We are delighted to introduce Emma from Coco Wedding Venues on the blog today. Coco Wedding Venue is an amazing directory for sourcing your wedding or event venue, Emma explains more.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
Coco Wedding Venues is the original style-focused directory.
Our focus is wedding venues and the platform allows style-savvy couples to search for their ideal location from a carefully curated collection of venues.
I started Coco Wedding Venues because it was something that was missing during my own wedding planning back in 2013.
I was so excited to get engaged and I couldn’t wait to start plotting our big day, but as soon as we started looking for a wedding venue all enthusiasm was lost. The wedding venue websites we came across didn’t excite and inspire us. I’m obsessed with style, stories and of course anything that’s pretty but nothing seemed to capture this for me. For my husband-to-be, the functionality of these search tools frustrated him.
So Coco Wedding Venues was founded...
I wanted to focus on venues as it was personal to my own planning journey. I also love to travel and have a passion for interiors; wedding venues encompass all of this for me. Plus, it’s such an important part of the planning process and to know that we’re helping couples at the very start of their journey is just so exciting.
WHAT IS YOUR WORKFLOW PROCESS?
I’m so very lucky to work from home. I wake up in Brighton with my husband and dog and I trot downstairs to my office. It’s bliss. But it does also take some concerted effort to switch off at the end of the day.
My office space is part of our lounge, on one side we have our relaxing space and on the other is Coco HQ. It was important that the two spaces worked as one but still felt separate. My office is a simple arrangement of a white desk, white ledge shelving and a super comfortable Herman Miller chair. To inspire me, I have some lovely pieces I’ve kept from various shoots and collaborations. I also have beautiful books, plants (that I haven’t quite managed to kill yet) and plenty of notebooks.
An average day consists of a 6am wake up where I grab my coffee cup and the laptop and head back to bed. Until about 8am I’ll work through any emails, publish that day’s blog feature and schedule social media. I then have a couple of hours to walk our dog Gatsby and have a leisurely breakfast before I hit the desk. Day-to-day I’m usually working on any updates to the website as well as publishing new venues, creating content for the blog, checking in with my small but very important team and working on styled shoots or projects under my consultancy Coco & Kat.
WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU WORK WITH?
Our venues are our clients in the sense that they are paid members of our website, but the couples and industry folks who use our platform are also our clients and we spend a big portion of our time designing the website with both in mind.
Our collection of venues is very much curated. The venues we list must share the same values we do, we also need to be able to imagine celebrating in the spaces they have and sharing that in a way that’s different and refreshing to our couples. Photography and styling is key to this and we always try to ensure our galleries are visual and exciting.
The venues we work with span so many different styles, from chic country houses to windswept beaches, from secret gardens to luxurious city hotels, from rustic barns to blank-canvas studios in East London.
The couples who use Coco Wedding Venues are current, design-inspired, creative, stylish and unique.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
Having a lifestyle business was a big decision, so I guess I only need to look around me to be inspired. I have a freedom that’s exhilarating as my business can follow me all around the world, I love this creative life we both live in and, although I’ve worked hard, I do still feel lucky to be in this position. To stay motivated and inspired it’s important to affirm your choices.
I’m also inspired by all of the beauty and creativity that we get to experience in this industry. I love reading about other people’s stories, business plans, ideas and goals. But I try not to get too caught up in this as it’s important you follow your own plans, whether that’s creating a small business that allows a flexible life, or creating a powerhouse! Do what’s right for you.
In terms of being inspired for my own brand or the styled shoots I create, I guess that comes from my daily life in terms of fashion, travel and home. My personal style is classic with a boho twist... I’m currently partial to Moroccan slides, dresses over jeans, straw bags and anything linen. I only tend to shop with a small selection of brands – Whistles, COS, Jigsaw and Toast plus some small craft brands in the US and Australia.
Homewares - I love understated, raw elegance. Our house is a mixture of stripped back natural wood floorboards, mid-century furniture and a neutral palette. All of this, and more, influences the Coco style. You’ll find dramatic dark greens and dirty pinks spattered throughout the house as accent colours!
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU SET YOURSELF FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
2017 was all about creating, designing and launching our rebrand. We absolutely love the fresh look and feel like it reflects where we are now and how our platform is used by couples.
2018 is about looking at taking our brand from digital to something a little more tangible for our couples. So, watch this space!
It’s important to keep growing organically and spend the time doing it right, so I’ll just be enjoying the ride this fab little adventure continues to take me on.
My background is as a wedding & lifestyle photographer, shooting both digital and film to create authentic, soft and natural fine art photographs. Working primarily with natural light to give my work a beautiful, light and airy touch infused with soft tones.
I have always appreciated and valued the simple things in life and finding the interesting in the ordinary. Coco Lane was founded as I wanted to create something that is about an experience, the slower pace of life, cosiness and candlelight, cuddling up on the sofa with loved ones, being with the people you love, sharing food with close friends, a feeling of home, nurturing a chosen career, wanderlust travels, savouring the small moments in everyday life and just being you and enjoying a cup of tea.
I'm excited to bring you stories that promote all those moments in life that give us value and meaning; inspiring us to live beautifully.
"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is. Go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good" - Roald Dahl