(Above image: Kat Mervyn Photography)
Remember Christine and Jamie’s wedding we featured a few weeks ago? Well, today we are delighted to introduce you to their business, Electric Alphabet, which organically grew from their wedding day! The company, the first of its kind in Ireland hire illuminated signs and one metre tall letters. We had a chat with Christine about the business and how it can really add extra oomph to your wedding day.
Firstly, we love your signs and letters, where did the idea for Electric Alphabet come from?
I saw a photo of something similar on an American wedding blog and wanted to recreate the lights for our dance floor. My initial plan was to make them out of cardboard and I asked my Dad who’s a structural engineer for advice thinking he would laugh at the idea! He didn’t laugh though and together we ended up making a very professional looking C&J out of wood and metal. With all the research, development and time that went into them they ended up being probably the most expensive illuminated signs ever made however and I remember Dad joking at the time that it was a good job that I wasn’t making the whole alphabet!
It wasn’t until the day before the wedding that the seed was planted for turning the letters into a little company. When we arrived at the hotel, the owners were really taken with them and asked where we’d got them as did some of our guests on the wedding day. As Jamie and I weren’t going on our honeymoon immediately, I decided to see if there would be enough interest from other prospective brides and grooms and armed with just my J and C and a logo designed quickly by a friend I booked a stand at Northern Ireland’s biggest wedding fair where I was overwhelmed by the response and had to rope my mum in to help with enquiries! I’ve been building letters ever since (I have about 40 now!) and am absolutely delighted that they are popular.
The letters have changed quite a lot in the last six months and they are now very professional compared to the ones that I had at my wedding! For example I used old fashioned incandescent bulbs for my own letters but for safety reasons these have been changed to low voltage LED’s which don’t heat up and are much safer in a party environment! I was worried that LED’s wouldn’t give the same lighting effect but we found fairground style bulb covers that are really pretty and actually look even better than the original bulbs. I still work full time in the family engineering company with my Dad and am lucky to have lots of help with manufacturing when I need it but I’m very hands on and the only parts I don’t do myself are the cutting and welding, I’ve even had special tools for wiring the lights made so that I am as self-sufficient as possible! My husband is an electrical engineer so he’s been really helpful as well as has my electrician Tony who is a real LED expert.
What does your range include and how do couples hire them?
We have a full alphabet of one metre tall letters for hire with doubles and triples of a number of letters available. We also have ampersands, star and heart shapes and a lovely joined up Love sign. There are lots more exciting ideas in the pipeline though and we will be expanding our range shortly, so watch this space! The standard package is for self-collection of the letters from our workshop in Belfast a day or two before the wedding and return a day or two after, we find that this is the most economical way for people to hire them and it’s often a good job to delegate to one of the wedding party or a family member. The letters come in big bags and fit in a decent sized boot with the seats down, there’s not a lot of setting up involved – just unpack them and plug them in! We are also more than happy to offer delivery and set-up options if required though.
Can the signs and letters be used outside?
The letters can be used outside but do need power from the mains. A generator can be used in situations where noise is not an issue but generally it’s easiest to run an extension cable from inside. If people want to use the letters in unusual places or settings we are more than willing to offer advice and assistance where possible – we recently took part on a photo shoot on a beach!
The past six months has been a busy one for you and Jamie, have you had time for any future planning?
We’ve got a number of new products in the early stages of development to add to our hire range and I’m excited about putting these into production in the coming months. We’ve also had quite a lot of interest from people wanting to buy illuminated letters and signage to keep and we’re currently working on some new designs with this in mind.
Thanks to Christine for taking the time to chat to us – you can read more about Electric Alphabet on their website, www.electric-alphabet.com, by liking them on Facebook, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 07512 895132.
If you missed Christine and Jamie’s wedding, and the original J&C light up letters, check it out here – you won’t be disappointed!! We’re looking forward to spotting lots more Electric Alphabet letters lighting up beautiful weddings in the future!