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Planning Advice, Q&A's

A Fun Filled Q&A With Lee From Louisianna’s Mobile Bars

I’ve worked with the team at Louisianna’s Mobile Bars on a few different occasions now and WOW are they good at what they do! Not only do they make some of the most delicious cocktails in Yorkshire, the team are also super friendly, chatty and fun. Everything you want from your mobile bar.

That’s why I’m pretty thrilled to share my latest Q&A with you all.

Read on for all the tips on how to create your showstopper of a wedding bar…

Can you tell us more about Louisianna’s Mobile Bar and where it all started?

Louisianna’s Mobile Bars was actually one of the first mobile bar companies in Yorkshire and has been operating since 2006. I took over from the previous owner in July 2016.

Where does the name Louisianna’s come from?

Not my favourite story this one!

The previous owner had a girlfriend called Louise and her best friend was call Anna…. How romantic!!!

What do you love most about your job?

The variance. The fact that one day we may be conducting a cocktail master class for a hen party of 12 and the next day providing a full bar for 200 wedding guests!

It’s certainly no 9-5 working for Louisianna’s.

What makes you different to other mobile bars?

Outstanding customer service.

Anybody can be taught to pull a perfect pint and anybody can be taught to make a Pornstar Martini, but it takes special people to care about the service they provide and do it with a friendly smile.

We are also not just bartenders and mixologists, but I’d like to think we’re experts in the wedding field and understand more about a couple’s day than just the bar.

You definitely do offer much more than just wedding bars, can you tell us more about your other services?

Yes we do. We offer cocktail master classes, gin tasting classes, festival bars, gin bars, mixologists, dry hire bars.

We also promote and market our own wedding venues and have close working relationships with a number of group accommodation venues in and around York that cater for hen and stag parties.

Can you tell us a bit more about the wide array of bar styles you offer?

Indeed. Our most popular style is rustic of which we have both straight and circular.

We also have a very elegant mirrored circular bar which is an eye-catching centerpiece to any event.

There are also LED bars, Tiki Bars and our horse box gin bar which stocks 45 of the world’s finest gins including 30 from Yorkshire.

Wow, that really is a lot of options for couples to choose from!

Can you explain the main differences between your full bar & dry hire services, for anyone who doesn’t know the difference?

Full bars come with everything required to run a bar on the day: bar, fridges, freezer, beer taps, glassware, equipment, bar staff, license, insurance and of course all of the stock.

A dry hire bar is simply the bar structure where you are left to stock and serve the drinks yourself.

What would you say is the benefit to hiring a full bar over opting to ‘do it yourself’?

Expertise and stocking levels.

There’s two things people always worry about when hiring a bar from us: will there be a long wait to be served and will we run out of beer.

The answer to those questions, if we provide a full bar is no. We bring along a huge excess of stock and our staff are highly trained and capable of multi-serving.

When couples opt to ‘do it themselves’ they leave themselves open to both over ordering and under ordering. Plus they often forget the essentials such as straws, ice, bin bags etc.

With this in mind, what should couples consider before opting for a DIY/dry hire mobile bars?

Who will run the bar on the day?

It’s all well and good having a guy that’s pulled a pint in his local pub but have they catered for over 100 thirsty wedding guests?!

So what do you think makes a good bar?

The people behind it. Friendly, knowledgeable and hard-working bar staff are the key.

A good selection of cocktails gins and cold beer helps!!

In your opinion what makes a good drinks reception? (other than canapés of course)

Sunshine, good music and a well made cocktail.

I always recommending something easy to make in large quantities such as an Aperol Spritz or a drink that is widely enjoyed such as a Pimms Cup.

I’ve still never met anybody that doesn’t like Pimms

Couples like to add personal touches to their big day. How do you work with your couples to achieve this?

We offer a tailored cocktail menu with every bar we do.

We will speak with the couple a few weeks before their wedding, find out their favourite drinks and a few details about them. We then name all of their cocktails after them, their family, their nicknames or even their favourite TV shows or sports teams.

They are always a huge hit at weddings, a great personal touch and a great little memento.

I personally feel a bar helps to sets the tone of a wedding, how can you help couples to provide something different or complement the theme/aesthetic of their wedding?

We have a bar for every style of wedding and a team of bar staff ready to fit every theme.

Whether you’d like us dressed in a certain colour or a cocktail menu to fit a certain theme we’re always willing to adapt.

It’s really important not to forget your guests who prefer something non-alcoholic. What are your favoruite non-alcoholic recommendations?

