Wedding styling, wedding stationery and wedding papercuts…

For the first 15 years of my career I worked in London as an art director. Creating beautiful images and designing publications, showcasing a brand’s products.

It was a lovely way to spend the working week but, towards the end, I was desperate to start a family and shoot schedules were playing havoc with my personal life.

So I decided on a complete change; I wanted to be able to work from home, not have to commute each day or travel to far flung places for photoshoots.

I LOVED my job — I truly did — but setting up my own business, especially doing something that I had always done as a sideline for friends and family, seemed the obvious thing to do.

I turned from art director to wedding stationer — and Mooks was born.

The wedding industry is a crazy one. Lovely in one sense — you’re privy to a couple’s top secret plans and can be wholly drawn into the excitement and anticipation of their big day— but not so good in another. Dealing with anxious brides can be pretty stressful.

So stressful, in fact, that when you realise that your 30-something client is more demanding than your 5 month old twin babies, something has to give.

So after 5 years of designing wedding stationery full time, I decided to change direction again.

I still design the odd order — and have got a couple of lovely clients on my books at the moment — but it’s a joy rather than a chore and it’s lovely hearing my client’s plans about their impending nuptials.

At one time, venues would arrange all the decorations for you. These days so many people want a Pinterest worthy-wedding day and couples spend hours scouring charity shops for mismatched china teacups — or vintage glasses — or  finding the perfect vase or table centrepiece.

Wedding are big business.

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Coloured glassware and mismatched china | Image Source

High street stores like H&M, HomeSense and IKEA sell fabulous — and reasonably priced — candlesticks, letters spelling out Mr & Mrs or beautiful bell jars and domes to display flowers or cakes.

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Gorgeous glassware from HomeSense

Then you’ve platforms like Etsy and Not On The High Street selling a vast array of personalised guest books and unusual wedding favours.

I still make and sell a range of personalised favour tins on there, in fact. I love making them and — even more — I love receiving messages from happy brides and grooms, afterwards, telling me how much their guests loved them :)

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Wedding favour tins that I make and sell on Not On The High Street

I still love chatting to my clients about their plans; the colour-schemes and little personal touches they have in mind. Interesting ways they’ve thought of to display a seating plan or the wedding cake.

Bunting and flowers — there are so many lovely ways to personalise the venue and make it a memorable day. And to be honest, I find it a lot easier getting excited about these plans, rather than stressing that a menu  card is a milli-shade darker than the invitations.

Life is funny isn’t it? The way it twists and turns.

From art director to wedding stationer, now I make prints and papercuts which I sell in my little online shop.

So when the confetti has blown away and my lovely clients settle down to life as Mr and Mrs, I occasionally hear from them again.

Sometimes they come back for one of my wedding papercuts, to mark the anniversary of their first year of marriage. Traditionally, a gift made out of paper is given, so a papercut is a lovely choice.

And sometimes it’s for me to make birth announcement cards or Christening invitations for their new babies.

So lovely; the circle of life and many happy events in between.

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One of my wedding papercuts

This is a collaborative post but all thoughts, words and images (unless otherwise stated)  — as ever — are entirely my own.

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

34 Comments

  1. 28th May 2016 / 7:05 pm

    Speaking as a customer as well as a blog reader, your products are fab, Caro. You’ve certainly got talent.

  2. 31st May 2016 / 11:56 pm

    I’m in awe of your creativity. The paper cuts are fab! I will definitely keep you in mind for future wedding gifts etc.

  3. 1st June 2016 / 7:40 am

    You are such a a talented and clever lady :-) I love your papercuts and it is our ten year wedding anniversary this summer. I think I have now found the perfect gift for Mr C! #homeetc

  4. 1st June 2016 / 8:01 am

    Beautiful papercut! As a designer I’ve thought about going into wedding stationary design but the thought of bridezillas has put me off too!

    • 4th June 2016 / 7:01 pm

      Aaah Abi — I’d give it a wide berth if I were you!! I loved it initially but it’s absolutely draining, trying to explain to someone that their invites may not be exactly the same as their menus if they’re printed on a different day! Arrgh!!! ;)

  5. Alexandra | I'm Every Mum
    1st June 2016 / 10:32 am

    Wow, you’re super talented. What a great post. I love the paper cuts. I was booked for wedding after wedding as entertainment and you’re right, weddings are really big business. I LOVE weddings, I think in another life, or probably if I lived in a bigger city, I would’ve loved to have been a wedding planner. Great post.

