The million pound wedding planner TELLS ALL
29 Aug 2018
Scarlet Events is a luxury wedding planning service which coordinates weddings for the rich (and sometimes famous); here, we meet the brain behind the business
Marc Ahmed is the founder of Scarlet Events, a company that specialises in planning high-end, unique weddings which are known to have cost more than £1million. Here, Marc allows us exclusive access into his world of weddings and offers insight into one of the world's most lucrative industries.
Tell us about your business. How did you get into wedding planning?
It all started eight years ago when I moved into event planning from wedding photography. I had no idea what I was doing to start with, I just knew I had great potential to realise my vision of creating spectacular events.
Can you give us an indication of the budget range of couples you plan weddings for?
Our minimum budget requirement is £250,000, so that might give you an idea of the types of weddings we organise.
What countries/cities have you travelled to for weddings?
We’ve worked all over the world planning weddings for loved up couples; from Udaipur to Istanbul, to the South of France, to Florence, to Venice, to Dubai and more.
Who is the most high profile client you have planned a wedding for?
Most of our clients tend to be UHNWIs (ultra-high net-worth individuals) and people of significant importance from the world of business, finance and commodities. Our clients include oil barons, shipping tycoons, Middle Eastern royalty and the odd oligarch or two. Unfortunately, we are sworn to secrecy and cannot disclose any names.
Tell us about:
The most extravagant wedding you have planned: We’ve planned a fair few extravagant events, but one that stands out was a three-day wedding in Udaipur, India for 300 crazy guests from Dubai. It included organising flights for every guest on numerous charter planes and two of the venues were in the middle of a lake, only accessible by boat.
The most memorable wedding: For me, personally, a wedding we planned at The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat was without a doubt the most magical and memorable wedding. The bride and groom were such a pleasure to work with and the whole affair was an unforgettable experience from start to finish. We held the reception down by the seafront, only accessible to guests by a tiny little funicular lift and everything else could only be reached by helicopter. A special performance by The Gipsy Kings topped off the most magical of nights and needless to say we’re still great friends with the lovely couple and have organised all of the family weddings since.
Who is the biggest celebrity to have appeared/performed at a wedding you have planned?
We’ve had quite a few but in terms of sheer legendary status, it has to be Lionel Richie. Alhough we’ve also worked with other big names such as Calvin Harris and Bryan Adams.
What is the most outrageous wedding request you have received?
A groom asked us to fly in Maroon 5 to perform as a surprise for the bride. Not only were they £2.5million to hire, but we also had to factor in all of their touring costs, organise a private jet for the band from Los Angeles to Paris, increase the size of the already expensive marquee just to fit the bigger stage, and then add extra days to the venue hire cost to build the bigger marquee. Safe to say, Maroon 5 were not available for the date.
Tell us why you love your job.
No two days or events are ever the same. If we’re not trying to organise flights for 300 guests then organising a whacky idea in a client’s back garden (which is usually a few acres). We are in the fortunate position of being able to choose the clients that we wish to work with and while planning any event is always stressful, the joys of working with our clients make our job an absolute pleasure. Lastly, this job has amazing perks - we’re lucky enough to travel the world, stay in some amazing locations, eat great food, be spoilt rotten and it's all just part of the job.