Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Wagtail Productions

Here at Revelry Towers we're big fans of wedding videos, to be honest we don't think they always get a fair rep, often they're a last minute addition to the day or people think they're a bit cheesy. Now don't get as wrong, a certain level of cheese does exist in the videography world but we work with some brilliant suppliers who actively avoid this. 

We first met Ayla at a wedding fair a few years ago and then worked with her on a styled shoot to mark the launch of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. Not only that we think she's so good she's doing Susie's wedding, that's right, you heard it hear first - Wagtail Productions is officially Wedding Planner approved, so let's meet the brains behind the operation.

Tell us about your background, how did you get into wedding videography?

I started in photography. I have always been obsessed with taking photographs, even as a child. I studied art and photography at college and uni. Video started to creep into my work, subtly at first. For example, I made a sound track to accompany the viewing of one of my photography exhibitions in London.

I then worked in the film industry as a Camera Assistant. I worked my way up, starting on independent films, then music videos, TV drama, commercials and big budget features. I finally got to fulfil my dream of working on a Bond movie when I did Skyfall. It was, ironically, on that job I decided I needed to make a change. It's really thanks to my experience in the film industry and the wonderful people who trained me that Wagtail Productions is where it is now. There's not a single shoot where I haven't drawn on my experience. It was a truly fantastic time in my life, but the bigger the film, the bigger the crew, the more disconnected from the camera I felt. I wanted to go back to just me and my camera and be in control of my own projects.

I took a break travelling around Europe. I drove from London to Rome solo and spent the summer as an Au Pair for 3 incredible children in Venice. You can't be in Italy and not be inspired, and this is when the filming started. I was au pairing for the most beautiful family. Their lives moved me. I felt I needed to film their every day moments, the innocence and romance of a childhood by the Italian seaside. The family had such joy from the film I made them.  I must admit, it's the reactions that make what I do so addictive. Before I knew it, I was back in the UK making little films just for the love of it which lead to my first wedding booking.

How would you describe your film style?

Wagtail Productions works with a huge range of styles. That super 8mm vintage look, classic cinema, stop motion animation, split screen fun, reportage, whatever suits the couple's day. We look at each project with fresh eyes and really get a sense for who the couple are during our pre-wedding chat. Everyone’s wedding has such a different feel, and we want to capture their essence and tell the story with those tiny real moments, such as a look or a touch.

What sets you apart from other wedding videographers?

We are regularly told two things by our couples at the end of their wedding day: “we didn't even notice you filming” and “you feel like part of the family now”. Our approach is to be discreet on the day, but still get those cinematic shots. When the couple and guests are relaxed, the result is a natural and authentic film. We avoid cliches. You won't see sweeping shots of shoes on windowsills in our films haha.

What’s the best thing about the wedding videography industry?

I love the willingness of other videographers to share tips and to help others improve.

And, because we want to be balanced here, what’s the worst?

Videography in the UK is way behind the USA when it comes to recognising the importance of having a wedding video and including it in the budget earlier on. You really do get what you pay for: it's that simple. Many couples who book us say they didn't think they wanted a video until they saw one of our films because they associated it with awkward cheesy shots. I hope it's not long before videography gets the kind of recognition that photography already has.

And finally some top tips, what makes a great wedding video?

Hire a videographer whose style you love, and trust them to do it. If you ask them to change the way they work too much then the result won't be like what attracted you to hire them in the first place.

Communication is key. Tell them what is important to you before the day and about all the details, such as readings and key family members. Then relax and have patience while they take care editing your beautiful film.

I have more tips for a great wedding video over on my website:

http://www.wagtailproductions.co.uk/blog/2016/8/18/make-your-wedding-video-beautiful

 

 

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

LITTLE BLACK BOOK: OH WONDER CALLIGRAPHY


We don't know about you, but calligraphy is one of those skills that always, without fail, ends up on the New Years resolution list every year. A few twirly letters in and then "oh this is hard...". Thankfully, there are wonderful people like Lauren from Oh Wonder Calligraphy to have pretty handwriting for us. We caught up with her this week as part of our Little Black Book series of favourite wedding suppliers!

LAUREN, HELLO! TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL LITTLE BUSINESS OH WONDER CALLIGRAPHY, AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?

Hello! Oh Wonder Calligraphy is a bespoke stationery and design studio based in South East London. I set it up in January 2016 after having my son, after years of wanting to set up my own business he finally gave me the push I needed to do it!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN FOUR WORDS OR LESS?

Romantic, Luxury, Elegant and Timeless

WHERE DO YOU GO TO FOR YOUR CREATIVE INSPIRATION?

Everywhere! I love Pinterest and Instagram and spend far too much time on them but I also draw inspiration from day to day life especially nature - seeing colours and shapes that I love and think will work nicely with calligraphy.

WHY SHOULD COUPLES CONSIDER WORKING CALLIGRAPHY INTO THEIR DESIGNS FOR THEIR DAY?

