Celebrating Qube’s 10th anniversary, JLife takes a stroll down memory lane with Debbie Marks, founder and CEO of Qube Events & Productions, to explore her journey to success and the wedding trends that have changed over the last decade.
Happy 10th anniversary, Debbie! Can you believe Qube has grown to where it is today?
Thank you! I can’t believe how much the business has grown. I feel so proud and nostalgic when I look back at the road I travelled to get here. I still remember when I achieved my degree in Event Management. It seems a lifetime ago.
How did it all start?
I actually come from a corporate event planning background. I was doing high profile corporate events where service was a key focus. One of my first jobs was to head up the events division of the UJIA in London and organise their gala dinners and major fundraising events. It was an incredible opportunity where I learned so much about seamless event execution and service excellence. I also got a taster for working with the Jewish community.
Shortly after that I fell in love with a Mancunian and moved to Manchester in 2006. I knew I wanted my own events firm, and finally, in 2008, I launched Qube while on maternity leave. My husband gave me nine months to make my business sustainable or I had to go back to work, needless to say, I never went back. I used to drop flyers at the local homes in Whitefield while pushing my pram with my first child, Dahlia. I was determined to get Qube off the ground and stretch my creativity with incredible clients.
So what was your first event?
The first event I planned as an entrepreneur was a Jewish wedding at the iconic Midland Hotel. It’s a fabulous space and still one of our favourite venues to date. I can still remember the first Jewish chuppah I did. It was full of lush greenery and florals that created a magical ambience. It was lovely. After that wedding, we made a commitment to specialise in Jewish weddings and Bar/ Bat Mitzvahs.
But Qube isn’t just an events planning and designing firm. You have a massive range of decor and props for hire.
Yes, I wanted to expand the business so, in 2012, I started offering decor services as well as planning and designing events. We eventually became the northern branch of Essential Wedding Hire and started investing in our own in-house decor. It was a great decision because my couples didn’t have to worry about sourcing decor, extra contracts, or stressful negotiations. And because it was such a success we launched our largest decor offering for the first time at the National Wedding Show which was very exciting!
In 2014 we opened our event studio and showroom in Bury which is where we are based today. We wanted a beautiful place to host styling consultations for couples so we can get to know them and create their dream wedding. We also brought our floristry team in-house so we could offer bespoke and luxurious florals. It makes wedding planning so much simpler and more enjoyable for our couples. We are also constantly surrounded by stunning flowers which is a dream!
And what does Qube look like today?
In 2019, Qube has grown to a team of 16 strong! We’ve added leading experts in their field to the team who are instrumental in helping us to grow to new heights.
Qube styles and plans events all over the UK. We also work with international couples getting married here. And our creativity knows no bounds; with luxury weddings becoming more elaborate, our design team is brimming with fresh and stylish ideas every day. We’re planning more Jewish weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs than ever before and our Asian wedding decor portfolio is constantly expanding.
I’ve also branched out as a leader in the global wedding space. I am a Wedding Masterclass speaker where the leading wedding professionals in the world discuss the latest wedding trends. I’m also a co-author! My story was included in an Amazon bestselling anthology about successful female entrepreneurs called Mumpreneur on Fire 4.
What’s one wedding trend we would not have seen 10 years ago?
Clients are more adventurous with their decor than ever before! It’s fantastic that our clients trust us to deliver their vision regardless of quirk or eclectic taste. Today, anything goes. The wedding decor world has gone crazy! It’s now the norm to have a tree on your table; props like gold pineapples, vibrant flamingos, neon signs and raw hanging Edison bulbs are not out-of-place at weddings.
But one trend I’m seeing now that would’ve been overlooked 10 years ago is silk flowers. They’re all the rage right now! Years ago, silk flowers were frowned upon and thought of as cheap and tacky. Now, they’re approved by the British Floristry Association because manufacturers are creating stunning life-like florals. It means the opportunities are endless at a fraction of the cost of fresh flowers.
What about colour palettes and decor styles?
We’ve gone from monochrome and colour led trends to vintage tea cups, rustic logs, and rose gold explosions. Blush, ivory, and sequins have moved to boho styles while urban trends have evolved to include copper and geometric shapes. The Royal Wedding in 2018 brought greenery and trees to the masses; bringing the outdoors inside with lush greenery like eucalyptus, mixed herbs and palmetto is hugely popular right now.
And what predictions for wedding trends coming up?
A decade ago couples wouldn’t have balloons, but now they’re back in fashion in a big way. Vibrant jewel tones and earthy hues are overtaking the champagnes and tans of the last few years too. For the future, I predict Cadbury purple will be back in fashion with deep tones like night sky. I think we’ll see dramatic colour palettes like navy, golds and corals.
Couples today want an easy and enjoyable planning process. Why struggle with tons of different suppliers for your special day, when you can just limit it to three companies? Our couples know they’re in excellent hands with trusted suppliers who are truly passionate about making their wedding the best day of their lives.