Supplier Love | Whitehouse Event Crockery

When Helen and I first launched The Sequin Collection we knew we’d need some pretty spectacular tableware to really bring out the sparkle of our linens. The hunt for glass charger plates began. As soon as we saw the Gold Beaded Charger Plates at Whitehouse Event Crockery we knew we had to have them. I’m also completely obsessed with the gold cutlery they’ve recently added to their collection and can’t wait to use them on a shoot or at a wedding.

Natalie Martin Photography | The Little Wedding Helper

The first set of photos, by the talented Natalie Martin, are from Laura and Byron’s wedding at Eastington Park, and I think you’ll agree that these place settings and those gorgeous blooms are the perfect match.

The company is run by Marc Gough and based in Manchester which might seem a little outside my usual corner of the South West but Marc delivers nationally and internationally so I know I’ll be able to source what I need no matter the venue.

Natalie Martin Photography | The Little Wedding Helper Natalie Martin Photography | The Little Wedding HelperNatalie Martin Photography | The Little Wedding Helper

Each year more and more of my couples are looking to source amazing plates and glasses for their tables whether it’s coloured chargers or mismatched vintage crockery. I love the fact that people are being so creative with their choices because it makes such a difference to the overall look of the day. Whitehouse have a really extensive range and great customer service so I never hesitate in recommending them.

A white plate is immediately transformed when paired with a beaded charger and can be a cost effective way of adding detail to your table and still using the venue or caters crockery.

For me a big aspect in building relationships with suppliers is knowing that they’re there when you need them. I work with The Wedding Wishing Well, a charity that organises weddings for those who are terminally ill, sometimes at very short notice. The first time I contacted Marc for help he came straight back saying ‘no problem, just tell me what you need’. It was so appreciated on the day and looked amazing.

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Kris and Claire

The soft glow of the candles and the piles of pumpkins added to the cosy atmosphere in this seasonal wedding at The Battle Axes, Wraxall. Kris and Claire took an already inviting and cosy venue and ramped up the charm with their use of foraged pine cones, acorns and leaves.      Peach & Jo PhotographyEach table was named after a particular species of tree and had the sweetest embroidery to point guests in the right direction. I can just imagine these treasures hanging in the family home, a pretty and thoughtful reminder of their day for years to come. And how beautiful is that traditional Scandinavian wedding cake? It’s called a kransekake!

Claire says:

“We always had quite a clear picture in our heads about how we wanted our wedding to look and feel. It was really important to us that the day was full of little touches that made everything personal and special but with everything going on we were not sure how to achieve that by ourselves or how we would be able to pull it all together on the day.

Kirsten was recommended to me by a friend who had been to a wedding she had styled previously. When I met with Kirsten she immediately understood the vintage harvest festival feel we were going for and really helped me (over tea and cake!) to crystallise those ideas into a plan of action. Kirsten worked closely with me, the other vendors, and the venue to make sure that the flowers and the handmade pieces I had created for the day were beautifully and artfully complemented with her gorgeous vintage props and styling.

It really took any worries I previously had away from the morning of the wedding, knowing I had a trusted, creative eye on the scene to make sure the venue was looking gorgeous before our guests arrived.

Both the venue and our guests have gone out of their way to tell me that all the wonderful details that Kirsten added really personalised the day and helped to bring the whole thing together. I can’t recommend Kirsten highly enough; she helped elevate our ideas and turn them into something real and so much better than we could have imagined on our own. Her on the morning styling service really took the stress out of the day and when we arrived on the day and saw the venue for the first time it absolutely took our breath away.

Thank you so much, Kirsten!”

This truly Autumnal affair was made even more exciting by a recent announcement – a little pumpkin of their own! Congratulations Kris and Claire, I’m so excited for your growing family.

Pregnancy announcement

Peach & Jo Photography

Peach & Jo Photography

Peach & Jo Photography

Peach & Jo Photography

Vintage French Wedding

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A great big thank you to Vow Magazine for making this styled shoot the cover of their summer issue – you can read it here! It’s such a thrill to see it all in print and I couldn’t resist sharing a few of my favourite shots and a little bit of the copy!

