• Michelle Peverley

How it all began...

I’ve been meaning to start a blog since I launched my website back in January, but as someone who dreads writing anything, whether it’s a caption for my Instagram or the copy for my website, I really have been avoiding it. Today however is the day that I stop making excuses and finally start putting my ideas into practice and start sharing my advice and tips to help you with your wedding or event styling. Before I begin I think the best way to start is by telling you a little bit about myself, why and how I have started my own wedding and event styling business.

I have always been a creative person, from as young as 4, I had a pencil or a pen in my hand, drawing everything and anything. So it was always clear to me that I wanted a creative career, and as an adult I have found that unless I am being creative I am not a 100% happy. This is why in December I took the plunge and left my Contact Centre job to pursue my creative dream.

I used to think that I wanted to be an Interior Designer, but it wasn’t until I started researching degree courses that I realised that there is a lot more that goes into being an Interior Designer. It’s not just all fluffy cushions and fabulous wallpaper. It also dawned on me that the chances of finding a job as an Interior Designer in Cardiff or Caerphilly were not very high. So I decided to start with a Foundation Art Course, and I hoped it would lead me to the right degree, and my plan actually worked for a change. My tutor advised me that maybe a Surface Design degree course would be the perfect fit for me. So I set off on a search to find a London University with that exact course, the reason being is that studying in London had always been on the top of my to do list. After all who doesn’t want to live the creative London dream? (Actually I’m sure there are many people who wouldn’t, my husband being one of them.) So that’s how my London chapter began.

I’m sure you are probably wondering what a Surface Design degree is? You are not alone if you are. Surface Design is pretty much what it says on the tin. I learned skills that allowed me to design wallpaper, fabrics, ceramics and lots of other surfaces and products. I also rediscovered my love for watercolour painting. There is so much that I loved about the course and as my fellow course friends know, there is so much I hated about it too, but I gained so many new skills. Not just creative skills but life skills too.

Wallpaper designed for my final University project.

Unfortunately like most creative graduates and actually like most graduates in general, after I graduated I struggled to find my dream job or even one that used my new skills. So I came back home to Cardiff feeling deflated and frustrated that I was back working a part-time job in the local HomeSense, like I did when I was 16. Don’t get me wrong HomeSense is one of the best stores around and actually has some great wedding finds, as well as some amazing home ware. I used to spend all my wages buying unnecessary ornaments, photo frames and cushions, (this did not help me clear my student debt). As deflated as I might have been that I wasn’t designing wallpaper for a high-end company, I was lucky enough to become the seasonal merchandiser for the store.

After 6 months I finally got myself a full time job in a Call Centre, the steady income got me out of my student debt and also allowed me to travel to some amazing destinations, such as the incredible Western Australia, a place that will always remain in my heart.

I’m sure you are wondering how this all relates to the start of my new wedding and event styling business? Well it doesn’t really, but it has hugely shaped me as a person and strengthened my creative passion.

A beach made entirely of tiny shells!

For me weddings give you the opportunity to be really creative and inject so much personality, from choosing the colour scheme and flowers to the stationary design. So they have always been something I have been interested in, along with Interior Design and painting of course. I used to always be that annoying person that as soon as someone I knew got engaged, I would ask them hundreds of questions and pretty much throw myself into planning their wedding day, without even being asked to.

So its fair to say that everyone around me was very relieved when I finally got engaged and could plan my own wedding,

I can’t believe I’m about to admit to this, but I had my own wedding Pinterest board from the age of 19. Only a year into my relationship with my now husband. This only got worse as the years passed. A few months before Phill proposed I actually contacted a venue to get a price list, (I didn’t know he was going to propose). When they called and left a message congratulating me on my engagement I realised I had gone too far, and stopped my crazy behaviour. This might be why Phill finally proposed after 7 years of us being together, as I finally stopped badgering. So yes I was that crazy wedding obsessed girl, which now looking back at I laugh and slightly cringe over. All that aside I had a beautiful proposal in the Grand Canyon, and I couldn’t wait to start planning my real wedding.

I loved choosing my bridesmaid dresses and scouring through Pinterest for the perfect bouquet, but I didn’t enjoy juggling day to day life and the never ending 'Wedmin'. From family and friend dramas, to budget setting and deciding on the guest list, it all really did start to put a dampener on the bits that I was enjoying and looking forward to for so many years. I had never planned a wedding so I struggled to prioritise, and to know what was important and would make a difference to the day, and what I was just wasting time on. As a perfectionist I wanted to do everything myself, so I designed and printed my own stationery, arranged my own artificial flowers and sourced and made all my own props. I really did learn so much from it and there are a lot of things that I would now probably do differently (I blame social media for this), but we had a beautiful day.

So in answer to how and why I started my own wedding and event styling business, like a lot of people in the industry, my own wedding was what started it all off. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to be able to take the leap and follow my creative dream. Don’t get me wrong there are bad days. Starting your own business is not easy but there are a lot of good days too.

I am so passionate about what I do and it makes me so happy that I am not only doing what I love and being creative, but I am also getting to be a part of a couples special day, a day that will always be remembered and cherished.

Looking back and reflecting on my childhood aspirations I can honestly say that I am 100% on the right track to achieving them, and I have done this all myself. I may not be designing interiors but I’m designing something better; beautiful, fun and unforgettable events.

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