Congratulations to Matt Pereira Photography who picked up an incredible 13 awards at last night’s Master Photographers Association awards for the South East region. Building on last year’s success where they picked up a number of awards, Matt Pereira Photography was this year awarded…
WINNER – MPA Pictorial, Illustrative & Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2011, SE Region
Award of Excellence (2nd Place) – MPA Pictorial, Illustrative & Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2011, SE Region
WINNER – MPA Press, PR & Stock Photographer of the Year 2011, SE Region
Award of Excellence (2nd Place) – MPA Press, PR & Stock Photographer of the Year 2011, SE Region
Award of Excellence (2nd Place) – MPA Fashion Photographer of the Year 2011, SE Region
Award of Merit (3rd Place) – MPA Family Photographer of the Year 2001, SE Region
Followed by …
One Award of Merit in Children’s Portraiture
One Award of Merit in Family Portraiture
Two Awards of Merit in Contemporary Weddings
Two Awards of Merit in Wedding Photojournalism
One Award of Merit in Contemporary Portraiture
The image included in this post won the award for MPA Pictorial, Illustrative & Fine Art Photographer of the Year 2011, SE Region. You can see all of the other winning pictures by clicking MPA Awards SE Region ~ we won 13 Awards !
Our congratulations again go to Matt and the team.
Location / Coverage: Based in Bristol and cover the South West of England
What does The Little Wedding Helper do?
I provide a venue styling service for couples who want their wedding to look beautiful and unique but who may need a little help with all those details. I help with colour schemes, table décor, linens, lighting, flowers and vintage accessories and furniture. After working closely together on the creative and visual elements of a couple’s wedding, I can then go and dress the venue on the morning of the big day – my most popular and stress free service for couples!
How did The Little Wedding Helper come about and how long has the business been going?
The idea for The Little Wedding Helper came 4 years ago when my best friend was getting married. She wanted her wedding reception to look unique and memorable. The magazines were great in giving ideas so we took a few, turned some upside down and I just came up with some ideas that were more personal and reflected the both of them. This is why it’s important I get to know a couple beforehand and get a feel for who they are and how their celebration will reflect their relationship and journey to now.
Which areas of the country do you cover?
Most of my work covers Bristol, Bath and Somerset, where we are lucky to have some fabulous and different venues from tythe barns to stately homes to the humble village hall! I can help couples who are getting married abroad and want their hotel coordinator to still add those personal and bespoke items. I help source and even pack up a box of decorations with photos and instructions, so the couple can hand it over when they arrive and not feel stressed and anxious as to how it’s going to look. I have travelled further afield in the UK and as long as my travel expenses are met then I’m happy to travel! (Oh and a cup of tea on arrival is always appreciated!)
What services can The Little Wedding Helper offer to engaged couples?
I always offer a free consultation to couples to see if and how I may be able to help, and the hot chocolates are always on me when talking weddings! I offer an ‘on the morning’ styling service at the venue or marquee, as well as a shopping service for couples who want to hang on to those precious weekends and evenings! I can source, order and collect items as well as hire vintage items such as china, birdcages and even furniture, which can create amazing focal points around a venue.
Is it expensive to have a wedding venue stylist and why should a couple consider using one?
My main aim is to help couples think outside the box a little when it comes to styling their weddings. There can be so many rules and traditions surrounding weddings (not forgetting the opinions of family members being added in too!) and this can become overwhelming. I really believe that it doesn’t need to cost ridiculous amounts of money to make a wedding look and feel beautiful and amazing, and can offer a different view and insight that is often appreciated and saves money! A couple should consider using a stylist if they want the reassurance that their reception is being styled with love and attention to detail by someone who has really got to know them. All those details take time to style, and knowing your reception is taken care of can take away any stress or anxiety as to how it’s all going to look. I normally work with my couples over 12 months via emails, Skype, telephone and of course meeting face to face several times. Think of me as an extra bridesmaid, but you don’t need to buy me a dress! Prices start from just £345…
What’s your favourite wedding venue you have styled?
I have really enjoyed styling village halls recently. They are a cost effective way of hiring a venue that really is a blank canvas and is often a special part of where a bride or groom have grown up. Village halls are normally staffed by volunteers, and this adds a really informal and personal feel to an event. Some village halls are able to accommodate a marquee on the side, but most of all, a couple can really use their imagination or have some creative inspiration from me as to how to stamp their personality on their celebrations.
Random question… Bourbon or Custard Cream?
Ooooo, has to be a Bourbon, but both have to be eaten by taking the top off first, then licking the cream off to reveal another little biscuit to enjoy. Not that I’ve ever eaten like that!
Do you have a specific style of wedding that you like to create?
I love creating any wedding where the couple have dared to step outside the box, turned tradition on its head, and added details that really tell a story about their relationship. My personal love of all things vintage means I especially love styling vintage themed receptions, using vintage props such as my little 1920’s bureau, which couples can hire for their guest to sit at to write their wishes. The styling of the tables is important, but don’t forget to add and style other focal points around your venue too – inside and out!
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love being creative, and sometimes cannot believe that others ask me to style and help them create the wedding of their dreams! Anyone involved in weddings will say how it is great being involved in such a happy event and this is true, but sometimes it can be the most stressful experience, and I really love being able to guide a couple (and sometimes their family too!) through their worries and give them a sense of calm and reassurance that everything is under control. The best bit for me is the actual decorating of the venue in the morning and, if I can, seeing the couple’s faces when they walk into the venue and see all their ideas, decorations and details brought together in one amazing look.
What are your top tips for styling a wedding venue?
