I remember the day the idea began; travelling home from The Vale Resort after a hefty workout on a Saturday Night when Rod announced he was "forced" to start using a PC in work, and stumbled across a website in Canada that used white homing Rock Doves for weddings and funerals. He showed me this, and within 6 weeks we had sourced our first 12 pure White Doves. It took a lot longer to get suitable baskets and cages for them! Id always wanted to make the most of Rods unbelievable knowledge of his racing pigeons and the dedication he gave to keeping them fit, healthy and loved. I felt I'd found it that night and excitedly got to thinking about how to set up this business - and what to call it!
We had friends who often referred to a "romantic" night in as having a "Lovey Dovey" time, and following a few glasses of wine in their company watching Wales v Ireland 6 Nations game, it hit me what we should be called. 2am and the name was registered with companies house! Lovey Dovey UK hit the web shortly afterwards.
We did our 1st 2 weddings for free, just for the experience and the photos. From there Lovey Dovey UK blossomed - or flew to be more appt 😊 into doing over 300 weddings a year! We were delighted when Laura Smith from The Vale Resort and Alyssa Fern from Llechwen Hall Hotel said they would recommend us, and soon followed other fantastic Wedding Venues across South Wales such as Bryn Meadows DeCourceys Manor, Miskin Manor, Canada Lodge, Glen Yr Afon, Maes Manor, The Parkway Hotel, Coed Y Mwstwr, New House Hotel, The Bear Hotel, Cwrt Bleddyn, The Heronston Hotel Manor Parc Swansea, Lakeside Venue, Eastwood Park, Tortworth Court, and many more. Its is fantastic being recommended by these wonderful Welsh Wedding Venues, but an even greater honour to still remain the only Dove Release Supplier recommended by them. Celtic Manor always come to us if one of their brides want doves too and we have just been recommended by The Lysghat Institute and Future Inns Cardiff. We are truly appreciative of every recommendation no matter where it comes from. We have families that book us for special occasions annually and funerals too. We work with many independent funeral directors, The Co-Op, Green Willow and Dignity and are again so proud that it is us they come to when their families are in need of a dove release service.
We also bake Welsh Cakes as platters and favours under the name of Megan's Welsh Cakes, which was inspired by my mother in law (from my 1st marriage) who was more like a mother to me. Miss her greatly, but everytime I bake, she is thought of! We no longer do favours during peak wedding season - too busy with our Doves! ❤
As we gained experience and started to make friends in the wedding industry, Steve & Gareth from Embrace Videography, Gail & John from Photo Evolution (now retired - early I may add, they are still a young couple!) Emma from Emma Hall Designs, Glenda Clwyd Harpist, Darren Tipples from DJ Sound & Lighting, were just a few that came to mind, we also started to think about how we could get together a "directory" type thing for trusted wedding suppliers. Because even before the onslaught of so called professional wedding suppliers FaceBook enabled, we heard often of people not giving a great service or sometimes not even turning up at a wedding! It was an idea just parked for a few years until we got together and were discussing some tactics used by some publishers who were making money out of recommending suppliers to couples. Myself, Steve, Emma & Glenda felt passionately that this was just a wrong way to go about recommending suppliers who may be booked on that recommendation - which was really nothing more than an advert! So we met up, discussed options, then held a meeting with a few selected and trusted suppliers to get this "thing" on the road. Amongst myself, Steve, Emma & Glenda were Paul Adams (RIP Paul) Darren Tipples, Dave from Chair Covers & Bows
Between us all, we nominated a few other suppliers we loved and worked well with at weddings, and a meeting of 11, grew into a team of 30. Each one we would trust with our own event, each one a totally reputable business but just as importantly, they were nice people. We are of the belief that you need experienced and talented people to carry out their role on your wedding, but they also need to be people people, able to get on well with and respect others. Brides & Grooms by large don't give this a thought, but it is SO important to have suppliers that get along on your wedding day. So The Wedding Guild of Wales was created and in turn established My Wonderful Welsh Wedding!
It was decided that to claim we are a team of recommended suppliers, we could not charge for membership - otherwise this would be like every other directory, blog etc who charge to promote suppliers. We didn't want to fall into that category, so we do not charge anyone to join. This makes it challenging for suppliers to "get in" because they must meet all criteria set, and that is something we are proud of. It makes The Wedding Guild of Wales totally unique!
Soon we were up to 50 members, and one of those early members Liz Jones of Totally Co-ordinated thought it would be great for us to get together to show off what we do. Shortly after we were approached by the new wedding venue Hensol Castle to host a showcase. It was fabulous! Following the success of 3 events here, Gavyn Bolton GM of Bryn Meadows asked us to host a showcase there, followed by Rhiannon Parker of St Davids Hotel, Nicole Landsdown GM Llechwen Hall, Director of Town & Country Hotels Freddie Hitchcock and lastly we were asked by The Vale Resort to host a wedding event at the whole resort!
We are now at 90 members of The Wedding Guild of Wales, and together we host these events which are affordable for us as suppliers, and with the calibre of supplier we accept PLUS our amazing free prize draws, are a safe and happy place for couples planning a wedding to shop.
In addition to our showcase partners, We have since been joined by several of the top rated wedding venues in South Wales. DeCourceys Manor, Canada Lodge, Miskin Manor, Cottrel Park, The Heritage Park, Cwrt Bleddyn and recently The Parkway Hotel. These venues are all unique and their offer reflects the wide variety of budgets and locations today's couples are searching for in a wedding venue.
Of course there are many other wonderful Wedding Suppliers in South Wales that are not part of The Guild for whatever reason. All our members have friends and suppliers they trust to recommend outside of The Guild, we are not an exclusive club, we embrace all that is wonderful about the wedding industry in Wales.
I and the other founder members continue to run The Guild in our "spare time" It can be challenging, but is always rewarding. Personally I am extremely proud of being a part of this unique and talented gathering of like minded and lovely people. Yes, we have "debates" but when it comes down to it, we all want the same thing TO PROVIDE A RELIABLE, TOP DRAWER, OUTSTANDING SERVICE for the couples that trust us to be AWESOME on their wedding day!
So thats me, I love Lovey Dovey UK, it is such a wonderful feeling when we do our weddings - still after 12 years I get excited about doing them. And the Guild, well that is going from strength to strength thanks to the support we get from each other and the wonderful wedding venues in South Wales that are associated with us.