In conversation with Sarah Haywood

Wedding planning legend Sarah Haywood shares all about her new show and more

Sarah Haywood_Jose Villa Photography tablescape
© Jose Villa Photography

With a black book of exclusive clients from all over the world and many years of trusted experience, Sarah Haywood is often referred to as “one of the most influential wedding planners on the planet”. We speak to the legendary international wedding planner – and ask her everything!

Sarah Haywood reveals all

What’s your top wedding tip?

Plan only for the type of wedding you can afford. Create your dream day and not a premier league footballer’s dream day (unless of course you are a premier league footballer!). 

What’s your favourite wedding location?

It depends how I’m feeling when you ask me – and usually that will be wherever we are working next! But I think the next hot wedding destination location will be Prague and Czech Republic. There are so many castles and historic venues, as well as glamorous locations with jaw-dropping locations.

Favourite colour scheme for a reception?

This year I am thrilled couples are being more bold with colour. I love a blue, white and purple colour scheme and with a touch of orange in the florals

Where do you find your inspiration?

Absolutely everywhere except social media – that just stifles my creativity as so much of what is posted is variations on the same overdone themes. I study the Paris Haute Couture shows twice a year as the show design itself is often very innovative, fabrics, Bollywood and Hollywood, galleries, interiors magazines (new and old), parks and gardens. Pretty much all around me!

A trend for 2020 worth incorporating?

Styled photo areas that guests can have fun with – as opposed to rented photo-booths. I rather like when they are incorporated into the design so that they make sense.

A trend to ditch?

The escort card tree: whoever dreamed it up was was clearly not a planner! Guests do not want to queue to find their names hidden on a card in a tree!

Sarah Haywood
Sarah Haywood

Sarah Haywood_Jose Villa Photography
© Jose Villa Photography

How does it feel to have your own TV show, The Wedding Fixer?

It feels great! I loved working with the couples on the show – they were all so different yet every wedding was so full or heart. It was interesting to have to pull back and let them plan their own weddings using my advice and with me dipping in and out to check they were ok (rather than plan them A-Z as I usually do). It was incredibly rewarding to work with couples with more down to earth budgets than my typical clients and it reminded me that brides up and down Britain are mostly planning their weddings with very little assistance: I have huge respect for them as I know it takes hundreds of hours.

Your dream holiday destination?

We have a home in Portugal and I love going there and doing absolutely nothing other then eating, sleeping and swimming the sea! It is remote with spectacular and unspoiled views of the ocean, and is the only place I can truly relax.

Sarah Haywood_Michael Buble
Michael Buble

Soundtrack to your weekend?

Jazzy Romance: Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Michael Bublé (he performed recently at a wedding we planned and I Facetimed with his kids – so I am slightly obsessed now!)

Your favourite food?

I would love to say something really healthy or exotic to impress your readers, but honestly my late mother’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe is a favourite.  I can also make a mean mac ‘n’ cheese.

Dog or cat?

Cat – mine lived to 23 and we are bereft without her.

What cant you live without?

A good book! I’m reading a book called The Cactus by a lady of the same name as me. People keep congratulating me on its success,  but its another Sarah Haywood so I thought I should at least read it (and it’s great!).

Sarah Haywood’s show, The Wedding Fixer airs on UKTV’s W Channel.