Bell & Bell Events is run by sister duo Jen and Sue. I spoke to them about their hire collection, their unique aesthetic and how they’ve kept busy during the pandemic…
When Sue was planning her wedding back in 2018, she and her husband were set on creating a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. They wanted an intimate, country-style wedding with a bit of fun. Their wedding was at Cissbury Barns which, at the time, was still being converted from an old sheep barn. “A little bit of spit and sawdust was what we saw and fell in love with” says Sue. They searched high and low for outdoor games to keep their guests, both young and old, entertained. “I struggled to find high quality vintage items, such as our beautiful old croquet set, and old pub games like Bagatelle” explains Sue “the lovely old wooden games are very desirable but expensive to buy… and so the idea of starting a rental business was born”.
(Pssst… Bell is the sister’s maiden name, see what they did there?)
Their garden games are hugely popular for weddings and garden parties alike. Another popular rental is their beautiful bespoke Cargo Bike. They ordered the bike from Germany and had the bespoke wooden box made by a local craftsman in West Sussex. It’s been used as a Pimms bike, a sweet stall, a cheese & port station, an ice cream bike and a ‘pimp my gin’ bike. With so many possibilities Jen and Sue love hearing, and seeing, how clients use the bike!
Another favourite are the Indian block print lawn throws. Sue found them on her travels when she worked as a fashion buyer. “I knew I needed to find a way to get them sent home, as there was no way they’d all fit in my suitcase” says Sue. “For me, the stunning designs offer that little pop of colour while creating a soft comfortable place to sit… just to take a moment and breathe in the day”.
Jen and Sue like to describe their style as ‘vintage bohemia’ which I love. I feel it’s very William Morris and I can totally imagine The Bloomsbury Set relaxing on their lawn throws, with some cushions, parasols and hay bales thrown in for good measure.
The girls believe that although every wedding is undoubtably the result of a huge amount of organisation and hard work, often the most impactful weddings are those that just seem effortless.
Creating an atmosphere that feels light-hearted; a relaxed environment where everyone can be involved and is invited to savour the special moments.
Like everyone else in the wedding industry, Jen & Sue have had a tough 18 months and have had to juggle postponements and changes. For example, they were providing garden games and some lovely big seating areas for a forest wedding for 150 people. They ended up having to translate that festival-style event into a micro wedding garden party for eight people.
They’ve kept busy during the pandemic by taking part in styled shoots and improving their hire stock; making bunting, maintaining their lovely old wooden games and adding new items to the range.
I asked the girls which local venues they find themselves working with regularly. As well as Cissbury Barns they love Southlands Barns and they’re hoping to work with Tottington Manor which is under new management.
We wish them all the best and can’t wait to see more of their creativity!