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August Activities

Can you believe that summer is over (we’re hoping for an Indian Summer though as we have been loving this hot weather! Shame about the storms though!) and it’s September. August has continued in the same way as June and July started and it’s been another good and productive month for us. A mix of weddings and events, interspersed with tastings and meetings, we are settling into the swing of things and ready for what September is going to bring. That’s for next month however, so what has August provided…

Food and Events

August has given us two of our biggest events and two rather big weddings…which have been super fun! The first biggy was mid-way through with a glorious marquee wedding set in the most picturesque of gardens. It had a midsummers garden theme and the florals were so impressive! Guests were served from a rather salubrious gold bar –what else and sipping champagne and gin cocktails, it set the scene magnificently. A delicious feast of figs, beef fillet, a trio of puds and our delightful edible garden were served, along with a selection of cheese and a round of fish & chips to finish the evening. Our kind of meal!

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The second biggy was just at the end and set in a quintessentially English setting, was just truly scrumptious in every way! This wedding had a more relaxed and informal feel in the way of our gourmet BBQ’s, which on such a beautifully sunny day was just super and guests loved it!

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Amidst these two, we’ve had a few other smaller events and afternoon tea galore, which has proved popular this month. We do love afternoon tea and if you’re having a garden party, then this is the perfect fit!

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Weddings

After a rather busy July, our August is keeping up the momentum and we are still going strong through Wedding season. This month has mainly consisted of finalising plans for a beautiful intimate wedding in September and we’re really looking forward to this one. Set in a beautiful walled garden with the most glorious planting and florals, it’s going to be an absolute floral fantasia – that’s what we’re calling it anyway!

It’s going to be filled with some wonderful DIY detailing and an abundance of colour and a serious flower fest with some amazing food. We’re particularly looking forward to a bit of a vegan and health vibe which we can’t wait to try (perks of the job and all!).

Mid-month we were treated to a wedding breakfast at the seriously stunning Corinthia Hotel in London. Along with several other superstar planners, bloggers and editors we enjoyed a glass of fizz followed by a delicious breakfast and cake. We also got a tour of the spaces, restaurants and a penthouse. We’ve already decided that we are going to move in –it’s so us! Great Hire provided some fabulous ghost tables and chairs which looked amazing within the Ballroom setting and paired with some wonderful tableware from the amazing Duchess & Butler and some beautiful florals by By Appointment Only it created the perfect setting. It was lovely catching up with the gorgeous Abigail Bloom who provided the most amazing of cakes. We also got to chat about the super tasty cakes she provided for one of our couples in July – the chocolate cake was DIVINE!

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The remainder of the month has been filled with venue visiting at the glorious Stoke Park (where we are a preferred supplier and will also be at their Wedding Showcase in October)  and Wisley Gardens and  gaining an abundance of quotes for a wedding next year and we can already tell it’s going to be a good one!

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Until next time…Emma. x

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July Jaunts

How much have we loved this month – a whole lot, that’s how much! It has been our busiest and maybe best to date and has taken some serious hard work from our team but it has been so much fun! July has been jam packed full of so many wonderful weddings with a smattering of some fabulous birthdays in between and we can’t wait to tell you all about them…

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Food and Events

Well July really was the month for Weddings and we have catered for some rather wonderful ones and all in some seriously amazing locations. This month saw a mixture of marquees, gardens and stately homes, each providing their own merits and we have been lucky to work in some seriously fabulous venues.

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In the earlier part of the month, we catered for a wedding that we also planned (see more below). 150 guests were treated to some delicious canapes and one of our favourite desserts finished the meal; you really have to try our Lime Posset – yummy!

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The rest the month saw a mixture of formal sit down meals, some fancy buffet’s and a couple of Gourmet BBQ’s with some seriously tasty treats on offer. If you have a more informal wedding and it happens to be a beautiful summer day, then our Gourmet BBQ’s are the best; they work so well in an informal setting and provides the taste and presentation without the formality of a plated service. Great for a festival or more boho affair and also amazing for Birthdays.

