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!