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: 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. 

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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!