General

  • Positive outlook for Events & Weddings in the UK

    As of 22nd July, the Government has declared that events over 30 guests are due to re-start from 1st October in the UK. This is great news for our clients and for the Events industry as whole, as celebrations look set to re-start towards the end of the year.  We look forward to helping our clients celebrate with their family and friends, coming together again after months of being apart. If ever there was a reason to celebrate, this surely is it!

    Of course, we will have all relevant social distancing measures in place, providing our suppliers with strict framework set out to provide maximum safety for clients, guests and staff alike.

    Further details of the measures we are putting in place will be released shortly, as the government guidelines are updated. These are subject to change by the government based on scientific advice and public health assessments.

    We will be delighted to talk to you about planning your celebrations. Contact us at katie@albionparties.com and let us know what you have in mind.

     

    By in General
  • Up the Style Stakes: Add personalised and inventive details to your wedding

    Have you had to postpone your wedding due to Covid-19? Use this time as an opportunity to ‘up the style stakes’ and find personalised and inventive details to add to your wedding.

    For all you brides out there who have had your weddings postponed due to Covid-19, many of you would’ve been putting finishing touches to your weddings, but now may have to wait until next year to walk down the aisle.

    However, why not put this extra time to good use and come up with personal details to make your day truly unique, as well as upping the style stakes!

     

    CALLIGRAPHY

    The clever Era Calligraphy are now selling”Learn Modern Calligraphy at Home” kits meaning you can learn to write beautifully like a pro at home in your pyjamas! The kit comes with everything you need so you should be an expert by the time your wedding comes around, meaning you can write all your own place settings and invitations.

    Not only are you adding a personalised element to your wedding, but you are also saving money (which perhaps you can now justify to spend on a second pair of wedding shoes!). Once you have mastered the art of calligraphy, there is no need to stop at writing on card, you can write on items such as these little marble tiles for a chic twist.

    WELCOME GIFTS

    Are you planning a destination wedding? If so, why don’t you use the extra time to make little welcome gifts to be waiting in guests’ hotel rooms. This bride getting married in Athens chose locally sourced olive oil and a bottle of wine.

    PLACEMENT

    Make chic placements to really inject your personality into the wedding. We love these bespoke lavender bags, especially pretty for a wedding in the South of France

    COCKTAILS

    We love these personalised water jars a bride made that were also used for the soft drink during the wedding reception

    CRACKERS

    If you are planning a winter wedding, get going with making personalised crackers. They take time to make, but are really worth it.

     

    AFTER DINNER DIGESTIFS

    If you want to give guests a little pick me up after dinner, make little bottles of after-dinner digestifs. You can personalise each bottle so that they also double up as the placement. You have a bit of time before you need to start as the damson and sloe picking season starts in September.

     

    ILLUSTRATIONS

    If you are a budding artist, consider drawing or painting an illustration for your wedding invitation. This graphic can be used throughout the wedding on menus and placement cards. What could be more personal?

     

    SEATING PLAN

    Are you drinking a little more during lockdown? Justify it by saying you are collecting corks to display your seating plan!

     

    GOODBYE PRESENTS

    Once we are allowed to gather again for weddings, we think guests will be in need of a big party. Why don’t you use this time to make hangover bags to help your friends heads the next morning? We fill ours with Berocca, Big Tom mix, face masks, mints and vodka!

     

    Get in touch if you’d like to discuss fun ideas for your party or wedding: katie@albionparties.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Adapt, survive & thrive: Successful stories of wedding suppliers in the era of Coronavirus

    We are fascinated by the clever ways our suppliers have adapted to these extraordinary times of COVID-19. Surviving, and in many cases thriving, they have pivoted their business models to bring their clients joy in these challenging times.

    With parties and weddings outlawed under lockdown, survival is key in an industry full of small businesses who rely on a busy summer season.  As we currently sit at home, unable to gather in large groups, these companies have used their ingenuity to bring cheeriness and comfort to our lives. We salute them.

    Kitten Grayson Flowers

    The amazingly talented Kitten has started an online shop for farm-to-vase bunches of flowers delivered to your door. Each week they offer two looks in their signature KGF-style: Bacchus, the darker look, named after the god of agriculture, wine, and theatre, and the lighter look, Apollo, inspired by the god of sun, dance and light.  Our houses are going to look so cheery with some of Kitten’s beautiful flowers.

