Matthew Oliver Weddings is a team of incredibly talented planners, run by myself and my wonderful partner Bertie; we work internationally to create epic weddings for our clients…”

Matthew Oliver, founder, Matthew Oliver Weddings

C&B: “Matthew, what strikes us about your service is that you appear to have an incredible focus on detail combined with a quirky, fun element that’s really attractive… where are you based and how big is your team?”

MO: “We’re based in the quaint little town of Bradford on Avon, near the historic Bath – where Bridgerton was filmed. Matthew Oliver Weddings has been creating bespoke events for just over 11 years now – and we’ve loved (almost!) every minute of it. We’re incredibly fortunate to have a small but powerhouse of a team – Bertie, Georgia and I are all full-time planners, Danny is our newest team member, who assists in planning the weddings. Finally, we have Jade, the heart of the company who keeps us all going – assistant planner, HR manager, PA…she does it all!”

C&B: “We’re aware that you plan weddings all around the world – what are the challenges when it comes to sourcing local suppliers that are a good fit for your brand and style? And what are the general issues you have to contend with?”

MO: “There are really no limits when it comes to us planning in new and exciting places – we’ve worked on projects from Iceland to Oman, Montenegro to New York – across multiple cultures and continents. We go wherever our client’s brief takes us and we love exploring new places. Planning a wedding always has similar elements and we use our honed communication skills to build connections with suppliers wherever we go, to find the perfect fit and form a fresh perspective…”

PHOTO: Rebecca Yale

MO: “The uncertainty of the last few years was a hugely stressful challenge, going from no work to an incredible amount of work. I know we weren’t the only ones to experience such things, but we’ve had to relearn the wedding industry as so much has changed in the last 2 years with inflation, new regulations and the new ways people work. Our couples rely on us and all of us in the wedding industry have had to learn as we go and it has been scary and certainly challenging, however we’ve been nailing it and I am so proud of our team – and the industry as a whole – for that!”

PHOTO: Ben Yew Photography

C&B: “A very popular location for destination weddings is Italy – Lake Como, in particular… the romantic scenery truly lends itself to the occasion. Which locations and/or venues are your personal favourites, and why?”

MO: “Yes, Italy has always held a special place in Bertie’s heart and in mine; we love working there as the people and landscapes are incredible. Iceland is also very special as it is so trendy and dramatic! There’s a raw, untouched feel to Montenegro and we feel it’s going to grow hugely as a destination for weddings. Then there’s the energy of New York, which is incredible, combined with the professionalism of the suppliers – they can literally create anything! As you can tell, we’re not very good at picking just one place as a favourite! We have loved all the places we’ve worked at and are always excited to work somewhere new. The country and venue play a huge part in the feel of your wedding, and so too does the team behind the wedding!”

PHOTO: Ben Yew Photography

“There’s a stigma about weddings with the belief that planning one is incredibly stressful, however it really doesn’t have to be that way. We suggest that couples find the right people to work with and trust them, also figure out whether they’re doing something because it’s ‘the tradition’ and ‘expected’, or if it’s something they actually want as part of their wedding. As soon as they start trusting in themselves and what they want, drowning out the opinions of those who tell then what they ‘should’ be doing and cooperating with their suppliers then they’ll be be so much happier!”

Matthew Oliver, founder, Matthew Oliver Weddings

PHOTO: Roberta Facchini

C&B: “Planning an overseas wedding takes a lot of expert coordination; what do you find are the most important factors for the bride to focus on?”

MO: “It’s all about communication and enjoying the planning on a base level; if the bride has really hated the planning process then it’s going to have an impact on the wedding, so it’s important for them to put in the time to find the right wedding team they can connect with. On a more fundamental level, the client needs to make sure they’re clear with their budget and their expectations. We find a venue that tugs on their heart strings but also makes sense practically; the flow, tone, style and budget of a wedding is really determined by the venue, so we don’t ever rush that part…”

PHOTO: 37 Frames

C&B: “Do you find that there are trends for floral decor, cocktails, canapés? And do you follow them? Or are these always a reflection of the couple’s choice and/or location?”

MO: “Trends are such a hard thing to talk about! We always take inspiration from the couple and build something unique and new from their lives and personality; we try not to shoehorn a trend into a wedding where it might not work. Though, having said that, we do like to see people shredding tradition and doing things they really want rather than what is expected! So perhaps being unique and different is the new trend?!”

PHOTO: Becky Tranter

C&B: “You’re clearly brilliant at what you do – what would say makes you stand out from other organisers, your USP?”

MO: “100% personality – our clients are choosing to work with us as people, not only our experience, connections and reputation but actually us and our personalities. Our clients need to be able to trust us, we can absolutely plan incredible weddings, but so can many many other planners out there, but we will also ensure you will love the process. We feel strongly that the right planner is out there for everyone, some couples might want someone more corporate in their approach, great but that’s not us, people book us because they can see themselves working with us for 9/12/18 months, loving the process and having the most wonderful wedding at the end of it, and that’s something we are so lucky to be able to say…”

PHOTO: Adam Alex

Working with our couples in a fun and relaxed way we not only make the planning process enjoyable but we are friends long after the wedding happens. We love our job and we make sure we love who we work with…”

Matthew Oliver, founder, Matthew Oliver Weddings

PHOTO: Pablo Laguia; Roberta Facchini

C&B: “Of all the amazing occasions you’ve organised, which would you say has been your biggest wedding success story so far?”

MO: “I could talk about the multi-million pound weddings, the celebrity clients and the performers, but ultimately for us it’s the friends we’ve made and the fact we still hang out with the past couples we’ve organised for. We staged a beautiful wedding in Florence, Italy, in 2022, and at the end of 2022 our couple asked if we wanted to visit them in their home city of Washington DC; we did and stayed with them, they threw us a surprise party and invited all the guests from their wedding, it was the most incredible gesture and we had the most fun reliving the wedding!”


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