The Birthday’s we catered for opted for a relaxed BBQ too and we were thrilled to plan and style one of these too. The clients had a joint birthday and anniversary party with a customised bar (and champagne flowing until the wee small hours) and opted for a stylish Mediterranean feel to their décor. Banquet style tables were dressed in stunning foliage wreaths with herbs mixed in and foliage chandeliers hung upon the entrance, creating the most stunning welcome for guests. Thank you to Lily’s Flowers for these!

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We ended with a rather grand affair at the most picturesque of venues and can’t wait to work there again. Guests were treated to the most splendid of views whilst sitting for dinner and the ceremony space – serious WOW factor. A wonderful way to end the month!

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Weddings

What a month! This one has quite simply been wonderful! So so lovely. We had two weddings that we have fully planned and styled and although July has been our busiest month so far, it’s been really quite dreamy, with two of the loveliest couples that I hope will remain friends with us for many years to come.

We started the month with the wedding of C&R, a super stylish couple from the States who fell in love with England and particularly Windsor on a visit a few years back and once engaged, knew that this would be the place for their wedding. With this in mind, we opted for a slightly formal English garden party affair with a Gatsby edge; think Downton Abbey mixed with the Gatsby party vibe and style. Hosted at various locations at Windsor, all 70 guests were flown in from across the States to join in a weekend celebration of fun, food and partying. A proper English pub meal on the riverside was the order of the day on the Saturday evening, with the main event on the Sunday. Dressed in garden party lounge style dress, the glamorous couple and guests attended the ceremony at Windsor Guildhall before heading to the river and setting sail on board a beautiful launch from the French Brothers. Guests enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea whilst listening to Jazz and enjoying a lazy trip along the Thames, taking in the sights of the English countryside. After this little jaunt, guests made their way back to the Sir Christopher Wren hotel for cake, cocktails and canapes, all followed by a fabulous feast. The highlight of the evening was a 10 piece swing band (The Mini Big Band) who really got the party started, they were serious fun!

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We worked with some wonderful suppliers including Patrick Collins who is an ace Toastmaster, Abigail Bloom – just look at that cake, David Bostock – photographer extraordinaire, Classic Crockery (fab cutlery and charger plates which really highlighted that glam Gatsby feel) and Lavender Green who provided the most stunning of florals!

A couple of weeks later saw the wedding of M&L. They chose to celebrate in the bride’s family home which had the most stunning of gardens and prettiest church right next door – how picturesque! The style and feel of the day was a relaxed garden party, with a botanical and classic colour scheme of whites, greens and greys. A traditional church ceremony followed by canapes, champagne-a-plenty and garden games (which were an absolute hoot), with the beautiful sound of piano playing in the background that took place in the glorious gardens, all under the most stunning sunny day! The marquee was decorated in simple white florals from Lily’s Flowers, grey linens and place cards were leaves taken from the garden to bring all elements of the wedding together. Guests enjoyed a beautiful three course meal with the yummiest of puds and this then was followed by the cutting of a serious WOW factor cake – seriously, just wait until we have the pics and then dancing, with the band and DJ getting the party started and provided by the fab Eight Ray Music.  Cocktails were flowing in the bar tent, all done by the marvellous Box Seventy Seven and it’s fair to say these were super popular and with some fab personalised names, created a talking point amongst guests…as did the quiz (boy did I have fun marking that one!)

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We can’t wait to show you more pics from these weddings and particularly the video, which we already know will be A M A Z I N G!

There is so much to tell, but we shall keep it brief for now and once the images are back, we will share the love with you lovely lot. A huge thanks to all the fab suppliers involved, serious dream team’s right there!

In other news, aside from finalising some fab plans for a Sept wedding, which is going to be soo floral and fabulous, a couple of our wedding inspiration shoots have been featured and we could not be more thrilled! Check out the links for the full description and suppliers for this wonderful Rustic Botanical and Romantic look at Le Manoir featured on B.Loved and for the other, well you have to go and buy the most recent You & Your Wedding Magazine!

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Oh yes…and we just happen to be now be one of Stoke Park’s preferred wedding planners and stylists!

