Fiona Deans – Dundas is the Director of Couture Wedding Planning based in Sydney and is one of the most experienced Wedding Planners in the industry with over seven years experience. It is her passion to help couples plan their wedding day to perfection and with a background in accounting, she understands how to assist couples with budgets as well as the all important planning and styling. Today we have the privilege of sharing some of her background and insights with you.
When did Couture Wedding Planning begin?
Couture Wedding Planning began in 2009 over 7 years ago now. My passion for weddings and events was ignited when I attended The Blue Mountain International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) for 3 years and graduated with a Degree in Hospitality and Event Management after receiving a Bachelor of Commerce from the BMIHMS in 2003. I worked in a number of well know hotels during and after my degree such as Observatory Hotel (now the Langham) and Ritz Carlton (now the Intercontinental Double Bay) as well as hotels in the UK.
I then decided to go back to university and completed my Masters in Accounting. During my Masters I worked in a bridal boutique, which grew my passion for Weddings even more. After working in the Finance Industry for a year I decided to combine all my knowledge and passion and open Couture Wedding Planning in 2009 and we have not looked back since. I absolutely adore what I do and love creating beautiful weddings for our couples.
What is your vision for the company?
My vision for our company is to continue to bring all our couples weddings to life, from the moment they say “yes” until they say “I do”, and will provide them with a stress free and smooth wedding planning journey. We are a Boutique service so we only take on a small number of weddings each year so that our couples receive a very personalised and detailed service. We hope to grow the business and create more beautiful and exciting weddings in the future without compromising on the bespoke service we provide to all our couples.
Do you have a particular style that you are known for?
I feel our signature style is to create a Luxury Wedding for each of our couples, but I find each couple is completely different and approaches their wedding and their styling in a very different way. Each couple has their own style, ideas and colour scheme in mind so I find I normally immerse myself into the look they are after and find that we mold our style to suit that couples vision. This is one of the aspects of wedding planning which I just love!!
Do you have any weddings that you are particularly proud of?
We have recently done a wedding with a stunning couple that I am particularly proud of. The couple was holidaying in Sydney and engaged my services two day before they returned back to their home in Russia. They wanted a venue with an outdoor ceremony area over looking Sydney Harbour with a Dining Room with vintage chandeliers, in the same location, for 60 guests.
I immediately took them to Gunners Barracks the day before they left as it had all the elements they where after. We then engaged the Head Chef at Gunners Barracks to create a 7-course degustation menu for the event as both food and wine where very important to the couple. It was so exciting to work with the bride through Skype and Email to realise all her styling dreams for her wedding and then engage our amazing suppliers in Sydney to make it come to life. The Bride, based in Moscow, sent us all her ideas of what she would like for the ceremony and reception and then we put together a large mood board for the bridal table, table centerpieces, cake and ceremony so she could see all the beautiful options available to her and then she selected her favourites.
From this process we created a stunning Draped canopy with a beautiful header of flowers on it and two beautiful arrangements at the mouth of the ceremony with stunning white chair adorned with florals.
For the reception the bride wanted cream and neutral flowers made into 3 alternate centerpieces. We hired in a French provincial table to create a sweetheart bridal table for them. We also purchase custom gold rimmed charger plates for each guest from Melbourne and brought in Custom Gold Rimmed Glasses from Italy. We also brought in luxury linens and gold channel chairs to set off the room.
Faye Cahill the Cake Designer took 3 months to make all the sugar flowers on the cake she created for the couple. I am particularly proud of our team of suppliers who created this wedding in a very tight window of 2 hours set up.
What are your favourite aspects of a wedding, i.e. is it the lighting, the flowers etc.?
Flower are my favourite element of any wedding as they are both beautiful, and very easily communicate what type of wedding the couple has wanted to create, through the colours they have decided to use and how the flowers have been arranged. There is something quite magical about creating a tablescape of flowers for just one day and then it is gone the next. As Wedding Planners and Stylists I feel the flowers is where we can be the most innovative at a wedding, depending on their placement like suspending them from the ceiling or creating flower walls with them or how we arrange them on the tables themselves. Even those other elements like linen, beautiful chairs and great lighting enhance the overall ambiance of a wedding, the flowers are most likely the thing that guests remember the most.
Photography by GM Photographics