Niemierko: Bridal Arisan of the Whimsy and Decadent
Niemierko: Bridal Artisan of the Whimsy and Decadent
Pronovias sat down with luxury bespoke event planner Mark Niemierko to talk wedding inspiration, storytelling, and postponing a wedding during a pandemic.
By Lani Allen
Mark Niemierko is in the business of making magic. He conjures transformative wedding experiences that border on “bonkers,” not to mention brim with tangible luxury and addictive personality that leave guests wide-eyed and wishing they could relive the night.
Great Britain’s premiere high-end wedding and event planner, Niemierko arranges parties and weddings for high profile couples from all over the world. A favorite with celebrities, he planned the nuptials of Julia and James Corden, as well as Rochelle and Marvin Humes.
With the singular goal to make faces “light up,” he pours passion and flavor into writing every event, telling each couple’s love story with original detail and unbridled imagination that enchant celebrities and royalty alike.
Never one to follow trends, Niemierko taps into the wild and wonderful to gift both lovers and loved ones precious, unparalleled moments to remember. He has mastered the end-to-end art of making brides and grooms feel like the center of the universe, from the minute she says “yes” to when the newlyweds ride off into the sunset, impatient to begin their ever after.
Eager to keep couples inspired and creative amidst this grand pause in their plans, Pronovias looked to Niemierko to share his bridal secrets and remind us that a happy ending is not far away.
Pronovias: What is it like to be a Niemierko bride?
Niemierko: Being a Niemierko bride, you are one of five a year, and you are made to feel really special.
The experience starts with the dress – as it helps me gauge her style for the rest of the journey. When I book an appointment, we go to the top of the queue. Then I pick her up in a car (she normally brings her mum) and we go shopping.
I pamper my brides, gifting them presents along the journey. Like at the beginning, I may give her a mood board all wrapped in a box. At the end, I’ll leave her with chic mementos from the experience, often made by her favorite designer. It’s never the same, but always inspired by her style.
The planning the wedding – the vision coming to life – is just as much part of the magic as the wedding itself. When working with my brides, I make sure the entire experience is extraordinary.
Pronovias: How do you choose your vendors?
Niemierko: Once we select a venue, I really like to work based on the aesthetic of the venue. It’s like building a house – I would never go cushion and curtain shopping before knowing the layout of a house. Practical first, pretty second.
As for vendors, I always want to find new people – I like the underdog. If you find smaller suppliers, you get more out of them, and it promises that no two events are the same.
I also think it is really important to listen to couples, and match vendor personalities with the couples’ personalities. There are a few suppliers where there can be no personality clash – like the photographer and hair and makeup specialists. You need calming people.
Pronovias: How do you curate such magical events?
Niemierko: It’s all about encouraging people to step out of the wedding template formula. First, I find out about what their backstory is. There needs to be a story, and every element must fit into the composition.
From the creative point of view, I am not really a fan of trends. I want to know the bride and groom and understand their likes and dislikes. If she goes crazy with tequila, I conjure a Bridezilla Tequila Bar. If the couple wants classic, I find out how to include fun quirks.
We once hired an old Victorian train for a rehearsal dinner. There were fifty gay men at this wedding, and so we went really camp in the evening. I had another bride with a classic, beautiful ceremony, but the dinner was right out of a Harry Potter movie. Another wanted something more traditional, so I commissioned a carousel, sweet stands for the children, and then a gentlemen’s dance space. We are always evolving to see where our couple takes it.
Ultimately, the details of the weddings are unique to each couple. I know we’ve done it right when we hear guests saying, “oh this is so HER” or “this reminds me so much of HIM.”
Pronovias: What is a Mark Niemierko wedding signature?
Niemierko: I account for every moment of each event, down to whether the guests have drinks in their hands when brides are going from Gown I to Gown II. Or, after a big meal when people get sleepy, we always make sure to add change to engage the guests. For example, we’ll concoct mini espresso martinis in Champaign glasses so that everyone wakes up and is ready for the dance floor.
The personality of the event is also key. Think about it this way: if you had to choose between a Michelin star restaurant with impersonal service, or a mediocre restaurant with staff that always remember your name, you would choose the latter. It is essential to make sure that we have charming, charismatic people at every touch point – from opening doors and checking coats to serving drinks throughout the reception.
Pronovias: How do you enchant some of the UK’s most high-profile guests?
Niemierko: Wedding ceremonies should always have an element of tradition, but I believe that you should keep your guests guessing. For example, they can go from a beautiful white and green ceremony to entering a pink and blue dining room. And for desert, a dark pudding room that transitions into a basement nightclub. It can go from classic to absolutely bonkers.
Anyone can have a good floral bouquet. I want the guests to leave and not be able to pin point their favorite part of the event.
Pronovias: What kind of bridal shops do you recommend?
Niemierko: No bride has ever ended up in what she told me that she was going to wear. Somewhere like Pronovias is brilliantly primed because there is so much variety at your stores, but the dresses are all by one designer. It’s not just a one-stop-shop for a wedding dress, but there are also shoes and accessories.
It’s so special to get brides out and have a bit a fun with it. This is their Oscar moment to try on a red carpet dress that they will only get to wear once.
Pronovias: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Niemierko: Seeing a vision come together, the mutual vision of the couple and me.
I have formed special relationships with a lot of my couples, particularly when I’ve married all the siblings in a family. There is something so rewarding about that.
Pronovias: What is your advice for couples during the pandemic?
Niemierko: We need to be aware of what’s going on in the world, hold our loved ones tight, and get ready to celebrate at the end of this. Have a contingency plan in place, because I don’t see weddings happening this year.
Since the start of the pandemic, wedding registries have gone up by three hundred percent in Wuhan, which makes me excited and hopeful for the celebrations that will happen after we’ve gone through this and come out the other side.
In a weird way, this down time is great because it inspires a creative mind. It’s like a long bath. Some of the most popular wedding seasons come after a holiday break, after people have had time to be creative and think of ideas. This pause really makes brides and grooms realize what’s important, while giving them time to get excited about their weddings all over again.
If they’re feeling stressed, I suggest they try focusing on how it will feel to reunite with family and friends at the end of this. We need love, we need weddings, and we will celebrate soon.