Everyone I worked with on this shoot is somebody I’ve known for a while and worked with before. These are my favourite types of projects because everybody knows how the others work and together we can make something really unique and lovely.

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We decided on a French vintage theme with macaroons, reclaimed shutters, and lots of fresh flowers. We wanted to make the shoot realistic for couples so did nothing on the day that we couldn’t recreate for a real wedding. This is where having a stylist can really help; I cor-ordinate all those elements and details and can open up the dialogue between suppliers so that everyone knows the creative vision for the day. We chose Clevedon Hall because of their beautiful grounds, if you’ve not been I can’t encourage you enough, they’re really special. It’s been one of my favourite venues to style for a long time and I was itching to see the recently refurbished guest rooms.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better location, all we needed was the weather to match! And it did – but this created it’s own set of problems. At some points in the day it was actually too bright to shoot outside so when that happened we hid inside and ate macaroons. On any shoot you have to flexible and patient; some things take longer than others, some shots don’t work as you’d hoped, and sometimes the weather can be temperamental. Being in the UK I never thought I’d complain about having too much sun! This is when we relied on the expertise of Fran, Evoke Pictures, the most. She knew how and when to catch the best light and, as you can see, how to make the most beautiful images.

Venue – Clevedon Hall
Photographer – Evoke Pictures
Styling – The Little Wedding Helper
Flowers – Emma Norton Wedding Flowers
Cakes & Macaroons – Anna Tyler Cakes
Dresses – Jessica Charleston
Make Up & Hair – Grace Kingsley Make Up
Hair accessories – Vintage Button Bridal
Stationery – De Winton Paper Co
Table plan – Saunders Creative
Vintage furniture & props – Virginias Vintage Hire
Model – Rachel Harvey

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Venue – Clevedon Hall
Photographer – Evoke Pictures
Styling – The Little Wedding Helper
Flowers – Emma Norton Wedding Flowers
Cakes & Macaroons – Anna Tyler Cakes
Dresses – Jessica Charleston
Make Up & Hair – Grace Kingsley Make Up
Hair accessories – Vintage Button Bridal
Stationery – De Winton Paper Co
Table plan – Saunders Creative
Vintage furniture & props – Virginias Vintage Hire
Model – Rachel Harvey

Pretty Pomegranates

Pomegranate Cake 25Despite hailing from warmer climes there’s something about pomegranates that make me think of colder months. Those berry bright seeds scattered over a cake or nestled in the bottom of a glass are the perfect pop of colour for a winter wedding and couples who want something a seasonal without being Christmassy.

Pomegranate Cake 21Pomegranate Cake 8The terribly talented and lovely Lucy Heath, of Capture By Lucy, is an incredible photographer and another person I met on Instagram. We’d both been fans of each others work for while before deciding to get together for a micro-shoot and once we had everything sort of fell together.

Sometimes it’s great to get together with other creative types and just make something beautiful over copious cups of tea and a good catch up. The end result being a series of stunning photographs is an added bonus!

Pomegranate Spoons and Glass 1I’ve worked with Bristol based stationer Harriet de Winton on a number of shoots now and she never fails to blow me away with her beautiful hand painted stationery designs. When I spoke to her about my plans to spend a day with Lucy snapping pictures and playing with pomegranates she created this stunning suite of stationery just for us. Love it!

Pomegranate Stationery 22Philippa Gayler-Read, of Love Cake Bristol, and I were neighbours, have children in the same school, and bonded over our love of the wedding industry and the struggles of working from home. One day, while waiting together at the school gates, she mentioned working on a shoot with me. I immediately thought of the planned pomegranate shoot and imagined piles and piles of pomegranate seeds and berries heaped on top of a naked wedding cake, Philippa’s speciality. I think we can all agree that the finished thing is divine!