Calligraphy is very personal and each piece is unique, what I love about it is that I can write the same word twenty times and each one will look different. I think the written word is so romantic, and we don’t see enough of it these days. Receiving something handwritten will make your guests feel so special and get them excited about what to expect on your big day.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR DESIGNS?

I do a lot of colour experiments - I think that colour says so much and can make you feel differently about what you are seeing. I love mixing inks and have a whole shelf filled of colour experiments I have done to find the perfect shade to evoke the emotion I want to.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL OBJECT OR SURFACE YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO WRITE ON?

2016 was the year of the leaves…lots and lots of leaves, which I think look so great and add a lovely touch to a table setting.

ARE THERE ANY NEW TRENDS IN YOUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WEDDING WORLD WE SHOULD BE AWARE OF?

I am having lots of enquiries about Agate slices for this year which I think are gorgeous!

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT HAVING FUN WITH INK AND PAPER?

When I am not working I am usually chasing around after a very busy toddler and a tiny but sassy miniature sausage dog who together are usually causing absolute havoc!

Check out Lauren's stunning work over at www.ohwondercalligraphy.com!

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Jennifer's Paper

We're kicking off 2017 by introducing you to one of our favourite stationers that we've been working with over the past year. This good old American gal really knows how to make your wedding stationery pop! Say hello to Jennifer's Paper

So Jen, how long have you been designing wedding stationery and how did you get into it?

I've been creating wedding stationery since 2007 when I designed my hometown best friend's wedding invitation suite and day-of paper goods. I had always loved designing one-off invites and cards but this was a chance to make it more of a "branded" project which used my skills as a graphic designer. My own wedding was 4 years later and that's when I really got hooked on designing wedding stationery.

How would you describe your stationery style?

It's fresh, clean, pattern-loving and classic meets whimsical. I like to infuse elements of couples' personalities in there, too, whether it be the text or a tiny illustration that gives a nod to them.

Tell us a little bit about what you offer, we hear you’re more than just invites and save the dates?

I'm a firm believer that the wedding should feel like one cohesive event so that means I work with couples not only on the items that land in their friends and families' post boxes, but also anything that those same people are seeing when they arrive for the event. Basics like programs, place cards, menus, seating charts, signage, welcome bags. You name it, I'll design it! I once even hand-painted a beer boat (literally, an old row boat that was filled with ice and beer) at a wedding to match the invitation – it was the couple's name with the floral motif I had illustrated. It was so much fun and such a great statement piece for the wedding to really tie it all together. 

If you could give couples one piece of wedding stationery advice what would it be?

Go with what YOU want, not what your parents want (or are used to seeing). Wedding stationery has really come a long way in the past 10 years and you can really give your guests a hint of what's to come on your wedding day through the stationery. It's also one of the only items for your wedding that's tangible AFTER the big day so make it something you'll lovingly want to preserve and ooh and ahh at for years to come (I have two past clients who have just had their stationery suites framed to hang in their house. I am over the moon that they want to see this everyday!)

Are you seeing any particular wedding stationery trends coming through?

Botanical is a hot one for sure. Inspired by the greenery that the florists are creating, stationery is being influenced by this as well. Calligraphy and hand-lettering are also still around but I wouldn't be surprised if that starts making it's way out by the end of the year or maybe the year after. It's everywhere! Oh, and of course, the print finish of the moment – gold foil!

How do you approach wedding invitation wording?

For this one, when my couples hire me for their stationery, I ask them to fill out a questionnaire with all of the basics that will go into their invitations and one of the questions is if they'd like their wording casual, formal or religious. From there, I decide on the intro sentence and that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the invitation. For couples that want to keep their invitation wording more formal but want some personality in there, I always tell them to use the response card for this. I like to come up with fun and cheeky ways to say "accepts" and "regrets". 

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Wildflower Cakes

December is the time of year for indulgence, right? In that case we're right on track thinking about cake, cake, cake. For today's Little Black Book interview we're chatting to the lovely Arianna from Wildflower Cakes in London. Arianna has provided some amazing bakes for us at recent shoots (which you can see here) and we really wanted her to let us in on her secrets. So over to her!

ARIANNA, HELLO! TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WILDFLOWER CAKES AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?

www.wildflowercakes.co.uk Minimalist Silver Cake.jpg

Hello! I was brought up doing lots of baking and experimenting in cake decorating with my mum and grandma. I only considered it as a career after I had left university and felt a bit lost. I started reading a lot of decorating and cake blogs and decided to study patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu, it was a wonderful experience. I then worked for many high-end cake companies in London before starting my own. I wanted to make sure I was confident in my skills and knew what to do if things went wrong!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF CAKES?

I love flowers and nature, so the focal point of my designs is usually the sugar flowers. I adore modern, simplicity and believe less is more. A cake that has been beautifully executed with flawless icing and delicate sugar flowers is always going to be a show-stopper. I am definitely partial to metallics and usually can't resist adding a bit of gold or silver on there.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR NEW DESIGNS?

