Tell us about you!!
We’re Mary and Philippa, a mother-daughter team from Mayfield, just outside of Ashbourne on the edge of the Peak National Park.
Mary is at the helm of Country Garden Weddings. She’s an expert treasure seeker and manages to source (and make!) all sorts of gems for our collection of decor and accessories. She got married in July 1977 with the most classic of country garden weddings – the only hitch was that the cake collapsed! Mary’s great loves in life are her family and friends, the valleys of France and the mountains of Scotland and her garden. In another life, she’d have made a superb member of the Groundforce team.
Philippa manages the creative side of things and has always been the entrepreneurial type, so if you’ve got an idea, the chances are she can make it a reality! She got married in June 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. Philippa’s dearest ambition is to be awarded a Blue Peter badge (sadly not yet forthcoming!) and her great love in life is the theatre. She’s got a flair for the dramatic…
Together, we think we make a good team for all things wedding!
What makes your business different?
We like to think that a combination of our unique (and often very quirky!) accessories, our bespoke range and sourcing service, and an incredibly personal approach make us a different kind of company to work with. Every wedding is different, and every marriage is different, and we like to make sure we can help every bride and groom design a wedding day that reflects their individuality and their future together.
We also are very proud of our bespoke service which has grown a lot over the past year, and love working with brides and grooms to create décor and accessories from scratch that are completely and utterly unique. Mary can whip up bespoke bunting, table runners, ties… she even made a very lucky bride a wedding day quilt from scraps of fabric used in her bunting, her bridesmaid dresses and her bouquet ties.
How did you get started
We set up Country Garden Weddings after planning Philippa’s ‘at home’ garden wedding in June 2015. With a healthy dose of fun and imagination, we worked with lots of family and friends to collect and design all sorts of decorations and accessories to create a unique, personal and quirky country garden wedding. We quickly realised that friends and family wanted to borrow the things we had made and collected for their own events, or to come us for advice as they were designing their own weddings. We also realised that we LOVED helping other people bring their wedding day to life, and so over a glass (or two!) of wine, Country Garden Weddings was born!
What do you love most about weddings?
Philippa is very clear on what she loves most about weddings, and it’s probably not what you’d expect from someone who’s involved with a décor and accessories business (hint: it’s not the décor and accessories, though they are one of the fun bits of the planning!).
It’s actually the bit in the service where the registrar or vicar asks the couple to declare their commitment to each other, and then asks the family and friends of the bride and groom to support the couple in their marriage. That’s the bit that reminds you that it’s not just two people making a promise, it’s a promise made in front of all the people that are most important to you, and that have supported you in that journey towards each other. You declare in front of them that – despite the ups and downs that will come your way – you’re going to commit to each other for the rest of your lives, and those friends and family in turn promise to support you both to do that. No man is an island, so they say, and no marriage either. It’s a beautiful, wonderful and very inspiring thing.
Any tip for brides looking into your type of service?
Lots of tips – firstly, believe in yourself and your wedding! The wedding industry, wedding blogs and social media can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, and we know the pressure that brides can feel to have a ‘pinterest-worthy’ wedding. Trust us, what you’re planning and imagining is perfect – go with your gut, not with Instagram!
We also really recommend taking the time to find suppliers that really “get” the kind of wedding you’re planning. Not every supplier will specialise in the type of event you’re putting together, and that’s totally cool – but pick someone who understands your vision and will help you realise it! And if you’ve got an idea and want to try and make it happen but you’re not quite sure how – then ask your suppliers! We’ll bet anything they’ll have just the solution.
Are there any special offers available for the wedding show?
Absolutely! We’re offering all brides and grooms planning a 2017 or 2018 wedding 15% off any order with Country Garden Weddings, as well as the opportunity to win a “mini-moon” in the Peak District!
Business: Country Garden Weddings
Name: Mary & Phillippa