Camilla and Kinsey

This wedding was special for me for a couple of reasons. First of all it was captured on film by the incredibly talented Costa Sister Productions – I love wedding videos and seeing how people interact with the decor so this was a real treat. And then there’s just how excited and involved Camilla and Kinsey were in making every detail of their day perfect. When I arrived so much had been prepared already like the gorgeous barn doors and those stunning place settings.

Philippa James Photography

It was a real family affair on the day – a tipi reception held on the family’s land and the bride arriving in Dad’s vintage motor. I was even invited to travel up the day before to start setting up the decor and stayed the night in Camilla’s brother’s old bedroom! After meeting initially as exhibitors at The Vintage Wedding Fayre Camilla and I got to know each other over lunches in Clifton, after her dress fittings at The Mews. I think it was this time spent planning that helped us create such a cohesive look. It was also meant that the on the day coordination (there were 250 guests!) ran smoothly!

This is what Camilla had to say on the whole process:

Kirsten was absolutely fantastic on the day of the wedding and in the run up – she met with me and listened to all my crazy ideas, she sourced the ribbons, helped me find the vintage glasses and candle sticks, and painstakingly made the glitter hearts on sticks, she positioned all the random collections of things I had made and sourced so that they looked pretty, especially on the tables and entrance to the tipi’s, she organised the cake lady and the millions bits of cake, tied zillions of the ribbons in the trees by hand, helped the florist with over 100 jam-jars and various floral displays including the sashes on the cars, positioned old sofas, sequin tables and hung pompoms around the bar and generally was much more in control than I could ever have been. There was so much to organise and put together – she even put on my floral bracelet and floral anklet just before I left for the church – above and beyond!! More than anything though she was a wonderful lady to have around during the run up and on the morning itself – calm, collected and efficient, sorting stuff and organising all of the things – we had over 250 guests to the day so it was a huge amount of work to undertake in a small time not knowing whether it would rain or not (it didnt – TTL)! I wanted to create a day entirely from my head that would be 100% ‘us’, a little boho, alot eclectic but wonderful all the same and she made the process so so SO much easier to do. A fabulous lady. HIRE HER IMMEDIATELY!!

Special thanks to the amazing suppliers who helped create such a wonderful day for Camilla and Kinsey:  Costa Sister ProductionsPillippa James Photography, Rachel’s Floral Designs, Great British Florist (flower crowns),  Cariad Canvas, and last but not least The Vintage Hire.

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A Weekend Escape to Deer Park Hotel

My daughter and I first visited Deer Park in 2014, it wasn’t too far away, there was a great deal on, and we immediately fell in love with it. At the first sign of a wedding free weekend, elusive in the summer months, we knew exactly where we wanted to go. After a few Tweets we were booked in for two nights and couldn’t wait!

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There’s something really special about Deer Park Hotel; I think a big part of it is the welcoming atmosphere the minute you step through the door; one of the first things you see is a row of wellington boots and collection of umbrellas for guests to use when the weather turns. The building itself is beautiful, dating back to the mid 18th Century, and is set amongst 80 acres or beautiful parklands. Ella and I enjoyed rambling about and making the most of our surroundings. We also found out that Deer Park recently moved into the wedding industry, opening their doors for the first time as a venue! I can fully appreciate why  couples would fall in love with the place – we did after all!

Ella and I stayed in the Garden Rooms, which are separate from the hotel but right next door to the Victorian walled garden, where they’ve just started growing their own produce for the restaurant. When we arrived at the room there was a map of the hotel and grounds showing all the different places to explore including: a bean bag chill out area, outdoor pizza oven and seating, and of course the beautiful grounds. Our journey to the hotel had been a little tortuous, several hours stuck in traffic jams in the burning sun, so while Ella started planning our visit I took full advantage of the comfortable bed and tried my best not to nod off. I may have made a note of who made the mattress and linens – I need them at home!

