As someone still relatively new to the self-employed world, I have to say that the support I received from other small business owners and wedding suppliers was so important in giving me the confidence to keep pursuing my dream. In turn, I have met lots of lovely new wedding suppliers in the Galway area and it is so important to stick together. I met April from Dress Your Wedding Ltd not so long ago at a wedding fair and fell in love with her beautiful vintage and rustic wedding decorations. Her story struck a chord with me as she similarly worked in sales for many years before realising she needed to pursue a more creative career. I met with April recently to ask her a little bit about her business and to look at the gorgeous items that she has to rent out for weddings.
How did you come up with the idea for the business?
We got married in Spain in 2013 and even though we had a wedding planner organising all the suppliers for us, I thoroughly enjoyed organising all the fun stuff – the invites, how the wedding ceremony would look and how we would decorate the wedding reception. I had so many ideas from organising our wedding that the following year when my cousin was planning her wedding I had to get stuck in. We spent a couple of months collecting used jam jars and decorated them with pretty lace, ribbons & string. I had also started to gathered antique jugs, lanterns, tea light holders and candlesticks. With my mum’s help we decorated the very lovely Furbo Church with wild flowers, candles & hand made lace balloons.
After this I decided that I wanted to combine my skills in business & marketing with my love of all things vintage & beautiful to create my own business in the wedding industry. The idea was based on having a large range of items for hire, so that people don’t have to go out and buy lots of lanterns / candle holders / vases etc if they want to decorate their own wedding.
What’s your favourite part of running the business?
I absolutely love sourcing the products; I mean who doesn’t love the opportunity to buy lots of gorgeous things? But apart from that I love meeting people and chatting to them about their upcoming wedding and helping them with ideas for decorating their wedding venue. It’s so nice to be involved in such a happy joyous occasion in someone’s life.
What’s the hardest part?
The hardest part is probably promoting the business and becoming known in the industry – starting any business is hard in the beginning but I have gorgeous products and believe that once the right people know about my business it will grow from strength to strength.
Who are your customers – who are the people most likely to come to you looking to rent the items?
This is a niche area – the customers most likely to want my products will be getting married in marquee’s, country houses or privately rented castles. That said, many couples getting married in main stream hotels want to have something to make their wedding stand out from the rest. Weddings in Ireland have been highly traditional up to now but I believe that this is changing. People are travelling more than ever and having many different experiences before settling down to tie the knot. Not to mention second marriages and same sex marriages. My business is very much modelled on the UK wedding market whereby weddings are much less traditional due to the diverse population. As well as hiring out all of my products I also offer a complete styling service which includes table centre pieces, general venue décor, afternoon tea style drinks reception including vintage china & cake stands. I can also decorate the ceremony with lanterns, candle holders, jars, jugs & vases.
What one tip would you give to brides and grooms-to-be?
Dare to be different. I believe that couples should absolutely go with their gut feeling on how they want their wedding to be – weddings can be very stressful events – working out the guest list and keep the mum’s & dad’s happy. Stick with what you want for yourselves as a couple and everything else will fall into place. And following that – be different, if you have a crazy idea – go for it, I love when people tell me their ideas for something totally different, and you can be sure that your guest’s will lovea change from the norm.
You can find Dress Your Wedding Ltd’s full product range on their website – wishing April the very best of luck with her business venture, I have no doubt she will do great with such beautiful products.