Gina and Daniel 3rd August 2019

When I first met Gina and Daniel, they were interested in my help with styling Barmbyfield Barns for their wedding.

I’ve worked at the barns a few times now, done two full plan packages there and got married there myself so I hold it dearly in my heart and it means I know the layout really well and what I believe are areas to concentrate your efforts on and which can be left to show the barns natural beauty and save your money.

That said, I’m not a stylist and this was probably the first time a couple had wanted me to do this without any other packages involved.

In case anyone reading this is unsure of the difference, a stylist will hold their own stock which you will use as part of the booking with them, they are trained or finessing with experience, their ability to showcase their items in the best possible way and because they’ve tailored their skills to styling alone, they are a lot more experienced in that. Clients buy into the looks they can put together with their stock so you’ll find affinity to a certain stylist because you also want your event to look the same or similar.

A planner who offers styling is different. They will work with other suppliers who are all experts in their own product/skill and already know how to make that certain aspect look fantastic so the planner just brings the concept together by making sure the overall look is what the client wants. Because we don’t own our own stock, it means a client will need budget to pay the planner and budget to pay for the things they want to achieve said look, rather than having it all tied in together in the first place but it means the client can have whatever look they want and might feel a planner is better for them as they need direction in other aspects.

It doesn’t necessarily mean using the planner route is more expensive as stylists will individually price their stock and you can pick as much as you want/ they have to offer so you could end up spending just as much with one person than if you shopped around. Additionally, as with any supplier, your price is accordant to your experience and offering so there will be variety in cost depending on how ‘big’ that stylist is.

I love styling events but the reason I’ve chosen not to focus just on that route or to hold my own stock is because I also love networking within my industry and finding different suppliers to suit the clients tastes or theme. I want to vary this all the time and not offer one look based on my own tastes but instead draw out what my clients are.

With this in mind, Gina and Daniel very much became guinea pigs for me to run this as a standalone package and I quickly found that offering it via a pay per hour package wasn’t really working so now it’s a bespoke price based on how far my clients are in their styling journey.

We focused on a wildflower theme. Gina had already decided she’d like that look for the centerpieces of her tables and I’d seen some beautiful inspirational images of flower garlands hanging down walls. We focused on these being on the whitewash walls only for the larger installation but two mini hanging garlands to frame the cake table and the present table. The fantastic Deluxe Blooms brought this all to life.

I love pressed flowers so on agreement with Gina, I enlisted Gray Starling Designs to create a seating plan made from individual hanging frames which had the names in calligraphy on the glass and pressed flowers inside the clear glass.

This was replicated for the table numbers, which nestled amongst the wildflower vases and candles.

Gina had seen a hanging garland installation at another wedding at the barns and wanted to replicate something similar, so using the colour tones that she and Daniel had picked for their own day, I found an Etsy seller who made me some bespoke pom-poms made from tissue paper.

I underestimated just how long these take to put together and was in a slight panic when, by day one of set up, I’d only managed to complete that section of styling and nothing else but with all events, you learn as you go and I definitely know what to do now if anyone else wants these. 🙂

The finishing touches were to intertwine the pom-poms with fairy lights and to hang the seating plans from crates I’d seen at the barns, so they looked like they were suspended in the air.

My saviour Harriet who works at the barns, has so much better handwriting than me, so she wrote up the timeline for the day on one of the blackboards for me and her and the owner include furniture layout in the price of hire so they had taken care of the ceremony room layout of chairs.

Mid-way through working with Gina and Daniel, they decided they would welcome my support on the day too so luckily for me, I got to see their day through to the end. It was one of the most fun weddings I’ve worked and it always feels special to know your ideas were right when the bride cries with happiness as to how it looked!

A big thanks to Laura from Hip to Heart for giving me permission to use these images.