Hopefully a couple will have chosen a venue because there is something about it that has ‘spoken’ to them, so let the venue décor and age of the venue guide you when thinking about decorations. If you want a blank canvas then a marquee is a great choice. Think about what reflects you as a couple and a theme can help keep you focused. A stylist may have decorated your venue before and be able to guide you on what works and what doesn’t, but a venue visit together always helps get the creative juices flowing.
Where can I find out more about The Little Wedding Helper?
The Little Wedding Helper can be found on Facebook and Twitter and anyone can link through to these via the website www.littleweddinghelper.co.uk. Please take a peek for lots of photos, tips, ideas and inspiration! Phone: 07726 911951
Location / Coverage: Based in Worcester, with national coverage.
What does Leaff Design do?
We are a small graphic design company who specialise in unique corporate design, and of course, commissioned designer wedding stationery.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, always. My fiancé and I both absolutely adored art and design when growing up throughout school, and we both focused on these as two of our GCSE subjects. From there, we both studied the subjects in greater detail, gaining a number of A-Levels and a Diploma, and finally, we both went on to University where we gained degrees in Graphic Design and Communication. Our paths were very much aligned! Since then, we have both worked for various companies in professional design roles.
How did Leaff Design come about and how long has the business been going?
I always dreamt of owning my own business, to fully stretch my wings and achieve my potential, as I think most creative people do. I met my fiancé almost 5 years ago now; a fellow designer who shared the same dream. Together we worked very hard to make our dream a reality, and Leaff was born in April 2010. After months of hard graft we gained our first project exactly one year ago, making today Leaff’s 1st Birthday – and what better way to mark the event than an interview with The Wedding Community!
Why is your company called Leaff Design?
The company was built on our passions, which include nature, the seasons, the countryside, fresh air, tradition and health, among many things. We wanted to create a fresh, approachable company brand that reflected these passions and portrayed the honesty, reliability and quality that we strive to deliver each and every day.
The name ‘Leaff’ had this organic feel about it that seemed to sum up our passions, and of course it’s associations with paper just made it really fitting. The extra ‘f’ came about during the design process, where we decided that we wanted a bit of a twist on it, to give a sense of the unique, which is what we feel we are. In adding the extra ‘f’ the design just seemed to fall into place.
Are all your wedding stationery collections bespoke or do you offer ‘off the shelf’ ranges?
Being new and the fact that we feel so passionately about offering couples truly unique design, we only tend to market a commissioned service. Having said that, it has happened before that a couple have seen a particular design in our portfolio (commissioned by another couple) and fallen in love with it. We do have flexibility in these situations, as we always give couples the option on invoice to allow their design template to be made available, so that other couples can use it should this situation arise. However, these design templates are only ever made available after the wedding of the couple who commissioned it. In this way, we hope to build a bank of designs over time, to be able to offer couples this option more freely.
What wedding stationery can Leaff Design make for couples?
Well, the list is pretty huge; from Save the Dates, Invitations, RSVPs and Envelopes, to Table Plans, Name Placings, Signage and Thank You Cards, etc. Each couple is very different and requires different things, so we adapt to this. Nothing has a typical format to it either, for example we wouldn’t just do a table plan as a standard A3 board. It depends on the couple, the theme, and where the creative process leads us.
How do you create bespoke stationery for each of your couples? What’s involved in the planning?
A lot! But we are careful that the couple doesn’t feel it. The first thing that we do is get to know the couple, either by meeting up (if this is possible) or over the phone. Getting a feel for who they are as a couple and what they envisage for their big day is a crucial first step. We then construct a brief, which summarises what we discussed and the direction the project will be going, to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Then the creativity flows!
We present our couples with around 3 different ideas for them to mull over and choose which solution they wish us to develop. We investigate print possibilities appropriate to their budget, and talk through the options with the couple. When they are happy with the design, we get the production organised and finally have the finished stationery delivered to their doorstep.
It is very much hassle-free for the couple, allowing them to relax in our safe hands, so that they can carry on with all the other bits of planning that a wedding demands. Some couples like to get quite involved in the process, while others like to take a back seat, so couples can really be as involved as they like.
How do couples order their wedding stationery?
By contacting us via email ([email protected]) or telephone (01905 27724) we can have a relaxed chat about their requirements and supply them with an initial estimation, which has no obligation at all.
Should they wish to proceed to the next step, we would arrange a meeting to discuss their requirements in more depth, and enable them to put a face to Leaff. If we are unable to meet then things can be discussed through phone calls and emails.
Finally, once we have all the details that we need and the couple are happy to begin their project, we issue them with a formal quote based on their exact requirements, and voilà! Their stationery is ordered.
Does Leaff Design just make wedding stationery or do you have other products and services?
We do a lot of corporate design for new and small businesses, such as brand development, special promotional materials, that kind of thing. We also take on an array of individual projects, like commissioned occasion cards, baby stationery etc.
We are going to be launching our shop in January 2012, or sooner if we can manage it before getting married ourselves! Eventually it will contain a mixture of beautifully designed cards and prints, as well as stationery items.
Do you have a favourite stationery collection that you have created?
Yes, it is our own (we are a little biased here)! It was probably the hardest project ever, because it was for us.
Random question… What is your favourite TV programme?
I would say The Apprentice. It is the one programme that we make sure we find time to watch each week, when it is on. We think Tom was a worthy winner this year!
When The Apprentice isn’t on, we really enjoy Grand Designs. We hope that we will do one of our own one day (a Grand Design that is, not a programme)!
Where can I find out more about Leaff Design?
You can visit our website at www.leaffdesign.co.uk, and if you can’t find the answers to any questions that you may have on there then feel free to get in touch!