I asked Jules and Mel a few questions:
WOW: Tell us a bit about the company.
Mel: It’s not just styling, it’s the catering, bar and staff, too. We started as an East Midlands independent pub group, Orange Tree, where I was general manager in Nottingham for five years. I came up with the Orange Tree Weddings concept whilst working there. Jules was working at Orange Tree Loughborough, and I knew she could help me with the creative side of the business. So, I organise the events, and Jules styles them.
WOW: Do you pitch ideas to the couple or the other way around?
Mel: We build each package unique for each couple, but they usually build on our basic ideas.
WOW: Is it challenging to shape days that don’t personally appeal to your own sense of style?
Mel: We concentrate on our speciality Orange Tree rustic vintage style. If they’re not into that style, we wouldn’t be right for styling their wedding. We can, however, still provide bars and catering!
WOW: How did you get into event styling?
Jules: Having worked in fashion and textiles for a good ten years, I have the experience and vision to style things together, creatively. With Mel’s ability to organise and my ability to create, we make the perfect team.
WOW: Whose work do you admire?
Jules: There are so many unique designers, craft makers and artists to be influenced by these days, it seems wrong to name just one! But, I do admire the artist Peter Blake. I love how he collages quirky images and figures together, creating a visual explosion.
WOW: What words or inspirational phrases do you live by?
Mel: Be individual, be different, be true to yourself, enjoy, relax, be happy.
WOW: If you could style anyone’s big day, who would that be?
Jules: Grace Jones. It would be super weird!
WOW: What did your own wedding day look like?
Mel: I had the first Orange Tree wedding, which is where the story started… I loved Orange Tree cocktails, festivals, fresh food, friendly staff and unique rustic style, and so I wanted it all at my wedding. All I needed was a venue: we couldn’t keep shutting the pubs to the public for private events, so I found a village hall, and the rest is history!
WOW: Are you able to switch off at the end of the day, or are you constantly buzzing with ideas?
Mel: Although I run Orange Tree Weddings for the Orange Tree group, I feel like it’s my own business. It’s grown with me, and it’s been fantastic seeing it all come true. It is my baby, and I never stop thinking about how to take it forward.
WOW: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Jules: Always treat others as you expect to be treated (quoted by my dad!).
WOW: Lessons learned?
Jules: Always have a back-up of bread rolls!!
WOW: What do you love most about your job?
Mel: Making people’s dream day come true.
WOW: How would others describe you?
Mel: List lover?
Jules: Cake eater?