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Why did you need a planner?
I had my heart set on holding my wedding reception at Somerley House in Hampshire, a stately home I’d visited as a child, and which I knew would be the perfect setting for the Midsummer Night’s Dream-inspired celebration I wanted. Although Somerley wasn’t hosting weddings at that time, they kindly agreed to make an exception. I was delighted – the only problem was that while I knew exactly how I wanted my wedding to look, I didn’t know where to start. I had no idea about whether the kitchens were big enough for the caterers or whether the portable loos would fit through the front gates. Somerley was no longer geared up as a wedding venue, and the estate office was more accustomed to organising quad biking and grouse shoots. I needed someone who knew what they were doing.
What made you choose The Bespoke Wedding Company?
Kelly is one of those people you warm to the moment you meet her. She listens to what you have to say rather than imparting what she thinks, and then suggests how she can make your ideas work practically. I wanted low lighting using hundreds of fairy lights and candles, for example, but Kelly pointed out that people had to be able to see what was on their plates! Kelly solved this problem by suggesting spotlights on each table, which meant our guests could see what they were eating, without ruining the ambience!
What was Kelly like to work with?
From the start, I made it clear that I wanted to do the fun stuff and not all the legwork, and Kelly was fine with this. I am based in London, a good two hours from our venue, and both myself and my fiancé, Antony, had very demanding jobs, so the fact that Kelly was able to attend all the necessary meetings on site with everyone from the caterers to the marquee company, took a huge pressure off. Kelly was also very amenable and would set meetings around where and when suited my schedule, not hers. We spent quite a lot of time working together. Some brides get her to deal with all their RSVPs - I didn’t do this, but there was quite a lot of information to put together for the invitations, and so one afternoon we spent about five hours at her house stuffing envelopes, drinking tea and eating cake, which was good fun.
How did Kelly make your wedding planning easier?
I had all these ideas, but didn’t really know how to make them happen. Anyone can do a Google search for ‘marquee dressing’, but you don’t know who offers the best service, or even if they are going to turn up on the day. I would tell Kelly my ideas, and she was always able to point me in the direction of a perfect trusted supplier. Kelly also saved me so much time. Rather than spending hours on the internet researching the right tablecloths or wine glasses, I would tell her what I wanted, and she would come back with three of the best options at three different prices.
How did Kelly go that extra mile?
I wanted a marquee wedding but I wanted it to be different. One of the reasons I chose Somerley was because it has a beautiful fountain in the grounds that I wanted incorporated into the marquee as an internal feature. This hadn’t been done before at this venue, which meant Kelly had no blueprint to work from, but rather than coaxing me down a safer route, she found a way to do it, and I was blown away by the result!
How did the day go?
It was exactly as we had planned it to be. I found out later that there were a few glitches such as guests dropping out, last-minute changes to the table plan, and a bridesmaid getting stuck in her dress eight hours before the wedding, but I never knew – Kelly dealt with it all.
What makes Kelly so easy to work with?
She was incredibly sensitive to my needs and super-organised. If I wanted something changed, she’d come back by the end of the day with a solution. She never made me feel like a bridezilla!
How would your wedding have been different without Kelly?
I would have struggled pulling it together and probably have gone nuts. The day would not have been as relaxing and enjoyable either. Kelly makes planning a wedding the experience you always thought it would be as a child. She lets you indulge in the flowers, the food, and the drink, and takes away the mundane minutiae you never realised needed doing.