Quite a variety of places, I find Pinterest is a great place to be inspired. I often look at art, textures, patterns, colour palettes and real flowers.

wildflower wedding cake

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR NEW FLAVOURS, AND DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITES?

I am a massive chocoholic and love anything with chocolate. My recent favourite is a cake I made for my Dad inspired by the "cherry ripe" chocolate bar, which isn't sold in this country but is very popular in Australia where he was born. It had a rich chocolate sponge, a coconut sponge and roasted cherry buttercream. I don't usually get to eat the cakes I make, so this was a proper treat!

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT BAKING?

I enjoy reading classics, Jane Eyre being my favourite. I have a long list that I'm working my way through. I also really enjoy eating out, I used to be a very picky eater and I'm now super adventurous and always try to order something that I have never tried before.

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR COUPLES WHO AREN'T REALLY SURE WHAT KIND OF CAKE THEY WANT, HOW DO YOU START, AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?

I think the best way to start is to book a consultation and bring along a Pinterest/mood board you have put together of the ideas you have for your whole day. The cake maker can then see your personal taste, an idea of colours and the feel you are looking for, to then put together a design.

It's useful for the cake decorator to know how many people you are looking to serve to calculate how many tiers you will need. It is also important to consider where the cake will be displayed in the room, as some are designed to have a front angle and sit well against a wall, while some will sit beautifully in the centre of the room and look good from all angles. The taste is very important, so make sure to try a variety of samples.

ANY TIPS FOR COUPLES WHO WANT THEIR CAKE TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON A BUDGET?

You could consider having faux tiers to boost the height of your cake, which usually comes with a small reduction in price compared to having the whole thing as real cake. Displaying the cake on a high pedestal cake stand will also create more height and impact, most cake makers have these available to rent for the day. It looks beautiful to style the table the cake will be on, even just some candles or flowers surrounding can really add to making the cake a focal point.

Check out more of Arianna's gorgeous cakes on her website and prepare to drool. 

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

LITTLE BLACK BOOK: PAPAKATA

It may well be cold and miserable outside but in our line of work, we're already thinking a few seasons ahead to Summer weddings. And that means beautiful weather (fingers crossed), outdoor ceremonies, lawn games and most of all, marquees and tents. We love working in outdoor structures like these because it really is a blank canvas and you can let your imagination run wild around those poles.

Who better to talk to and get the low-down on wedding tents than one of our favourite suppliers, Papakata! Today, we're talking to the lovely Kate Wilson, Event Planner at Papakata.

Credit: John Day Photography

Credit: John Day Photography

Tell us a little bit about Papakata! How did the company come about?

PapaKåta was founded in 2006, when looking for a unique venue for their own wedding, Directors Amanda and Richard Monaghan fell in love with the beautiful giant Scandinavian teepees. Fast forward to 2016, we’re now one of the most experienced providers of teepees and the exclusive provider of Sperry sailcloth tents in the UK. Over the past 10 years PapaKåta have delivered over 2,000 events - a portfolio of fabulous and memorable celebrations that we’re hugely proud of. More recently we’ve been working on extending our offering of premium products for the events industry.

What makes the Papakata experience different from other marquee services?

Here at PapaKata we take pride in delivering more than just a tent, we create celebrations and in turn help to make those happy memories that last a lifetime. We’re always on hand to help with the planning and happy to answer any questions and requests that our thrown our way, no matter how weird or wonderful!

Credit: Helen Abraham Photography

Credit: Helen Abraham Photography

Tipis have been trending for a good few years now. How do you see the trend developing and evolving over the next few years?

Formerly the choice for bohemian weddings and parties, the tipis seem to evolve with the times and the trends...you can do as little, or as much to the tents as you like! When it comes to our in-house styling and accessorising, we take our cues from fashion and interior design. Both feed into the event styling, over the years we’ve seen rustic-luxe, minimalist, old school glamour and more recently geometric and carnival inspired events, to name a few, the sky really is the limit!

Credit: Anne Marie King Photography

Credit: Anne Marie King Photography

What we love about tents and marquees is that it's your very own blank canvas space, you can literally do whatever you want in there. What's your favourite design when it comes to kitting out your tent?

We couldn’t agree more! The beauty of the teepees and the Sperry tents is that they can be transformed to create a party space that’s unique to those who are celebrating inside. Our current favourite design is Farmhouse luxe – the focus is on texture and warmth, something that our tents have in the bucket loads. Whatever the style inside, our aim is for magical and unforgettable, that way we’re always on trend!

Credit: Anne Marie King Photography

Credit: Anne Marie King Photography

What has been the most challenging, boundary-pushing, amazing build you've worked on to date?

We’ve been so lucky in that we get to travel the country delivering our fabulous tents. We find ourselves in some fabulous locations and love the challenge that comes with it, you rarely hear of us turning down a job! This does however mean our imaginations are pushed to the limit to create ever more memorable events. Ones that stick out in my mind are roof top teepees and swimming pool spanning Sperry tents, to name a few!

