Wedding stationery

Jazz in the Jungle

Tropical jazz 2.jpg

Working in the branding industry, I’m always reading about the next marketing and consumer trends. It’s the best way to create work that’s relevant to consumers and reflects the latest market changes, as well delivering strong returns on investment for brands. This is something I’ll write about at a later date.

Outside work, I love catching up on the latest trends in fashion, interior design and weddings. I’m simply addicted to style magazines…it’s quite a problem!

Right now, there’s one theme I’m loving which covers all these areas: ‘Jazz in the Jungle’. I particularly feel this would be an amazing choice for a wedding this summer. Think bright jungle prints, green palm leaves, vibrant colours with dark hints…it’s intimate, sensual and very exotic. As evening draws in, your guests can be transported to the night jungle, a celestial event which draws on your shared love for erratic, yet seductive, jazz. You could transform your venue into a jazz lounge with muted red and purple lighting hues, and lots and lots of fabric – plush velvets, satins, and fringing on everything from light fittings to room dividers.

Your food and drink can also be linked into the theme, not just through exotic ingredients but also through presentation: banana leaves as plates, sliced melon as appetisers, printed tablecloths, pineapple-handled cutlery…the list is endless. It’s the little details that create a truly opulent effect, like spraying the pineapple handles gold rather than leaving them traditional yellow.

You could even go that extra mile and introduce the hot trend of taxidermy; for me, this is the greatest prop a wedding can possibly have. Providing a cool and eccentric vibe, your taxidermy could be intertwined with your venue or placed in an area dedicated to your guests getting the best (and unique) photos from the day. The trend was kick-started by Anyhoe Park in Oxfordshire, an amazing location where, looking back, I really wish I’d held my own wedding! It’s a venue you can hire for events, weddings and photoshoots, or just for an overnight stay in awesome surroundings.

I’ll finish by saying I’d love to style an event or shoot this summer involving a zebra with its own flower garland. Let’s all get planning!

Images all thanks to Pinterest.

Prohibition Wedding

Every wedding has its own individual spin – and when it came to mine, the pressure was on. Being a creative by trade, the expectations from friends and family were high.

With no theme in mind and no desire to read countless wedding magazines, I went back to basics – what didn't I want? That might sound like an odd place to start, but it links back to the key to planning any successful party: what are your loves and best memories of past events, and what would you hate to have on your big day?

I asked myself a few simple questions and from the answers, came up with the overall mood and atmosphere that I wanted to create.

The theme I chose was ‘Prohibition,’ but not as everyone thinks or expects it. I wasn’t interested in Gatsby, or in glitz and glam (that certainly isn't me!), but in recreating the underground, back room, speakeasy jazz clubs that thrived during this time. The main feature was to keep it all-American – South America to be precise, where moonshine is still an underground drink found in jam jars and paper bags to this day. My fiancé and I had both travelled the States, and the local bars with their backyard games offered the best times to be had.

Once this thought was in my head, the ideas just kept on coming. Bath tubs for drinks, reclaimed rusty furniture and even baked bean tins for our centre pieces! We wanted a relaxed environment where the music was live and the drinks kept on flowing – a typical expression of who we are. For wedding favours, we had our homemade Raspberry Gin (our own version of moonshine), which is renowned amongst our friends, and even cigars for guests who were of age.

An outdoor venue might seem like a crazy idea for a spring wedding. But we wanted to stay true to our theme, so we went for something hidden well away from the beaten track with plenty of land and a real backstreet, invitation-only feeling. Jodie from Sami Tipi was the best choice we made, helping us find the perfect location, supporting our ever-growing wedding and even helping us get ice for the big day. If you’re looking for a genuine wedding partner and not just a venue provider, then Sami Tipi is the only choice.

Every aspect of our wedding day was a reflection of us as a couple, our journey together and our shared tastes. The food was no exception. Thomas the Caterer, winner of Wedding Caterer of the Year for goodness knows how many years, really got to know us and created some gourmet taster courses that were just what we had in mind. His dedication to making your food exactly how you like it is second to none.

After what seemed like years of sourcing, collecting and repainting Prohibition-themed props from all over the country, I had a clear idea of what I wanted the venue to look like. Tara from Ticketyboo Events helped make my vision a reality with her amazing venue-dressing skills. The support she provided on the days running up to the wedding should be available to every bride; it even extended to managing my family (now that’s tough!). With the addition of what felt like bucket loads of stunning flowers from Tineke, the venue felt intimate and handcrafted – exactly what we wanted.

It really was our greatest day, with all the little details I got so hung up on fading into the distance. What’s important is that it was an event which our friends and family still talk about now. We certainly threw one epic party!

A wedding should reflect you as a couple, not whatever the latest trend might be. So when you start to think about your own wedding, think of what you don’t want first and work your way back.