What a beautiful day here in the Cotswolds! So lovely that I thought I would buy myself some pretty flowers from Bloomers who are just down the road from me, to cheer up my office desk – also dining table/craft table – can’t wait to move house next month! – and inspire me to pick up my blogging pen again.
I thought I’d start by writing up an interview with a fantastic local supplier who is relatively new to the wedding industry, The Wedding Tree Company.
Tell me a little bit about yourself…
We are Mr & Mrs Ford. Richard and Jennifer, along with our 2 year old daughter Ava-Grace, the family behind ‘The Wedding Tree Company’. Richard is a hearty tradesman with big hands and an accurate eye for joinery. I am a primary school teacher with ever changing hair colour and a love of art.
Tell me about The Wedding Tree Company…
The Wedding Tree Company offers Brides and Grooms bespoke and totally personalised wooden wedding products, props, venue accessories and keep sakes. Venue accessories and props includes items such as menu boards, directional sign posts and signs for photographs, rustic wishing wells for guests to leave cards and gifts and oak frames to surround table plans. Smaller items include uniquely crafted wedding favours such as willow dragon flies, engraved coasters and personalised wooden key rings or name tags.
Our personal favourite and very popular with the public, is the ‘Oak Wedding Guest Book Plank’ a quirky alternative to the traditional paper guest books which tend to live in a box after the wedding day and gather dust on a shelf. The Guest planks are personalised with the couples own initials, date, venue, and any other unique drawings or details they choose and are then send out ready for guests to write well wishes on. Supplied fixings then enable the guest plank to be hung in the home, on display as an everlasting reminder of the special day.
How did you get involved in the industry?
Richard has been successfully running his own joinery business for the last 7 years, carrying out bespoke furniture commissions and domestic joinery. On the lead up to our own wedding, last August, I kept Richard busy making wooden props to personalise our own special day, as I was having very little luck sourcing the items I had conjured up in my head. This is when the light bulb went on in Richard’s head, ‘this is a business’ he chirped down the phone to me. And so it began, after a relaxing honeymoon it was time to hit the ground running, we have now been branching out in the world of weddings as The Wedding Tree Company for 5 months.
What do you love most about your job?
Richard is in his element in when he is in his workshop, there is nothing he would rather be doing. The Wedding Tree is all about giving other couples the chance to personalise their day with quirky props and keep sakes, so for us to be a part of that, really makes our job worthwhile.
What makes your service unique?
The personalisation, quirkiness, and the insight into the couple who are tying the knot. Due to the personal nature of The Wedding Tree Company’s products, couples have the opportunity to create something that is totally personal to them. With Richard’s joinery skills and my artistic flare all we need is the ideas given by the couple to make there items unique and totally bespoke to them, giving their guests a talking point and making it a day to remember.
What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever had?
Not so much as unusual but quirky. Our hand painted signs have proven to be a very popular product amongst our range and my favourite one we’ve done so far, has to be for a bride and groom who wanted a polite, but humorous sign asking parents to look after their children during the wedding day. The Couple were more than happy to invite children to their special day but, quite understandably, didn’t want them running around causing chaos. The sign simply read ‘All unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy’. As we have our own 2 year old and many of our other friends have young children we also had quite a few little ones at our own wedding, so this, I think, would be a brilliant way of reminding parents to keep an eye on their kids, without being too formal, we loved the idea!
What’s your working week like?
After a wedding show at the weekend, the beginning of the week is usually pretty hectic, emailing the new brides-to-be that we have spoken to, answering emails and enquiries and responding to any orders placed. The Wedding Tree HQ is a bright pink room at our home address in Tamworth, Staffordshire which also doubles up as a two year olds play playroom.
This is where the day to day running of the company takes place, replying to our lovely customer’s emails, quoting jobs and coming up with brilliant new, unique ideas for your special day. All of the fun stuff takes place at our workshop, also based in Tamworth. Bonehill farm is home to around 17 small businesses like ours and is a lovely place to be creative. The workshop is around 150sq foot and is large enough for all of the machines and tool required to produce our wonderful products.
Have you seen many changes since you started your business?
As we have only been up and running in the wedding industry for 5 short months, it’s all new and exciting, our products and services are changing all the time, as new ideas are being developed. For any of you who know my husband, the driving force behind The Wedding Tree, he can’t sit still for longer than two minutes, there’s always a new project or idea to be worked on, changes occur on a daily basis!
What’s the biggest misconception about your industry/service?
The main misconception is usually about the guest book planks, we have had people query how we engrave the wedding guest’s messages on to the board once they have been written on. We don’t in fact do this, the only engraved part is the couples Names, initials, wedding date etc. that is agreed prior to us sending out the completed guest book plank, the guest simply write their messages and well wishes directly onto the Oak, using a marker pen and the process is complete, ready to hang on the wall as a lasting memory.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to couples planning their wedding?
Don’t overlook the small things and the personal touches, that’s what our guests loved the most, the attention to detail. Most of all enjoy it, every bit of it, from the moment you start planning to the minute the last dance ends. Savour every moment of the big day and make time to take it all in.
Have you worked with any other local vendors or suppliers that you’d recommend to couples getting married in the Cotswolds? And why?
Not as yet but through wedding fayres and social media we have been introduced to a lot of fabulous suppliers based in the Cotswolds that we hope to work alongside in the future.
Where can we find you?
Website – http://www.theweddingtree.co.uk
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – 07791323 525
Facebook – The Wedding Tree Company
Twitter – @TheWeddingTree
I’ve seen their products up close and they really are as good as they look, a company clearly driven with passion and skill. Now THAT is what I like to see!! Although based in the Cotswolds Richard and Jennifer cover the whole of the UK and beyond.
All images via Stephen Hayes Photography