Phew! What a month and we are still buzzing from all of the excitement and activity! Until next time…

Emma. x

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May Musings

So another month has passes, all too quickly I might add and this one seems to have been even busier than last (not that it is a bad thing!). As the wedding seasons picks up, we’ve had some wonderful weddings and events, which we of course love.

Food and Events

We’ve had a lovely mix of events to cater for this month. A few weddings, a milestone birthday and a corporate VIP function. To start the month, we created a rather delicious patisserie station for some super lovely clients who were brought to us by the amazing Dominique at Stylish Events. A patisserie station adds a bit of a wow and fun factor to any event and if you want something a little different to just a plated dessert or a trio of puds, then this is the way forward. The clients and their guests loved it and it’s always good when you get feedback such as “the best ever” when describing our Chocolate Trifles.

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One of the perks of our job is seeing some special moments, which we were lucky enough to witness at one of the Birthday parties this month when the Birthday boy’s sister surprised him, coming all the way from Australia. A few tears may have been shed by Team GB; yes we love a good sentimental moment! The setting was also a treat too; a beautiful picturesque cottage and the marquee looked super pretty with colourful garden blooms. The water glasses we chose picked out the colours beautifully.

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As mentioned, wedding season is well underway and we had a biggy in the middle of the month. A dreamy marquee setting (despite the horrid weather) and a fab bar space. We love working with clients to design their dream wedding and give ideas about how everything will look. The menu chosen for their wedding was also a particularly good one and the feedback we received about our fillet of beef – well it was something else. Beaming with pride is an understatement!

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Corporate events are always fun to do and mix up the social and wedding side of events. We catered for a 100 VIPs at Windsor Guildhall, which is a seriously impressive dining space; imagine eating supper overlooked by all of our previous Monarchs. That’s one way to impress all the big bosses of the organisation!

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Weddings

The month started in the most wonderful of ways . We had organised a styled shoot at one of the most super stunning country houses (serious swoon worthy status right here) in the Cotswolds, Cornwell Manor. Obviously I can’t give much away, but you are in for a treat when the images are revealed, so keep those eyes peeled! The following day we got to spend the day there again, in the most glorious of sunny weather, at their Wedding open day, launching the newly refurbished Ballroom and Walled Garden. We met some wonderful new suppliers who were all lovely and so much fun to spend the day with, also some fab couples who were just in instant love with the venue and gardens. Simply cannot wait to work here again, soo many ideas and it really is the most glorious of country wedding venues.

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The remainder of the month we’ve been a busy little bee’s putting final touches to two summer weddings we’re planning. We just love confirming all final details and creating the final schedule. Just over a month to go for these lucky couples and I know they are excited and the same can also be said for me…roll on a few weeks’ time!

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The big wedding we catered for in the middle of the month, we also wedding managed on the day. I ADORE on the day wedding co-ordination and managing. This is what I know inside out from my background at venues and I just love it. Even if you aren’t having a wedding planner to do the full planning, it’s so worth hiring an on the day co-ordinator. It means that you have someone there to take away all the work in the morning from you and your family, meaning you can relax, enjoy the getting ready and not worry about suppliers arriving and things being set up. That is our job; there to take away any stresses and organise suppliers, staff and set up, ensuring all goes to plan, on time and everything is smooth and seamless and that you get the wedding of your dreams. Seriously worth considering!

That’s about all for now, but we are looking forward to the summer months and praying for some gorgeous sunny weather and warm temperatures in the weeks ahead. Until next time…

Emma. x

 

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Tablescapes – Setting the Scene

So I’m sure you’ve heard of table settings or dressing the table, but what exactly is a tablescape? Well in fairness, not that different from table settings or dressing a table. The difference lies in that every item upon your table tops – such as centrepieces, linen, crockery, cutlery, glassware, place cards, menus and décor were all chosen specifically and for a reason.

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Tablescapes are designed, planned and created to add that WOW statement to your event and wedding. They are focal points, they can change and impact upon the feel and mood of your meal and they set the scene, showcasing objects or enhancing and projecting an overall theme to your day.

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Pinterest and Blogs are filled with images of tablescapes and there are so many to take inspiration from. They really are like mini landscapes of tabledoms (ok I made that word up, but a table kingdom doesn’t quite sound right!) created by marvellous vision and style. Budget dependent, these can be things of absolute marvel and wonder, or kept clean, simple and stylish.