What advice would you give couples looking at holding an outdoor wedding, planning to use a tent or marquee?

Planning is key! Take a look at the bigger picture first rather than the details. Once you’ve found your perfect venue, we encourage site visits to check that it really is the venue for you, and the place where your wedding day dreams can be brought to life. The British weather has a lot to answer for, good and bad! It’s important not to fixate on that outdoor drinks reception, but rather to have a contingency plan for all occasions. Also, remember to embrace whatever the elements throw at you. Some of our most memorable events have been made all the more magical by the unexpected - be it rainbows, sunsets and even April snow!

Credit: Ed Peers Photography

Credit: Ed Peers Photography

Can you tell us about any exciting new features or ideas you have planned for 2017, what's in the works?

We look forward to sharing our first bespoke scent in the form of a luxury candle. The idea being to embed precious memories through scent, and transport those who’ve partied with us back to their magical PapaKåta event.

Credit: Anne Marie King Photography

Credit: Anne Marie King Photography

We’re also always looking to complement our beautiful tents with a collection of furnishings that create the warmth and luxury that has become synonymous with PapaKåta. Watch this space for new and exciting products to accessorise your events in 2017!

 

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Milk Street Kitchen

That's right, it's time for another edition of Little Black Book. This week we're talking to Ellie, the baker behind Milk Street Kitchen, purveyor of delicious cakes. We're working with Ellie on a wedding next year so we thought now was the perfect time for us to get to know each other a bit better, so Ellie tell us a little bit about yourself...

Hello. I’m Ellie and I run Milk Street Kitchen, a wedding cake bakery based in the Surrey Hills. Running my own cake design business is something of a dream come true for me after I made the move from a career in PR to pursue my goal of studying patisserie at the world famous Cordon Bleu school. When I’m not in the kitchen I can usually be found hanging out with my baby daughter Adelaide who was born earlier this year.

Photo credit: Milk Street Kitchen

Photo credit: Milk Street Kitchen

Why did you start making wedding cakes?

The very first wedding cake I was asked to make was for my sister and her husband, which was really special. It was actually doing that cake that gave me the final push to pursue patisserie as a career. Whilst starting out as a pastry chef I began making wedding cakes for friends, I loved it and word began to spread. It’s fantastic getting to know couples at such a special time in their lives, hearing all about their plans and working with them to create something special for their big day.

How would you describe your style of cakes?

My cakes are inspired by the flavours that fill them and the beautiful details of each wedding. I specialise in contemporary styles of cakes, such as naked cakes and those covered in lashings of luxurious swiss meringue buttercream, as well as simple and modern iced numbers. I love to use natural decorations as much as possible, from blousy roses and seasonal fruits, to fresh herbs and sweet treats such as meringue kisses and macarons.

Photo credit: Dasha Caffrey

Photo credit: Dasha Caffrey

Photo credit: Philippa Sian 

Photo credit: Philippa Sian 

How do you come up with flavours for sponges and fillings and what are your favourites?

One of my favourite jobs is concocting new and interesting flavours. I try to give classic combinations a fresh twist and I look for inspiration in seasonal ingredients, from bursting summer berries to tasty autumnal fruits and warming winter spices. Each year I develop a new menu of flavours but I also love working with couples to create something bespoke for their wedding. 

My favourites are the raspberry and white chocolate cake which is one of the most popular, the zingy and fresh lemon and blueberry cake and when I’m in need of a chocolate fix, it's got to be chocolate and hazelnut praline.

What's your favourite part of the cake making process?

That’s a really tough question! I love the alchemy of baking the perfect sponge and the magic of making jams and curds, but it’s hard to beat the final set up of the cake on the day of the wedding. It’s lovely to see the cake I have designed brought to life and finished with all the final details. I love to see how the cake fits in with all the other personal details the couple has chosen and imagine them cutting it later on in front of all their friends and family.

Photo credit: Martin Makowski

Photo credit: Martin Makowski

Photo credit: Lauren by the sea

Photo credit: Lauren by the sea

What advice would you give to a couple who aren't sure what kind of wedding cake to have?

There are so many options for wedding cakes it can be a bit daunting, but equally there is lots of inspiration out there to whet your appetite, so spend time looking at different styles in magazines or on Pinterest and Instagram to narrow down the styles you like.

Finding a supplier you trust is also so important. Even if you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, your cake designer will be able to give you plenty of ideas once they hear a little about your wedding plans. Most importantly, get tasting! Most bakers will give you the opportunity to sample a selection of flavours without obligation so you can make sure you have an utterly delicious cake to look forward to on your wedding day!

Photo credit: Martin Makowski

Photo credit: Martin Makowski

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Stormont London

We've had a great time this summer seeing all our lovely couples tie the knot. Along the way we've met some amazing suppliers and so with that in mind we'd like to introduce you to Mark Stormont of Stormont London. The most high quality entertainment agency we've had the pleasure of working with.

