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: 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!