Mocktails are more and more popular, especially with the younger health conscious generation.

We love an Apple & Ginger Mojito (Lime, Mint, Sugar, Apple Juice and Ginger Beer) and have a great selection of non-alcoholic beers with Brew Dog Nanny State being my personal favourite when I’m driving the bar home.

Are you also able to source something ‘a bit different’ for couples e.g their favourite craft beer or a particular red wine?

Yes. We have a standard menu but are always happy to take requests. We wouldn’t want a couple to be without their favourite drink on their big day.

You’ve been pretty creative during lockdown, offering virtual cocktail masterclasses & socially distanced parties. Is this something you’ve enjoyed doing & why do you think it’s been so important to offer this?

Lockdown has been a very strange time and very tough for the people of our industry. A lot of companies have been off the radar but we have felt it is important to stay active.

Virtual Master classes were very popular and a lot of fun. The best bit was I didn’t even have to leave my living room to do them, sometimes I didn’t even put on trousers! We also had a lot of fun on Tik Tok!!

How far in advance would you recommend couples book their bar? As like many other suppliers you are limited to how many weddings you can accommodate per day.

Historically we take the majority of our bookings in the January for the summer ahead.

However, with postponements we’re already fully booked for most peak dates in 2021 and I’m sure they’ll be a knock on effect into 2022 so if I was a couple I’d look to get suppliers booked in asap as the best in the business will be fully booked in no time, and that includes us!!

We don’t take any deposit until the year of the wedding so there’s no reason not to get booked in now.

To find out more about the amazing team at Louisianna’s Mobile Bars just click on the link below.

I don’t know about you, but i’m ready for one hell of a party! Let’s just hope that we can get back to celebrating with all our loved ones very very soon.

In the meantime, let’s make the most of the sunshine and keep perfecting that homemade sangria!

Image Credits – Caitlin and Jones / Louisianna’s Mobile Bars

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Planning Advice, Q&A's

A Blooming Lovely Q&A With The Very Talented Floral Quarter

Image by Sarah-Jane Ethan Photography

Now if you know me you will know just how much I LOVE flowers and that at any given opportunity I will make sure flowers are involved!

So, if you’re anything like me you will be beyond excited for my latest Q&A with the amazingly talented Vicky from Floral Quarter. Join us as we talk all things florals, from creating a wow to identifying your wedding style.

Can you tell us more about Floral Quarter & how you started in the world of weddings?

Floral Quarter start out of a real need to be creative! I worked in the I.T. department of a bank for years and as you can imagine, that wasn’t creative at all!  So I thought about what I wanted to do and set about retraining as a Florist, which is something that I had wanted to be when I was a young girl too!

Since then, Floral Quarter has gone from strength to strength and almost 10 years later, I’m still loving it! Creativity has always remained at the heart of everything I do.

How would you describe Floral Quarter’s style?

As long as it’s got lots of texture and a really luxe feel to it, I’m happy! Even relaxed greenery can have a luxe look to it. My worked features lots of different flower and foliage types. All with different sizes, shapes and textures. I’m big on scented flowers too! For me, that really makes it.

What are your favourite flowers & colour palettes to work with?

I’m a one extreme or the other kind of girl! You can’t beat classic, sophisticated whites for any time of the year, but I also really love creating dramatic, autumnal reds with interesting materials such as berries and poppy seed heads.

At what point do you recommend couples get in touch with a florist to discuss their big day?

Book all of your suppliers as soon as you possibly can! Even if you don’t speak with them for another 2 years then at least you have the suppliers you want booked in.  All I need to start the process with my couples, is an idea of colours and a venue. Everything else can be refined further down the line.

What do you reccomend couples consider before their initial consultation?

Just do lots of internet searching and send me some inspiration pics in advance. You’d be amazed at how I can spot a common theme amongst your images when even you think they’re completely different! I often hear from my couples ‘wow Vicky you just GOT what was in my head even when I didn’t know myself!’

What can couples expect when working with you?

Image by Lee Scullion Photography

It all starts with that initial enquiry form! From there we have a meeting (at the moment these are online via a video call because of Covid19) where we discuss all the couple’s ideas and I make suggestions and guide them as much as they need me to.

By the end of the consultation the couples leave with a much clearer idea of how their big day will look and feel comforted and confident that I ‘know my stuff’. 

I pride myself on being available throughout the process too. So if a Bride or Groom has any queries, they know they can always contact me. Being contactable and guiding a couple through the process is so important as I feel that the build up to the wedding, should be almost as enjoyable as the big day itself; it’s all part of my service!

