Image: Joe Short Photography
Chitter Chatter is a series all about inspirational women in the wedding industry whom I greatly admire. These women successfully combine running their own business with married life and in a lot of cases, raising a young family. The ‘Chitter Chatter’ twist is is they have to answer my questions in just 140 characters or less….
Today I’m chitter chattering to a wonderful wedding industry colleague, Kelly Chandler, founder of The Bespoke Wedding Company. Kelly specialises in planning weddings for discerning couples hosting their weddings in and around the London area, and lives with her husband, 3 year old daughter, and cat, in rural Surrey (just outside London). She thrives on juggling business alongside motherhood… well, most days!
What was your first job?
A Saturday job at M&S Epsom, my mum was so proud! And the reduced-price food leftovers at the end of the day were welcome!
Tell me more about your career before launching The Bespoke Wedding Company
My organiser’s talent shone early; office management led me to pharmaceutical events. Conference and incentive travel followed with plenty of global travel.
What made you start The Bespoke Wedding Company ?
Wanting to focus on the personal and the luxury and wanting to travel less and work in the events industry on my own terms.
What inspires you to keep growing and developing your business?
Other wonderful inspiring and hard working women in the wedding business who do amazing things, encourage me to keep growing and powering on.
What obstacles have you overcome along the way?
Too many to name and they are always there but it would be boring if it was easy — right?
What is the best opportunity The Bespoke Wedding Company has brought you?
A chance to continually develop and learn so much more than any employed career would have given me.
What’s your best tip for a work / life balance?
Value your time at work and your time at home in the same way. You are your own worst enemy; be strict and set firm ground rules.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
Stick true to your values — not all business is good business. Pass up the good opportunities for the great.
97% of Britain’s small creative businesses are run by women. Why do you think this is?
Because we’re the best. Can I say that?
How did you meet your husband?
His sister was my boss in one of my early jobs and she did some matchmaking.
What was the highlight of your wedding day?
My Choccywoccydoodah cake creation which was revolutionary 15 years ago. I should answer that the husband was the highlight shouldn’t I?
Was there anything standout about what you wore?
Hmm, not really other than I wouldn’t choose it now!
Looking back, is there anything you would change about your wedding?
Er yes – parts of it, except the husband and the cake — you know the important bits!
What are your top tips for brides-to-be when planning their wedding?
Work out your 3-4 key priorities and stick to them — always. Keep a sense of humour.
Secret to a happy marriage?
Give each other space to be independent and pursue your own dreams but support each other endlessly.
A glass of pink fizz and a family dance around the kitchen with our 3 year old on a Friday night.
Well behaved women seldom make history
iPhone no doubt
So hard to choose one, revisiting all the Disney classics currently with my 3 year old!
Calvi, Corsica. One of my most favourite places on earth.
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
If you could be trapped in a lift with any living person who would it be and why?
Slightly in jest: my husband. We would have time to talk properly.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know… preferably non work-related
I speak French fluently but keep it well hidden!
What is your guilty pleasure?
A latte — a must-have when out and about and I’ll regularly stop off for my little cup of magic that brings so much happiness.
What did you do today?
Juggled a million different things before breakfast. Giggled, planned, moaned, sighed, worried, hurried, laughed!
Off to eat lunch — this is hungry work sticking to 140 characters!
Thank you Kelly! Enjoy more of The Bespoke Wedding Company on: