The Wedding Of My Dreams Interview
You know when you just happen to come across a website that captures you from the very first time you look through its pages and then find you are always going back to it time and time again? Well that's me with The Wedding of My Dreams.
When Matt and I were planning our wedding, I lost count of the number of times I ordered props and little bits and pieces from the site to add finishing touches and I still order shed loads now for the business. I love how the props are mingled with others to create mini displays to show you how you could use them, rather just grabbing a shot of it by itself.......so with all of this in mind, I knew that I wanted to approach Gemma-the founder-to ask if she would let me interview her for my next blog.
I can't tell you how excited I was when she replied the same day with a big fat yes and so you can imagine how excited I am now that I can share with you all that we chatted about. Hope you enjoy!!!
1. So then Gemma, clearly you have THE best job in the world but how do you actually run the business and not get distracted on a daily basis by all the sparkle and gorgeous props you have in your possession?
Haha, it is pretty difficult, when new samples arrive I do spend a lot of time wondering if they could somehow fit into my house! Our office is full of our lovely decorations, but I’m quite business minded and very organised so I find it quite easy to focus on the task in hand. This has been even more important since I have become a Mum, but she’s my motivation. If I can get all my work done during the day when she’s at nursery or with grandparents I know I will have that free time to spend with her later.
2. What made you want to launch The Wedding of My Dreams?
A combination of things really, I always knew I didn’t want a standard 9 – 5 office job, though thought I would inevitably end up in one. I studied Business Management at Nottingham University and then worked in a number of different jobs building up my skills. I worked for a while for a website development company where I was introduced to online marketing and had lots of SEO and Adwords practice. At the time my Mum had Passion for Flowers (our florist side of the business) and had just made the decision to focus only on weddings. I helped her out at weekends and think we both just saw a gap in the market as her couples were asking her to source beautiful vases, candle holders and favours etc as they couldn’t find any. We took a gamble, I had the skills and determination needed, I left my full time job, set up the website, sourced products, began the marketing and it paid off, we’ve not looked back since.
3. What’s been the highlight so far?
Right back in our first year 2011 we were awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ Perfect Wedding award. I think we had only been running for 9 months or so and couldn’t believe the recognition we had received already. Winning a national award like that really spurred me on to keep doing what we were doing, just bigger and better.
4. Huge congrats on your own wedding last year and for having it featured on RMW (What an honour) did you feel more prepared when you dove into the planning, already being in the industry?
Yes and No. I certainly knew what was involved in planning a wedding but think I made it difficult for myself planning a destination wedding, as I didn’t know the suppliers out there like I do in the UK. Rich, my husband was really keen on a destination wedding and I couldn’t argue, we love Italy and it was the perfect place to tie the knot. I had a pretty clear vision of how I saw my wedding, but there are always hurdles along the way, our biggest one being transporting our pallets of décor over to Italy as little did we know the whole country shuts down mid August so no pallets were going in and out. What was I going to do, all my decorations had no way of making it to Italy?! Luckily my Dad came to the rescue and found a man with a van that drove everything over for us.
5. Was there a particular area that you found harder or easier than you thought?
I think it was actually choosing the overall look and style for the décor, which is strange as that is the area I work in. I felt added pressure as friends and family were looking on to see how I styled the day, they had high expectations. I knew I wanted a laid-back rustic glamour style overall which was in keeping with the venue and surroundings. But choosing the actual layout, vases and flowers was the most difficult. I think because we were doing the flowers ourselves (we took our team out) and using our own props that I didn’t have to make my decisions months in advance which meant I kept changing my mind in the run up, and also the fact that we were setting up the venue ourselves and transporting items overseas I had to reign in my ideas slightly. I’m very happy with the outcome though.
6. What’s it like working with your lovely mum? Do you ever bicker or fall out over how you should approach something?
We have a great relationship, we both have different roles within the business which make it easier. She focuses more on Passion for Flowers while I focus more on The Wedding of my Dreams, but we come together when selecting new products and brainstorming ideas.
