Neil Lane and Fairmont Say I do

Having earned a reputation as “Jeweler to the Stars,” it’s safe to say Neil Lane has been part of a lot of weddings.

Known around the world as the engagement ring designer who comes equipped with dazzling creations ahead of the dramatic final rose ceremonies on The Bachelor, Lane has also created pieces for the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Emily Blunt, Reese Witherspoon, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez.

“I’ve been to a gazillion weddings,” Lane tells Travel Courier. “You get involved with the clients, the couples and it gets very personal. That’s how I got into the situation with wedding planning because when I help people with their rings, I also talk about their wedding. They bring me their colour situation and I bring about the idea of using the details in the ring for a fabric in the tablecloths. I’ve been doing this for a while.”

The author of Style Your Wedding with Neil Lane is now taking his vision one step further by embarking on a partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts across North and Central America to debut Fairmont Weddings, by Neil Lane.

“I thought it was a perfect partnering, understanding what they do. It’s very similar to what I do, the aesthetic, really caring about the customer, the client. When I make a ring for someone I don’t push what I want. I listen to them — what do you want? And that’s the most important thing. And Fairmont, when we started speaking, that’s exactly what they wanted to do with their wedding package,” he explains. “I wanted someone who has been around for a while and they’ve been around for over 100 years. With that there’s a consistency, there’s a vintage aspect, and their hotels are all over the world. Different coasts, different countries. So I like that and the iconic hotels and the amazing weddings. I just thought the more we spoke, it was a good match.”

The new Fairmont package features six customizable signature wedding themes — romantic, lavish, modern, elegant, rustic, and vintage — each of which are inspired by rings. For example Romantic takes cues from a rose gold and morganite ring, whereas Modern is all about putting a fresh twist on traditional elements, like adding black diamonds to an engagement ring.

“The thing that I am most comfortable with is rings,” he says. “I thought using a ring to match the thematic things would be a good guide. [It’s] not written in stone, but if you did a Vintage one there might be a lot of lace, an ode to Art Deco and Art Nouveau. For Lavish, the flowers are beautiful, the drapery is excessive. Romantic, there’s so many things, you think Victorian era. I think the collaboration between me and Fairmont, I’ll bring my aesthetics, my knowhow, and they’ll do what they do best. You want lace, things added for the wall — images of grandparents, they can make it all happen.”

The project has been in the making for more than two years but, like many things, was set back by the pandemic. Although weddings have changed dramatically due to all the restrictions that were in place, Lane predicts that some virtual elements will be here to stay. Also, since couples haven’t been able to see family and friends for so long, there’s not only a huge pent up demand for weddings underway, but a desire for intimacy that will continue to be key for romantic celebrations going forward.

“I think the biggest thing that’s changed is the need for personalization — real personalization — to connect with your guests, connect with your loved ones. I think that’s changed. That’s not going to stop. I think before it was like that was a great wedding, tonnes of people, all our friends — now it’s who is coming to your wedding, how much do they mean to you? The personalization of a wedding,” he says. “Instead of having a sign at the bottom of a plate saying ‘you’ve won the bouquet,’ it says ‘Dear Tom and Mary, we love you so much, you’re one of our dearest friends, thank you for coming and celebrating with us in this moment.’ Even though there are a 1,000 people there, you’ve given a personalization to someone. That’s changed and I think we’re going to see that more and more.”

Personalization is also key to “Fairmont Weddings, by Neil Lane,” with the package including elements like a special private dinner with a Fairmont Executive Chef, for the couple and four guests, to create a customized four-course menu for the wedding, including wine pairings and a custom-made wedding cake. The first 10 couples with a confirmed booking will also be able to take part in a private one-on-one virtual consultation with Lane.

“It’s not just Package A, take it or leave it. It’s really about getting involved with the couple,” he says. “What they want, how they can create that magic. When I heard the personal touch, that’s really one of the details I wanted to participate in. So that was one of the more important things.”

Another special feature is a cocktail-making session with one of Fairmont’s global Tastemakers to create a one-of a-kind bespoke cocktail to be served during the cocktail hour and reception.

“It’s about celebrating love!” he says. We have an opportunity now to share that — to share the love, to be involved with family, friends. That’s what it’s all about so I’m super excited.”

With a job that typically takes him around the world for love, Lane is also looking forward to being able to travel again.

“I do a television show called The Bachelor and that takes me all around the world. In the beginning I wasn’t really sure that I loved doing it. But after a dozen years I love it. The last destination I went to was Australia and I had an amazing time. I was able to hire a little plane and go visit special mountains and special sites,” he says. “I started travelling when I was 16. When I earned my first dollar I took a plane and went to Paris and England so travelling around the world is something I’ve always loved. So being involved with Fairmont, which has all different places all over the world, I’m looking forward to staying at those places!”

The “Fairmont Weddings, by Neil Lane” wedding package is available for booking through the end  of 2021, for weddings taking place through the end of 2022. For all the wedding theme details and package inclusions, visit: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a luxury brand within the Accor group, offers the Famous Agent program for the travel trade.

Photos courtesy: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; Corey Christopher; Sonia Bourdon and Estelle Photography.

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