Guest Interview with Ashleigh Li – Pink Palms – Wedding Planner & Stylist

12 June 2020
Ashleigh Li | Pink Palms | Wedding Planner & Stylist for modern, contemporary weddings

I’m so excited to have Ashleigh feature in my guest blog. I love everything about her! She’s so much fun but she’s also super calm, grounded and pragmatic which is essential for wedding planning. She also has incredible vision with her creativity. In a world full of weddings that can often all look like each other, Ashleigh’s able to inject a little something-something that can make a couple’s wedding feel so unique, fresh and individual. She’s not scared by colour and embraces it, and knows how to bring subtle touches of colour into a couple’s wedding palette for a modern touch. And oh she knows how to go full out too and create something bold and adventurous! I think you’re going to love learning about this fabulous lady, I’ve certainly enjoyed getting to know her better! I’m going to hand it over to the lovely lady herself now.

So Ashleigh, have you always loved weddings, and what made you decide to become a wedding planner / stylist?

Weirdly – no I haven’t always been drawn to weddings, I was drawn to them for the creativity and the fact that it’s a huge life moment. Previously I was a critical care nurse, and to leave that behind meant I had to replace it with something of equal importance, so I figured weddings are a hugely important life event! And then once I started working in weddings I fell in love with how special they are!

When did you start your wedding planning business?

We moved to LA in 2016, and I got into the wedding industry there – firstly by helping friends organise their weddings then offering to assist suppliers. It snowballed, and I realised how much I love wedding styling! Then when we returned to London in 2017, I decided to take the plunge and start over again. I now offer both wedding planning & styling in London & around the UK!

I love your business name, could you tell me what it means to you?

Pink Palms is part of my brand story, all about LA’s pink ombré skies and the palm trees. LA was so inspirational to me – I definitely wouldn’t be doing what I am now if we didn’t move there. It’s such a creative city, so full of sunshine, ombré skies and tall palm trees that it just made me ache to do something creative. So when I was setting up my business, it had to have a name and a logo that resonated with me and my story of where my business started.

How would you describe your style? Is there a kind of wedding that you love more than others?

My style is modern eclectic I’d say – I approach wedding design in a similar way to an interior designer, I’ll work with different briefs and colour palettes but ultimately I’ll always put a colourful, modern twist on it. I think that’s why couples choose me, weddings can be known for being a bit twee or timeless and so lack a bit of personality, but I’m firmly in the camp that nothing is timeless! Your wedding should represent you both and what you love, as it’s about capturing you both right now as you start your married life. I love to get creative with couples and have their wedding pinned thousands of times on Pinterest by future couples!

Pink Palms Styling | Epic Love Story Photography

What makes you unique?

Well firstly I offer both planning and styling which isn’t that common but it’s deliberate: I want to offer couples the most amazing wedding design but then have all the planning and logistical aspects covered. I approach things really differently from other planners – it’s probably my background. I hate excel with a passion – give me a spreadsheet and I’ll run a million miles from it. So for the logistics, I use a software called Aisle Planner which makes things SO MUCH EASIER!  Clients get their own personal logins so we can plan on there together, and it has a design studio function and we can even sort out your table plans on there! With design & styling, I’d say I really try to create inspirational wedding design, a design that’s not only impactful but has thought about the personal touches and how we communicate those personal touches to guests is a critical part of wedding design.

Do you prefer sunrise or sunset?

Ooh this is a toughie! Both, but for different reasons: sunrise for the feeling of hope and anticipation it brings me each day, excited to see what the day has in store and the comfort of knowing it’s the beginning of the day. But visually, sunset it’s my fave hands down. The marine layer (sea mist) + pollution + sunset creates those hazy ombre skies in LA and I just fell for them every. single. night!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from all different places for me – for event design either looking at a photo and being drawn to colours, or flowers, and I definitely take a lot of inspiration from interiors. Inspiration for my business comes from being outdoors and in nature, and then taking those ideas to trusted friends for opinions and building on ideas to make my vision happen!

What colour palettes do you love?

Obviously anything with pink! I love a pastel pink, yellow & lilac around Easter, I’m obsessed with pink & red and how it clashes and complements at the same time! My living room is a really inky blue, and I’ve got a yellow Chinese vase and those two colours just contrast beautifully. That’s another colour combo I’m obsessed with!

Pink and red flowers at Botley Hill Barn | Modern wedding styling | Pink Palms | Elena Popa

What do you love most about your job?

I love supporting people at a crucial point in their lives, and weddings can be very stressful – but I’d like to think that for couples working with me I make it a much easier process and more fun! I also love the variety, no two days are the same and I love that there’s constant progress with planning weddings.

Where is your favourite place and why?

I’ve got loads of special places: but one I’ll love forever is a beach bar in a car park in Spain (it’s as basic as it sounds!) We go over to spend time with my parents most summers and it’s always a family favourite! Right on the sea and it’s the best place either first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

What’s your favourite cake flavour?! And what’s your favourite tipple?

Favourite cake flavour is definitely something fruity, I had a vanilla sponge with strawberry milkshake buttercream as a layer in my wedding cake and I’ve never got over how amazing it was! I love a lemon cake too. My favourite tipple is hard as I’m the kinda girl that will chop & change her drinks throughout the night! You can’t go wrong with an amaretto sour though.

Modern city wedding inspiration | Ashleigh Li | Pink Palms | Elena Popa

What are your top tips that you would share with a couple planning their wedding?

One of my top tips for wedding design is think about everything together: so often things are thought about individually and not how it’s going to look when it’s all pulled together. So look at the style of your dress and your venue and build on those – I’d say they are the two main players in wedding design. It’s hard to make an uber-modern jumpsuit feel suited to a traditional country church! My other tip would be to invest a little more time in planning your ceremony, they are so often the neglected part of a wedding day as we presume we can’t mix it up. Get a celebrant and make it as personal as possible!

How can couples find you to book you for their wedding?

Most of my couples find me via Instagram (@pinkpalmsevents) or my website is I’ll also be coordinating the Un Wedding Show in Shoreditch in November 2020 so come along and chat to me there!