5 Minutes With The Alternative Wedding Group

Weddings

Q: Who is the Alternative Wedding Group?

AWG: The Alternative Wedding Group was founded by myself (Truchio Powell) and Daniella Genas-Ogunbanjo. We are a niche luxury wedding planning service specialising in coordinating show stopping alternative weddings for inter-racial, cross cultural, modern cultural and quirky couples.  We also coordinate wedding masterclasses to provide guidance and support for individuals planning their own weddings.

Q: What is an “alternative wedding” and what do you mean by “inter-racial, cross cultural, modern cultural and quirky couples”?

AWG: Alternative weddings are those that do not fit within the mainstream. The weddings we organise are those that do not conform to the idea of a “traditional English wedding” due to the types of couples getting married and their desires for a non-conventional day.

Inter-racial and cross cultural weddings are on the rise in the UK and we specialise in providing luxury weddings for these couples that are not typically accommodated for in the mainstream wedding industry. We are referring specifically to couples from two different races (e.g. white bride/black groom, indian groom/white bride) or couples from two different cultures (e.g. Polish groom, English bride, Nigerian groom/Jamaican bride).

Modern culture is any couple who want to have a very modern wedding but would like to inject elements of their culture or cultural traditions into their weddings in a modern and fun way.

Quirky couples are those individuals who simply do not want a standard run of the mill wedding and want something exciting, imaginative and unique.

Q: What exactly makes you different to other wedding companies?

AWG: Well, the fact that we have extensive experience in coordinating alternative weddings (specifically the inter-racial and cross cultural weddings) enables us to coordinate alternative weddings authentically. We have strong relationships with suppliers to also ensure we can achieve the highest quality without having to guess or take major risks.

Also we don’t just organise weddings, we also coordinate masterclasses. As event organisers we both organised our own weddings and found great enjoyment in doing so. However, not everyone who wants to organise their own wedding has the experience or contacts to be able to do so. Our masterclasses will ensure that the ambitious and creative bride wanting to bring her own dreams to life is equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and contacts to be able to do so. We also provide guidance on how to effectively plan an alternative weddings. For a bride planning an inter-racial or cross cultural wedding, the information we are able to provide can be the difference between impressing and offending the in-laws.

Q: Do you offer any other services?

AWG: We also provide on the day coordination for individuals who have planned their own weddings but need someone to manage the day. We also offer an alternative social events service which includes luxury parties, Christenings and anniversary parties. We also offer corporate event management services under our Alternative Events Company brand.

Q: Why did you start the company?

AWG: As mentioned before both myself and Daniella organised our own weddings. I would describe mine as modern cultural and Daniella’s was cross cultural. Although our weddings took place a few years apart we both faced the same challenges. We struggled to find suppliers that represented us in the mainstream wedding industry. We wanted luxury but also wanted culture, modern but with elements of tradition. The wedding fairs we attended, websites we visited and magazines we read were distinctly lacking anything that represented us. By 2012 when Daniella was planning her wedding we identified that there was a niche in the market that we should begin to explore.

We have also had friends and family get married over the past few years who have wanted to organise their own weddings but have been a little bit lost as how to go about it. After several requests Daniella began holding informal masterclass sessions with her engaged friends and the masterclass idea was born out of the positive feedback and responses from these sessions.

We officially decided to take the plunge and start the company in 2014 after offering our services informally on a freelance basis for a number of years. Primarily because we were dissatisfied with the offering for non-conventional couples by the mainstream wedding industry and our belief that every couple should be able to have their dream day, their way. Both I and Daniella had to compromise in areas when planning our weddings, we don’t think any bride or groom should have to compromise on what they want simply due to their race, culture or quirky personalities. We therefore started the company to ensure that others do not have to compromise.

Q: Who is your dream client?

AWG: That’s a hard one as we have quite a few! We would love to plan a wedding for a high profile inter-racial couple planning a truly luxury alternative wedding with elements of two completely different cultures. Indian meets Nigerian or Chinese meets Ghanaian or English meets Congolese. This would be a dream come true and enable us to be creative and imaginative.

Obviously we would also love to coordinate a big budget luxury alternative wedding for the opportunity to incorporate lots of exciting luxury elements. Maybe a themed wedding like a Great Gatsby inspired luxury wedding. We would have loved to organise Kandi Tuckers wedding from Real Housewives of Atlanta. She had a “Coming to America” themed wedding with a massive production budget. Live animals, dance shows and lots of décor. This would be something we would love to do.

Q: What are a few of your favourite alternative/luxury wedding trends?

AWG: We are in love with suspended cakes! Luxuriously decorated cakes are displayed in a central point within the reception space, seemingly floating in mid-air. The cake is enhanced with flowers, lighting, gems and other beautiful items. We are so excited about incorporating a suspended cake into a wedding for one of our clients. You can see examples in our blog; “Cake, Cake, Cake”.

We also love the traditional attire evening dress! Brides get married in a traditional white dress but have a dress made from the traditional fabric of their own or their groom’s culture for wear during the last few hours of the reception. We think this is a beautiful acknowledgement of culture. The dress doesn’t have to be in a traditional style and actually using traditional fabric to make a modern, western styled dress can be even more stunning.

Q: Why should someone attend one of your masterclasses?

AWG: I think a lot of people underestimate how difficult planning a luxury wedding can be. Wedding planning is not easy, not if you want to have a show-stopping wedding. As such it is important that you know everything you need to know to give yourself a fighting chance. Our masterclasses do just that! We provide the individual with a step by step plan on how to coordinate their entire wedding. We have guest presentations from suppliers to also help attendees understand the process of dealing with suppliers. For many people they would never have had to sign a supplier contract and there is always the possibility of getting duped and losing money. We help reduce the risk of that happening by pointing out what to look for.

We also provide practical advice on dealing with stress and conflict which is inevitable during wedding planning.

All attendees receive a wedding planning project plan which includes tools and templates to help the process and to also ensure that nothing is forgotten.

Overall they are great value for money, fun opportunities to meet other brides and discuss fears and excitements whilst also ensuring that they are clued up. It’s a small cost for the peace of mind it provides and much cheaper than spending money on a wedding that is ruined by an oversight due to not understanding the process.

Q: What is the long term vision of the company?

AWG: We have big dreams for the company. We want to grow substantially and coordinate international weddings and events. We want to be recognised as the market leaders for Alternative weddings in the UK and be the go-to company for inter-racial and cross cultural couples. Eventually we would love to have a catering arm specialising in cross cultural cuisine as well as several other standalone services.

Q: How can people get in touch?

AWG:

We are available via the phone on 0121 622 3603

Or via email thealternativeweddinggroup@aspire4u.co.uk

You can also visit our website www.thealternativeweddinggroup.co.uk

Or our blog site www.thealternativeweddinggroup.wordpress.com

We are also on social media:

Facebook: The Alternative Wedding Group

Instagram: Thealternativeweddinggroup

Pinterest: The Alt Wedding Group

Twitter: @altweddinggroup

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