Weddings can cost lots of money, but there are ways of making things cheaper and ‘greener’. I came across Belle Journée website when I was researching ways to recycle things for your wedding. Hiring is a great way of enabling an object, be it a vase or cup and saucer, get lot more use. This avoid it being bought and being put in a loft after the big day.

Lydia runs Belle Journée which is a wedding styling and hiring service for couples in South Wales. She offers hire of vintage props, cut glass vases, décor and mercury items as well as wedding planning and styling services. Lydia has great experience in all things wedding,  as well as direct experience when planning her own wedding. She found she was often frustrated with the lack of independent and unique wedding suppliers in the area. Everything she found in the area décor wise was the same in every company and nothing offered the vintage yet glamorous feel she was looking for.

Like many brides she ended up sourcing and buying all the décor items herself, with the help of family and friends, from charity shops, online shops and wherever she could pick things up cheaply and quickly amassed an abundance of lovely vintage items. It seemed a shame to sell them off or get rid of them after the wedding and so this is where the idea of Belle Journée was born, a way to reuse the items by offering them out to hire to other brides!

Lydia has always disliked the idea of things being neglected or forgotten, and there are so many wonderful antique pieces out there that are unloved and unused that can work so well, that she often finds herself collecting various items and filling her house (much to her husband’s annoyance!). Sometimes people can get carried away looking for décor and spend hundreds at giant corporate organisations buying the same things that every other couple has. The unique thing about hiring is that although they have been used before, they can be used in different ways to create and support different styles and themes to make it personal to each couple. It is also very eco-friendly too, so perfect for a ‘Green Wedding.’

Most brides will spend anything between £50 – £200 hiring items, but compared with buying those items directly, they save hundreds. Tealights vary in hire price from as little as 50p to £2.50 for larger ones but are sold online for as much as £8 each so there really is a massive saving to be had with hiring and it also saves the couple the time and hassle of sourcing and ordering what they are looking for. More money to spend on the dress or behind the bar!

Lydia love supplying to all sorts of wedding. She said, ‘All the weddings I’ve supplied items for have been beautiful venues with gorgeous styling and flowers. I recently hired items for a wedding in Llangoed Hall and some of my mercury urn vases were used as centrepieces for the most beautiful flower arrangements. There is a great versatility to how you use the items I have and I’m always amazed at what couples come up with to put their own unique stamp and feel on their wedding day.’

Paperless Wedding is run from home and running a business and bringing up your family has many benefits as well as challenges.  Lydia runs Belle Journée on a part time basis as she still works full time as a Wedding/Events Planner for the National Museum Cardiff. So Lydia is juggling the time which can be difficult but doing something she loves makes it that much easier, which I could not agree more! Like me, Lydia is currently expecting a baby, so she will be welcomed into the world of parenthood and the balancing act of running your own business. I know though once in a routine, she will be able to focus much more on Belle Journée and helping brides plan their perfect day.

Why wouldn’t she want to do that? Well, she would miss out on this great feedback from clients….

“Using your beautiful props as a pop up vintage booth worked so well, thank you for your ideas and help. The props looked lovely at the venue (exactly what I wanted to fit in with my vintage theme) and our guests had lots of fun with the photos.”

“Lydia was so helpful on the run up to our wedding and really understands how important all the small details are in making the day perfect. The vases were beautiful and helped to give our wedding the unique and personal feel we were hoping to create. Thank you Belle Journée!”

Do check out the site and let me know what you hired and recycled below.  We love to share great ideas at Paperless Wedding!  Thanks to Lydia for sharing photos and her story about her lovely business.

Photos all supplied by Belle Journée