We have a final meeting 1 month before the big day where we finalise everything and make sure the couple are happy, figure out the delivery and set up schedule for on the day and so on. This is to make sure everything runs smoothly when the big day itself arrives!

Have you got any tips for couples who might be struggling to identify their wedding style, but know flowers play a big part?

Couples like this need a bit of guidance, a wedding planner helps with that!

If they don’t have a planner, then just come to me with loads of inspiration images initially and I’ll help you pull everything together using my experience in floristry and my experience of working with your venue!

How do you create a big impact with flowers?

Image by Emily Hannah Photography

I’m big on large statement pieces rather than trying to spread a budget too thinly across the whole venue.

These are going to be the things that you and your guests remember and will look great in your photographs. So whether it be a large luxe fireplace display at Le Petit Chateau, a hanging display in a marquee at Middleton Lodge or a floral arch at Rudding Park, invest in a statement focal point!

What do you wish couples knew before consulting a florist?

That they don’t have to have decided everything before they get to me. Sometimes couples feel the pressure of having to know all about flowers or to decide on exactly what arrangements they want. What they don’t realise is that the services of myself and/or a planner will help them decide that as we have the experience of working at their venue.

As smaller, more intimate weddings become more popular, can you suggest ways couples could use flowers to create a WOW?

Image by Emily Hannah Photography

Smaller weddings can actually be great news for couples! It means they can have more flowers and décor than they originally thought! They may even be able to all gather round 1 large table and fill it with luxe flowers and foliage, or have that large floral arch they wanted during their ceremony!

You will find everything you need to know about the Floral Quarter by clicking the links below.

Now if that doesn’t get you excited about flowers then I don’t know what will!

There really is no limit when it comes to incorporating flowers into your wedding. I personally believe this is your opportunity to be as creative as possible and working with the right florist really does make a big difference.

Remember, flowers can be a big investment, so make sure to do your research! Take the time to meet with your florist and discuss your vision. It is important they understand what you are looking to achieve in order to advise you on how best to do so.

When it comes to flowers there really is no limit on whats achievable.

I love bringing couples ideas to life, no matter what stage they are in their planning. Whether that be helping you to find the perfect suppliers for your vision or helping you determine your colour palette. There really is no part of your big day I can’t support you with! I’d love to hear all your ideas so do get in touch.

Planning Advice, Q&A's

Botanical Filled Q&A With The Wonderful Polkadot Stationery

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to share with you this amazing insight into the world of all things wedding stationery. In this Q&A I ask Polkadot Stationery everything you need to know about working with a wedding stationer.

This includes how to work with a stationer, how they can help to bring your wedding style to life and why it is so important to be picky!

The wonderful Beccy started Polkadot Stationery back in 2012 “as a way to explore her passion for all things paper”. Beccy loves everything botanical and finds inspiration for her hand-drawn collections from the great outdoors.

Can you tell us more about Polkadot Stationery & your design style?

Botanical and hand-drawn! I love the outdoors and there’s so much choice with which flowers and plants I could draw for the next range. I like to keep my designs quite relaxed and rough so you can see the pencil marks too. I think it adds a more human quality to the designs which I like. 

Where do you draw inspiration for your ranges?

There’s some woods near my house that are really lovely to go and have a walk in – if I see a flower or plant I like I’ll take a photograph of it on my phone so I can reference it later. I have an album on my phone called ‘Polkadot Inspiration’ so it gets popped in there until I need it. For colour palettes I find a lot of nice imagery on Instagram and Pinterest too. Sometimes the colour palette I use is based off what is trending too though, for example at the moment deep greens, ferns and eucalyptus are most definitely in as well as softer more neutral tones such as blush pinks, terracotta and burnt orange.

Which is your favourite range & why?

I’ve just released a range called Wildflowers which is probably my  favourite so far. It’s just really simple and elegant. I also love Hand-painted Dahlias – I used gouache paints for this one for the first time and I’m really pleased with how it turned out – it’s still got that rustic, imperfect loose style that’s important to me.

I love that a lot of your designs are hand drawn, do you use any other processes when designing?

It’s a bit of a mixture really. I’ll use my iPad sometimes as I have some software on it called Procreate that effectively turns it into a drawing tablet. I use an iPencil with that and I absolutely love it because you forget you’re not using a real pencil. I also sometimes just use pen and create a really simple 1-colour design – Hydrangea Garland was created just using a really fine nib pen and then the drawing scanned into my iMac. I’ve also recently started experimenting with gouache paints as I love the texture of them.

