In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re shining a light on the achievements of female wedding business owners. Women have long played a prominent role in the wedding industry. From wedding planners and coordinators to wedding designers, photographers, florists, cakemakers, caterers, and more, women make up 80% of the wedding industry! Read the success stories, achievements and advice of some of Bridebook’s top female business owners below.
About Mercedes: Mercedes (she/her) is a qualified venue stylist and prides herself on having great customer service and high attention to detail. She owns and manages 4YaParty Weddings & Events, specialising in providing eco-friendly and sustainable wedding and event decor, upcycled wedding decor, prop hire, and sweet treats. She says no to balloons and no to single-use plastic. Plus, for every booking she makes, she’ll have a tree planted in your honour!
Proudest achievement to date: “Becoming an accredited member of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, making weddings eco-friendly by being carbon neutral for 2 years!”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Being a black, queer, disabled, female business owner comes with many challenges! But the biggest challenge I have is believing in myself and knowing my worth! Believing in the value that my service brings to the wedding industry. But I have an epic support network in family, friends, the SWA and wedding suppliers, who have become friends!”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Meeting lovely couples from all walks of life and hearing their love stories, watching their personality as a couple unfold in their wedding decor!”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “My biggest advice for any woman who wants to start their own business is to make sure you’re passionate about whatever you choose! Running your own business is not a get rich quick route at all! It’s a very slow burner lol so if you don’t truly love it, then when it gets hard, it will be too easy to give up!”
About Gemma: Gemma is a leading entrepreneur and businesswoman in the hospitality industry with a number of nationally recognised restaurants, hospitality venues, catering companies and social enterprises under her guiding hand. She began her career in her teens, when she famously became the youngest licensee in the country. Over the last two decades she has developed a wide portfolio across the UK, successfully building iconic venues that are rooted in their communities. ****She opened The Isla Gladstone Conservatory in 2014 in the heart of Stanley Garden.
Proudest achievement to date: “They all said it couldn’t be done…A glass house in Liverpool…We have gone from strength to strength each year and have an all-women management team!”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “COVID…To see your hard work and dream stopped with nothing you could do about it. Having to break bride’s and groom’s hearts postponing their date time and time again, when we didn’t know when we could open again. It was truly the hardest time ever.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “It’s a happy place to be. Guests arrive happy, venue looks beautiful, and we get to be one of the happiest memories for brides and grooms.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Believe in what you do…Look for support…Employ the best people to be around you…And enjoy!!!”
About Stacey: Stacey, a.k.a. the “turbocharged wedding booking superstar”, is founder and CEO of The Venue Experts. She comes with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. From managing wedding venues and developing businesses in the hospitality sector to hosting large-scale events at some of the East Midlands’ best-known events companies, she is ready to take on any challenge. Stacey has extensive knowledge of managing venues in-house, having had business development and sales consultant roles at properties including Belvoir Castle and Hodsock Priory.
Proudest achievement to date: “I was recognised as one of the top 100 Female Entrepreneurs to watch by The Telegraph and NatWest.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Starting a business in the pandemic.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Making a difference in the industry and being considered as one of the leading experts.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Believe in yourself, know your worth, and remember that it is worth the risk.”
About Natalie: Natalie is an independent celebrant and proud founder of Velvet Moon Ceremonies. She loves crafting bespoke, personal ceremonies that reflect each couple as individuals and their story together so far. This includes matching both the tone (be it fun and laidback, or sentimental and romantic) and theme (traditional or alternative), and learning what’s most important to the couple. She weaves all this together into their script, to create a truly unique ceremony.
Proudest achievement to date: “I’m proud that within my first proper year of weddings I already got to do one of my dream ceremonies – one themed around the video game series Final Fantasy! I love being able to write meaningful, special ceremonies for couples that reflect who they are and what they enjoy whilst they celebrate their love for each other.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Having 2020 as what should have been my first wedding season! Obviously everything got pushed back and it’s been slow going, but I’m proud of what I achieved last year and I couldn’t have asked for better couples to work with.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Being part of someone’s wedding day, surrounded by so many talented women who are amazing at their work! There’s so much build up, and being a 2023 bride myself I know how much work goes into the planning and the trust you have to have for every supplier involved to understand what you want and bring it together on the day.
