When Alfie Marr was working as a farmer, the last thing he ever thought he’d be doing was helping to style weddings.
But fast forward over ten years and the 65-year-old dad of three has become one of the most sought after wedding furniture suppliers in Aberdeenshire.
His business, Rustic Look Aberdeen, came about three years ago after his daughter, Jo, struggled to find any furniture she liked for her own wedding.
Knowing her dad was a great craftsman, Jo enlisted Alfie to make tables and chairs for her bash, and the rest they say, is history.
“I never expected the business to take off as well as it has,” said Alfie, who lives in Udny, near Ellon.
“It all really started because Jo’s caterer saw the furniture and said she’d like to hire it and then it all just kind of took off from word of mouth and then through social media, which Jo now manages for me.
“It’s funny though, I certainly never thought I’d end up working in the wedding industry back when I was driving combines and tractors, but I absolutely love it!”
Rustic Look has now joined Aberdeenshire wedding collective, Wanderlust Weddings, a blog celebrating sought after suppliers in the area.
And given the recent hit to the wedding industry following the Coronavirus pandemic, Alfie says it’s come at a welcome time.
“We originally had over 100 weddings booked this year pre-Covid restrictions,” he said.
“But that’s now gone down to just four, it’s crazy.
“Most of our couples have just decided to postpone to 2021, 2022 or 2023, because the big party is really important to them.
“I just hope that next year isn’t a repeat of this one, because it’s been really hard for all of us in the industry.
“Although, I’m quite worried we won’t see any big weddings being allowed to happen until a vaccine is found.”
Working mainly with recycled timbers, pallets and boards, Alfie says he managed to stumble into a totally niche market, part of the reason he believes he’s been so successful.
“People love the sustainability angle these days, so the fact I work with recycled or reclaimed materials is a real plus for them.
“I get my materials from all over, and I make bespoke items as well as now having a suite of over 60 tables and chairs for hire.
“I’ve been asked to make some really cool things, including a bespoke lectern for a wedding the other week, but mainly people just want benches, bars, chairs and tables, which I have made completely from scratch.”
Although at retirement age, Alfie says he isn’t ready to give up his wedding venture just yet.
“Everything is flat-pack so it’s really easy to transport and set up.
“I can’t really imagine doing much else now to be honest – I really love it, and it’s so nice meeting the families and couples and seeing what they’ve done with my creations.
“We’re hoping to expand out of Aberdeenshire next and had some weddings booked in Dundee and further south.
“As long as I can still carry the tables, I’ll keep going with it!”
To find out more about Rustic Look Aberdeen, click here.
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