For couples and South Wales wedding suppliers alike, 2020 has been a bit pants hasn’t it? Fortunately, to help us through the uncertainty, here in South Wales we have the most amazing collection of independent wedding businesses. And have you noticed, many of them are run by wonderful Welsh women? From bespoke florists to venue stylists, from cake makers to photographers, wedding coordinators and of course stationery designers (moi) the boss ladies of Cardiff and the surrounding areas are the best at adapting in an ever changing world.
In this short series of blogs I’m handing over to some of my fellow South Wales wedding professionals. I’ll let them tell you all about how they’ve rolled up their sleeves and sailed their fabulous businesses through the Covid storm. First up is one of my dear florist friends, Anne-Marie.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Anne-Marie Merlini. My business is Petal Power, a studio based florist in Creigiau, Cardiff. I provide gorgeous flowers for beautiful weddings, special occasions and photo shoots throughout Cardiff and the South Wales area. I have been in business for 15 years but have never faced any challenges like the ones 2020 have thrown at me.
Which are your favourite South Wales wedding suppliers (apart from me, obvs!) to work with and why?
We are so lucky to have such wonderful venues within a 20 minute drive from Creigiau. I have a real soft spot for Canada Lodge & Lake. I have been lucky enough to decorate this venue ever since it was built many years ago. The team there are always so lovely and helpful. I have worked there on the couple of weddings I have dressed during lockdown and I know they have bent over backwards to make the couple feel welcome.
I also love Llanerch Vineyard. I take my family on their woodland walk each year at bluebell season. It’s a beautiful venue, hard to beat.
I am so lucky with the suppliers I have been lucky to work with. Kate Adams Photography is a gem of a lady. ALS photography are also wonderful people to work with. Owen Matthias is a fantastic person and Lloyd Jones Photography too. They always ensure I receive amazing photos and that they capture the flowers in all their beauty.
NGJ makeup and hair, although we have never met, we have worked on a few of the same weddings and we have become Instagram pals. Nicola is so lovely and extremely talented.
How have you been working with and keeping in touch with your couples that have postponed to next year or beyond?
I have been having zoom calls, WhatsApp video calls, lots of emails. When lockdown was lifted I even had a couple of socially distant garden meetings which was lovely. Life almost felt back to normal.
What one thing can couples planning a wedding at this time do to help you and your business, and keep things running as smoothly as possible?
Just relax and keep your South Wales wedding suppliers in the loop. If you are having to postpone try and give a choice of a few dates to your suppliers. I have been able to reschedule all my postponed weddings. I am not a florist who books multiple weddings a day, I book one wedding a day so it has been easy for my couples to fit into next year’s schedule.
Have you been able to diversify your business while weddings have been on hold? Tell me how.
I have had a few bouquet events that were really successful. I managed to run an outdoor, socially distant bouquet class which sold out and was lots of fun. I have actually been a part of 3 weddings last month, all small and intimate but it felt so good to flex those wedding flower muscles.
I have also recorded a couple of ‘how to’ tutorials which I posted onto my Facebook page. They really took me out of my comfort zone, it is hard to talk in front of the camera and make flower arrangements at the same time!
Have you had to adapt the physical (location, hours etc) way you work in the last 6 months, and if so, how?
Not really. I run the business from home so that carried on as normal. My hours were a little different because I was home schooling my children so I arranged calls out of school hours or over lunch break (i.e computer game time)
Have you had the opportunity to work on any micro weddings since August? Tell me about them and your favourite bits.
Yes. I have worked on 4 weddings and 2 of them were new weddings that hadn’t rescheduled. They just wanted to get married and decided now was as good a time as any, how wonderful! I think it was easier for those couples because they didn’t have to come to terms with not having the wedding they originally planned.
I have loved that my couples have still wanted to decorate their venues and have invested in their flowers, they really can transform a venue into something magical.
Completely non wedding business related, have you personally done or achieved anything during lockdown that you wouldn’t have normally?
Exercise! I have always stayed fit by walking but obviously lockdown stopped this. So, with the rest of my family I started doing the PE with Joe like many others. I actually loved it and am still doing sessions now.
Finally, what’s one piece of advice or wisdom that you would like to share, wedding related or not, that’s relevant to the world we live in right now. Make us smile!
With all honesty, my advice would be to relax. Your wedding will happen, you will get married and it will be a wonderful day. The marriage is the most important part, the wedding is just the start of a wonderful adventure. Cheesy but true.
Thank you Anne-Marie, it’s great to hear how you’ve been navigating your way through this pandemic. Your brides and grooms are lucky to have you as one of their South Wales wedding suppliers.
If you’ve had to postpone your wedding in South Wales, remember that as experienced wedding professionals we are all here and ready to do whatever we can to smooth the bumpy road a little. Whether you need to reschedule, downsize or even postpone indefinitely, we’ll always work with you to find the best solution possible. We might not wear capes & boots (well not all the time anyway) but we are Welsh Wedding Wonder Women and we’re here to help.
Want to read about how I’ve been helping my couples rearrange and adapt the stationery for their big day? Have a read of my blog HERE.