Tell us about Stormont London, what do you do?

Stormont London is a passion project that is rapidly growing into the UK’s most perfectly formed event entertainment agency. For our clients we dip into a hand-picked roster of acts and artists across music, magic, dance, circus, illustration, photography and film to create the perfect cocktail of entertainment for their wedding or corporate event.

How are you different to other entertainment agencies?

Careful curation and spotless service if you want a sound bite! Our tag line is “expertly curated entertainment” and this really does sum up precisely who we are and how we help our clients.

You only have to start Googling entertainment options for 10 minutes before you want to hide your laptop under a pillow and hope that the problem of finding a band, magician or photo-booth will just solve itself. There’s too much choice and not enough selection out there and that is the problem we solve.

We have done the searching and profiling, we know the performers, we have lived on the front lines of events and entertainment for the best part of a decade. When clients come to us looking for some entertainment options they know that for every act we suggest there are 20 that didn’t make the grade or just aren’t quite right.

We also advise, manage and plan to perfection to a much greater degree. We work to a greater level of detail and looking after our clients better than any other agency we know. We don’t just ask people to sign a contract and then leave them to it.

A lot of couples typically want a band or DJ at their wedding, what advice would you give them to pick the right one?

Er...call us? I’m kidding of course but I do suggest calling bands and DJs in general. On the phone you can get such a good impression of the level of professionalism that a supplier up-holds. We would also suggest sending the same brief (in as much detail as you can muster) at the same time to multiple providers / bands / DJs and agents so you can directly compare response times, tone of email, clarity of communication and so on. That will help distinguish the pros from the hobbyists.

If the question your clients are asking themselves is if we should hire a band OR a DJ then they should definitely read our article 7 of the best reasons to hire a live band for your wedding.

We would also say don’t get frustrated and book an act because you are bored of looking, you are looking for something specific or you are just not enamoured with the options you’ve found, seriously, call us ;-).

What suggestions do you have if a couple wanted some really original entertainment at their wedding?

Our best advice here would be to balance your Googling time with some thinking time. Don’t spend all of your time searching for “original wedding entertainment ideas”, you may find it overwhelming and could lose sight of what you really want in a forest of options.

We would recommend spending time thinking about what you want your day to be about, who you are as a couple, what your theme is, what kind of genres of art and music you are into and then go back to the search. It is not about novelty for the sake of it, your wedding should be about character.

Little tweaks and twists can make all the difference and working closely with planners like Revelry or entertainment agents like us can really help. For example, jazz bands. Dull right? Well no, not if you go for a wandering trio who can play Justin Timberlake tunes on the sax like Cocktail Club Trio, or a band that swings up songs by Pendulum like Swing Pop.

You're not just an entertainment agency though. What else do you do?

As of late 2015 we now have two new business that are very exciting. One is London Event Productions or LEP for short — a unique technical production agency.

What is a technical production agency I hear you ask? Well, we provide AV support for weddings and events like illuminated letters, audio systems, lighting, dance floors, staging and event furniture like circular mirrored bars and so on. We are also one of the few tech companies that can provide white audio/visual equipment.

The second additional service is event photography and filming (including wedding drone filming!). Working with the esteemed wedding and event photographer Bircan (“B”) Tulga, we have started a small company providing the most charming wedding photographers in the industry.

And finally because budget is always a concern with any couple, how do you work with people that might have a little less money to play with than others?

We are always very upfront with couples about budgets. For a start we feature guide prices on our website but we also like to raise budgets very early on in discussions for everyone’s benefit.

We do uphold a certain quality of service and only take on the best entertainers, but this is not to say that we are always expensive. There is cost effective talent out there and we do look for it. All I would say is that quality is our benchmark not price.

So, for those with lower budgets we have cost effective entertainment options and you can always expect the most transparent and impartial advice regardless of budgets. Our starter collection of small bands may also be a good help!

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Insta Wedding

This month we're showing off the amazing work of one of our favourite photographers and filmmakers Insta Wedding! Sarah and Mason are a husband and wife team bringing a fresh look to vintage and offering something pretty unique and badass for the modern bride and groom. Here are some gems from them!

Sarah, how did you first get into wedding photography and videography?

So photography came first. I grew up with my Grandad’s love of photography and was greatly inspired by him. He never went out without a camera around his neck and had a very cool collection of cameras. I inherited his amazing photo albums as well as his passion for photography.  I started with travel photography and when I met Mason our mutual appreciation of photography exploded! As a designer and retoucher Mason had spent a lot of time working with some of the top fashion photographers in the world and began to take his own pics. 

Wedding photography started around 10 years ago when a friend of ours got married. She had paid 2.5k for a photographer and when his pics came she was really disappointed. Luckily Mason had taken lots as a guest and she loved them and created her wedding album from his pics instead. Then it went from there people asking to book him by word of mouth. We wanted to create a business out of it but there was never a “right time”. Then unfortunately I got really sick and had to leave my full time job in marketing and literally from my sick bed, our business grew! Now we have photographed over 50 weddings and filmed over 70!! 

