For many people, planning their wedding is one of the most important decisions processes in their life. It can be a challenging and confusing process, but with the right wedding planner, it can definitely be made less stressful. We sat down with the duo behind StandOut Weddings & Events, one of the most prestigious events planning agencies in Egypt, to talk all about this year’s wedding trends and more.
Tell us about your backgrounds and how you started Stand Out Events!
Hend: I have a totally unrelated background to event planning. I got my bachelor degree in political science and then I got my first master’s degree in Human Rights and my second one in Law. Perhaps the only thing I do that is related to events is that I part-own a dessert tables business. Shahir, on the other hand, has a background in Architecture and Interior Design but has always been into event planning with his friends way before we both met, became friends and coincidentally decided to start Stand Out Events. We have been running Stand Out Events for three years.
What is it like having your best friend as your business partner?
Shahir: Of course, we always bicker, but what has kept our business going strong is our friendship and the fact that we both communicate really well together.
Hend: We can literally be screaming at each other and sighing with annoyance, but once we see the end result of what we have accomplished, it’s all worth it. We also balance each other out and divide the work between us in a way that makes work efficiently. Honestly, working with your best friend is, for the most part, extremely rewarding!
So, what have been the most striking wedding themes of 2017 & most popular colour palettes?
Shahir: Garden-themed weddings have definitely been a hit this year, whether they are held outdoors or indoors. Outdoors weddings have especially proven to be a booming trend. There is also the trend of mixing up historic backdrops with modern 3-D props and technology.
Hend: Metallic-themed wedding has also been a trend. So having stainless steel, gold or silver props or centerpieces have definitely been popular as well. Blush colours are, as always, still in as they are timeless.
What have been the ‘it’ wedding destinations for 2017?
Hend: Within Cairo/Giza, Mena House Hotel with the pyramids backdrop has definitely been the most popular venue. Also, JWT Marriott’s ballroom and terrace have also been quite popular.
Shahir: Destination weddings have also been super popular and some of the most popular wedding venues include Sahl Hashish, Luxor & Aswan and Ain Sokhna.
Can you tell us about the most popular entertainment segments or artists in 2017’s weddings?
Shahir: We have seen an undeniable rise in the popularity of live electric instruments such as the saxophone, drums, and violin that play alongside the DJ. Also, jazz bands have definitely been largely sought-after acts.
Hend: As for singers, Amr Diab, Hamaki, Hakim, and Esseily have all been super on-demand. We have also seen a large demand for belly dancers.
What is one trend that has died in 2017’s weddings?
Shahir: Without a doubt, it has been the ‘kosha’ or the traditional, intricate special seating for the bride and groom.
What are some of the hardships or mini-crises you face while running your business?
Hend: One huge issue we have faced this year is the aftermath of the floating of the Egyptian pound and the rise in the prices of wedding supplies and props. Another issue we sometimes face is having to set up a wedding in a really limited amount of time due to the venue not being ready due to still being cluttered with the props of a wedding that was held before ours.
What are some pieces of advice you would give to couples that are prepping for their wedding?
Hend: Definitely do not start planning either too early or too late. Give yourself and your planner a 3-4 month time frame to plan your wedding so that everyone avoids getting stressed out by time constraints.
Shahir: Go for a wedding planner that you feel comfortable with and that you trust. You have to have chemistry with your wedding planner so you can work well together.
Make sure to follow Standout Wedding and Events on Instagram: @standoutwe