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If you want to build tablescapes into the styling of your wedding, knowing where to start might be quite a daunting thought. Fear not! Help is at hand. Firstly, you need to think about a theme or colour scheme you may have. This will help guide you in a direction, so all elements join and flow seamlessly together, making each eventually feel as if they belong in one big tablescape harmony (I get carried away easily I’m afraid!)

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Secondly, think about what flowers you are having and whether you can use these as your centrepieces. Centrepieces are a big part of the tablescape! They don’t always have to be floral, but (and if you’re anything like me and adore all things floral) they help create a focal point and look simply stunning. Yes, they are tradional but if you have a vision in mind or have seen something you want to create, ask your florist or whoever is doing your flowers, if you can do something similar, traditional, modern or otherwise!

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Thirdly – what linen will you be choosing, or will you be having the table surface on show? There are so many new and wonderful linens on the market, so you don’t have to settle for just plain white or ivory. So many textures, materials, effects and colours are on offer, so do a little research and have a play around; matching different materials, layers and colours. Mix and match tablecloths with napkins and order samples, see what you can create. Also play around with napkin folding and styles. It sounds daft, but honestly, there are sooo many ways of folding a napkin! If you don’t believe me, look it up, or look at the way different restaurants display theirs. (Working in a 5* hotel has certainly given me good napkin training…ok…observation…my folding skills leave a lot to be desired!) Depending on the type of starter you are serving or where you have place cards / menus, and the type of plates, this could impact the fold of the napkin too.

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Next up is the crockery and cutlery. Some venues may have specifics that they require you to use, but you can add the creativity into the centrepieces etc. If you have the flexibility to choose your own, then see what you can find and order. Look at images and blogs, find hire companies or ask your caterer/planner to help. Order samples and see what works. Yes, it’s a slightly painstaking task, but it doesn’t have to be, it can be fun…and if you don’t want to do it, then having a wedding planner and stylist who does this kind of thing for a living, may be just the right option for you! There are so many shapes and styles out there; including charger plate options and cutlery now comes in different styles and metals too. Think about your theme and overall style of the day and pick what you think will work with the rest of your items on the tables.

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Glassware may again be restricted by venues, but depending on what drinks you are serving, you can have as many or as little glasses on the table as you wish. There are many options available to you and if you are wine experts…and I don’t mean you manage to get through a bottle a night…then you will understand the type of glass the wine is served in has an effect on the taste. All little details, but this is where tablescapes come into their own…the details are all important!

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Stationery…the design and style may well have already been chosen and that is fine! The placement of these can be what you have fun playing around with. Set up an example table at home and place the table number, menu and place cards (you may have joined the two together) in different places – above, on or to the side of the plate. Again, think about if the food is already going to be served at the table (don’t then put anything on the plate or charger plate as guests won’t see it!) and make sure it’s visible.

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You may have other décor such as props, table crystals, quizzes or photos that you would like positioned upon the table. If you have kept the table quite simple, these may look great, however if you have gone quite floral and crockery / cutlery and glassware heavy, then consider how much you need on there. You want everything to look polished and that it all belongs, not just thrown together and everything piled on there just because.

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Remember, the idea of a tablescape is to be planned, designed and created to add that wow statement to your wedding. It needs to evoke emotions and really set the scene and enhance the styling. However, you don’t need to spend all your time planning the design and creating it and getting stressed about it, but some thought does need to go into it. Have fun in the design and really show off your style!

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Words by Emma

Images via Pinterest

Goose & Berry are a Luxury Boutique Catering, Wedding, Event & Brand Experience Planning & Design company who specialise in Weddings, Social and Corporate Events.  We are based in Marlow & London and cover London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Home Counties.

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Wedding Venue Styling

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Getting married today brings with it a wealth of choice, not only in terms of venue and suppliers but also themes and styles. Social media infiltrates every part of our lives and you are bombarded with images, which often leaves you with a sense of confusion and feeling overwhelmed. Being a wedding planner and stylist enables us to help and make everything seem a whole lot clearer and calmer and more fun! We are able to take needs and wants and fine tune these; giving our expert opinion on what will work well and how to make the wedding run seamlessly and look polished and bring everything together into a theme or style.

