All throughout July, we’re going to be sharing some thought provoking interviews with some awesome suppliers. We’ve interviewed experts across the wedding industry to get their inside take on what it means to plan a wedding. We’ll be talking advice, inspiration and about some of the biggest challenges of planning your day.
First up, we’ve been talking to Buffy Jones, the wedding co-ordinator at Arnos Vale Weddings in Bristol. They have stunning venue with different options for a stunning outdoor woodland wedding as well as unique inside wedding options.
For those who may not have come across your work before, can you describe a little about your business and how you got into running a wedding venue?
I am the wedding coordinator at Arnos Vale Cemetery - a Victorian Garden Cemetery based in Bristol- it’s not as scary as it sounds! We offer 3 unique wedding venues which you can mix and match for your celebrations. I’ve previously worked as a wedding photographer and when I moved to Bristol 3 years ago I decided on a change of career and I absolutely love it!
Who or what inspires the creativity in your work?
Honestly, my couples inspire me- it may sound corny but it’s completely true! Part of my ethos is that it’s your wedding and you should absolutely do whatever you want. If you want just friends attending, a goat display or have pizzas for your wedding breakfast then let’s do it!
What trends are you currently seeing and how do you predict the future of weddings?
In the current climate everyone is money conscious and it’s important to be realistic especially for your wedding! I see a lot of couples incorporating personal touches to their décor and focusing more on music and food - picnic hampers, food trucks and grazing tables are a great way to provide a steady flow of food throughout the celebrations.
What advice would you give couples when choosing their wedding venue?
As with relationships, finding a wedding venue is about compromise. You may find the most amazing venue for your celebrations, but if it’s in the middle of the countryside with limited public transport guests will find it hard to access. A natural backdrop is a must for me but with our English weather an indoor space is also very important. Your wedding coordinator will play a vital role in your wedding. A coordinator that is attentive, fun and a good communicator is crucial for the smooth planning of your wedding day.
Why do you think people should consider an outdoor venue?
Who doesn’t love the thought of birds singing and sun light glistening through the trees as you marry your best friend! With all the technology and activity in our lives it’s important to reconnect with nature and totally immerse yourself in a relaxing and calming atmosphere.
How far in advance do you suggest couples come talk to you?
Most of my couples’ book about 9 months in advance, though the earlier the better so you can start planning. We are a charity and host a maximum of 45 weddings a year meaning we have a variety of dates available for even those spontaneous wedding celebrations.
Which wedding blogs, magazines or other resources do you recommend that couples check out, to gain inspiration?
The infamous Rock and Roll Bride is currently my go to magazine- great inspiration for couples that want to create something colourful and imaginative. I also love Unconventional Wedding which is full of unique wedding ideas and real themed weddings.
In three words how would you describe your brand/business?
Finally, what's the best thing about running your business?
Every morning I walk through the woods, under a canopy of ash and sycamore trees to find my office based in one of our Victorian lodges. Arnos Vale Cemetery has a rich history and a deep connection with the local community, it’s wonderful to see all the hard work from our small team and volunteers pay off- the site is now a rare urban haven for local wildlife. Hosting weddings and events throughout the year ensure this very unusual and unique site is preserved for future generations, as a passionate history lover knowing that I am contributing to the conservation of the site is the best thing about my job.
P. S. Look out for more interviews with amazing wedding suppliers over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing them over on our Facebook.