Meet our Supplier of the Month: Tilly Clayden Weddings

01 / 02 / 20

February supplier of the month Whitewed directory blog Tilly Clayden Weddings Wedding planner Gloucestershire Cotswold planning bride to be wedding day ceremony

*Photo Credit: Tanli Joy Photography

Each month we like to get to know a supplier even better and bring you snippets you won't know about them from their page. This month our supplier of the month is Tilly Clayden Weddings, a qualified wedding planner with a love for details, personal touches and telling your story.

Your wedding should be ‘magical, memorable and the best day of your life, but getting to that day can be a stressful journey.' With a Diploma in Wedding Planning, Styling and Design, Tilly Clayden can guide you through the entire planning process and co-ordination of your wedding day. From just a few hours of planning assistance to full management, the choice of the level of help required is as bespoke as your wedding day itself.

Let’s here what Tilly had to say when we quizzed her…

February supplier of the month Whitewed directory blog Tilly Clayden Weddings Wedding planner Gloucestershire Cotswold planning bride to be wedding day table plan seating plan rustic*Photo Credit: Tanli Joy Photography

Who runs Tilly Clayden Weddings and how did you start out in business?

Charlotte Tilly Clayden (a.k.a. me!) runs Tilly Clayden Weddings. If I’m working a particularly big wedding, I have a few industry friends I can bring in to assist me, but otherwise I’m a one-woman band.

I started my business a year ago after completing my Level 4 Diploma in Wedding Planning, Styling and Design with the view of helping like-minded couples create their perfect wedding. I have a strong background in events with a huge passion for the industry, so when I finally started up my own business, it was a huge but very exciting leap!

What is your greatest fear when you are working on a wedding?

Part of my job as a wedding planner is to not have any fears and not stress out, at least on the outside anyway! Of course, there’s always that worry that someone will cause a problem (usually family related!) or something will go wrong, but hopefully all of the planning I do beforehand will help avoid any issues on the day itself and ease the strain if something was to happen. I always have my emergency kit with me on the day - you’d be amazed at the situations I can fix with my trusty tool kit!

What is your greatest extravagance that helps you get through the day?

Comfy shoes and caffeine! I love my job and I am genuinely buzzing all day just because I’m loving every aspect of it. It doesn’t bother me that I work 14-16 hours on my couple’s wedding day because what I do makes their special day perfect for them and that really is all that matters.

February supplier of the month Whitewed directory blog Tilly Clayden Weddings Wedding planner Gloucestershire Cotswold planning bride to be wedding day mr and mrs just married autumnal wedding day*Photo Credit: Marcus Rice Photography

What is the best theme you have seen at a wedding?

Oh gosh, there’s so many lovely themes and colour schemes that it’s hard to pick - especially as each one is such an individual choice to the couple. I love anything Disney or fairy-tale themed, but I think the best one for overall impact was an ‘enchanted forest’ wedding. It was absolutely stunning; the look was cohesive and consistently gorgeous throughout the whole wedding - I loved setting it all up for them!

What is the hardest or most nerve-racking thing a couple has ever asked you to do for their day?

One couple asked me to play their ceremony music through the sound system for them, and though this isn’t typically a hard thing to do, it certainly made me nervous (internally, of course).

At my own wedding the church Verger played our music through the system for us, but we ended up walking out of the church to an Ellie Goulding club song, rather than ‘How long will I love you’! It was a total error, but I was a relaxed Bride and we just went with it - it became a good story to tell afterwards but is one of the reasons I decided to become a Wedding Planner.

So, with my own wedding experience in mind, I was a little nervous about getting it wrong for my lovely couple. I wasn’t worried about anything else that day, except this, but it all went perfectly, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief after!

When was the last time you laughed out loud at a wedding? What happened?

I was on my way to make sure that the sparklers weren’t being used before the sparkler photos (and possibly hide them until the right time), and I found one of the guests using a sparkler as a skewer for his marshmallow. I politely rectified the situation before that ended up with needing an ambulance, but not before the Groom saw, came over and took the mick out of him! I couldn’t help but laugh!

February supplier of the month Whitewed directory blog Tilly Clayden Weddings Wedding planner Gloucestershire Cotswold planning bride to be wedding day decor drinks reception*Photo Credit: Tanli Joy Photography

What moment are you most proud of in your profession?

Following a wedding I managed in October, I received an amazing video testimonial from my couple. They sang my praises on the day itself but to receive such a lovely review from them afterwards was beyond heartwarming. I was beaming for weeks afterwards.

Where is your favourite setting for a wedding?

I love lots of different styles of venue as they are all so unique, but barns, manor houses and castles are probably at the top of my favourite settings list. What I love most of all, is somewhere that’s naturally quiet with no noise from traffic and busy roads, just beautiful country.