    • 5th June 2016 / 8:03 pm

      Thanks so much Alexandra! It’s crazy isn’t it? People spend a small fortune these days! :)

  6. 1st June 2016 / 11:06 am

    It’s lovely to hear more about what you did and now do for a living. They all sound like lovely jobs but I know how tough it can be to help arrange important events like weddings. I used to be a events manager in Central London and that was crazy too!

    #HomeEtc

    • 5th June 2016 / 8:04 pm

      Yep — I don’t know how wedding planners have the patience to be honest! It was hard enough just designing the stationery!!

  7. Ceri
    1st June 2016 / 11:45 am

    That papercut is gorgeous. Little touches are what make the day so special I think. the same can be said for anything, especially the home. Such a lovely post

  8. Kerry
    1st June 2016 / 2:18 pm

    You talented lady! They look great and I imagine they take a serious amount of patience to do too!! xxx

  9. 1st June 2016 / 4:27 pm

    Wow Caro, as someone who loves crafts and creativity I absolutely love your paper cuts and your personalised favours tins. I also the Penguin Books Style Birth Announcement framed print that I spotted down your sidebar whilst reading this post.

    You’ve made some brave choices, moving from art director to wedding stationer to now having your own little online shop rather than the full on stresses that accompanied being a wedding stationer.

    I really do wish you well as you continue developing and growing your blog and your business and thanks for hosting #homeetc

    • 5th June 2016 / 8:11 pm

      That’s so lovely of you Jane — thanks so much! It’s weird — the biggest leap of faith was going from full time employment to freelance when I was art-directing — but that was the best decision ever and everything else had sort of fallen into place ever since :) xx

  10. 1st June 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Wow what a lovely business you have. That papercut is fantastic – I don’t know how you have the patience to do it!

  11. 2nd June 2016 / 8:47 am

    Oh how lovely! That papercut is stunning, what a gorgeous gift!

  12. 2nd June 2016 / 11:08 am

    I can’t believe how much wedding styles and trends have changed since I was married only 5 years ago! Your favour tins are adorable! I sell personalised photo collages printables in Etsy and also find that the best part of the process is to read how happy the customers and the people receiving the gifts are with them. It always makes me all fuzzy inside :) #HomeEtc

    • 4th June 2016 / 6:58 pm

      It’s nuts isn’t it? It’s constantly evolving. I didn’t have any of these things when I got married 15 years ago!!

  13. 3rd June 2016 / 2:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing with us a glimpse into your working life. I love how intricate, delicate and delightful the papercuts are. I’ve heard that in making these your fingers can become quite sore though. :( Thanks for hosting #HomeEtc

  14. 3rd June 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Beautiful paper cut work…it’s so delicate. I’m glad you’ve found a way to balance your work with home life. I have friends who struggle with commuting, nursery fees, pressure to come back full-time. It’s hard juggling it all isn’t it? #homeetc

    • 4th June 2016 / 6:53 pm

      Aah thanks lovely. I think it’s a struggle for everyone — if you work full time in an office — or you’re a work-at-home mum — or a stay at home mum — everyone has pressures and strains don’t they? Such a tricky balancing act! xx

  15. 7th June 2016 / 2:53 pm

    You’re so talented, Caro. You don’t shout about it enough on here. We’d all love to see more of your work. Despite liking rules and clean lines, I’m smitten with mismatched crockery. There’s something so lovely about it.

    • 11th June 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Aww bless you lovely. I always feel a bit odd talking about it on my blog — perhaps because I feel that people wouldn’t be intersted. Perhaps I should? And yes — I love mismatched crocks too. Even though ours are pretty much all white!!! :)

  16. 8th June 2016 / 8:01 pm

    It is funny how life changes around, your papercuts are AMAZING! My best friend is getting married and she only has 3 weeks to go…..she is rather stressed out!

    • 11th June 2016 / 3:12 pm

      Weird isn’t it? Life twists and turns… lovely to wonder where we’ll end up! :) Good luck to your friend!! I hope it all goes well xx

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