WOMEN IN WEDDINGS: Meet Ellie Kime aka The Wedding Enthusiast
I feel like Ellie Kime, aka The Wedding Enthusiast, is one of those industry peeps who's, quite rightly, on EVERYONE's radar. She only graduated from university last year (with a degree in Philosophy, no less) but, thanks to her incredible focus and boundless enthusiasm (well, come on, what else would you expect from a self-confessed enthusiast?!), she's quickly become your go-to girl for all things Wedding.
Whether you're a couple wanting some assistance with your Big Day planning (Ellie has an amazing eye for styling and a bulging contacts book, to boot!) or a wedding business in need of some extra marketing support, Ellie is 100% the woman you need in your life.
I met Ellie properly when she gave a talk at Wedding Breakfast Club a couple of months ago and am pleased to say she's as warm and smiley and generous as she comes across on Instagram. She's one of those people who genuinely wants to see the people around her succeed and she's a big cheerleader for other small businesses and innovative brands trying to get ahead in the wedding industry.
She got me hook, line and sinker - can you tell!?
I cornered Ellie a couple of weeks ago for a chat about the importance of discovering your enthusiasm and being authentic in an age of 'alternative' weddings. I took a lot away from this so I hope you enjoy!
Can you explain your alter-ego The Wedding Enthusiast and what it is your business offers?
Contrived as this may sound, there is no alter ego. The Wedding Enthusiast is me. Hellooooo! By name and by nature, I bloody LOVE a wedding.
I’m passionate about true love and good parties and I know every wedding supplier says that but, with me, it’s true... but on steroids. I'm proud to say The Wedding Enthusiast is a one-stop wedding service where I can do as much or as little as you require: recommending suppliers, styling suggestions and on-the-day stuff are all part of what I offer (but not all of what I offer!)
You only graduated from uni last year, how did you realise so early on what it was you wanted to do in life i.e. how did you avoid the decade in shitty jobs and subsequent soul-searching that everyone else goes through!? [Not that I'm totally bitter or anything...!]
I’m lucky enough to be of that age where I’ve grown up in a world where the view of work is shifting. I think the idea of a multi-faceted work schedule is much more accessible nowadays than it once was. My mum was, and still is, really interested in improving the education surrounding employment that’s available for young people - less 'if you do history you’re gonna be a teacher for the rest of your life' and more 'what sets your heart alight and how can you get paid to do that and serve a purpose?' which totally rubbed off on me. My “Thing” is enthusiasm - unabashed, limitless, oh-god-you-can’t-seriously-actually-be-this-keen-in-real-life enthusiasm. Couple that with a feisty (read, stubborn) attitude to do things my way - and here we are! I’ve already done some soul searching on the way (and that’s not a bad pun referring to a terrible choice of uni degree, Philosophy) and my business has changed over time as I have - for example, I offer business services now. The world is our oyster and we it’s shining pearl. We’ve gotta make the best of it.
What does a typical week look like for you?
Atypical! Haha. Most of it is spent at my desk next to my giant “WORK HARD AND BE NICE” poster by Anthony Burrill. When I’m not gathering inspiration, making mood boards or finalising details for couples on my laptop, you can find me blogging on Rock n Roll Bride, Way Out Wedding and THE UN-WEDDING. I’m also part of the team that puts on A Most Curious Wedding Fair so there is a lot of glamorous emailing and planning to go with that. I do a lot of venue visits and meet-ups with people I love in the industry, as well as couples, which can be cake, coffee or cocktail-based, whichever their preference! I also live both my dream and my best life working for Vicky’s Donuts, meaning a couple of times a week I’m making sweet, doughy magic.
In terms of working with couples on their big day, what kind of weddings do you love working on?
The authentic ones with a focus on friends and family (or either, if you don’t have much or the other: no judgement.) Couples who just want to plan a massive party to celebrate with their loved ones are always the standout winners for me. Luckily they also tend to be the creative and uber cool ones, so that works out well. I also love couples who come with a brief that’s inspired by something a bit removed from the wedding world. Translating these things over is always loads of fun.
What makes you different from other wedding planner-type peeps?
In an industry where 'alternative' is now becoming the norm (and happily and deservedly so, it’s taken far too long), I like to think I stand out by being totally genuine and authentic. My business is me and I only do what I feel right. Anyone who knows me would say I’m pretty unique (whether positively or negatively is open to individual interpretation...) so I guess that’s what I’ve got up my sleeve. Also, I have a literal Guinness world record for eating cream tea, so that’s pretty standout. Useless, yes, But standout.
Do you have any standout memories working in the wedding industry so far?
There was this one time, at band camp, that I met the love of my life and my true hero not only in industry but in life - Katie Matthews. We screamed BABES at each other and in that moment the universe aligned in all of its pink suited glory. [OMG. You're killing me, Ellie. Can we just run away together now?]
What inspires you?
Currently: ASHISH, the Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet (who am I kidding that’s a forever muse), laidback New York weddings, the Curries 💕
Tell me about your ENTHUSIASM movement and what you've got up your sleeve with that!
Ooh! How long have you got? So, despite the fact that this is NOT how movements start, I decided I’m going to start a movement. And move with it I have started! I’ve set up The Enthusiast to encourage people to rebel against this obnoxious outdated notion that caring is tragic, and instead to revel in the fact that something somewhere makes their heart sing and makes them wanna get up in a morning. I think that’s a pretty amazing thing and something we should totally laud and applaud, you know? It’s started with t-shirts (which I’m on my third run of now and forever grateful for), a trial run of tote bags and an accompanying blog for all the major babes who’ve bought them, to give them space to wax lyrical about what they’re enthusiastic about. I’m looking forward to educating more people about it, spreading the Enthusiast gospel and hopefully making more people acknowledge their enthusiasms (because if you think about your hero and why they’re your hero, it’s probably because they were pretty unapologetically enthusiastic about something - so why deny yourself the same chance?)
Do you have one tip for couples planning their wedding?
Other than the common tips - be authentic to yourself, research your suppliers, don’t do things because you feel you have to but because you want to - I’d always advise couples to keep some part of their wedding forever, whether that’s a banner to hang in the hall, a preserved bouquet, or a perfume that always reminds them of it. Your rings are there to symbolise your marriage obviously, but I think it’s amazing when you’re in a room and part of the decor is from the actual day itself. Also, don’t buy into the whole “biggest day” and “best day of your life” necessity. it sounds great in copy and is a great way of writing about weddings without repeating the word wedding 700 times, but your wedding doesn’t actually have to be big or grand, as long as it’s how you wanna celebrate your love. [Yasss Ellie!]