Having rescued the "LoveDub" from a driveway in Newport after a 15 year desire to own a vintage split screen we embarked on lovingly restoring the VW to its pristine condition you see it in today, of which took 2 years of constant weekends and little quality time. For four years we enjoyed the VW scene and were at all the shows that we could squeeze into our yearly calender up and down the UK. But a change in circumstance saw our pride and joy up for auction on Ebay due to storage issues. Luckily for us the VW did not hit our reserve and LoveDub Weddings was created to pay for storage and general upkeep of the VW.
When we initially came up with the idea of using our beloved VW camper for Weddings (this was chosen as the colours were a perfect Wedding Combo being Cream and Grey) our family and friends thought that the idea was crazy and doomed the venture to failure in an instant. The whole idea was very daunting to me as I had no knowledge of the internet or the world of PC's (latecomer into the embrace of techno!!) and I had to teach myself the world of onlin business, website domains and advertising to get the best results. I set about the challenge of researching the best methods of getting yourself ranked and designing a website and business name that would be remembered. LoveDub Weddings was chosen out of our love for dubs and a play on the word "Loved up"...catchy and clever!! Vistaprint offered an amazing self designed Website which was easy to use and could be updated as often as I required at a very reasonable rate and using a few snaps that we had saved from using our VW for a friends Wedding as a favour, the Website was created. I contacted every high ranked related site that I could to exchange links with them and searched every Wedding related free online advertising site that I could find to profile and circulate of business. We were initially only wanting a few Weddings a year to cover the costs of the vehicle and to fit in with out daily lives, but how surprised we were after just 1 month of being on the "web" we had taken 30 bookings!!
Due to our passion for the environment we struck up a relationship with Carbon Zero and The Woodland Trust and to best offset the pollution created during our Wedding journeys we came up with he most romantic way of commemorating every Wedding we attended and helping to replant and re-forest the UK at the same time. The environmental side of the business was created, one of which we are extremely proud of as we are now one of the biggest on-going small business donators of saplings to The Woodland Trust in Wales.
Unknown to us we were the only company of its kind offering a VW camper as a Wedding vehicle in Wales and the South west of England and we seemed to fill a niche in the market making us in high demand. Bookings came flying in and the need for a second vehicle was daunting on us. Family and friends were in disbelief when they heard of the success of the VW and help was at hand to finance a second vehicle for the fleet, a silver 1974 Karmann Ghia convertible. Our Karmann Ghia didnt make it out onto the Wedding circuit due to a irresponsible thief who took a fancy to the stunning VW and that was the last we saw of the KG. However the insurance did help us to obtain our 1958 Karmann cabriolet beetle, Seren Haf, which underwent a massive work schedule to get her to the high standard we expect for the Weddings scene. Whilst the Beetle was undergoing her beauty treatments we had a chance meeting with Jerome Timbrell at a Wedding in Somerset who had restored Frankie from a wreck to the most stunning Samba that I had ever clapped eyes on. A working relationship was struck between us and Jerome and we had our second vehicle on board as a commission based structure to make us a few more pennies and to stop us turning away the business we were loosing due to our supply situation.
As a new Wedding season started a few VW owners started to set up businesses offering similar vehicles locally and we soon noticed a decrease in the bookings so had to start thinking along the lines of increasing our profile yet again. We invested in Paul and he embarked on a night school photography course to qualify as a professional photographer. We also contacted the large Wedding Fayre organisers and booked in to attend (very expensive but risks have to be taken) added a photography package to the site and introduced handmade VW related chocolate favours in the shape of campers and beetle along with other quirky chocolates. Seren Haf was now finished and ready for her debut at the CIA Wedding Fayre in Cardiff.
At the Wedding Fayre we were shell shocked by the amount of interest we had in the VW's and could not get to speak to all the potential Brides and Grooms that wanted to book our vehicles and other services. By the end of the fayre we had taken over 27 booking!! Then a twist of fate came our way in the form of acquiring "Frankie" for our own. The demand of the Weddings and Jeromes own Business commitments were now causing a problem and he wanted us to be the owners of Frankie. We jumped at the chance and that completed our trio. Our vehicles are known to be the highest standard in the VW wedding industry and have been acknowledged in many Wedding magazines, VW magazines and photographers blogs and portfolios.
The office work side of the business is very demanding but enjoyable and takes alot of time, organisation, dedication and consistency. The book work and filling takes hours to update daily aswell as the accounts and tax (awful word) records all of which are maintained during many a late night (or early hours of the morning) due to a busy family life and part time job as a nursery nurse to also take into consideration. I did consider letting Paul run the admin side of the business but that just caused mayhem after one day!!! He is best left to maintain the vehicles and be the frontman to the public when it comes to LoveDub Weddings!! I love my job so much that I remember every wedding we have attended and still keep in contact with many of our past couples aswell as having a great relationship with many future Brides and Grooms
We still turn away many booking due to the demand for our vehicles but always pass the interest on, without malice, to many local VW Wedding companies whom we have helped to establish their own successful businesses by giving the correct advice and support they need to become successful. We have too know when to hold back the desire for buying another vehicle (at the mo!!) as sometimes you can become too greedy and loose out in the long run as it is still early days for us yet and to acquire two new vehicles in 1 year is quite an acheivement and financial pressure all in one!! Although we do have a wish list of vehicles to add to the fleet in time....
You can follow the weekly weddings we attend along with the photos taken each time on our facebook group, LoveDub Weddings
LoveDub Weddings still strive to offer unique services that put us slightly ahead of those offering similar vehicles for Wedding Hire in South Wales and the rest of the UK. We are always updating our profile and hope to introduce many more services, including stationary, for the VW enthusiast or lover who are planning a Wedding in the near future.....watch this space!!