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Getting the balance right

Choosing a venue is often the biggest and first decision to make, along with an overall style for the day. This being said, try not to let one influence the other too much and make one fit the other. Both venue and theme should have synergy and complement each other.  Try not to force a rustic style upon a classic country house. Hints of rustic used in a subtle way can work, but a grand ballroom may look silly with whimsical willow hearts and shabby chic décor. Equally a very formal black tie affair may not work in a barn or beach venue. Think about your venue and its strengths and play to these; use your style to emphasise the good points and any striking features it has. Don’t distract from any stunning detail that may be there or overload and disguise it. Style and venue need to balance each other out and enhance each other as opposed to battling one another to see who gets the most attention.

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Detail, detail, detail!

Often you will have an idea of what you want your day to look like and will often have a theme or style before anything else. The venue chosen is very likely to fit your style and so all you really need to do is add little touches to the décor. The devil is in the detail as they say! Additions such as florals, candles and props can look great when placed around the venue. But keep them to a cake or gift table, or a mantelpiece. One that has focus and doesn’t look as if it has just been placed there for the sake of it. You want people to see the details, so add and enhance an area where you know people will go to.

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Tablescape

The tables don’t just have to be plain and boring with plates, cutlery, glassware, white linen and a centrepiece. You can really turn the tables into mini landscapes and works of art with some careful planning and design. Linen can be a multitude of colours and textures. Charger plates of varying tones can be used to set the scene. Different coloured cutlery could be another way of injecting some style. Gold cutlery seems to be everywhere at the moment and looks great with gold rimmed glasses and metallic or glass charger plates. Menus don’t just have to be placed in the centre. Stationery can be so creative now and menus can double up as name cards too. Glassware can be coloured or different styles, as can the plates. Think about squares, circles, rimmed, bowls – play around with them and see what works best with what. Take photos and ask to see how a table is set up. Ask the venue what will be used and ask how the food will be presented at the tasting. The same applies to the glassware. If you have the ability to choose it all yourself, order samples or ask your caterer to help choose the style of crockery and glassware, maybe even the cutlery too.

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Centrepieces no longer have to be just a central floral arrangement. Books and cake stands have been used lots in recent times and look great if you have a vintage theme. These work so well in a marquee. More unusual props can be used with flowers, such as typewriters, globes , trunks and telephones. Again these are fab with rustic, vintage styles. Perhaps you could use candles if you wanted a more modern, simplistic, but glamorous look. Candles always look elegant in a winter wedding. Moss and logs fit an autumnal and rustic outdoorsy, barn style venue.

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Make it personal

With everything you see and hear, you may want to incorporate these ideas into your wedding. This is absolutely fine to do, but take inspiration from it and make it your own. Maybe you like the style or layout of a table, but you could use your own colour palette. Perhaps you both adore spending time by the seaside, but haven’t chosen a beach wedding – you could use small shells to decorate the table as table confetti or use them in the centrepieces. If you both love wine, think about how you could bring this into the theme and complement the venue. Maybe using vines or grapes as décor, draping over a bannister or chairs?

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Colours

A venue could potentially look too washed out if it is of a fairly neutral colour. A marquee could have a similar feel, so think about adding some light in the form of candles or fairy lights and perhaps some mirrors. Perhaps have a clear roof, where you can dance under the stars! Although this doesn’t add any extra colour, it brings another dimension to the effect. Using different textures and heights, particularly in the floral displays, is also key.

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If you have a barn, then the bright’s or whites can really brighten up an otherwise dark space. On the other end of the spectrum, many country houses have quite ostentatious and colourful function rooms, which don’t need much in the way of décor and added styling. Bringing in hints of florals and candles may be all you need to add your personal touch and turn it into a truly stunning space.

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Goose & Berry are a Luxury Boutique Catering, Wedding, Event & Brand Experience Planning & Design company who specialise in Weddings, Social and Corporate Events.  We are based in Marlow & London and cover London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Home Counties.

www.gooseandberry.co.uk

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