Photos by Rachel Emma Studio
You make decorations and paper goods for special occasions. How did this start?
My background is actually in theatre design, so it’s been a bit of a winding road to get here. I worked for a few years designing set and costumes for theatre and then a couple of friends asked me to design their weddings.
Wedding styling isn’t all that different from set design really, because it’s all about transforming a space, and I think that’s why I enjoy making decorations so much. I love taking a space and making it prettier than it was before.
I totally fell in love with the industry after working on weddings for my friends, and it meant that I automatically had a collection of products so, I decided to set up a side business making more wedding decorations and stationery for other people.
I soon found that this side business was making me super happy and was really taking off - so much so that I gave up theatre design to work on my business full time. Best decision ever!
I love how accessible it is, and how many possibilities there are. I am a massive paper geek, and I love nothing more than discovering a new supplier and trawling through their collections.
I take a lot of inspiration from my materials, and I often don’t know what I’m going to make until I see a specific paper that inspires me. For example, a sparkly metallic blue paper I use inspired the whole celestial collection in the shop!
You have a beautiful online shop selling everything from handmade cake toppers to table decorations. What's your biggest seller and why?
My wood slice and moss place cards have been my best seller since the beginning, and they are still going strong.
They, of course, gained popularity when woodland weddings became really big a few years ago, but they don’t seem to be slowing down just yet even as the trends shift. I think perhaps it’s because “rustic” weddings do have a sort of timeless appeal to a certain extent.
It’s funny because when you work in the industry it’s very easy to get excited about new trends and want to make new things, but it takes a little while for these trends to reach the wider public and their real-life weddings. That’s why I love working with couples who have a keen eye for style and that are looking for something a bit different for their big day because that’s more fun for me too!
You're married. Did you design and make anything for your own wedding?
I did… My husband and I (who helps me a lot with the business now) made all of the stationery, decorations, and paper flowers (hundreds of them!).
We also made a ribbon canopy that was made up of 4.5km of ribbon in total! We totally overdid it and didn’t delegate enough, and it did make the whole thing a lot more stressful than it needed to be.
I naively thought that because I had designed weddings for other people before that mine would be easy and I could handle it all myself. What I didn’t take into account is the fact that when it’s your own wedding it’s not just making some paper flowers and decorations. It’s planning the whole event, managing family politics, making all of the big decisions and all of the admin that comes with it PLUS the design.
We had a total DIY blank canvas venue, and we actually wrote our ceremony ourselves as we had a non-legal blessing on the day, so we definitely took on a lot.
I, of course, loved making the details for our wedding, but in hindsight, I definitely wish I had taken on less and asked for more help. If that’s not a case for hiring amazing suppliers then I don’t know what is!
*Images below by Simon Revill.
You offer a bespoke design service to couples looking for something more personal for their big day. Tell us how this process works?
I LOVE working with couples on a bespoke basis, it’s my favourite part of running the business. My biggest superpower is styling because that’s where I have my training and experience so working with people to design something custom for their wedding is the best use of my skills.
I'm really passionate about the idea that weddings should be personal, and the details should show off the little nuances about a couple, the things that make them, them - a way of telling their love story.
I work closely with couples to design something that fits in with their wedding dreams, whether that’s for their invitations, decorations or their bridal party flowers.
If it’s a complete styling package they’re after, we start with an inspiration starter session where I help them figure out a theme with a personalised mood board, and then we go from there!
I like to make the whole process of styling weddings as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, so I can be as involved as much as they want or need me to be.
What's your favourite current wedding trend?
I am loving anything celestial right now, and neon signs. Oh, and everything holographic! Do I have to choose one?!
If you could only wear one colour for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
PINK! It’s just the best colour, I can’t resist it and it makes me happy whenever I see it.
Are you a DIY bride? You can see more of Rachel's cute decorations in the - DECORATIONS - category of my Book Of Love, an online directory of the UK's coolest wedding suppliers and get in touch to see what she can do for you!
Don't forget to check out all of the awesome suppliers listed and share with any cool bride-to-be's!