ABOVE: A cliff-top wedding staged in Dubrovnik by Pink Palms Events

Ashleigh Li, founder of Pink Palms Events, named her company after a time living in Los Angeles and being inspired by the hazy pink sunsets every evening; now based in London, she heads up a modern event planning and design studio with a busy team – made up of five incredible women – which delivers weddings, parties, corporate events and brand activations in across Europe. Here we discuss what her company has to offer clients…

Last year, Pink Palms worked twice in Italy, in Croatia, and then went to most corners of the UK; we very much cherish our London-based events that are closer to home…”

Ashleigh Li, Founder, Pink Palm Events

NS: ”Ashleigh, introduce yourself in a few words…”

AL: ”I’m the founder and creative director of Pink Palms Events, and my team focuses on operations, design and planning. We work very closely with a ‘Little Pink Book’ of amazing suppliers and venues. Choosing the right supplier team has a huge impact on the success of an event, and our trusted recommendations are invaluable to our clients…”

NS: ”It sounds like you’ve pulled together a really successful concept; when did you set up and what inspired you to do so?”

AL: ”We set up in 2017 – the business started during my time living in LA… on moving back to London, I decided the UK needed a little more of a modern approach to events. I’ve a mixed background of nursing and interior design, and I was looking for a career that I could make the most of the specific skillset I have. It turns out that running an events business is perfect as it’s requires that specific blend…”

ABOVE: Creative floral decor at an intimate event by Pink Palms

NS: ”I’m not surprised you found inspiration in Los Angeles; California is a fantastic source of inspiration when it comes to events – particularly those staged outside… the locations are amazing! With that in mind, how does Pink Palms Events differ in what it offers their clients in Europe?”

AL: ”We’ve a solid mix of interior design, visual merchandising, graphic design and event experience within our team, so we’re truly a ‘one-stop’ planning and design shop! We bring the client’s vision to life through a mix of design theory and our in-house event planning magic and offer the perfect blend of logistics, creative ideas and impact, while also relieving the client of any stress associated with the organisation of a perfectly staged event. I find inspiration in the most unusual of places – I adore interior decor, nature, and retail… and I also love visiting creative installations in couture stores – there’s a lot of crossover with those installations that we can incorporate into events, so I do enjoy using those for input. Travel is a great source of inspiration as well, for various aesthetics but also with regard to customer service experiences; I usually come home with one great customer service experience and also one that was not so great – they’re added to the suite of examples I use to demonstrate to my team when I’m holding one of my regular meetings…”

NS: ”How many events can you produce each year, on average?”

AL: ”We can manage around 20-25 projects across the team – we tend to work in depth on each event and we ensure we have plenty of time to focus on each client independently. I can honestly say that we leave with nothing left to give at the end of each event, so we have to cap our client list to ensure we deliver to the standard we love to work to…”

ABOVE: The natural, joyful vibe in which Pink Palms excels

A big area of inspiration is figuring out what actually ISN’T working any more; I keep tabs on what’s being produced across the event industry and regularly review – when a design has been done several times, it’s signal for me to retire that look…”

Asheleigh Li, Founder, Pink Palm Events

NS: ”Which themes and styles are your clients looking for at the moment, or what do you suggest to them? It seems to have changed quite a lot since the disruption over the past three years, or so…”

AL: ”We love seeing minimalism coming through as the days of ‘over the top’ decor to fill an entire space are winding down, and we’re here for it! Our clients still spend just as much on budget, but in much more thoughtful, refined and sustainable ways. Sustainability is a huge theme in events right now – from disposing of catering waste through to eco-friendly floristry, it’s fast becoming the norm to think in that way…”

We’ve led on sustainable events for a long time; we have no plastic confetti, balloon installations or unnecessary favours at our events!”

Asheleigh Li, Founder, Pink Palm Events

ABOVE: The contrast of glamour and minimalism – both occasions designed by Pink Palms

NS: ”Of the many aspects of your personality I admire, your sense of fun is one of them. How do you incorporate that light-heartedness into your projects?”

AL: ”It’s the way we like to work with our clients, and it really comes down to our communication style. We’re extremely professional and we deliver events to a very high standard, however our attitude is ‘if it’s not fun, is it worth doing?’ – after all, we are planning parties!”

NS: ”Which has been your most creative project to date, and what did you produce?”

AL: ”Every project we produce has a highly creative element and we do receive incredible briefs – for the organisation of a wedding last year, we were challenged with the concept of producing a modern, minimalist Hindu wedding which was to be inspired by retail installations… and, if you’re familiar with Hindu weddings, modern minimalism is not something you’d normally associate them with! I also adore an editorial we created in a warehouse where ‘Les Miserables’ was filmed – we installed huge drapes and created exactly the vision I had from the outset…”

ABOVE: Elaborate but sustainable – projects by Pink Palm Events

NS: ”Both sound amazing… out of all your projects to date, which has been the most challenging?”

AL: ”That would be when we created a cliffside wedding in Dubrovnik with no vehicle access; we had to unload the full of kit from our vans at the top of the cliff and then carry it all down by hand – that includes all the photography and videography kit, buckets and buckets of flowers in water, boxes of heavy tablescape items and furnishings. That was not a moment I’d like to relive – but the views of the city from the cliff top were incredible!”

NS: ”Talking of all the supplies required for an event, which suppliers do you tend to rely on most regularly?”

AL: ”We frequently work with photographers, florists, stationers – although we tend to mix up the exact team members for each project. I’m very much of the school of thought that if the same creatives work together all the time it can lead to stagnancy and then inspiration dries up – I’d much rather we were kept on our toes… it creates a fresh and energised dynamic!”

NS: ”Ultimately, what makes your career most fulfilling?”

AL: ”For me, being on site and creating – seeing the visualisation of the initial brief coming to life in front of me – is always rewarding, particularly knowing the number of hours and the amount of hard work that have been poured into the project up to that point. We transform a space from blank canvas into it’s absolute best iteration then bring in the clients… seeing their face light up is exactly why we love to create!”


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