Weddings are big business. Even if you decide to keep things small and select, or get crafty and thrifty, you can still expect to be paying a fair whack to make your Big Day special.
Here at Postcards Home we love to support independent design and champion small businesses, so when Founder Lucy Smith got married in May this year, she was keen to turn her little bit of that big wedding business into a way to support small businesses, and practice what we preach.
We caught up with her to find out more:
From the moment my Husband and I started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to work with small businesses. Not only do small businesses offer better customer service and a more bespoke experience, but we wanted to work with people who would be as invested in making our wedding a success as we were, and might enjoy some creative collaboration along the way.
We're lucky in that we both move in start-up circles and have a terrifyingly talented band of friends, but with a little online research you can find a small business to suit most of your wedding needs. There are also some great local forums that can point you in the right direction.
Here are some well-deserved shout-outs to a few of the amazing independent creatives who contributed to our Big Day:
We really wanted some unique artwork to use on our wedding invitations and stationery, so that we could stamp the wedding with something that felt totally 'us'. We love Georgina's fast-sketch style, and with barely any briefing she came up with exactly what we wanted - something fun and non-traditional that set the tone for our wedding.
Hannah from House of Ollichon specialises in dress-less weddings. The collection of jumpsuits and two-pieces are handmade in England using beautiful French laces and British embellishments. Hannah's designs have become popular within the LGBTQ community for offering gorgeous alternative bridal pieces that don't pigeon hole same-sex couples into suits or matching dresses etc. I opted for the Le Fay Two-Piece and felt completely myself. A bridal outfit with pockets - the dream!
I love custom textiles, and I'd always dreamed of having a statement sartorial piece from my wedding that I could later frame and enjoy forever. After a lot of research I decided that a bespoke veil would be the ideal item, and spoke with Hermione and her gang to see what they felt would work. The veil they crafted for me is covered with embroidered daffodils (the first flower my Husband ever bought me), and horse shoes for good luck. My favourite thing is that it has the date of our wedding and the tagline of the theme park we met at embroidered onto it - hopefully that should stop us ever forgetting our anniversary!
Bohemia Design are the Edinburgh-based creative collective who design our best-selling baskets and enamelware. They are also purveyors of pom poms, and we used their handmade pom pom garlands to jazz up the pagoda we got married in, and the bridge we crossed to get to it. They made a cute addition to the decor, punctuated with flowers.
We stumbled across Emma's work online when we were looking for a wedding stationery designer who did bespoke commissions. We wanted a table plan and table numbers that would draw on the areas of the theme park that we met in, and when we pitched the idea to Emma, she loved it. She also illustrated our Indian Wedding Breakfast menu onto a banana leaf, a throwback to when we lived in India together a few years ago and ate Sadhya (lots of dishes served on a banana leaf) every day.
Tiggi is a crazily talented venue decorator and designer/maker of vintage fairground games. We hired her Hook The Duck and Coconut Shy and our guests loved them.
And because she's just so good, she also did our flowers by just grabbing what she could from Covent Garden Flower Market the night before the wedding, and working her magic with them. I loved the succulents in my bouquet!
Her decorations were incredible, even more brilliantly bonkers than we had ever dreamed was possible. She hung spray-painted fish, pirate ships and crystal balls from the ceiling of the barn we held our reception in - great props for the photo booth at the end of the night!
It's a killer when one of your best friends is a caterer and chef BUT also the life and soul of the party. We wanted Emily Eats to cater our wedding, but couldn't afford not to have Emily herself enjoying the celebration, so she oh-so-kindly offered to make us the wedding cake as a surprise, and boy did our jaws drop. Four layers of Nutella, Mango & Coconut, Lemon Curd and Carrot & Orange, with over 6kg of butter, 100 eggs, 3 jars of Nutella and finished with sugar glass shards - enough said.
My Husband is not a jewellery man so he wore an Arrow Heart Personalised Pin Badge from Bonbi Forest instead of a wedding ring - it made his buttonhole even more unique, which we loved. All their jewellery is designed by artist Lee May Foster-Wilson and handmade in Cornwall.
In terms of wedding favours we wanted something that would add to the fun and photos, but also had oodles of personality and reminded people of us. So in the end we went for temp tattoos that an illustrator friend had designed for us themed around us as a couple. They went down a storm!
We felt pretty smug in the run-up to the wedding, knowing that our wedding photographer was a good friend of ours, and that we'd feel super comfortable on the wedding day shooting with a pal. But we soon realised on the morning of the wedding that Caro makes everyone feel like they've known her for years with her fun, laid-back vibes, so we weren't the only lucky ones.
Her talent at balancing a glass of champagne and a camera on a busy dance floor is second to none, and she captured all the little details of the day that we missed in the excitement.
Indulging our love for small business and independent design was what we enjoyed most about preparing for our Big Day. It felt like such a good opportunity to be able to support our creative crushes, and it meant that when the wedding was done and dusted, we were left with a home full of bespoke pieces to remind us of our Big Day.
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