How would you describe your film style?

Our films are super 8 / cinematic / vintage style with a modern twist. We wanted to create something like the old fashioned films but not using old equipment which can be really unreliable. We film in short bursts and the beauty of it is in the editing. Every film is unique to each couple and they are all very emotive - we have made a lot of people cry!!!!!!

 

Obviously I am very proud of what we do but it really is like nothing else out there. I struggle to recommend other videographers like us as our style really is unique.

What inspires you to create?

Our couples. We have ‘signature shots’ but they don’t always work for the couples personality so we think on our feet and find something that fits in with the couples style. 

Our passion for finding new and quirky shots and providing something unique in the wedding world. Working with fun, creative couples, making them laugh and cry and receiving amazing feedback. 

A very successful wedding photographer once told me her secret - that she never competes with anyone /compares herself to anyone, just does what she does best. And that has really helped as we do our own thing and want people to book us on that basis and for our own style. Not to create/imitate someone else’s work. 

Do you have any favourite people to work with in the wedding world?

We have been very lucky to work with some amazing people in the wedding world and who have supported us since day one. We adore Kat Williams of RocknRoll’ Bride - since planning our own wedding and it being featured on her blog we have been massive fans and seeing our own work published on her blog and magazine has been unreal. She has supported us since day 1 and when I met her recently I was so in awe but she is so down to earth and normal and I admire her for her honesty in her work and on a personal level. A lot of people have booked us from her forum and we particularly love working with Rocknroll’ brides. 

Another blog I love is London Bride and I got to work with Charley recently - she is sooooo lovely and brilliant at what she does.

Our favourite fair is the Most Curious Wedding Fair and we have exhibited there for the past two years, originally winning a spot for emerging talent. It’s the best fair in the UK and has the most creative suppliers under one roof. The girls who run it Becky and Cat are fab to work with and have also supported us since day 1.

We have also been lucky to work with the Meringue Girls (photographing and filming their book launch party) whose favours and wedding cakes are so cool!!!! and they are such nice girls. 

Some of our other favourite suppliers are Hey Style Hire, Bon Bon Balloons and of course Revelry Events ;-)

Flatterers! What stands out for you as one of your favourite wedding moments?

We shot an older couple’s wedding (in their 60s) and the whole day was so filled with love. It was a wedding from the heart and when they tangoed down the aisle that was one of the most beautiful moments we have been lucky enough to capture.

What, for you, makes a good wedding film great - is there any advice you would give to your couples when it comes to wedding videography?

Our style is very reportage and behind the scenes so we try to capture people when they can’t see us. So people being natural and not looking at the camera / directing us. And just being themselves and having fun. And being as silly as they want to be as once we edit we would never include anything that we wouldn’t want in there ourselves…

Go away right now (obviously, then come back later) and look at their fantastic website!

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Ladybird Flowers

We're shining the spotlight on one of our favourite florists this month. Readers of the blog meet Emma from Ladybird Flowers. We went ahead and asked her some questions so you can get to know her a little better. Here's what she had to say...

What's your favourite part of being a wedding florist?

Meeting wonderful couples and helping them turn their visuals into a reality! I love that I’m one of the suppliers that are lucky enough go through so many stages of their wedding process with them, not just the flowers. For me it’s so important to know about the whole wedding, getting to know the couple, their likes and dislikes, the style and feel they want for the overall day and if they have a particular theme. This is one of the many reasons why visiting the venue with the couple and working closely together throughout is such an important wonderful process. I feel so humbled when couples trust me and share with me their vision and quite a lot of the time their wedding dreams! I can be working with couples from 1 month to 18 months, it doesn’t matter the length of time I have with them, I dedicate the same amount of time and energy to ensure they get their exact vision. I have known to get quite emotional on giving the bride her bridal bouquet, knowing that I have captured their vision exactly and that I’ve delivered above and beyond their expectations is such a beautiful thing.

How would you describe your style?

I adore Mother Nature and her beauty and I would like to think that my style reflects that. I like to observe how the flowers are growing and facing so when I’m arranging them they compliment each other, not look as if they have been forced together or look ‘stiff’. I love my arrangements full to the brim of seasonal flowers, with lots of greenery, in a very natural, relaxed but elegant style. I often describe to my brides that their bouquet will look like they have skipped through the field while scooping up all the wild flowers. Of course it’s never as simple as that but that’s the look we like to go for. My all time favourite flowers are peonies, full to the brim of elegance and beauty, although getting their wonderful blousy petals to open perfectly for your big day can be tricky, but like I say with all beautiful creatures just a little love and TLC and they will be just perfect.

How do you work with clients to provide them with their wedding flowers?