    Archie’s Food

    William Deal from Archie’s Food was one of the first to adapt to our new way of life. Introducing weekly deliveries of delicious ready-to-eat dinners, as well as fresh pasta, fruit & vegetable boxes, and latterly 3-course weekend suppers with cocktails thrown in. Their order process is super easy on their new website, and their food is a delightful break from cooking ourselves.

    Archie's Food 2=

    Maestra Group

    Usually found designing themed sets for luxury parties, this talented production company had the inventive idea of making slot-together flatpack furniture for home-working and home-schooling. It’s super stylish and can also be packed away at the end of the day. In addition, Maestra are supporting NHS England by using the company vans to deliver over 1000 meals daily to feed NHS frontline staff at hospitals across London. We are in awe of their effort and hard work to use what they do best to forge forward in this new world.

    Maestra

    Lucy Vail Floristry

    The uber-talented Lucy Vail has teamed up with Doggart and Squash to deliver food and flower boxes to your door. It’s a one-stop-shop: a fantastic selection of flowers and plants, and a variety of delectable food.

    Lucy Vail Floristry

    Sharky & George

    For children’s entertainment, we always call the fantastic team at Sharky & George, leaders in keeping children entertained during any event so the parents can let their hair down! They have adapted to lockdown with virtual parties and after-school clubs to keep little ones entertained, with live streams of an at-home science lab and a quarantine rave. If your child has a birthday coming up, they will also send out Isolation Birthday Boxes to everyone that was due to attend your child’s party. Lockdown hasn’t stopped these guys having fun!

    Sharky & George

    Jenks & Co

    Clever Daisy and Kitty have come up with a way for you, your friends and family to make a lip-sync movie from home when you can’t be together for birthdays and parties. Compile guest list, choose a song, give lines to guests, invite them to film their clips, review the clips, add your own photos and then get Jenks & Co to edit into a finished video

    Harry’s Kitchen

    One of our favourite caterers has launched Goodness.London with a daily changing menu as well as meals for the freezer, cocktails, deli & store cupboard essentials and drinks. Order their barbecue box for a real treat now that small scale socialising is back on the cards.

     

    Get in touch with us at Albion Parties to hear more about these dedicated suppliers. Taking what they’ve learnt from these past few months, they will be back stronger than ever catering, flower arranging, and production designing as soon as weddings and parties return.

     

    @albionparties @kittengraysonflowers @archiesfood @maestragroup @lucyvailfloristy @sharkyandgeorgeevents @jenksandco @harryhensman #albionparties #partiesintheageofcorona #athomedinners #athomeentertaining #zoomparties #floralinspiration #flatpackfurniture #homedesks

    By in General
  • COVID-19: Albion Parties’ update during Lockdown

    UPDATE: 1st June 2020 from Katie and Charlotte at Albion Parties:

    Our office has re-opened, and the Albion team are back at 61 Eaton Terrace working in a socially distanced way. We are conducting meetings on Zoom, and we can have client meetings and site visits, abiding by government guidelines.

    With many weddings and parties moved to 2021, we recommend moving quickly to secure 2021 dates and key suppliers, to have the best choice available before everything is snapped up. The 2021 season is going to be busy so get in touch soon if you are thinking of having a party or if you’re newly engaged and we can get the ball rolling for you.

    Call us on 0207 183 4852 or email katie@albionparties.com

    23rd March 2020 from Katie and Charlotte at Albion Parties:

    The UK government has decreed that during lockdown no social gatherings can take place, and weddings are outlawed unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    Our Albion Parties team will continue to operate from home, however we have advised our clients to postpone their weddings and parties to 2021. It’s possible that events may be able to take place on a smaller scale later in the year, however to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, we recommend you think carefully about when you want to postpone to, so that you don’t have to move it twice.

    Do keep in mind that 2021 dates are already looking busy, as suppliers are having to work on the basis that next summer will be flat out with double the number of events taking place as a result of the 2020 & 2021 season combining.

    Details on how social events will incorporate new concepts of social distancing (yes this is possible!) will be set out by the government further down the line. We have ideas for certain scenarios of how to manage this for private events, and we will wait to see as the new regulations are laid out.

