Smashing The Glass hand selects and verifies each Smashing Supplier, and can personally vouch for the fact that every one of them has the ability to turn your wedding day into something truly special.
Image: David Bastianoni
Today I’m delighted to be introducing a very awesome guest poster, the divine Anna MacDougall from Bride & Glory. Lovely Anna has written a very enlightening piece on the hows, whys and wherefores of wedding planners. Should you, shouldn’t you, what should you be looking for if you do want one, and what exactly will you be getting for your wonga? Anna has all the answers…
Hello my Darling STG readers — I couldn’t be whooping with joy any louder for having the pleasure of writing to (and for) you today. I have a habit of yacking, so I shan’t ‘preamble’ too much and will dive right in. If, however, you do want to know more about why I may know a thing or two about this topic, just have a look here.
HIRE OR FIRE
Soooo — to hire a wedding planner or not, that is one of the questions you may or may not have been contemplating on your wedding planning journey. Please don’t think “oh here we go, a hidden sales piece”. This truly isn’t — it’s just to give you a little insight and perhaps food for thought.
And if you only take one nugget of information away from this then please please let it be that no, wedding planners are not like the movies (I’m really nothing like J-Lo) and we’re also not clipboard-wielding tyrants who will take over your day. At least most of us aren’t.
Jennifer Lopez in the 2001 romantic comedy, ‘The Wedding Planner’
UK brides, clear your Autumn diaries, because you simply won’t want to miss the STG-approved wedspiration event of the year – Brides The Show! Coming to North London (my home turf… yay!) from 3rd to 5th October 2014 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, this super luxe wedding event and breathtaking catwalk show has everything carefully curated under one roof to help you plan your dream wedding.
Put it this way, if this show were a department store, it’d be Liberty! It’s so gorgeously curated with an assemblage of brands so carefully edited that it makes for the ultimate wedding “little black book”.
You won’t fail to be enchanted by the stunning who’s who of exhibitors at the show — just take a look for yourself at the sheer brilliance under one roof. For three days in October, you’ll have exclusive access to the very best in bridal, from cake couturiers and florists, to dress designers and luxury travel gurus – and so much more! With hundreds of luxury exhibitors – including STG-faves, Rosewood London and Mary Jane Vaughan, you can tick every ‘to do’ off your big-day list.
I was bowled over by Peggy Porschen, the esteemed wedding cake designer, when I heard her speak at Paperfest a few weeks ago. Her phenomenal success it an inspiration to all ‘kitchen table’ entrepreneurs and as much as her lecture was unbelievably inspiring, I wanted to hear more.
I got in touch with Peggy after her session and she managed to squeeze me in to her very busy schedule to reveal to me her love for flower markets, designing Mary Berry’s imaginary wedding cake, her path to the top, and much, more!
So Peggy, what’s the ’Peggy Porschen’ story? How did you start your company and what’s happened between then and now?
I moved from my home in Germany to London in 1998 to study at the internationally renowned cookery school Le Cordon Bleu. After successfully completing ‘The Grand Diploma of Cuisine & Patisserie’, I worked as a pastry chef at London’s Lanesborough Hotel and celebrated caterer Rhubarb Food Design, followed by a position as cake decorator for German master-baker Gerhard Jenne, proprietor of Konditor & Cook.
I set up my business ‘Peggy Porschen Cakes’ in 2003 from my home in Battersea, which I eventually had to move out of as the business grew and grew! The Peggy Porschen Parlour opened in London’s Belgravia in October 2010. It was always a dream to have my own shop and offer my cakes to people on an everyday basis, I also created my own home wares & cake accoutrements range and a collection of jams and loose leaf teas — all inspired by the ingredients used in my kitchen. I opened the Peggy Porschen Academy in January 2011 just across the road from the parlour. It’s a wonderful addition to the company because I am lucky enough to teach all year round and offer a range of different classes and courses to suit every proficiency level. Meanwhile the bespoke design side of the business continues to thrive, I regularly bring out new wedding and celebration cake collections and my brides enjoy visiting our Belgravia bridal boutique — a space dedicated to one-on-one consultation and tasting for those wishing to commission a bespoke Peggy Porschen design.
Now more than ever, standing out and having something unique or different to offer is really important in this industry. How you do feel you’ve done this and do you have any advice for people who want to do the same?
My cakes are renowned for their pretty designs that are traditionally elegant and understated with an emphasis on skilled craftsmanship and most importantly, luxuriously delicious! I pride myself on my dedication to perfection, good taste, an understanding of what people want and the skills to translate this to sugar.
Rachel and Zach were married at Old Finsbury Town Hall, which has to be one of the most beautiful wedding venues in London. They threw a really relaxed, fun wedding party and organised most of it via the wonders of the internet from their home in New York.
They ditched a lot of the traditional wedding formalities too: they chose not to have a bridal party, wedding cake, expensive dress or favours, and had some brilliant ideas, like using Rachel’s enormous collection of New Yorker magazines as individual place cards for each guest. They also devised a very traditional, but totally egalitarian, Jewish ceremony with tons of personal twists, and an utterly unique ketubah. They also wrote an inspired wedding program. The beautiful bride, Rachel, elaborates below.
Chris Giles, their photographer, does city chic romance effortlessly, and even the way he captures Rachel’s shoes perched on a side table is like something out of a modern fairytale. Enjoy every one of Chris (and his wife, Laura)’s gorgeous images, and whisk yourself away to a warm-hearted wintery December in London.