This weeks ‘Interview with’ comes from the gorgeous Kelly Chandler from The Bespoke Wedding Company. Kelly works with couples to create the most beautiful wedding day, seeing out their every request. From blow up guitars for the dance floor, to providing Marmite on the wedding breakfast tables – there’s pretty much nothing Kelly and her team hasn’t organised. Enjoy her interview, we know we did…
Name /name of business? Kelly Chandler, The Bespoke Wedding Company
In a nutshell, explain your role as an events planner…
I work with couples from start to finish on planning their most special day, their wedding. From finding their perfect ceremony and reception venue to the last detail on the table, I’m with them every step of the way to guide, suggest, advise, manage, design and co-ordinate.
Give us your most important event-planning tip for anyone organising a party or wedding right now
Work out what’s really important to you in the day (maybe top three priorities) and focus on those in terms of budget and time. Try not to stress about the things on your list which are less important.
Where do you gather your inspiration for current trends in decoration?
From all around, from lots of sources. From wedding blogs, from interiors, fashions, from the lovely creative suppliers and I work with and not forgetting that I have some fantastic clients who often have very unique and precise ideas about how they would like their wedding to look.
Event you’d most like to organise in the world?
I’m not a big one for celebrity and celebrity clients, so it might sound a bit vain, but I’d like to organise my own wedding again with a nice large budget. Same man, but all the options available and the contacts I have compared to the year 2000 when we married, would make things huge fun for me.
If you weren’t an event planner, what would be your dream job?
Well being a wedding planner is pretty dreamy (some of the time!) but I’d love to work overseas specifically with animals so in a safari park in Africa would probably be pretty amazing.
Tell us one of the most extravagant demand you’ve had from clients in the past…
I wouldn’t say I get extravagant requests really. My clients often do things with lots of style and elegance but never want to be showy or OTT, it’s just not their style. I get lots of unusual requests though for highly personal things – be it Marmite on the dining tables, cake toppers modelled on the couple, blow up air guitars for the dance floor, Aladdin-styled, magic carpet themed wedding cakes and much, much more.
What’s your favourite type of event to organise and why
For me it’s all about the people and how lovely they are. To be involved in planning a wedding for a couple and their families who are all so excited about their day, it is a real joy and a privilege.
What’s the shortest and longest timeframes you have worked to when organising an event?
Shortest has been about 8 weeks from start to finish, longest just over 2 years. The ideal amount of time is about 9 months, sort of like the gestation period of a baby!
What makes your business unique?
I think all small wedding planning businesses are unique in that they are a reflection of the owner and their own personality, experiences, skills etc. I definitely thrive on weddings with a strong logistical angle. Marquee weddings where a venue has to be built from scratch (think power, loos, furniture, kitchen and more) are a favourite. Also clients who are based abroad and need a lot of help as they are simply not here, plus I love weddings where we have a blend of nationalities and cultures.
What is your philosophy when working with wedding couples?
I like to have a very open, honest working relationship based on trust. I’m highly practical and tell things as they are, without dressing them up and tend to work best with clients who appreciate pretty but practical too! I always put in huge effort to each wedding and never rest until every i is dotted and t is crossed.
How do you help wedding couple customise their wedding to fit their style?
Since my service is bespoke there is no one route to achieving this but we always achieve it. Some clients will come to me with a very clear idea of what they want and in those cases, my job is to find it for them and organise and occasionally to enhance and suggest additions (or sometimes subtractions!). With other clients, their style isn’t so evident and it’s about delving as we go along and suggesting nice touches that might work for them.
What is your favourite wedding and party decoration? And why?
I love a range of styles, colours and decor but I am a fan of using lots of candlelight, mirrors, mirrored vases, clean lines, white, storm lanterns and more. I personally love The White Company so that relaxed neutral elegance is right up my street.
Have you at any time avoided a near disastrous situation?
All weddings have some element of drama and we’ve had collapsing cake tables, broken down vintage bridal cars, smashed bridal favours and more. In those cases though it’s how we deal with it and I’ll always do everything in my power, along with brilliant suppliers, to fix things. Probably the most disastrous is when brides have been late to the ceremony and almost not been able to marry due to the Registrar having to leave for another wedding. Fortunately we’ve managed to get them to the ceremony just about in time!
What should couples not forget to ask the venue?
That’s a big question. There are long lists of things I ask a wedding venue before confirming but as a quick answer: couples should make sure they have a contract setting out what is being offered in exchange for what price. Look at staffing levels, access times to the venue (including set up time for suppliers), music off times, sound limiters, bar closing time. The list goes on…
Top tips for those organising a party or a wedding with a tight budget?
Most people have ideas a little bit ahead of their budget so I apply the same tip to most weddings even with a healthy budget. Focus on priorities and not every item being to the very highest specification. And if the budget is tight, keep a very close eye on it. Bear in mind that about 45-50% of your budget should go on the venue hire and food and drink for the day combined, leaving you the other 50% on everything else. If your venue is eating up way more than that, you will struggle to fit it all in.
Top tip for making the day run smoothly?
When the day comes, let your team get on with it, relax and enjoy, you can’t do anything now, just let the party begin!
Top tip for sticking to the agenda?
Allow much more time that you think particularly for having hair and make done and getting into the wedding dress. It is not like putting on a pair of jeans remotely. And as for setting up at the venue, again get things done early to allow contingency time for any travel delays, time for sound checks for bands, rehearsal etc.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job role?
It’s been the same since I started in events many years ago; it’s the pleasure of working on the event and seeing the many months of hard work and detail play out in all its beauty. And with a wedding it’s seeing the joy and happiness all around and being part of it. I always have a tear in my eye at the ceremony after all these years!
Thank you so much for your interview Kelly, we absolutely loved it and know all you brides will too. If you’d like to get in contact with Kelly then don’t hesiate to contact
Name: Kelly Chandler, Owner and Director of Wedding Planning
Business name: The Bespoke Wedding Company
Web address: www.thebespokeweddingco.com
Tel: 01483 282858