It’s Bride Beautiful’s 10th Birthday… Happy Birthday to me!
This is me, Elaine, in the beautiful gardens here at Elsham Gardens and Country Park.
I am the Director of my event company Bride Beautiful Limited, which is 10 years in the making and so I am feeling pretty proud today. Being based in the grounds of the fabulous Elsham Gardens and Country Park from early 2011; I’ve been planning and coordinating weddings since my youngest sister’s wedding in a barn in Leicester in 2005.
I now live in a beautiful little village with my husband. We have 3 super intelligent children, they are 29, 27 and 17, and all passionately into gaming. We have our fur baby Max who will be 13 this year, though you would think he was a puppy the way he bounces around.
To tell you a little about the name, Bride Beautiful started from a dream. I originally called my company “All things Bride and Beautiful”. Quite naively not understanding the self-employed business world, I soon had to change this, as the name already belonged to a successful London company. I had already gained a fabulous reputation due to the wedding exhibitions I was organising, so I just dropped a few little words and became Bride Beautiful Limited. To move with the times, I will soon be changing this again, maybe to ‘Beautiful Weddings’… who knows? Watch this space!
So, originally from Leicester, I fell in love and moved to Lincolnshire in July 2007. I decided I wanted to continue with my wedding planning business in 2010. In order to get to know the local suppliers I coordinated several wedding exhibitions in support of Breast Cancer Care, but I wanted to be different and stand out (something I continue to be known for!) so I called them ‘exhibitions’ not ‘fayres’ and included a catwalk show to showcase the beautiful wedding outfits and dresses available from local suppliers. Continually looking for large venues then led me to approach Elsham Country Park, to ask them to host a wedding exhibition and they offered to hold an event in return for me coordinating a wedding for them. So, in August 2010 I coordinated my very first wedding at Elsham and after receiving a glowing A4 testimonial about my friendly and personal approach, they asked me to work for them. I refused their offer of employment but instead said I would be thrilled to work alongside them, and this is where Bride Beautiful @ Elsham began.
This was a brand-new direction for me having coordinated weddings at various venues, I was now exclusive to just one venue, with all the responsibilities that came with it. So, starting from very humble beginnings in a small studio above the barn here at Elsham, with a laptop and piece of MDF for a desk, Bride Beautiful weddings started…
My main goal was to create dreams; to give couples THE MOST perfect day. I pride myself on my passion and friendly attitude and by helping all my couples with the planning and coordinating of all those daunting ‘wedmin’ tasks, organising suppliers etc. Being their first port of call, their very own Fairy Godmother (a title adorned to me by one of my brides very early on in this adventure) I offer a unique service for a venue. I am on hand to advise and guide our couples giving them the flexibility to have the wedding they dream of, a tagline implemented almost immediately of “Your Wedding, Your Way”. All of this complemented by my immense passion for beautiful weddings, my organisation skills and of course that particular creative styling flare.
I began marketing weddings at Elsham, gaining 6 weddings for 2011, and word travelled fast meaning that the number of weddings I coordinated doubled year on year. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 I gained 4 prestigious wedding awards, but being so busy I decided to concentrate more on the couples’ weddings themselves; entering competitions was pretty time-consuming. But, having extended my administration team I again entered the awards in 2018 and we were awarded with regional finalists award in 2018 and 2019 the TWIA awards. We won this award in 2020. WOOOHOO!!
In the beginning I worked alone; I did the admin, the bookkeeping, the cleaning, the ironing, the setting up, the marketing, the planning, the meetings, the on the day coordination – just about everything that was involved in those special days, but by Year 3 I had taken on two other staff and my success continued.
I have never really been one to shout about my success (I have had to be forced by my team to actually put this blog together!) but now I have 9 staff on my team, and I am really, truly so very proud of them. They each have a true passion for the success of each and every wedding and the success of Bride Beautiful as whole. I couldn’t be prouder and wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I couldn’t go on without recognising the commitment from our exclusive bar and catering team; Natalie and her team at Standard Measure, with her fantastic friendly team who are always on hand with a smiley face throughout your wedding day to ensure that you and your guests can sip tasty beverages all day and night long and Chris of Your Chef and her amazing team who shares our commitment to excellence and integrity and offers a bespoke catering experience
Week on week, the team are presented with hugs, kisses, thank you cards, chocolates and flowers from their couples. It was such a proud moment to have these special relationships recognised and to have been awarded the Best Wedding Event Team award this year.
As the years passed, I saw various gaps in the industry and have subsequently adapted what I wanted to achieve from my business, by offering SO much more than being just a wedding venue. I’ve got lots of ideas for the future and an amazing new concept that I am hoping to be launching very soon… it is very exciting for all our couples and has been stewing nicely for the last 3 years.
I was recently asked what my top 3 most memorable days have been so far: I’ve had a think and though there are so many, I think I have my favourites!!…
1st – My very own wedding here at Elsham Gardens and Country Park, on Christmas Eve at 5pm in 2016. I think I am correct in saying, that I am the first to organise an outdoor evening winter wedding here in the UK.
2nd – Winning the award for the Best Wedding Event team in the region and going to the finals on our birthday
3rd – Weddings, I couldn’t choose, each coordinated here at Elsham is special to me and my team, we build such a good rapport with each of the families, they become part of our family
It’s not all been easy; I have had many, many ‘ups’ and a few ‘downs’, but I can hand on heart say where we are today 9 years on, I have the best team I could ever ask for and wouldn’t be where I am today without them, and we most certainly couldn’t have done it without some of the best suppliers in the industry!
I honestly feel so privileged to run a business I love and admire, and to be surrounded by a dedicated team who are as passionate about weddings as I am.
So, I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making this journey possible and long may it continue to grow!
Lots of love xxxx