Sandra Trusty of The Fab Gift Boutique

Company Name: The Fab Gift Boutique

Interview with: Sandra Trusty

Location / Coverage: Swindon/Wiltshire and surrounding areas

How did your business get started and who works at The Fab Gift Boutique?

We used to live in France and Abu Dhabi, and during our time living in those countries I got involved in the event planning industry. I’ve had involvement in organizing weddings in the Caribbean too.

When we returned to the UK I knew I wanted to use that experience and continue organizing fabulous events here in the UK. Hence the Fab Gift Boutique was born.

Since we started out, we’ve grown and increased the range of services we offer to our clients.

Table Flowers and Styling by The Fab Gift Boutique

What does The Fab Gift Boutique do?

Many venues are great in terms of location – a hotel function room or village hall for instance – but lack pizazz. What we can do is transform mundane into something magical. We’re good at ideas.

If a client wants all the pain of organizing and preparing a venue taken away we can do that! But if they simply want to hire venue styling accessories from us and do the work themselves that’s fine too.

Part of our service involves creating bespoke items for our clients. For example, we recently created personalized gift boxes for bridesmaids and best men. The ideas of these is to be a fun yet memorable way for a couple to ask someone to take on a special role in their wedding party.

We also have an online shop offering personalised gifts.

Which areas of the UK does your business cover?

We’re based in Wiltshire and serve the surrounding areas, but as I always say, “Have car – will travel!”

Tying Chair Cover Bow

What services can The Fab Gift Boutique provide for weddings?

We can do as much or as little as the couple wants us to do. Our involvement can range from providing chair covers and sashes to a full venue styling service. We back all that up with a range of decorative accessories for hire. The entire hire selection we offer is too large to mention, but it includes sequinned table linens and chair slips, post boxes and easels. The pièce de résistance though is our beautiful silk flower wall. As far as we know it’s the only one in the region.

Do you have a particular style of wedding you like to style?

We don’t have any personal preferences. Above all, it’s our desire to help couples tell their story and reflect their interests and personalities in the décor.

If they walk into the venue and feel they’re walking into their dream then we’ve succeeded.

Bright Pink Wedding Table Flowers with Flower Wall Backdrop

Can you style a wedding with the bride and groom’s own decorations or do they have to use your items?

We’re flexible and will work with them to breathe life into their vision. If that means using and mixing things they already own and love with accessories we can provide then that’s fine by us.

Before the wedding, how do your work with the couple to create the vision?

We love the personal touch, so we always meet and get to know the couple well in advance. They tell us what they’ve got in mind for their décor – the look and feel they want to achieve. We keep the communication going and send a summary of the meetings and record any decisions and revisions made. That way we are sure nothing is forgotten or missed out.

Sandra Trusty of The Fab Gift Boutique Setting Up Table at Wedding

What do you do on the day of the wedding?

We prepare everything in advance and arrive early to set up. The timing depends on the size of the wedding and the complexity of the décor. We do everything before the guests arrive, so they see a finished venue with everything in place. The couple don’t need to be there.

It’s our aim to provide a full service so the couple can concentrate on creating memories with their friends and family.

What we’re removing is such scenarios as waking up at dawn and worrying about centering bows on chairs and making sure candles are lit.

What other services do you offer for weddings as well as venue styling?

We offer wedding florals using silk flowers: bouquets, buttonholes and corsages. Silk flowers provide stress free floral arrangements we can deliver well ahead of time.

And of course, as we’ve mentioned, there’s our hire section which is becoming ever more extensive. I’ve talked about the sequinned table linens and the chair covers, but there’s much more besides.

We also offer bespoke items such as bride and groom chair covers. We have a set of our bespoke couple’s chair covers winging its way to a destination wedding in Greece. We’re so excited and can’t wait to see the photographs.

Bride Holding Cala Lily Silk Bouquet

What type of décor can couples hire from you?

We have a gorgeous silk flower wall that makes a fabulous backdrop for the wedding breakfast table, photographs etc, centrepieces for the tables, postboxes, sequinned table cloths and more. We will, where we can, create bespoke items for the couple.

What’s the most popular item that couples hire?

The sequinned tablecloths and the flower wall. They’re unusual, beautiful and elegant – not your run of the mill wedding décor items. We like to think they add a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.

Flower Wall Wedding Backdrop from The Fab Gift Boutique

Tell us more about your flower wall.

Oh, it’s stunning! It’s created from hundreds of silk blooms and is such a wonderful ‘WOW’ factor at an event.

You can use it in so many areas of the venue. It’s a brilliant top-table backdrop or ceremony setting, you can use it behind the table where the cake-cutting ceremony takes place, or as a photo backdrop.

We wanted to offer something different that would lend an air of sophistication and elegance to a couple’s wedding day. The wall can complement the chosen colour scheme and create a cohesive feel.

If couples hire items from you, do you deliver them to the venue?

We offer two options. They can collect the items from us or we can deliver and set up. For the flower wall though we only offer the option for us to deliver it, set up and collect it after the event.

This saves the couple a lot of stress and time on the day. But more than that it saves them the duty of care over the thing! It’s better by far to let us take care of it.

Bride and Groom Chair Covers from The Fab Gift Boutique

What is the best thing about your job?

We get to meet lots of lovely couples and talk to them about their plans, hopes and dreams. Then we get to make their dreams come true! How wonderful is that?

Do you have a favourite wedding that you have styled?

One of my favourites was a beach wedding in Jamaica. We planned this wedding from beginning to end and it was a fabulous affair. Finding the hotel and beach location for the ceremony, organizing transport for all the guests, the steel band on the beach, live music at the reception… everything! We feel honoured the couple trusted us to do this and we didn’t want to let them down.

Beach Wedding

What is your top tip for styling a wedding?

It’s easy to be influenced by everything on the Internet and all the ideas offered by family and friends. However, we advise couples to decide together what they want their day to look and feel like. To keep true to themselves and to let their personality and individuality shine through.

Random question… What makes you laugh most in life?

When we get together with our four children and cook, play and laugh together. I laugh now when I think of how I spilt Champagne on my daughter on her birthday. It was an accident! But so funny!

What’s your typical day like?

I try to get the boring stuff done first, like the admin and marketing. With that out of the way I can enjoy my passion of planning and creating the centrepieces, bouquets or chair covers. All the things to make our wedding couples feel the most important people in the world.

Where can people find out more about The Fab Gift Boutique?