I believe that every wedding is unique and individual to every couple.  I specialise in weddings on any budget so I don’t have a minimum spend.  I am always thrilled to be part of the celebration, whatever the scale.  I can supply bridal party flowers only, or go all out to create breathtaking installations to give your beautiful venue that extra special something for your perfect day. I don’t have prices on my website as these always depend on the size, season and type of flower for each arrangement.  Don’t worry though, we’ll discuss this in great detail during your free phone consultation.  Once we’ve spoken and I’ve got to know you and what you’d like the fun really starts!  I’ll arrange to meet you at your venue so we can go through the specifics and make sure we are all on the same creative page. Once you’ve booked with me I don’t take any other enquiries or bookings for your special day, as I want to ensure my sole focus and passion is dedicated to you. I’m based in London but love travelling around the country.  

What advice would you give couples when they start to look at wedding flowers?

I completely understand that choosing a florist can be a hugely daunting process. With the right florist, your wedding can go from being okay to something sensational. The right florist will not only find you the right flowers, they can also be an important presence in the run up to your wedding and can provide an unbelievably calming influence. My ‘shop’ is Instagram, (I maybe slightly addicted to Instagram!) Facebook and Snapchat. Here you can see my work, get a feel for who I am. Looking through my ‘shop’ allows you to see if I’m the type of person you would like to work with and if you like my style of floristry. I think that’s very important when looking for your florist that you make sure you feel comfortable with him/her, that you trust them and that you love their style. Then the fun part, meeting for coffee and chatting all about you and your wedding day and flowers!

What are the most popular wedding flowers and what flowers would you like more couples to take a chance on?

I’m very lucky to work with couples who primarily want seasonal flowers in all their arrangements and most are pretty open to my suggestions and advice. This works well for couples on a budget and my stress levels! I used some flowers like water lilies and lotus flowers for a wedding last year which had to be shipped in from Thailand. Don’t get me wrong, I loved working with such amazing flowers, it was however just a tad stressful to ensure I got them in time for them to be in their full beauty for the wedding day, opening just enough but not too much that they could possibly over bloom and wilt. I would love to see couples having at least one statement piece such as a flower wall or a floral hanging. Sometimes cutting back on an area of flowers and replacing with one jaw dropping flower installation can have more impact and have your guests talking for months to come…maybe even years!

Are there any floral trends you've seen over the past year and do you have any predictions for the future?

Every wedding is unique and individual to every couple, however there are trends that can dominate the wedding world, especially when it comes to flowers. Last year it was jam jars full to the brim of fresh seasonal flowers, this year we are seeing a change from the rustic and traditional vintage to contemporary urban chic with larger more daring decor.  2016 will see more floral focal areas full of lush seasonal blooms such as flower walls and flower curtains.

For the bride who wants the romantic floral focus to be on her, a floral choker full of peonies is a must.  Teamed with an elegant dress neckline and a fabulous up do, it really can create a show stopping look. In 2016 we are seeing more destination weddings to guarantee fabulous weather.  For those brides walking barefoot along the beach, ankle cuffs are the perfect accessory.      

The 2015 full unstructured bouquet full of fresh seasonal blooms, I'm pleased to say is here to stay, with some brides opting for more of a wild bouquet with lots of greenery.  We are also seeing the trailing bouquet make a come back, this time with a more natural urban feel.  With Game of Thrones being on everyone’s lips, we are seeing this come into the bridal world too. Hair is playing a big part here with lots of braids complimented with flowers to get the perfect look.

Thanks so much to Emma for answering our questions you can check out her fabulous work on her website

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Mary Jane Vaughan

For so many couples, flowers are really the cornerstone of their wedding decor. Florals are a way to tie a theme together, to style a venue the way you want it and really put a creative stamp on your day. You really can do anything you dream up with flowers, you've just got to take a quick swipe of Pinterest to tell you that. But with Pinterest dreaming comes the harsh reality of wedding budgets - flowers are usually way more expensive than you think. But fear not! We spoke to the lovely Tove at Mary Jane Vaughan Flowers - absolute floral geniuses - and asked her for some bridal tips and advice for budgeting for your wedding blooms.

A close-up by Xander & Thea of MJV's gorgeous arrangement for our botanical styled shoot at Middle Temple Hall

A close-up by Xander & Thea of MJV's gorgeous arrangement for our botanical styled shoot at Middle Temple Hall

So, Tove, we know it's impossible to say what the average wedding budget is because it's essentially asking how long a piece of string is. But for those couples just starting to put their budget together, what might give them an idea of where they should be pitching their flower spend?

You're totally right, wedding budgets can vary so much it really is so difficult to suggest a rule of thumb percentage of your budget or a flat figure. But, there are a few things that might give you an idea. The first is your venue - if you have already chosen one or have a style in mind that you know is going to need a lot of decoration, it's safe to say your flower budget might be higher than others. Some couples don't consider headcount in their flower budget, but there's a big difference between 10 and 25 tables when it comes to centrepieces. If you do have a large wedding and still want to create an impact, consider larger tables or a different configuration which lowers the number you need.