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Network – there are so many other amazing women in this business who have been through what you have or struggled in similar ways. They can provide support and advice on any issue you’re facing as well as cheer you on and celebrate your wins.”
About Jemma: Jemma is the proud owner and director of Charlesworth Classics Ltd. She works with couples from start to finish to choose and arrange the perfect transport for their special day. From vintage and classic London taxis to iconic Rolls Royces, there’s something for everyone. She hand-picks all the drivers herself, and prides herself on the service she provides.
Proudest achievement to date: “Breaking through the wedding car industry! I am not aware of another female director in this field local to me currently. This is still a very male dominated role, and there is still a very strong “boys’ club” mentality, which I hope will change in years to come. I have been very fortunate to have the support of my husband (which has made interactions with other wedding car companies a little easier), and to have been included with a select few individuals with whom I work very closely and experience no prejudice.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “I think my biggest challenge/lesson has been to follow my instincts. Prior to starting my company I was a stay-at-home wife. I had no experience what-so-ever. I just knew this was something I wanted. When COVID came, I refused to jump on the panic bandwagon. I made the most of the down-time and grew my business and feel I was in a good position to move forward once normality was restored.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “My couples! I love hearing the stories behind why my couples want to book my cars, whether it’s because we have been recommended by friends or family, or they simply just love our cars. There is always a story there and I love hearing them. Looking back at photos and receiving a review, reading the appreciation of the service my team and I have provided, there really is no better feeling!”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Believe and achieve! Mindset is one of the most important parts of owning your own business. Find other women with your mindset and work together, pick each other up. Owning your own business can be very lonely. You spend a lot of time alone so a good support network is very beneficial – you don’t even need to work in the same field.”
About Nyssa: Nyssa is the owner and manager of the Edinburgh School of Food & Wine. She prides herself on delivering a first-class service, having a dedicated wedding team to ensure each couple’s day runs perfectly from beginning to end. She organises and manages everything from wedding catering, bar services, room set up, lighting options, and prop selection. Couples can also choose from stag and hen do packages at the cook school, ranging from cocktail masterclasses to champagne, whisky or wine tasting, to BBQ cookery and food masterclasses.
Proudest achievement to date: “Finalist for 3 wedding awards as caterer of the year.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Taking over the business mid-COVID and making it a success whilst also being mum to three young kids.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Making specials for our clients, the delight of delicious food and great service!”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Take the leap! It is so fulfilling to run your own business. It is hard work but worth every minute.”
About Lily: Lily is a passionate professional singer-guitarist who has been performing in and around Yorkshire at wedding and other private milestone celebrations for the last 10 years. A true expert in her field, she has played at all types of weddings, from cliff tops in Portugal to a DIY woodland wedding. She strives to make every couple’s day special, from singing as you walk down the aisle, to entertaining guests during the photos, and can create custom playlists of wedding songs.
Proudest achievement to date: “Singing at my first wedding abroad was very special! Also the fact I managed to get so many bookings that I could leave my full-time teaching job, which made me so stressed I got ill. I’m now happy and thriving and working at 10% of the capacity I was before.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Making the move from part-time to full-time. The instability of self-employed work is so scary, but now I’m in it I could never go back!
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Getting to be involved in the best day of people’s lives. Everyone is happy at a wedding, and that happiness spreads.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Find something that doesn’t feel like work. And enjoy every moment! When you genuinely love your job, everything else in your life fits into place. Take every opportunity you can but also look after yourself and put aside time for yourself!”
About Sarah: Sarah is an award-winning professional cake artist and proud owner of The Purple Pumpkin Cake Company. After a career in retail management, she made the inspiring decision to turn her hobby into her profession. She creates bespoke wedding cakes and fresh designs for every couple, to make your cake individual and unique to you. Having inherited baking from her mum, and now with four children of her own, family is everything to her.
