Transformers's Managing Director Danielle Nay, is a UAE-based creative producer and communications professional. She is best known for Dr Party, the London-based boutique agency – dubbed "the media's party organizer of choice" by the Financial Times – which she sold to Bob Geldof's Ten Alps Communications plc in 2001.
Here is what Danielle had to tell us about her company, wedding decor and trends:
- Tell us more about your company and the name behind it.
Transformers is a specialist supplier of wow factor event ingredients.
The name reflects our mission: to be awesome alchemists who add value to your wedding or event experience by transforming it into event gold.
(We are also named in tribute to The Transformer, the nightclub king of extravagant costume in London in the 1990s, who inspired us greatly.)
- Why did you decide to get into it?
Prior to founding Transformers, I was the events director of a leading communications agency in Dubai, where I struggled to source original and interactive finishing touches for events... and so a business idea was born!
- What’s been the most spectacular venue you’ve worked with, in the UAE and worldwide?
Ca’ Giustinian – the headquarters of the Venice Biennale – located right on the Grand Canal provided a marvellous backdrop for a 50th Birthday party we produced in July 2014. The 5th floor roof terrace is the highest in Venice and has a panoramic view of the city, its canals and lagoons.
I also produced a wonderful 30th birthday for Viscount Weymouth at Longleat House in England in 2004; that’s pretty hard to beat as a location.
- What are the hottest trends that you see in weddings this season?
#1 Wedding parties in the Middle East are obsessed with sharing – some brides literally measure the success of their wedding by the number of times images are shared on Instagram! Our Social Mosa twitter & instagram app is a conversation visualiser that plays a beautiful animation of the messages; other popular tech-based features include Instabooths and GIF booths (a whole new generation of photo booths).
#2 Strolling bands are the perfect entertainment at a wedding as the performance becomes personal, but is easily moved around to accommodate catering service, photography and so forth. In the Middle East region, transformers represents The London Essentials who we think are the best acoustic strolling band in the world. They have played weddings for various royal families and many celebrities, including Richard Branson’s daughter Holly’s wedding on Necker Island in the Bahamas.
#3 Décor-wise, we are also seeing amongst our arty client base a trend for esoteric Victoriana and steampunk accents, which is a natural progression from pretty-pretty vintage but a big brave step stylistically.
#4 UAE weddings are known for their extravagant flowers. Brides who want to keep it minimal (or save money) are catching onto the US and European trend for succulents (also known as “fat plants”!). These look great installed in multiples, along a mirrored runner, interspersed with candles. Our florists love to plant succulents in colored or metallic gravel, in little pots colour-matched to your design scheme.
- What are some of your all time favourite wedding themes and décor ideas?
For my own wedding at London’s One Marylebone, which was featured in Brides magazine UK, I chose a neutral, vintage-tinged colour scheme of taupe, cream, silver and dusty lilac. That’s still my favourite and was also the first time we used the stunning acrylic laser-cut candelabra centrepieces that are now one of Transformers most popular products for weddings.
However as a creative director, I get most excited by really out-there themes. My favourite ever theme for a wedding party I produced was ‘Barbie Goes To Bollywood’, which as you can probably imagine was very good fun. Lit entirely in pink & orange, it featured a wealth of gorgeous details including Rajasthani tents, an outdoor cinema, strolling Bollywood orchestra, a flashmob of Bollywood dancers in long blonde wigs, etc.
"UAE weddings are known for their extravagant flowers...
Brides who want to keep it minimal are catching onto the US and European trend for succulents"
- Where do you see the demand for your decorative items and centerpieces mostly coming from?
In the private sector, it’s all about weddings, birthday parties, elaborate dinner parties; in the government and private sector, it’s more about gala events.
- Can a couple collaborate with you to create personalized centerpieces and decorations?
Yes certainly, although we require minimum 2 months lead time for anything bespoke, especially at busy times of year.
- What’s the quirkiest/most unusual request you’ve had to source?
A trio of poodle dogs dyed in rose, pistachio and lavender (using harmless organic food colouring mixed with shampoo) is probably my most extreme example of what I like to call “client’s whim”!
If you are getting married in Dubai, you will find this Weddings in Dubai section very useful, check it out!