Does it worry you when bridal magazines are suggesting to couples that average spends on flowers are so much lower than is realistic?

The disconnect between Pinterest and bridal magazines is what may be slightly confusing for brides. Bridal magazines may suggest that the average cost is £2000, but on Pinterest (where most of our brides go nowadays for inspiration) the centrepieces are overflowing with flowers, and the bouquets huge, as these are the designs that photograph very well – but these designs will push up the costs as they are so full of flowers.

Saying that, if a couple comes to us with a certain budget and a look to achieve, we will try our hardest to achieve it for them within budget! It may mean choosing the items that are the most important and concentrating on those.

So if budgets are tight, how can couples be smarter with your budget when it comes to wedding flowers?

Concentrate on the most important things – the bride’s bouquet, and the centrepieces. Those are the things that you and your guests will remember and will be in most of the photographs. 

Take your florist’s advice on what’s seasonal and go with that, there are beautiful choices in every season. If a flower is very important to you, get married at the right time of year so it doesn’t have to be imported at great cost. You may be obsessed with peonies but if you're not getting married in May or June, you'll struggle to stay within budget to have them!

You can create a lot of atmosphere with candlelight and amazing vases. If budget is tight use night lights, hurricane lamps and candlesticks and perhaps some rose petals, to decorate the less focal areas such as the drinks reception. On the table-centres themselves, a lot can be achieved with gorgeous vases and statement flowers, arranged with simplicity, or in a clever way, and highlighted with more candlelight!

What are some of the costs couples forget to factor in for their wedding flowers?

 At the budgeting stage, some couples don’t think to factor in setting up and dismantling. Many venues need to be cleared that same night. If the ceremony is in a different place it may need a different team so will incur a separate cost.

VAT will usually need to be added, so if you aren’t sure it’s best to double check so you don't get a nasty surprise!

Do you have any other rules of thumb when it comes to how much flowers will likely cost? 

Our prices usually run at around £4.50 + VAT for a buttonhole, a bridal posy bouquet can run at £90 + VAT, a stunning low centrepiece can be between £80 and £150 + VAT, with taller ones going up to £400 + VAT. But we will always work hard within your budget, whatever it may be!

Any other hints and tips for couples putting together their wedding flower budget?

 Be open minded! It is so helpful to know what you want going in to your initial flower consultation, but if your budget won’t stretch to recreating what you had in mind, a good florist will suggest alternatives. There may be compromise involved, but flowers are so beautiful that there will always be a solution! 

 

Wedding Suppliers: Most Curious Wedding Fair

Behind the Scenes at the Most Curious Wedding Fair

When you've spent a long time in the wedding world like we have, wedding shows and fairs become pretty much par for the course and it can take a lot to really impress you.

But when we were invited to the press preview of the London edition of a Most Curious Wedding Fair this weekend, we knew we'd stumbled onto something really different.

The show has recently exploded in popularity with many couples finding the laid-back, stylish vibe of the event truly refreshing.

Based at East London's truly cool Truman Brewery - couples are welcomed into a dynamic space where suppliers are encouraged to showcase themselves beyond a trestle table and some flyers. You're captured by the imagination and creativity of each exhibitor and what you're seeing is really out-of-the-box, on-trend stuff. 

If you're anywhere near it this weekend, you really must must must grab your tickets for the Norwich Show right here, or if you missed the London show check out some of the talented exhibitors' work for your own wedding this year over on the Most Curious Instagram page

A few highlights from this year's show!

We were snapped by the Flash Pack, one of our total photo booth faves, who were showcasing their new Retro Booth. We were also glad to see our our friends Insta Wedding at the fair, cinematic and artistic filmmakers and photographers who are offering something unique in the wedding industry. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 11.10.22.png
Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 11.10.16.png
Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 11.19.37.png

Stunning paper flowers with a gorgeous colour scheme from Things by Laura - so impressed! And a captivating, on trend to the max, runway show courtesy of Style and the Bride. No event is complete without light up letters by Doris Loves, either!

Wedding Suppliers: Profile

Little Black Book: Caiger & Co

So you may have a seen a little video we did with the lovely Alix from Caiger & Co about how to impress your guests with wedding food. If you haven't you can check it out here

We had a little chat after filming to get a couple more tips on wedding food, for anyone looking for wedding food inspiration, Alix has some advice...

Other than what's in the video, what else can you do to make your wedding food stand out?

A different sort of cuisine is always a great way to make wedding food stand out, if you love all things American get hot dogs on the menu or if Japanese food your thing why not try sushi. 

Also think about the way the food is served – there are many ways that service could be run in order to the make the food stand out. For example, food stalls are a great way to make sure your guests are mingling & trying all the food on offer. 

What's your biggest food trend prediction for this year?

Middle Eastern food – it offers so many possibilities, not least some really interesting vegetarian & vegan options.

Company name: Caiger & Co

Established: 2011

Food style: Bespoke & luxury, with a focus on seasonal & local ingredients

Website: http://caigerandcocatering.co.uk/