Proudest achievement to date: “I’ve won two business awards alongside cake awards. Being awarded for my business skills was amazing!
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Apart from COVID you mean? Being a mother of four, then taking on the custody of my six-month old grandson, while caring for my dying mum, while running a successful business, off the back of COVID, and still smiling always!”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “I get to meet loads of excited, varied and different couples, and be part of their stories! I also love working alongside other fantastic suppliers.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “People buy from people, so be more you. Don’t look at others and try to copy them. Be yourself, and you’ll be successful. If you’re always comparing yourself to others you’ll never get there!”
About Emily: Emily is empathetic and quirky Belgian-born photographer with a passion for being who we are unashamedly. Her commitment is pure and simple – to tell each couple’s unique story sensitively and with humanity. Based in St Albans, Hertfordshire, but working across the UK, she produces images and photo albums that you will treasure for decades to come. She has been lovingly described as “approachable, upfront, honest, hopeful, curious, quirky.”
Proudest achievement to date: “Being back at square 1 in a brand new career aged 37 and building a sustainable business from scratch.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Managing my own expectations of what can be achieved. Owning a business is a few full-time jobs in one with a huge variety of skillsets to be acquired over time. I have to accept that I can’t acquire them all at once. I have to be patient.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Being totally independent when making my own decisions to grow my own business. My daily successes are mine and mine alone to celebrate.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Don’t ever believe any unsupportive voices…whether they come from others or from yourself. Us women have a tendency to have in-built doubt in what we are capable of. We have to fight that inner voice. We can achieve whatever we set our mind to in our own way, using our own strengths and our own uniqueness.”
About Jade: Jade is an experienced film maker, videographer and owner of Hushabye Films. She spent over 15 years in broadcast television, working as a shooting producer/director, with experience across channels such as the BBC, ITV, MTV, E4, C4, Sky and various other satellite channels, with credits on high-profile programmes including the BAFTAs, Big Brother, T4, Comic Relief and V Festival. She has also created hours of online, YouTube and corporate content. She takes a cool, calm and personalised approach to shooting wedding films.
Proudest achievement to date: “When I decided to shoot weddings, I knew straight away I was going to do things differently! I took everything I had learnt from my 10+ years working as a TV producer and used it to make wedding films that people actually wanted to watch! When I started there were no “fun” wedding videographers. There was a HUGE gap in the market and I grabbed it with both hands! I’ve now shot over 200 weddings.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “COVID!!! We were NOT prepared for that!!! But somehow I managed to shoot some small weddings and make promotional films to earn some income and spend hours everyday moving dates and making sure I could still film all the weddings the following year whilst also shooting all the new ones!”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Working with the clients you want to work with and being creative everyday. I love the wedding industry and all the talented supplier friends I’ve made.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Don’t worry about what other people are doing with their businesses. Do what’s right for you and recognise that everyone is at a different stage of their own journey. Don’t carbon copy a business because it looks like it’s successful. Take inspiration if you have to but always put your own spin on it so you can be proud of your achievements.”
About Harriet: Harriet is a Sheffield-based illustrator and graphic designer who specialises in creating hand-drawn bespoke wedding stationery. Working on a friend’s wedding stationery made her fall in love with the creative process. Since then, she has gone on to showcase her work at wedding fairs and attract a whole host of couples wanting something special for their wedding stationery. Harriet is passionate about creating unique designs that celebrate the wedding venue, reflect the couple’s interests, or even feature a beloved furry friend who can’t attend the big day.
Proudest achievement to date: “I’m most proud of my portrait seating plans! I’m so excited whenever couples want to work with me on them. The amount of work put into drawing every guest individual portraits and piecing it together is massive but so rewarding, and such a fabulous keepsake for the couples themselves.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Realising that your product/style might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s a good thing. Because it makes what you do so much more unique and custom.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Delivering all the stationery goodies! There’s so much excitement from the couples, and I’m very grateful to be part of the buildup.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Believe in yourself and your product. If you’re giving it 100% then your passion will shine through.”
