Making your wedding personal and stylish doesn’t have to be a challenge as one Rye woman reveals to Charlotte Pearson.
Say wedding planner and most people know what you are talking about, but say wedding stylist and it starts to get a bit tricky.
“A wedding planner organises, whereas a wedding stylist styles,” explains Jenny Sinclair, director of Bellaboo and Beau.
“I started wedding styling at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 when it was fairly new and people weren’t really sure what it was I did.
“It meant there was sometimes confusion with planners. However, they get in touch with suppliers, arrange quotes, go back and forth, and use spreadsheets and clipboards.
“Whereas what I do is more creative. I may suggest suppliers, but it will be more about putting people in touch with someone rather than dealing with quotes.”
Describing her style as ‘relaxed, festival, country garden’, Bellaboo and Beau is a creative design and styling company specialising in weddings.
Based in Rye, Jenny’s previous career was in graphic design and branding.
“The idea started when I got married myself. I liked being creative, making and putting things together,” she reveals.
“I got married in 2011 and decided on an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme with vintage tea cups for a Mad Hatter’s tea party.
“I wanted toadstools for people to sit on but couldn’t find them anywhere so we made them ourselves.
“We found that it kept happening– the things we wanted just weren’t out there. It was very whimsical, and people just said ‘wow’.”
When Jenny started Bellaboo and Beau it was initially just prop hire, including the things she used for her own wedding, and has grown to include the styling service.
“When brides come to me, there are a number of stages,” says Jenny.
“First is the catalyst which is the idea stage. People come to me with their scrapbooks or pins and we look at them together.
“Then it is sparks where I put concepts together to show them.
“Creation follows this and we start to make and create things,” she explains.
“And then finally it is the big day, putting everything into action.
“Some brides just do catalyst or sparks while others come to me with ideas they want to make, but most go from start to finish with me.”
Although Jenny has seen a number of similar stylists pop up this wasn’t always the case.
“It was really hard when I first started,” she recalls. “People didn’t know what it was or what I did.
“There are a few of us now, but we all have different styles so it isn’t too bad, people go to you because they like what you do.”
Something which rings true as Jenny has seen a number of recommendations through word of mouth. However, as she can work a year or two in advance with some brides it can be a slow process.
“I have a really close relationship with my clients,” she says. “Some want you to do something in three to six months and it can be a bit of a rush. Whereas others will be getting married in a year or in three years and want to plan it from scratch.”
In a world where everyone wants their wedding to be all about them those personal touches mean a lot, be it the word love adorned with cocktail umbrellas, vintage tea cups or cherries as wedding favours – the possibilities are endless.
“The company is really about my brain,” she explains. “I don’t tend to have too many clients as I want to give each one their own focus. I probably give a bit too much of myself sometimes, but I am so passionate about what I do.”
This passion is evident as at this year’s Wedding Industry Awards Jenny came away with the award for best venue stylist in London and South East.
“I couldn’t believe it at first,” she smiles. “I just sat there for what felt like ages as no one knew who I was, until I finally got up and went to the stage.
“What is nice about it is that it is voted for by your clients, and although at the time I only had about 11 the others in the category were much bigger than me.
“Each of my clients were given a survey and the winner was worked out by the percentage they received from it.
“I am just thrilled and, to be honest, I’m still in shock now.”
If you are newly engaged or have booked a venue and are in need of some creative inspiration Jenny is the woman for the job.
For more information on Bellaboo and Beau, visit bellabooandbeau.co.uk
Main picture above and on home page by Rebecca Douglas