So you’ve found your venue – now to turn it into your own personal party paradise. When your guests arrive, you want to hit them with the wow factor as well as letting them know that they’re at YOUR wedding. But what if you don’t have the time or the skill to create all that personalised décor? Well that’s where Things by Laura comes in…
Designer maker Laura Reed is a whizz with paper – after making all her own wedding décor, she decided to set up a business offering a styling and decoration service. Great new for us, as we can now steal her cool and quirky look for our own weddings! Let’s find out what it’s all about…
Hi Laura! Welcome to The Paper Bride. How did you get into all this paper crafting?
Hello! Well I studied furniture and product design at uni, where I often made models in paper and card. After graduating, I worked in the world of retail window displays. Paper is used a lot in window displays for its costs effective and recyclable nature and the fact that it is light weight.
When my husband and I got engaged in 2011, I found that crafting and designing for our wedding allowed me to combine all of the best bits of my job and degree into one! As we were on a small budget, I reverted back to paper and crafted a lot of the decorations in paper. After the wedding, I decided that I had enjoyed myself so much, I did’t want it to end and TBL was born. Since our wedding, my style and skills have developed and I hope they will go on doing so for many years to come.
Your designs look intricate – do they take a long time to make?
They can do yes! It depends on what I’m making, I have got quite quick at making paper flowers now which take 10-30 minutes each from start to finish but if I have lots of the same style to make, I am a one woman production line and it can be quicker! The paper owls that I make took a couple of days each.
So who comes up with the ideas – you or the bride and groom?
That’s a really good question, there is no single answer. It really depends on the couple and their wedding. I have worked with brides who know exactly how their big day is going to look and often have already crafted a lot themselves by the time they get in touch. Usually for them, I send out one of my swatch packs, they choose colours and order exactly what they know they are missing.
On the other hand, I have worked with brides who like my style but don’t really know what they want or how to go about getting it. In these instances, we usually meet up and chat weddings! I then go away with pages of notes on them and their weddings, collate them and go back with a mood board and some sketched ideas and we go from there.
There are also variations in between and I like them all equally, variation keeps me on my toes!
How much can brides expect to pay for your service? Do you sell individual items as well as a complete styling service?
Absolutely, from day one I have always said no project is too big or too small. I have sold single paper flowers right up to designing, delivering and installing a window display across three different cities (London, Edinburgh and Bath). Paper flowers start from £4/£5 for the smallest size. On the day styling and venue dressing starts from £280.
My experience in commercial design means that I am good at taking peoples budgets and working out how to maximise them. For example, a full-on bespoke backdrop with giant paper flowers and ribbon streamers could costs as much as £400-£500 but if a couple explained to me that they only had £300 in their budget, I wold work out which elements could be dropped from the design and what cheaper items could be added in order to get them what they want for the money they have. I like a challenge!
What inspires you?
I draw inspirations from all sorts of places! I love colour and texture and experimenting with new materials. I recently went on a trip to Japan with my husband which was hugely inspirational. Equally, wondering around London, where I live, I pick up ideas from window displays, packaging design, poster graphics, exhibitions, parks….
The most inspirational thing for my work at TBL though is the couples themselves. I love to get to know people so that we can work together to really incorporate them and their personalities into their weddings, to make them truly personal to them. For example, last summer one of my couples had the same first initial and a very cutsie candy pop theme so I suggested cutting lots of mini ‘T’s’ out of paper for them to scatter over their tables. They loved the idea and it was a great way of bring colour and personality to the tables.
That’s so cute! Your wedding day looked amazing too, what was your favourite bit? (Click here to take a peak)
This is a tough question as I had so many favourite bits! The first three that spring to mind today are: walking back down the aisle hand in hand, the trip to the reception in a vintage 1959 Bedford bus with prosecco and our nearest and dearest and moving from table to table to chat to all of our guests during the hog roast. Ask me tomorrow and I would probably have a different three, it was just the best day ever, as corny as that may sound!
Feeling inspired! Head on over to Laura’s site and take a look at some more of her amazing creations. Enjoy…