About H: As well as looking after the marketing and social media side of Lawley Fine Jewellers, H is a passionate jeweller and specialist in handmade engagement and wedding rings. She loves being at the bench and mastering the technical skills required to make beautiful pieces.
Proudest achievement to date: “Our biggest achievement is definitely the popularity and feedback of our Make Your Own Wedding Rings experiences. This year was our busiest yet!”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Definitely the pandemic, which really hit the industry hard. We consider ourselves fortunate in that we were able to keep going. It was a stressful time both for couples organising their big days and for all the suppliers serving them.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Being involved in a small way in each couple’s plans – especially with their wedding rings, which will be worn and cherished every day – is something amazing and we feel honoured. Also, making such great friends with other local talented wedding suppliers has been a wonderful surprise, as it’s something we didn’t expect. Being able to support each other and recommend trusted suppliers to our couples is fantastic.”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Follow your own path and be authentic. Have each other’s backs and support each other, be it to share and recommend or offer friendly advice.”
About Amy: Amy is the founder and owner Beewildblooms, a family-run floristry business in Scotland. She specialises in unique wedding flowers and decor, as well as floral masterclasses and 1:1 classes. She is proud to have been featured in both Rock N Roll Bride Magazine and Rock My Wedding. Her style is rustic, wild, romantic, and most certainly one-of-a-kind!
Proudest achievement to date: “Starting our family floristry business during lockdown with no clients – selling £16 arrangements to doorsteps and now becoming a finalist for best wedding florist [for the Scottish Confetti Wedding Awards 2023] and being fully booked for 2023.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “Having zero funding or savings after redundancy and building my business whilst also being a full-time mum at home.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Delivering a bespoke and personalised service to our lovely couples – we keep numbers small to deliver big joy!”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Be authentic – YOU are your own super power! Keep trying different things until you find something that makes you happy and fills your cup. You are running your own business for a reason, because you can and you want to – so never forget your why! Don’t compare to others as everyone is at a different stage in business!”
About Becky: At Lavelle Bridal Couture, it’s just Becky, all the way. From booking your very first private bridal appointment to the big day, she’s with you every step of the way. Having learnt to sew at the age of 10, she pursued a career in fashion and textiles, working for various design houses and retailers before opening her own bridal boutique right in the heart Warwick. Before opening her shop, she first studied wedding dress design at the London College of Fashion, so knows exactly what’s involved in the construction and how to advise on dress customisations and alterations.
Proudest achievement to date: “My biggest achievement happens every day in my small business… The majority of women feel super nervous when it comes to wedding dress shopping, and I always feel so proud when a bride leaves my boutique with the biggest smile on her face, having had the most amazing wedding dress shopping experience with me. I pride myself on helping brides feel comfortable and confident in their own skin so they feel gorgeous in their dream wedding dress.”
Biggest challenge to overcome: “COVID was a huge challenge for any business, but also supporting brides through such tough times was very challenging at times. The uncertainty of weddings was tough to navigate but I’m very proud to say that I’ve come through it and thrived.”
Best part about owning a wedding business: “Feeling honoured to be chosen by my brides to take a part in their special day and the emotions that brides feel and experience when they find the perfect dress. It’s such a special moment and I love that I can be a part of that!”
Advice to aspiring female business owners: “Collaboration over competition, every day. I always think there is no competition as no-one can be you. Just be yourself and you’ll find the people who love what you do. If you support one another it will always pay you back at some point and then you’ll make great friends across a variety of industries who can support you through your journey.”
The wedding industry owes a great debt to the countless female business owners who have dedicated themselves to making couples’ special days truly unforgettable through their creativity and hard work. We hope that the inspiring stories and insights shared by the female business owners featured here will encourage more women to follow in their footsteps and continue to make a mark on the wedding industry for many years to come.
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