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Welcome to ASTW - the place for bespoke brides looking for unique handmade items, ideas & inspiration

Glitter, Gin & Teapots

Glitter, Gin & Teapots

Glitter. Gin. Teapots. Cookies. A cheeseboard. What could possibly make the first ASTW meet-up any better?

We finally got the chance to meet some of the incredibly wonderful and creative souls who make ASTW run as smoothly and sparkly-ly as it does back in mid-August. Amongst high-pitched and excited squeaking (mainly from me) and discussion of all things wedding, we decided to ask our lovely contributors for their words of wisdom. Then, we thought we’d share it with you, as a bit of a confidence boost if you’re thinking of entering our gorgeous industry…are you ready for pearls of wisdom from ASTW’s finest oysters? Here we go…

Business plan

The golden rule of any emerging business, the dreaded two words: business plan. Even in an industry where you want to just immediately throw glitter on everything and use brush pens to make people’s dreams come true, a business plan is still vital. Only you can decide the nitty-gritty nuances that are right for your business, but here’s our advice to make sure your plan is coming from the right place and hitting all the right markers.

  • ‘Never forget why you started’

  • ‘Stay true to your original dream’

  • ‘Listen and talk to people around you’

  • 'Plan where and when you are going to spend money. You need to budget for advertising, web design, branding etc'

The Female Entrepreneur Association has lots of great tools to help you when starting and running a business, here is a really useful video and free printable to help you think about the key aspects. 

Mindset

We know there are Pinterest boards with thousands of quotes on dedicated to this exact purpose, but a positive mindset is super important for success (and especially self-belief.) We definitely believe in you a hundred per cent, but here’s a good starting point to get you in the right mindset to believe in yourself too.

  • ‘Work hard’ (every single one of us said this!)

  • ‘Power through hurdles and struggles’

  • ‘Love what you do! If you don’t, something needs to change’

  • ‘You get out what you put in – you really do’

  • ‘Congratulate yourself for everything’

  • ‘Stay true to yourself’

  • ‘Do what makes you happy’

  • 'Take the time to celebrate your successes, don't just focus on what you could be doing better'

  • 'Every six months stop and look back at how much you have achieved'

Social media

Everyone knows this is now the crucial next step in marketing, as unavoidable as having a business name. But what does a successful social media presence actually look like? As a blog with an obvious heavy presence on social media, all of our vendors recognise its importance and how to pull it off – here are their pointers to set you apart from the rest.

  • ‘Make friends and connections. Help them, support them, raise them – in true Wildcat style we’re all in this together’

  • ‘Network!’

  • ‘Build healthy relationships with other wedding professionals – then you can confidently recommend them to your brides, and can collaborate on projects to raise your profile. If you’re a lone worker it’s good to be able to tap into the benefits of knowing others in the industry that you can call on to discuss things with’

  • ‘Make sure you have good pictures! It’s what people will initially judge you on’

  • ‘Read your own personal following. Get to know what they like and dislike’

  • ‘Make sure it reflects you and what you stand for!’

The Working Day

So, you’ve dealt with the abstracts. By now, you’ve seen so many inspirational quotes you feel like you need a sabbatical from words in general, you’re feeling super positive and like everything’s within reach, and you’ve got a definite direction for the exciting times ahead. What about the actual logistics of a day in the office of a self-employed small wedding business owner? Bar the obvious—cups of tea, platefuls of biscuits, frequent Instagram refreshing—what’s important to the working day? Get an inside scoop as to how we go about our days below.

  • ‘Start early. Set a goal for the day and don’t stop working until you achieve it’

  • ‘Meet lovely people, and don’t be afraid to mark this as crucial business work’

  • ‘Try to delegate as much as possible. If you’re busy with little jobs, you don’t have time to grow your business. Try and find someone else to do day-to-day jobs you don’t have time to do personally’

  • ‘Plan targets day-by-day, then meet them’

  • ‘Get good accounts software. It makes life so much easier when you know exactly what you’re taking and spending!’

  • 'Do the basic things well, keep everything as simple as possible. Organise your time with definite focus'

If you run your own wedding business or are in the process of setting one up, you can join the And so to Business Cafe, a hub where like minded wedding professionals gather to share ideas, inspiration, collaborate, support each other and network. We'd love to see you there!

Written by Ellie Kime

Photography by Zoe Ann Photography

Sash & Veil

Sash & Veil

 Unique Venue For A Culturally Chic Wedding Day

Unique Venue For A Culturally Chic Wedding Day