Please tell us about the new campaign you're involved in and what attracted you to the project.
I've teamed up with npower to create some inspiring looks for their Summer Lights campaign, which encourages people to host a celebration to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer support.
When npower first reached out to me to work on the Summer Lights campaign, with a focus on creating a Summer Lights look using lighting, I was overjoyed as I've always believed lighting is the key décor ingredient at weddings and events - even more so than flowers. The magic of lighting allows you to instantly add mood to spaces, while also helping to hide any features within the room that you don't like.
To inspire others to create a beautiful lighting look for their own Summer Lights celebrations, I've styled a selection of looks that you can easily recreate at home using lights to add a bit of sparkle. For my Summer Lights look, I created two very different looks - an elegant dinner party and an afternoon tea celebration.
You can view my looks at www.npower.com/summerlights
You can also view my video of how to create two different looks: http://www.npower.com/home/about-npower/In-the-community/macmillan-partnership/summerlights/inspiration/
As it's for such a great cause, I hope you'll join me in hosting your own Summer Lights celebration this Sunday, the 25th of June, which marks the nationwide Summer Lights celebration.
When did you interest in planning weddings begin and how did you turn this into a business?
When I was 17 I started working in film and TV drama. After around four years, I moved into a PR and Marketing role and within that I planned events. In 2005, I decided I wanted to start my own events business, and several months of research, I realised weddings and other social events were slightly overlooked by the then large event companies. So, I decided to focus on weddings to provide something different that wasn't already being offered.
Do you ever get star struck when you plan for the wedding of someone in the public eye?
No. Having worked in film from the age of 17, I met many TV actors and film stars - as well as royalty. I'm more star struck when I meet one of my couples or their families - who are typically entrepreneurs, CEOs or a founder of a big brand. Their lives are so interesting as to how they made it in their fields and what they have achieved. These particular clients are far more private than my celebrity clients and their wealth makes celebrities wealth look like pocket money. In fact, Niemierko unfortunately has to turn a lot of celebrities away as they want their weddings to be comp'd, which isn't something we do.
What are the common pitfalls people make when planning a wedding?
Not prioritising the planning process. I always say to my couples upon first meeting - and when their mind is buzzing with ideas and wishes, to think of their wedding as if they are building a house. First, we need the venue - the foundations if you like. Once we have the venue, we can then start hanging the curtains - such as the décor, flowers, etc.
It's good to collect ideas, but get your venue first, then build on that.
What are your top tips for hosting an afternoon tea themed wedding breakfast?
Firstly, it should be in the afternoon between 2pm - 4.30pm. It sounds obvious, but people come to me wanting afternoon tea at lunch time or evening! It's the same as people that want to wear black tie at a lunchtime wedding, black tie is evening attire.
In relation to theming the wedding - that all depends on the couple. The theme or trend, if you like, is the couple. So if you have a favourite pudding - ensure it's included in the miniature pastries, if you have a favourite cocktail add it to the afternoon tea menu. It's all about making your wedding personal and it should be an effortless reflection of you both.
What should brides and grooms-to-be consider if they want to achieve the 'wow' factor on their wedding day?
Be yourself and be confident in your own taste and style. If you try to be someone else, you'll fail miserably. There's nothing more 'wow' and tasteful than a secure bride and groom.
What is the mark of a successful wedding for a wedding planner?
To me, the mark of success is when the wedding I've planned is an effortless reflection of the couple. I also like guests to leave feeling that the wedding was amazing, but not being able to pinpoint one specific detail that made the experience, but that it worked as a whole.
If a bride and groom don't have the budget for a wedding planner- what would your top tips be to keep everything in order?
Go to a leading hotel like Claridge's. Bizarrely, a 5-star London hotel is the budget option for a luxury wedding. You have a lot in house - for sure they don't do all the extras and get to know you as well as I do. But at least you can sleep at night knowing that a leading establishment is helping you on the day.
Avoid marquees - everyone seems to think a marquee wedding is a budget option. It's so far from the truth as there are hidden costs in marquees you don't think of such as loos, generators, tables, chairs and carpet. A hotel ballroom doesn't require any of these costs.
What is next for you?
We've just relaunched the Niemierko Wedding Academy for aspiring wedding planners. It's now a one on one week long class with me and ONE student. Called the Mentor Masterclass, it gives my student a much more personal insight into the world and business of becoming a wedding planner. As well as gaining insight from myself I introduce them to all my venue contacts, florists, cake makers and more. Priced at £6,950.00
Mark Niemierko is working with npower to promote the Macmillan Cancer Support 'Summer Lights' campaign. For those who'd like tips on how to decorate their Summer Lights event, visit the Summer Lights website www.npower.com/summerlights . To help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, share your pics of you and your loved ones enjoying your #SummerLights event with @npowerhq and they'll donate £5 each time.