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Where to spend your wedding budget to create the perfect party impact

with the fabulous Rachel from Salt & Scent Wedding & Events

^ Fran & Jeff, Elmore Court, New Years Eve 2022-23. Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Stationery by Deabill & Quince. Photography by Eve Dunlop.

I’d love to introduce you to Rachel, who I first met back in 2018 when she was working as Events and Marketing Manager at Elmore Court, Gloucestershire. I then helped rebrand her new business Salt & Scent Gifting during covid times which she subsequently sold on after realising her true love was in planning. She started up Salt & Scent Events where we have now had the pleasure of working together again on more gorgeous weddings.

^ Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Flowers by Sorori Design. Photography by Tom Durn

Rachel has a true knack for creating magical, memorable, party vibe weddings and having worked at Elmore Court with their incredible team for six years there’s not much she doesn’t know about planning a seriously classy wedding.

^ Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Flowers by Amber Persia Photography by Harry Michael

First up, apart from her immaculate style – which puts you at ease immediately knowing whatever she creates will be effortlessly chic, she is an all-round gorgeous egg. Easy to talk to, full of ideas and knowing exactly where to add value.

I had a chat with Rachel earlier in the year to get the lo-down for you lovely lot on the best steps to planning the most fabulous party wedding...


Rachel, firstly – what is it about weddings and events that keeps pulling you back?

"I’m totally addicted to the event high! Yes, the planning is FULL on with juggling numerous supplier calls, emails, and client meetings but I love to keep busy, so this suits me down to the ground. I’m a bit of a control freak, so making sure everything has been checked and double checked, with timings and styling perfectly aligned brings me joy. I also carefully select who I work with and adore getting to know my clients, bringing together their thoughts and ideas to make a day so uniquely personal to them. On the day the buzz of seeing everyone have the time of their lives, knowing I brought it together for them is the most incredible feeling – nothing beats it."

Imagine I’ve just got engaged, can you explain the journey a couple might go through from this point if they were to work with you?

"Many people think you need a wedding planner from the get-go, sometimes this is the case but often my clients come to me once they’ve set a date and found a venue and realise they don’t have the time or expertise to pull everything else together. I can step in at whatever part of the planning journey feels right, but ideally its right at the beginning or when the venue is secured so I can help to match them with suppliers that will be perfect for them. I always start with an informal discovery call when an enquiry comes through; it’s so important we are a good fit for each other. From there I build a proposal and mood board to get the ball rolling. We have regular meetings and calls to ensure they feel completely in control, but I take all the day to day admin and planning off their hands so they can focus on enjoying the process."

^ Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Photography by Tom Durn

What are the three biggest benefits to working alongside a planner, where do you add most value.

I keep my couples on track. It’s so easy to get distracted from where your style and priorities lie when planning a wedding thanks to constant new posts and pins popping up. Once we’ve nailed down your wedding style, we stay true to that. There of course is room for movement but my goal is to make sure we create a day that represents them, it’s not all about the latest trend. Often, I visit my clients in their homes during the planning and this really helps to give me an insight to how they live and their personal tastes.

Reassurance. Having worked in some amazing venues for over 15 years (gosh that makes me sound ancient!) I have seen the stress some couples find themselves under on the day. They are getting asked a million questions on the morning, trying to send bridesmaids off to style the venue and it just feels too much. I want them to enjoy every second. I take all that stress away on the day; everything is taken care of by myself and my fabulous team which leaves them free to relax and enjoy it.

Discounts and supplier availability. Having a planner is an investment but often I save money along the way; we order only what is needed, benefit from trade discounts and prevent panic purchases. I know what will add to your day, and equally what you can do without. I have a huge number of fabulous suppliers on speed-dial (yourself included Freya!) and can easily match up the best people for the job. I find that due to our ongoing relationship these suppliers go the extra mile, and some have taken bookings when they planned to have time off, so it pays to have a good planner in your corner.

Can you explain why working with an external planner might be different to working with a venue co-ordinator directly?

"Venue co-ordinators are great, and typically help with general timings, can supply a recommended supplier list and will co-ordinate items that the venue offers on the day but typically they depart after the first dance. Some may help set out your decorations, but they are unable to do much in the way of styling outside putting name cards out as they are busy managing other things like checking in guests.

Wedding planners on the other hand will be with you every step of the way, whenever you need them and can offer as much support as you need. They source and book suppliers, manage your budget, help with RSVP’s, detailed timings, be the contact for all your suppliers to ease any admin, and be there on the day from start to finish. Personally I offer the whole shebang – all I need is a guest list and seating plan really! Some clients will want to still do a lot of the planning and be heavily involved throughout the process while others prefer to handover as much as possible, either way I’m happy to work with whatever makes them feel most comfortable."

^ Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Photography by Tom Durn


There is often a basic checklist couples put together when starting to plan their wedding, - Venue, Dress, Entertainment, Hair & Makeup, Cake, Flowers, Catering, Stationery… and this is where most couples tend to spend the majority of their budget.

These are all of course important and key aspects of the day, but they are not the cohesive elements which bring the day TOGETHER as a successful event. Surely that is done by the flow of the day, the strings which help hold the event together, the pops of delight along the way.

In your opinion, which are the key areas to concentrate your budget on to give the biggest impact on the day? Is it those large key elements, or is it important to also give consideration to the surprise and delight moments throughout the day which are often overlooked in the grand scheme things – the excitement of the table plan, the couple’s announcement into dinner / surprise entertainment, a keepsake gift, the dress code etc. which will affect the ‘guests’ more and create those incredible memories more than the colour of the bridesmaid’s dresses?

"With allocating budget I always ask my couples what is most important to them, what do you remember vividly from weddings that you loved. If it’s all about the party, then go big on the entertainment, if its food and drink then focus more on this. One thing that often gets allocated less of the budget but needs a good portion of it is the styling; so many items fall within it: from flowers, candles, table linen, crockery, cutlery and glassware, linen, stationery, to all the other little details that make the guest experience really special, like hangover kits in the rooms, personalised door hangers, blankets or furs for guests to borrow to keep cosy when using the outside spaces. These are what people remember and give that real wow factor. It’s interesting that mood boards are one of the first thing people create but the one thing they fail to cost up properly."

^ Personalised door hangers, bespoke cocktail illustrations and bespoke luggage tags by Deabill & Quince.

Looking back at the many weddings you have worked on, which were the most memorable and for what reasons?

"That’s like asking me to choose a favourite child! I think for me the standout moments are those that have personal and thoughtful touches that make their guests feel special. Recently my couple provided chauffeur driven cars, available throughout to take guests back to their hotels when they were ready to depart – things like this make your guests feel like total VIP’s! It’s all in the finishing details, which naturally I assist with…"

^ Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Flowers by Amber Persia Photography by Harry Michael

How do you create a wedding with a party atmosphere?

^ Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Photography by Harry Michael

"The most important aspect of the day is that two people who are deeply in love are getting married, but many of my couples also want to have the best party of their lives. I like to build the anticipation throughout the day of what is to come. When planning a wedding alone the initial thought is to simply provide a lot of alcohol and a good band to get a party going but it’s more than that – plus you don’t want everyone getting so drunk that they end up leaving early!

My advice is to focus on each stage, the ceremony should be meaningful and timeless. After the ceremony you will have drinks, canapés, and if you’re able to bring in live music I think this is well worth the spend – music is key to creating an atmosphere. If you want something classical then quartets, acoustic singers, jazz trios are great. If you want something with big impact that gets everyone involved, then there are great roaming bands that do this so well. Next, you’ll head over for dinner, the entrance area should showcase what is inside, if the couple are entering to a mega song where everyone gets on their feet to welcome them this starts the next stage of celebrations. A great MC will help with this.

An after-dinner cocktail hour is a great way for guests to relax and chat before the evening party commences, this can be personalised with a family favourite or his and hers cocktails.

Then it’s the party. If you have a separate dance floor area then go all out on styling this area, you can go big, and will never be too extra! A great band performing, and you’ve got yourself one incredible party."

^ Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Entertainment the Function Band. Photography by Eve Dunlop.

What does the future hold for Salt & Scent weddings?

"Oooh if only I had a crystal ball…

My focus will certainly move more towards the full planning over design and styling only. I really love how well I get to know the couples, and planning the entire event is what really sparks joy for me. After all the love and effort that goes into making a day memorable, I really want to be there by their side from start to finish to make sure it all runs perfectly.

The plan for now is to grow the business a little each year but not to overstretch myself so I can still guarantee the best service for my couples – that will always be my priority. I am desperate to do an event at Kin House (as I know you are), so hopefully that will come to fruition."

Lastly, go on give us a sales pitch – I already know I can sing your praises but let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth...

"If you’re a couple wanting an EPIC wedding filled with fun, laughter and personal touches that’s perfectly styled and flows like a dream but struggling to find the time to plan it alone, then please get in touch – I would love to take that pressure off you.

Let’s do this!"

Contact Rachel

Want to chat about creating fabulous party stationery for your wedding or event? I'd love to chat

^ Fran & Jeff, Elmore Court, New Years Eve 2022-23. Planner Rachel at Salt & Scent Events. Photography by Eve Dunlop.



" The views and statements written in this blog are my own and mine alone. They are based on my 10 years experience in the wedding industry working on hundreds of weddings with a huge range of wedding budgets, from 12 guests to over 200. The comments will not be relevant to every wedding ever planned. If you require specific costs or have any questions regarding your own wedding stationery please either get in touch using my contact form"

Over and out lovely people... see you next time.

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