Rebecca Buckingham...Heart Shaped Weddings
When did you start in this business and what did you do before?
I started Heart Shaped in Summer 2014. I'd had the idea for such a long time and finally decided while on maternity leave with my son, that I had to give this dream of mine a shot! So, while learning how to look after a baby I was also learning how to run a business (insert all the scary face emojis!)
Life before Heart Shaped was spent commuting to London everyday to work in the fashion industry – men’s tailoring to be exact (so I'm always super-keen to see what my groom and his pals will be wearing on the big day)
I worked with the buyers and designers of high street retailers and regularly made trips with them to the Far East and to the fabric shows in Paris
Believe me when I tell you that I’ve made it seem way more glam than it actually was! I just couldn’t imagine jumping back into that life once Max came along
Do you have a particular style?
Not really, but I see that as a plus. For me, it keeps things exciting and definitely more interesting than if I was only focussed on weddings of a particular type. My couples are all different, so it makes sense that their weddings are too!
I’ve worked in country houses, theatres, restaurants, marquees, old abandoned churches and warehouses – and loved them all equally for different reasons
What can a wedding planner do that a best friend or venue manager can’t do?
Wedding planners are all about the details
Not just making sure that the day runs smoothly, not just the details on the day, not just the pretty details and not just the jobs my couples feel they can entrust to friends or family (because let’s face it, you want the special people in your life enjoying themselves on your big day, not stressing about remembering the things they need to help out with!)
Wedding planners look at ALL the details from EVERY angle and make sure that everything works together seamlessly as it should – we don’t just look at individual elements of the wedding
Where do you get your inspiration?
I love the Australian blogs (Nouba & The Lane, I’m looking at you), the weddings they feature are always for me…perfect! I also love an interior magazine – I’m forever house dreaming and can see trends that I know I’m going to be able to use in some way. But, honestly, inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing a colour combo used on a card that will inspire me
What sort of info do you need to know when meeting with a prospective client?
Idea of budget, what (if anything) the couple have booked so far, areas they need help, what are their must haves and their no ways
I also love a proposal story too, not just because I’m a bit nosey(!) but because I like to get to know them as much as possible straight away
What is your favourite flower?
Ooh, this is a tricky one…whenever I see an amazing bouquet on Instagram I change my mind! I love a dahlia, a sweet pea, a hydrangea (as big as my head) and a dried honesty flower!
What sort of lead time do you need when taking on a project and can/would you do more than one wedding per weekend?
It depends what my couple need me to do. For my on-the-day service, I generally start working with a couple 6-8 weeks prior to their wedding, although I have been booked with just 2 weeks to go before! (Yep I remember that one?!)
For a partial, where the couple have done some planning themselves but are by no means finished, it’s typically 6-8 months, as it gives me enough time to source any suppliers that haven’t been booked and work on styling if needed
For a full plan, a year or more is ideal as we have enough time to get the biggies booked early on and then work on the finer details. Although, give me a time-frame that isn’t as long as these and I’ll make it work!
Multiple weddings on the same weekend is absolutely do-able depending on the service I am providing for each couple …I’ve done it in the past and would happily do it again. My feet were killing me for a week afterwards though!
What is your favourite type of client/style of wedding?
A relaxed couple that are open to suggestions are the dream! I know when I have my initial call whether or not I am the right fit for a couple and vice versa
The weddings where the bride and groom have a fun bunch of family and friends who all throw themselves into the day make for my fave kind
Do you have fixed prices or is each package tailored to the client?
I have fixed “from” prices on my website so couples can get an idea of how much I charge, and then once I have spoken to them and know a bit more about their needs I send them a tailored proposal based on their exact requirements
What's the most fun part of your job?
There’s a few things that give me a wedding high…working on an exciting design brief, spending the day with a group of suppliers that turn out to be the absolute dream team, and that moment just before the couple and their guests arrive, and you look around, do your final checks and everything has come together perfectly
What is the most important part of your job?
That I have taken the stress away from my couples and have made the process of planning their wedding exciting
And at the end of the night, whether that’s 9pm or 2am in the morning, that my couple’s day has been exactly as they wanted it to be and that I did the absolute best job I could to help give them that
What makes you laugh?
My kids! At 7 and 4 they’re absolute little jokers and make sure life isn’t taken too seriously!
Having worked with Rebecca many times, I can absolutely confirm that she is up for a laugh but always the professional when it comes to the day job! x