I think that’s probably because I’m from London originally, so I’m used to the hustle and bustle of city life. I’ve since moved to the Cotswold’s and I just love the peace and tranquillity that it brings – it’s wonderful!

What is the one thing you can’t live without in your job?

One thing?! It would have to be my phone - I can use it as a diary, for communication, manage my Instagram and do most of my planning work on it, if I had to. I love using notebooks and my diary though, as well as post-it notes and pretty pens - I love stationery!

February supplier of the month Whitewed directory blog Tilly Clayden Weddings Wedding planner Gloucestershire Cotswold planning bride to be wedding day origami decor *Photo Credit: Capture Every Moment Photography

What question do you wish every couple would ask you when you are meeting with them for the first time?

I ask so many questions when I meet a potential client for the first time that I honestly love it when they ask me anything, otherwise it can feel quite one-sided.

If there’s a specific area of your planning that’s important to you or you’re worried about, make sure you say so. I want to make sure that I’m doing the best for both of you and giving you exactly what you need - so make sure I know what that is and feel free to ask lots of questions!

Where do you draw inspiration from for your work?

For me, I love to get inspiration from books - I’m such a bookworm. Not all my work is based on novels, but I just find the writing and the imagery kicks the artistic side of my brain into gear. When I’m trying to design a mood board for a wedding, I usually have a good look through Pinterest before I start brainstorming ideas and gathering relevant images. I also have a ton of design, art and wedding books that are a great resource too.

How soon after getting engaged should couples get in touch to book their initial consultation?

If you’re hoping to have full wedding planning support, then definitely get in touch as soon as you’re considering using a planner. I only take on a handful of full planning weddings at one time, in order to give my couples the dedication and focus that their special day deserves and needs.

Perhaps if you know from the outset that you want to do the majority of the planning yourself but will definitely need some support in the latter stages and on the big day itself, then I’d suggest anywhere between a year and a month beforehand. Obviously the sooner the better, especially if your date is within the busier months of ‘wedding season’ as I’d hate for you to miss out on my services because I was already booked up.

February supplier of the month Whitewed directory blog Tilly Clayden Weddings Wedding planner Gloucestershire Cotswold planning bride to be wedding day laying out the bridal dress couple photos*Photo Credit: Tanli Joy Photography

What’s your top piece of advice to anyone wanting to plan and design their wedding with you?

I love hearing your ideas, but if you don’t know where to start, that’s OK too! That’s what I’m here for. In our consultations, I will get to know both of you, as individuals and as a couple. Your history, your likes and dislikes, your quirky stories and family backgrounds. My greatest piece of advice is to not be afraid to open up - I’ll be your closest confidant for all things ‘weddings’ and by learning lots about you I’ll be able to create something truly personal, unique and special for you.

What would people be surprised to learn about you and/or your work?

Even though I have quite a stereo-typically feminine job and my favourite hobby is reading, I also do kickboxing! I’ve been doing it for over a year, have a regional gold medal and I’m constantly learning new things from it. Fingers crossed I never have to apply any of my self-defence skills though!

What are you top five 5 tips?

  • When deciding on your budget allocations, make sure you set aside some of it for any unexpected costs.
  • Create a colour palette or mood board for your wedding and use this to communicate your vision to all of your suppliers.
  • Pick suppliers whose style and personality you love - if you click well with them, then having them involved with your wedding will feel natural and easy.
  • Visit your venue with your coordinator before the day. Walking and talking through the running of your wedding day will help you visualise how the day will come together and will make you feel more at ease on the day itself.
  • Take a moment to yourselves on your wedding day. The day flies by so quickly that you could easily get to the end of it without having a true moment alone. Take a walk outside together or steal a moment alone in a quiet room to share a newlywed kiss and finally call each other Husband and Wife.

February supplier of the month Whitewed directory blog Tilly Clayden Weddings Wedding planner Gloucestershire Cotswold planning bride to be wedding day evening reception*Photo Credit: Tanli Joy Photography

Loved finding out a few unknown gems about Tilly Clayden weddings? If you head over to her Whitewed Directory Page you can find out even more, swoon through images of her styled shoots and gorgeous weddings, and make contact to arrange your initial consultation or quote today.

Why not also follow Tilly on Instagram and Facebook for inspiration, top tips, exciting sneak peeks and her latest whereabouts!

Hopefully you’ve found out lots of useful information from us on Tilly Clayden Weddings, now it’s your time to introduce yourself to her and find out how she could help with your wedding day plans…

*Some of the images used within this blog are from collaborative supplier photo shoots. Full credits are given on the website of Tilly Clayden Weddings.