Arctic? Or sparkly? I’ve gone for the Scandi chalet sort of inspiration for this one. Wanting to create a sort of apres-ski atmosphere where guests can eat, drink, chat and of course, dance away in front of a lovely warm fire! Always think of the details that create the main picture, as these are the elements that your guests will pick up on. These are the details that will transport your guests away from their everyday lives into a unique moment. Some of these details can be as simple as the lighting, the music and the smell.

Winter Wonderland Party | London Party Planner | La Fete

Winter Wonderland Party | London Party Planner | La Fete

Here’s my mood board for a Winter Wonderland Party. Enjoy it!

Winter Wonderland Party | London Party Planner | La Fete

Image Credits:
Original Travel // London Bride // This Is Glamorous // Anthropologie // Ome Piet // Sculptivate // Vibeke Design // Liz Marie Blog // You Mean The World To Me 

A couple of weeks ago, Pantone’s new colour of the year was unveiled: Greenery. I must admit that initially, I wasn’t very excited about this colour and how it could be incorporated into my business. However, giving it some thought and writing this blog, I believe that it’ll be a breath of fresh air for the events industry.

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Greenery stands for beginnings and resolutions as well as the outdoors and the environment. Now we all know about eco-friendly ideas, programs and even events nowadays that are eco-friendly or have elements of this; but I believe that the true attraction to this colour is it’s connection to nature and our desire to incorporate natural elements more and more in our work and life, especially in events of our life.

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Greenery also fits in with the various floral trends of the moment, whereby more and more leaves and foliage are used just as much, or even more than flowers. The Pantone colour of the year can also be a great pairing colour, being omnipresent, it is also the perfect hue to blend other stronger colours such as metallics, deep autumnal tones, brights, pastels and of course neutrals.

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Greenery calls to mind a series of words such as refresh, revive, restore, renew, rejuvenate. All these are fresh beginnings of things we already know, a new look on life. I truly believe that Greenery will be an interesting colour to work with this year, incorporating it into design elements, the styling of events and overall planning.  Pantone colour 2017 | Greenery | Wedding Planner Ideas | La Fete

Image Credits:
Inside Weddings // Want That Wedding // Blog Lovin // Plan Your Perfect Wedding // A Floral // Love My Dress // Ever Green Direct // Happy Chantilly // Pinterest

For those of you who have been on my website, you may have noticed that I have a photo with my French bulldog Coco. Since we’re still getting to know each other, I thought that I might tell you a little bit more about her.

Destination Wedding Planner | French Bulldog | La Fete

Coco is my 8-year-old French bulldog (also referred to as a ‘frenchie’ by many people). I’ve had her since she was merely 1 month old. I purchased her one summer in Paris when I was still a student, just before I moved to Florence for a year. Having just spent three years in London studying with no pets, and having grown up since the age of 6 with English bulldogs, I was in need of a companion.

Destination Wedding Planner | French Bulldog | La Fete

Our story starts off in a typical way; I was just looking and wasn’t really sure that I wanted to get a dog straight away. I was definitely set on a French bulldog, as I love their huge ears and little stout bodies. Their character and needs, also fit my lifestyle perfectly, as well as being great apartment dogs. One day, I went to a pet shop in the outskirts of Paris to see what puppies they had (yes, in 2009 puppies were still sold in shops in France). When I got to puppy corner I saw a transparent glass box filled with sawdust and a little black and white head with huge satellite-like ears was staring into my eyes. I melted. She was so little! I asked if I could see her and carry her, and when they brought her out and gave her to me, I fell in love. I put her little body against my chest and she instantly nuzzled into my neck and fell asleep. Her little body was resting in my cupped hand. After just sitting in the shop like this for an hour, I realised that I should go. My head was trying to convince my heart that this wasn’t the right time, etc.

Destination Wedding Planner | French Bulldog | La Fete

A couple of days later, I realised that I couldn’t stop thinking of her. I kept looking at that photograph that I had taken of her and had even found a name for her: Coco. At the time, I was reading Coco Chanel’s biography (a woman that I admire) and with her black and white colour, she was completely in tune with the brand! One morning, I woke up and made the decision to go purchase her! I was so happy and excited! She very quickly adapted to her new life, and a few months later we moved to Florence where her favourite game was to chase the pigeons at the Duomo.

Destination Wedding Planner | French Bulldog | La Fete

Since then, we have moved to London, lived in various flats and enjoyed every minute of it. We have of course had some low moments when her health wasn’t always at it’s best, but we have always pulled through together. At the end of the day, she always helps me too when I’m a bit under the weather with her kind and understanding eyes. You may think that I’m crazy, but she is in a way my baby, yes I’m one of those crazy dog people! But the love you get from your dog is irreplaceable. Coco may not be a working member of La Fête, but she has been present every step of the way of the creation, whether it be on my knees at my desk or in her bed in my study fast asleep, and I thought it important for you to know her.

Destination Wedding Planner | French Bulldog | La Fete

Photography by Emily Ricard