When we first started the business we weren't sure what direction we would end up going in or the business. The term 'Venue Stylist' is a relatively new one in the world of weddings, and initially I don't think many couples know what it means, and every company does it differently too! When you first start your wedding or event planning you don't really know the depth of what you actually need and it can be really over whelming - there is just so much out there.
There are lots of companies that for example hire out items and props, but over the last few years we have found that what most couples need is someone to talk everything through with and help with the processes involved in wedding and event planning and ease the stress.
We meet couples at all stages of their planning, those who have organised lots themselves, but are worried it's not going to work on the day or how it all comes together when they should be sipping champagne, those who just need a little support, or a few items and those who just don't know where to start.
Now our most popular service is our 'Venue Styling Service'. Essentially this is full creative support with venue styling, floristry and stationery and ensuring that everything comes together on the day.
Now that probably sounds quite simple but I can assure you it's not ;-)
As a guide couples using our 'Venue styling Service' get an initial consultation to discuss ideas, personalised mood board with initial ideas, follow up discussions as needed to firm up items and designs and get your items booked in. We are on hand through out the process to help with general advice, and send up dates of design work etc. Some clients will have follow up meetings or come in for a final meeting or drop any of their own items off with us before the big day, and we'll contact venues or other suppliers as needed. Closer to the date, we try and send sneak peaks of work in progress, and in the final run up, items are collected from our storage, cleaned, packaged, new batteries put in etc and final checks are done. Flowers are collected, conditioned and arranged, stationery is packaged and seating plans and job lists created for the day itself.
On the day of the event, items are loaded up and transported to the venue, unloaded and then the hard work begins to start setting everything up. No event is the same for us, an average wedding can take 8-9 hours on the morning to set up, depending on what's involved (we've done some with a lot more!). We'll over see other suppliers and help if needed, tidy up after ourselves and leave in time for your guests to arrive for their wow! The following morning, we go back collected everything in, re-package and transport our hired items back to our workshop. Then they are cleaned and put away - all in that's a lot of work!
We keep our pricing as low as possible, and our overheads too (if anyone's ever been to our workshop it's an old building on a farm). It's staggering the overheads involved in running a business and anything that we do make is put back into the business to ensure we continue bringing new and exciting items, follow trends, grow our team and services so we can help more people.
Having started the business with just myself (Emily), Susan (Mum ;) and Iona, we now have a growing team of wonderful creatives, and it's a joy to work with lovely people, sharing the same ethos and a supportive environment. We have a fantastic graphic designer, signwriter, full time florist, and a couple of pro florists who help out when we're really busy (I'm also doing a diploma in floral design in between a crazy life!), crafters and sewers and a lovely group of people who help us out on event days to get everything set up in time.
When we started we knew that we wanted a business with a client led service, and full flexibility for them. I have managed the best part of 800 events in my career now, so you're talking to someone with experience. I am the main contact for the business, and manage it myself so I'm glad I'm able to be able to share as much as I can with our clients. ps. I'm not saying I know everything as I definitely don't and am learning every day.
At the end of the day it's your event, be it a wedding or a party so I think you should be able to do what you want (within reason and safely of course!) It can be stressful planning an event, I am proud of what we have achieved and love that I am able to help people every day just that little bit. Our wonderful feedback is testement to the service that we offer (ever if I spend a lot of time juggling things).