Jennifer Luong found her passion within the industry of love, weddings.
Having started her ventures as a freelance makeup artist, she forayed into weddings and realised it was her true calling. From this point, she sought to create her own business, JL Brides Ltd., and has begun to design beautifully traditional gowns. Luong shares her experiences and thoughts on her work with Yinsey Wang in this exclusive interview.
SO, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I started as a freelance makeup artist. A lot of my friends and family would ask me to be a bridesmaid (a true honor!) and others wanted me to do hair and makeup. After doing many weddings over the years, I realized that I was meant for the bridal industry! Not only do I love being a part of weddings, I enjoy making them happen. I wanted to make people’s dreams a reality, and so I decided to launch my company as JL Brides Ltd in 2014.
WHY DO YOU THINK ENGLAND IS SUCH A FAVOURABLE PLACE TO GET MARRIED?
Over the years, it has become more and more popular for young couples to have their weddings in England. London’s status as a tourist destination and historic, beautiful Georgian-era city, whilst being surrounded by the natural beauty of the countryside, adds to its charm.
AS WELL AS WEDDING PLANNING, YOU ALSO DESIGN DRESSES. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE STYLE YOU TEND TO BE DRAWN TO WHEN DESIGNING?
Designing wedding dresses is just a hobby for me, when I have a lot of time on my hands! I like designing A-line dresses for people who like something simple, but truly classic, especially when paired with a beautiful veil and stunning jewellery.
I also love glamour, which is why I also design dresses that flare out, and are figure hugging around waistline area. One of my favorites is a dress that also has a lot of French lace fabric with beautiful gemstones. As this dress has already so many details, all you need to do is add a simple hairpiece to match your dress.
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING THINGS ABOUT BEING PART OF THE BRIDAL INDUSTRY?
I love what I do so much! It is very special being a part of a bride’s and groom’s big day. To be recognized for my assistance in this is rewarding. My team and I work hard and long to make it happen, so it’s wonderful when it all comes together.
IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, ARE THERE ANY ASPECTS OF A WEDDING THAT ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS?
It breaks down to five parts for me. Notably, the ceremony part, when family and friends get to see the bride walking along the aisle with her father, looking stunning in her hair, makeup and wedding dress. The moment the bride and groom share their vows, is definitely a memory to keep forever.
I find that it’s important to plan well to allow people to enjoy themselves, listening to a brilliant live band in a relaxed, party-like atmosphere. Good planning is important to ensure that catering is to a high standard, and that the first dance for the bride and groom goes smoothly! Also, ensuring that people do not miss the cake cutting and pouring the champagne is quite important too!
HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE BRIDE AND GROOM FEEL SPECIAL, LIKE THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT MATTER?
I try and identify the vision the groom and bride have for their wedding day. We can help plan a wedding from beginning to end. I talk them through the stages, prepare for a meeting, cater to their budget, whilst considering the color theme and style they have in mind. Not only do we ensure the couple feels special, we want to make it personal, and incorporate the guests’ experience, so as to make the day memorable.
HAS THERE BEEN A MOMENT THAT’S BEEN MORE CHALLENGING THAN OTHERS?
Every wedding has its challenges and as an independent wedding planner, I don’t get simple, straightforward weddings… I would say my most valuable asset is in problem solving!
The most challenging experience I had was quite a recent one, when I did two weddings falling on the same day! One venue had 200 guests, and the other had 500. They were located in completely different geographical locations! I had team members supporting me, but for peace of mind, I wanted to make sure they both went smoothly – so I was running around a lot! However, they both turned out wonderfully!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WEDDING DRESS DESIGNER?
I can’t choose! I can tell you a few that I love though! Pnina Tornai, as most of her dresses are daring and sexy! Vera Wang is very simple and classic, and I love her ball gown dresses, with the big ruffles! They just look so effortless. Reem Acra Is also very sexy (with an elegant touch). Also, I am a fan of the Pronovias collection, which has a French modern twist.
PHOTOGRAPHER Ella Sadika
MAKE-UP ARTIST Jennifer Luong
HAIR STYLIST Shannice Brown
MODELS Trinh and Yinsey | Torn + Polished
BRIDAL DRESSES JL Brides