What types of paper do you use when creating your collections?

The print of all of the wedding stationery orders is outsourced to a professionals printers. They use really nice thick, textured papers as well as more unusual stocks such as recycled kraft and vellum. I think paper choice can really make or break a collection so I always take the time to really think about which paper best suits the design.

What would you say is the benefit of working with a wedding stationer?

I think knowing that you’re working directly with a graphic designer on the design of your wedding stationery means you know you’re going to get exactly what you want. If you can imagine it, we can most likely create it! Even though I offer ‘off-the-shelf’ designs, there’s the flexibility for couples to change parts of one of my ranges if they want to, so go for a semi-bespoke design. I also do totally bespoke designs for those  wanting something that’s 100% unique to them.

Have you got any top tips for couples looking to work with a wedding stationer?

For bespoke designs a Pinterest board is always really useful for me – it gives me a good idea into the style of the wedding they want to create and gives me a better understanding for the vibe they’re wanting. 

What should couples bare in mind when working with a stationer?

I think just not to worry too much about being picky and saying what you want. Tell me as much as you can about what your day will be like, what colour scheme you’re going for, the venue, the flowers…even what you’ll be eating! It all helps me build up a picture of how your wedding is going to look, so helps me create the perfect stationery for the day.

When would you advise couples start to discuss their wedding stationery?

Some couples send their save the dates out as early as a year and a half in advance and others a few months, so it varies massively. If you’re not sure which supplier to go with it’s a good idea to get some samples sent out to you to see the quality before you make a decision – we offer free samples direct from our website. If it’s a totally bespoke design that’s going to be created I would say get in touch 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send them out as this will leave enough time to make amends and finalise any artwork.

Do you offer a consultation where couples can discuss their ideas?

Yes couples are free to contact me as much or as little as they like. This can be over email, the phone or even via Zoom! To help them visualise my designs even further I also offer free samples direct from my website – couples can choose up to 3 of their favourite designs to see physical samples of. If it’s not possible to meet up in person to discuss bespoke designs, in the past couples have sent me swatches in the post of their bridesmaid dresses so I can match the colour. However they wish to work with me is fine by me, I’m very flexible in that regard.

What processes are involved in creating a bespoke stationery suite and how long does this typically take? 

Generally, if you went for a bespoke range I’d say get in touch  approximately 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send your save the dates out. Creating designs from scratch that are hand-drawn can take a lot of time, so I like to make sure that nothing is left to chance. If it’s one of my off-the-shelf designs then I would say the lead time would be anywhere between 2-3 weeks, it’s much quicker. Couples are sent PDF proofs of their designs until they are happy with them and they are then sent to a professional printers to be created. 

How long can a couple expect the print and assembly process to take? 

From placing the order with the printers, it usually takes between 4-6 days for the final items to arrive with them. This depends a lot on the size of the order though and some items can take a little longer e.g. die-cut, irregular-shaped items are more complicated so have a longer turnaround time.

How often do you release new ranges?

I’ll always try and get a new design up online as soon as I’ve created the invite design, even if the rest of the suite of matching items haven’t been developed yet, just so clients can see if it’s something they might like. Generally speaking, I would say every 3/4 months I’ll try and release something new.

What can we expect from Polkadot Stationery in 2020?

I think it’s going to be tricky this year because of the pandemic, but I would like to say more hand-painted ranges because I’ve really loved getting to experiment with the gouache paints. I’m also planning on offering a new product for summer wedding but I can’t say too much about that yet, it’s a secret! But they’re going to be beautiful!

I hope this has inspired you to start thinking about your own wedding stationery and just how beneficial it can be working with a designer. Especially if you want to ensure that level of quality and attention to detail is carried throughout your wedding.

It really is important to not underestimate how much of an impact stationery has when conveying your wedding aesthetic. It is the first glimpse your guests will be given of your wedding day and helps set the tone for what’s to come. ⁣⁣

With this in mind, I always recommend working with the same stationer to create your full stationery suite where possible. From your save the dates and invitations, right through to your place cards and menus. ⁣⁣Keeping your stationery cohesive will make sure to add the perfect finishing touch to your big day.⁣⁣

You will find out more about Polkadot Stationery and the beautiful ranges Beccy has to offer by clicking the links below.

Let’s bring your dream day to life!

Contact me for help and advice on how to successfully select the perfect team of suppliers for your big day.