Dogs are always welcome at Deer Park, there’s even a little pamper shed for pooches, which is great after a muddy walk through the grounds. As a household of cat lovers we didn’t have a dog to take with us but Hugo, Deer Park’s pooch in residence, acted as our canine companion and joined us on our explorations. Hugo is easily the cutest dog we’ve met – he wears a bow tie and has his own Twitter account, @HugoGodfrey

The hotel caters really well for children with a dedicated menu – proper meals and not a chicken nugget in sight! The attention to detail made the dining experience extra special. I loved the labels next to the jars of breakfast cereals. Every meal was a treat.

Obviously I wanted to have a poke around Deer Park as a venue and Mark Godfrey, General Manager, was kind enough to show us both around with Hugo in tow. As well as getting married inside the hotel they have a new outside ceremony space. There’s stunning wisteria archway and wildlflower meadow that lead you to the private garden which is licenscensed for ceremonies. In the UK outdoor ceremonies are riskier than they would be in warmer climates, but the ceremony space at Deer Park is so beautiful it would be worth chancing it.

On the wedding night you can stay in your very own treehouse. We wanted to have a nose about inside but it was in use the weekend we visited. It looks so romantic at night though – the pathway is all lit up and it looks so enticing – just what you want for weddings and special occasions. Mark also showed us the hotels collection of classic cars that can be used by couples on their special day and I think it’s these little touches that make Deer Park stand out from other venues.

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Ella wanted to help with my blog post and so as Mark showed us around she subjected him to her journalistic scrutiny and hard hitting questions.

Q: What makes Deer Park special?

A: The staff, gardens, grounds, and location. (We both agreed with this!)

Q: What three words would you use to describe Deer Park Hotel?

A: Tickety-boo, marvelous, and scrumptious!

Q: How does it feel to manage Deer Park?

A: It’s very rewarding and fun!

Q: Are you good friends with the staff?

A: Very good friends. A lot live on site and they work very hard and are really friendly.

Q: What are you working on?

A: We’re adding some new fencing to the grounds and continuing lots of new plants and flowers.

It was so nice to get away from everything and spend some much needed quality time with Ella; it really is one of our favourite places to stay and I am so excited that they’re now a wedding venue. I heartily recommend you taking some time for yourself and visiting Deer Park and the surrounding area. You won’t regret it!

Ella would like to finish by saying “When are we going back Mummy?”

Whimsical Outdoor Wedding Shoot

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It all started on Instagram. This shouldn’t surprise me as much as it does all things considered. As the organiser of the Bristol Wedding Tweetup’s at Goldbrick House, I use Twitter and Facebook to connect with other businesses and couples on a daily basis, and use Pinterest to explore my own tastes and to help couples visualise what they want from their own wedding decor. In short – social media is a big part of my life. and spend so much of my time tapping away on my phone tweeting with other business owners.

When Shirlie Kemp followed me on Instagram I sent a brief thank you and mentioned how much I loved her photography and, perhaps a little cheekily, how good it would be to work together on a shoot. What could be the worst that happened? I love Instagram for this very reason that you can make contact with individuals & businesses that you may never otherwise get to meet in person. Shirley soon messaged back inviting me to join her and some other suppliers on a shoot in Surrey.

We used Pinterest a lot in the early stages of the planning; curating images Shirlie and I both loved and showing these to the suppliers we’d be working with. It’s a method I use with each of my couples and helps me create a visual map of how I’ll style each occasion. It was great being able to then show this to the suppliers I love to work with, fill up the car with props, and head to Surrey with Abi from Cake.

‘Romantic, vintage, and whimsical’ became a real focus for Kirsty, the florist, and we couldn’t help but get excited as we planned the colours and the details of the floral arrangements. The Letter Loft provided the moss lettering that perfectly complimented the outdoor setting and hinted at the moss Kirsty used in each of the centrepieces.

Even the fruit on the Abi’s cakes and the cocktails complimented the flowers; everything looked freshly picked and totally delicious. The dresses, all whimsy and and ruffles, were handmade by the very talented Twit Twoo Dresses who specialise in handmade garments for flower girls and pageboys. Festooned with Kirsty’s flowers they were every bit as romantic as wished for. Lesley from The Vintage Hire supplied gorgeous vintage plates, glassware and cutlery that we colour coordinated with the surroundings.

