Say I Do… Differently
by Ruth Lawrence
You’re getting married. You’ve found the right venue and know the style you’re after, but how do you turn your wish list into the perfect wedding? Say I do to not Your Average I Do!
Kelly Kearley was in this situation seven years ago; tired of what was on offer from the traditional wedding industry she decided her wedding was going to be anything but average. She sourced everything she wanted and her creative air coupled with a decade working in the corporate events industry in London enabled her to style her wedding with enough rustic cool to inspire hundreds of couples ever since. Kelly founded ‘Not Your Average I Do’ in 2015 after having two children and realising that the wedding industry was, “crying out for a creative, fun, unique yet affordable service.” Shocked at how many brides were simply accepting the limited styles on offer she began to put forward a desperately needed alternative.
Initially hiring out her own quirky props, she found the demand so great that she did forty weddings in her first year and was rewarded by winning the Best Venue Stylist for London and the South East in 2015. After storming the prize three years in a row, Not Your Average I Do has recently won the title of The Best Venue Stylist in the UK in The Wedding Industry Awards 2018.
Now boasting a generous showroom in Partridge Green, Kelly and her team have revealed their latest venture, the Wedding Warehouse for Sussex. Couples can visit for advice and an informal chat or they can attend one of the free monthly bridal Open Days where couples can come along to share ideas and learn what needs to be put in motion to make the great day run smoothly. With access to many high quality, local suppliers, Kelly can talk you through lighting, furniture, flowers and props that will make your wedding really stand out.
On trend this year are cool urban copper pipe table settings, scaffold board tables and slate contrasted with drapes, festoon lighting, lanterns and large hanging foliage displays. Virtually any theme can be accommodated at Not Your Average I Do; whether the look you’ve hankered after might be vintage, glamour, rustic, fairytale or boho. Kelly can hire authentic vintage props such as suitcases, stepladders and frames or stunning foliage-draped arches, real trees, moss covered tables or rustic altars. Bars can be created from authentic French oak barrels and a wonderful pallet bar can be hired to stand in an indoor or garden setting. Signage can be written on anything from rustic slate to framed mirrors and metal or wooden easels can hold displays, photos or information to save you having to issue instructions to your guests. One truly stunning possibility is to hire the Wedding Field, an idyllic seven-acre plot, secluded and surrounded by trees, perfect for your ceremony, breakfast, after party, entertainment and glamping.
Kelly’s passion for her chosen vocation is absolute and numerous testimonials from her delighted clients reflect her devotion. One bride said, “what she and her team created was beyond a wow factor, it was like stepping into a dream…” Another wrote how “they gave us by far the most reasonable price of anyone… but kept the quality super high.” The team have been described by one couple as being, “always professional and forthcoming with experienced advice but also friendly, flexible and really fun to work with,” while another commented on how they transformed the venue from, “a blank canvas to something entirely different and very glamorous.”
The core team of four goes up to twelve in the peak wedding season and an intern has recently joined. Kelly is keen to promote the potential of couples having more choice on their wedding day and she hosts wedding planning lectures in addition to her role as director. The Wedding Warehouse is a showcase for top wedding suppliers handpicked by Kelly so you can be assured that quality has been scrupulously checked and suppliers are completely trustworthy. Should you wish to supply your own props, these can be accommodated and the team are always on hand to help. On the big day, a fully qualified wedding coordinator can be provided to pull all the elements together and draft a schedule that will go out to all suppliers and the venue. If you decide to hand over the entire organisation of the wedding into Kelly’s capable hands, there is an extremely good value full wedding planning package in which you are guided month by month through booking all the elements of the day. With the team’s collective 25 years of experience, they can assist in sourcing venues, finding unique suppliers and ensure everything runs according to plan.
The ‘Set up and Style’ service does exactly what it says; your decorative items are set up, tables laid, and any personal touches catered for. This service includes a ‘room turnaround’ service where the team come to the venue after the ceremony and turn the room around so you can host the wedding breakfast in the same room. Popular in barns and warehouses, this option means you can utilise the same room for the after party once the ceremony and wedding breakfast have been completed. Whatever your dream, whatever your budget, the team at Not Your Average I Do can assist; Kelly created the business to give couples wider choice and flexibility by challenging the traditional wedding industry norm. She has succeeded beyond her expectations and if you hanker after a truly memorable wedding, give her a call and start the countdown to an unforgettable day.