Tell us something about your background.
I used to be a glassblower and have a Masters Degree in design. I have always been creative and innovative and have transferred this into my venue styling career. I am happily married and have a gorgeous 2 year old.
How did you get into this type of business?
I was looking for a complete change in career and decided to take on a franchise in a chair cover company. I left that franchise 18 months ago and set up Modern Heritage Styling on my own.
Tell us when and why you started your business?
I started Modern Heritage Styling in March 2016 as I had the desire to achieve something just for me, I love what I do and wanted to be able to put my own stamp into the venue styling career path I have chosen.
What makes your business different to others in your field?
At Modern Heritage Styling we make almost all of our chair covers, sashes, table runners, swags, cloths and drapes ourselves We source the finest fabrics from the best suppliers and know that our products are quality and not just cheaply bought in. This allows us to create bespoke orders and make sure our clients get exactly what they would like instead of having to compromise the look of their big day.
What do you love least about what you do?
Cleaning wax off candelabras – that stuff gets everywhere!
What do you love most about what you do?
I love dressing the venues themselves on the morning of the wedding or the day before. I am very lucky to work in some incredible places with amazing people and seeing the ideas we have discussed at length come to life is brilliant. Safe in the knowledge the ‘WOW factor’ that everyone seeks has once again been created.
Does the responsibility of your job/business ever scare you?
Absolutely, as a venue stylist in the wedding industry you literally get one chance to get it right. It often is only possible to dress the venue on the morning of the wedding itself so you are always against the clock and worry about everything from traffic issues on route to tripping over and dropping chair covers in a puddle when going from the van to inside. I try to be as calm and collected as possible as I like to think I’d have the ability and resources to fix a problem should one arise.
What preparation do you have to do before a wedding?
Firstly I go through all my paperwork and email correspondence to make sure they both marry up. I then pull everything together from my stock. In busy times I have dry cleaners clean and press items but in quieter times I do this myself. Ironing can be tedious but I’m a stickler for detail and I like things just so. I make sure all centrepieces, lanterns etc are fully cleaned and if stationery has been ordered I put all of that together. Everything is packed up and loaded into the van and off I go.
How far will you travel to a wedding?
Unless it is a very large affair I will only agree to travel about 40 miles as problems on route can cause big issues. I can dress more than one wedding in a day and so if I am taking on several bookings I like to keep the radius even tighter to avoid any potential delays from getting from one venue to another.
How much contact do you have with a couple before their wedding day?
As much or as little as the couple require. I take the initial enquiry/quote/deposit then 1 month before the wedding I take the balance payment and work out any last minute details/amendments. I then make all arrangements with the venues regarding set up and collection. Some couples I meet several times but others I never even meet. I am completely flexible with this and go with whatever the client prefers.
How do you start your day when you’re working a wedding?
With a large cup of tea!
What makes your job a bit easier at a wedding?
Helpful staff and the simplest of things like the chairs already being in situ or the table cloths already on the tables when I arrive. It allows me to get on straight away with the job in hand instead of waiting around and wasting time.
What’s your price range?
It varies from hundreds to thousands – I have no minimum order.
How do couples pay you?
Always a deposit to secure any booking and then the balance payment one month before.
Do you have a cancellation policy for couple’s peace of mind?
What’s your favourite memory from a wedding?
When a bride was so happy with the styling I had created she came running up to me in the car park just to say thanks having seen me about to leave through the window. She came out as she was – no shoes, rollers in her hair, only half her make up complete and wearing only a robe just to make sure I knew how much she loved it and appreciated my hard work before I left. It was a great feeling!
What’s your scariest moment at a wedding?
When I dropped a box of sashes into a puddle outside the venue. Luckily I managed to call in reinforcements with replacement sashes. I put on the chair covers while I waited. Thank my lucky stars I carry a decent stock level of most things!
If you could work a celebrity wedding who’s would it be?
Prince Harry if he ever ties the knot. I think it would have all the elegance and class of a royal wedding but with a strong element of fun and rebellion incorporated too.