Priory Farm, the stunning venue, has this amazing farm shop and beautiful nature trail and so every now and then our day was punctuated by members of the public enthusing about the shoot with us. It was fun hearing all the positive feedback from passers by and seeing so many people enjoying the farm and glorious weather. The farm is actually owned by a friend of Shirley’s which totally added to the welcoming collaborative feel of the shoot and we tried to incorporate different farm inspired elements like the rustic furniture, milk bottle carrier entwined with fresh blooms, and pretty crockery that could have been taken straight from a farmhouse dresser.

It was a fantastic day full of prettiness and creativity captured beautifully by Shirlie. It was wonderful working with such great suppliers, and of course I couldn’t resist a quick selfie with Shirlie. What did we do before social media…

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Styling: Me
Photography: www.shirliekemp.com
Flowers: www.flowersbykirsty.com
Cakes: www.cakebristol.com
China & glassware: www.thevintagehire.com
Moss letters: www.theletterloft.com
Bridesmaid dresses: www.twittwoodresses.co.uk
Venue: www.prioryfarm.co.uk

Welcome to the blog!

Hello and welcome!

Having a blog of my own is something that’s been weighing on my mind for a long time. With so many beautiful and well written blogs out there I didn’t feel confident in my ability to add anything of value to the conversation. In short, I was a little scared, so please be gentle!

I’ll be using the LWH Blog to share weddings. styling tips, announcements, and my own insights into the wedding industry. Joining me is Hannah K Chapman who’ll be writing about a lot of the behind the scenes happenings at The Little Wedding Helper – we’re both so excited!

So, what exactly have I been doing with my time?  Of course I’ve have been busy styling lots of gorgeous weddings across the country: dreamy tipi weddings, glamorous city weddings, country pub ceremonies! You can have a peak at some of these in my portfolio. I’ve also been adding to my collection of vintage furniture and props, even though my house and storage space reached capacity months ago. What can I say, I love a vintage dresser.

Philippa James Photography

But wait! There’s more. As well as my styling I’ve been busily working with some of my favourite people in the industry: specialist workshops, pop-up shops, Tweet Ups, and a range of beautiful sequinned linens! I feel so lucky to be able to work with such passionate and creative women and I hope you take a minute to find out more about each of these projects.

The Wedding Tweet Up’s

For three years I have been hosting Tweet Up’s in Gold Brick House, a special event for anyone in the wedding industry but most especially those of us who work from home. Come and spend an evening meeting other passionate and creative small business owners. If you’d like to find out when the next one is you can find us on Facebook, and you guessed it, Twitter!


The Sequin Collection

 

A gorgeous range of sequinned linens created by myself and Helen of Pudding Bridge.

It all started with a boutique hotel wedding in central Bristol and a bride desperate for sequinned linens. Try as I might I couldn’t find any outside the USA or London. It was so frustrating! Then I met Helen. Her Booth In A Box featured a sequinned backdrop of gold sequins – perfection! Not long after meeting the two of us put our heads together and developed The Sequin Collection; stunning sequinned linens available in four colours, couriered to your door.

Ruth Garner

Little Wedding Space

 

A pop-up shop with a difference, showcasing talented suppliers from across the South West, organised by myself and Ruth of Ruth Garner Photography. We’ve hosted three Little Wedding Spaces now and cannot wait to start work on a fourth. You can find out more about them on our Facebook page.

Martin Dabek Photography

The Wedding Sessions

 

The Wedding Reporter, Emma Woodhouse, and I have teamed up to bring you The Wedding Sessions; intimate workshops in which help you develop your bridal business further.

Evoke Pictures

Can I just say one last time how excited I am to have started this blog? Eek! I hope you have as much fun reading it as we do writing it.

See you soon,

Kirsten x