7. Which is the most popular item of decoration in the collection?
It’s an ongoing battle between our American Mailbox which we designed in house, and our Wooden Tree Slices, which we source from a forest in Wales where they are lovingly cared for and seasoned before they arrive with us. The tree slices are perfect for DIY couples making their own centrepieces, all they need is a couple of tea light holders and small vases and they look perfect for a rustic table display.
8. What is your own personal favourite item? Do you find it hard to sell some of the pieces on the site? (I know how I feel about my own props-you kind of get attached)
This changes all the time, currently I like the antique gold bottles and chunky bronze bottles as I used them on my wedding tables, and now have them in my bathroom at home. The new brass lanterns and picture frames are one of my favourites too.
Check out Gemma's home tour on Rock My Style for bundles of inspiration: http://www.rockmystyle.co.uk/gemmas-festive-apartment/
9. What have you got planned for the future for TWofMD? Can you tell us?
More of the same, ensuring our product range is always fresh and on trend, orders are shipped in a timely manner and customer service is second to none. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for new on trend wedding decorations coming soon. In fact if you sign up to our email list you’ll be first to be notified: https://www.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/pages/sign-up-to-our-email-list
10. Now you have been through the planning process yourself, what would be your top 5 tips for other couples?
- Make a timeline and make yourself deadlines of when you need to have completed certain tasks. This means your wedding planning can be spaced out over many months and won’t feel overwhelming, in some months there will be less to do that others.
- Make a budget and stick to it, not everyone’s budget will be the same and nor will your priorities. Some of you will think food is at the top of your list, while for others it will be music, prioritise what is important to you as a couple and allocate your budget accordingly.
- When choosing your wedding style or theme keep to a style that is true to you as a couple, if you do this you can’t go too wrong.
- Don’t tell your guests too much about your decisions along the way, if they know exactly what you are wearing, what you are eating, what the centrepieces will look like and have already seen a photo of the cake before the day you will lose that element of surprise.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. If some small details you had on your wish list can’t be included don’t worry too much about it, likelihood is only you would notice anyway and your guests won’t even realise.
Since my wedding I have created some useful wedding planning downloads which I know I would have found helpful.
- The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist http://blog.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/2018/01/ultimate-wedding-checklist/
- How to keep track of your wedding suppliers http://blog.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/2018/01/keep-track-wedding-suppliers/
- Wedding budget calculator and tracker http://blog.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/2018/01/wedding-budget-spreadsheet-calculator/
- Wedding guest list tracker http://blog.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/2018/01/wedding-guest-list-tracker/
- Wedding seating plan template and planner http://blog.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/2018/01/wedding-seating-plan-template-planner-free-download/
11. Would you change anything about the day if you could do it all over again?
Nothing, it was honestly the best day of my life. Although I did turn up to the ceremony 45mins late (whoops! We had transport issues…) so I imagine if you ask my husband he would probably say that as he was left waiting in heat.
12. Do you have a favourite style or trend of wedding?
For UK weddings I just love rustic, I think if I’d have chosen to get married in England I’d have picked a rustic barn venue in the country.
13. When I told my two bestie suppliers that I was interviewing you, I had strict instructions to make sure I asked these questions:
- Amy of www.blossomparlour.co.uk would like to know:
“How have you built your empire and do you have any tips for us fellow industry professionals?”
We started off small and built up our brand and product range as we grew. I think one of the most important things to remember when starting out is how important other fellow wedding professionals can be. Link up with local wedding businesses and help promote each other’s services.
- Jess of www.jessicahillphotography.co.uk would like to know:
“If you didn’t run The Wedding of My Dreams, what would your career be?”
Something else creative, I can’t imagine doing a normal 9 – 5 office job now
So there we go folks. A massive massive thank you to Gemma for squeezing me in to answer some questions. I find it totally fascinating to get to know the back stories of the websites and companies that I admire as I think it provides such inspiration for us fellow wedding industry professionals. I'm so excited to see what props Gemma and the team come up with in the future and I can't wait to see how I can incorporate them into my designs.
Passion for Flowers http://passionforflowers.net/
The Wedding of my Dreams https://www.theweddingofmydreams.co.uk/