The marriage of Prince Charles to the then Lady Diana Spencer nearly 40 years ago was one of the most, if not, outright, the most lavish wedding ever seen in history, costing approximately $140 M in today’s market. The wedding was planned by Lord Maclean, Lord Chamberlain during that period, and a senior officer of the royal household, the man in charge of court ceremony, up to and including royal weddings and funerals.
The Lord Chamberlain was, as is tradition, in charge of planning the more recent marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton. With the times changing, however, the evening party which followed the ceremony was organized by Fait Accompli, an even planning firm, which then planned Pippa Middleton’s wedding last month.
Following the marriage of Princess Diana, wedding planners became more and more popular over the world, not just for the rich and famous, but for the more modest brides and grooms as well. This marked a shift in how the elite handle their weddings, which were usually handled by social secretaries or other members of staff, with some help from a good friend or associate.
Nowadays, it isn’t hard to find a wedding planner in Sydney, New York, Paris, or anywhere in the world. With weddings becoming more and more elaborate, the need for wedding planners grew as well. There are, however a specialized group, about 20, that handle the highest of the high-end weddings.
Sarah Haywood is one such planner, who has expressed her disdain at the moniker of ‘wedding planner’ stating that weddings for the elite are large-scale productions, big events that require a coordinated team, to ensure that their uber-wealthy clients get what they want. Which, as a result of their status, tends to be wildly varied due to a notable lack of boundaries when it comes to finance.
Haywood has stated that the uber-wealthy, the ultrarich, or the elitest of the elite, whatever one wishes to call them, handle weddings very differently than even the wealthy. She quotes one of her favourite clients, who, like most of the uber-wealthy, have staff handling their affairs for them. As a result, Haywood has planned a wedding for someone whose name she didn’t even know.
The weddings of the uber-wealthy are gigantic events, with the planners having to accomplish such things as making cities, and handling celebrities for the headlining events, among other things. According to Preston Bailey, one of the most notable luxury wedding designers, the ultrarich are interesting to work with, but also difficult to please due to their demands.
He states that, for the ultrarich who can get what they want, luxury is generally something unique that they’ve never really seen before.
Whilst some of the rich and famous prefer privacy, compared to some who want big media coverage, luxury wedding planners state that there is, ultimately, some familiarity to the whole process. The ultrarich, much like the more modest looking for a wedding planner in Sydney, want their wedding to be that one special day, to be held in the highest regard in one’s life. For the wedding planners, the luxury specialists deliver the same as their more modest counterparts, simply at a far grander scale.