    Our team are currently safe and well, and continuing to work with clients to plan their events for next year. We wish you all can stay safe through this extraordinary time, and look forward to a time when we can all celebrate with friends and family once more.

    Get in touch with the Albion Parties team to get expert advice on your wedding or party

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  • Bespoke Illustrated Stationery: A whole new world of fun

    The recent trend for bespoke illustrated invitations continues to grow, thanks in part to the power of instagram. Our ability to view aspects of people’s lives that were not as readily visible before social media, has helped illustrators to grow their business exponentially. Additionally, artists can design from home and send their artwork digitally to their clients around the world.

    These days, illustrators are commissioned well beyond just designing the invitation. The project begins with a consultation with the client, followed by a list of stationery including, but not limited to:

    • Save the Date (digital or printed)
    • Invitation (printed)
    • Information booklets
    • RSVP cards & envelopes
    • Wedding or party website
    • Dinner Menus
    • Cocktail Menus
    • Thank you cards
    • Welcome Letters
    • Signage

    Choosing design details that reflect a couple’s character is the best way to personalise a wedding or a party. You want your friends and family to open the invitation and feel excited for what’s to come.

    Here is a round-up of some of our favourite illustrators:

    • Leading US illustrator, Happy Menocal, stays at the top of their game by continually evolving their ideas, while retaining a clear stand-out style that keeps them ahead of the game.

    • UK-based Fin Fellowes has many fashion clients amongst her fans, as well as an international clientele throwing weddings and parties. Creative in every way, Fin has a distinctly chic aesthetic, pushing the boundaries of what’s been done before to design a sensational stationery set for her high-end clients.

    • Lara Pilkington has been an artist amongst other professions for many years, and only recently started designing invitations. Her great talent and attention to detail has produced some stunning creations for weddings and parties alike.

    Photography Credits: Lucy Cuneo, Helen Abraham, Dominique Bader, Pemberly Fox

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  • Fashion: Where to start with Wedding Dress shopping

    The first question after a bride announces her engagement is “where are you going to get married” followed closely by: “and where are you going to get your dress”? This can throw even the most cool-headed bride into a spin.

    Ulrich Engler

    We always advise brides to make sure they have answered the question, before they head off to try on wedding dresses. A summer beach wedding abroad, for example, is going to require a very different look from a London wedding in December.

    Emma Victoria Payne

    Once your location is confirmed, start a Pinterest board of dresses you like. Don’t hold back, even if you think your style is all over the place, as after some time you’ll start to see a pattern of specific details which you keep pinning. Is it buttons down the back of the dress; a halterneck style; a long train; or no train. We even once had a bride who wore a white fur-trimmed long length coat to the church, only to reveal a beautiful silk red dress underneath when she reached the Wedding Reception.

    Stewart Parvin

    First of all, make appointments at a variety of different dress shops, take a friend and go and have fun! Treat it as a recce, and be open-minded to different styles, looks and materials. You may find you’re surprised by how you feel in one dress, which is the total opposite of what you thought you’d like.

    Calvin Klein

    Secondly, remember this is your day, and the most important thing is to feel comfortable and happy when you are centre of attention. Many brides decide they want to get in the best shape of their lives for their wedding day, and knowing your dress fits you perfectly will help relieve the pressure in the run up to the big day, so you won’t be crash dieting and needlessly getting stressed about how you’re going to look. Try to have a final fitting as close as possible to your wedding day, as many brides lose a final few pounds from nervous anticipation the week before their wedding.

    Philippa Lepley

    Lastly, find a designer who puts you at your ease, as you’ll have several fittings throughout the process, and having trust between you and your dressmaker will make the process so enjoyable. Some designers include the fittings and alterations as part of the deal, others charge for every additional change. Make sure you know where you stand before you sign on the dotted line.

    Jesus Peiro

    We recommend all of these dress designers for their bespoke creations and excellent service.

    Photography Credits: Lucy Cuneo, Lucy Davenport, Alex Lloyd, Ann Kathrin Koch

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  • How to make events more environmentally sustainable

    The recent limelight shone on the issue of climate change, led us to discuss how we can make high-end events more sustainable. The luxury services market is often happy to ignore the huge amounts of wastage that occurs, because rarely does a private client demand this as part of the decision-making process.

    Thousands of pounds-worth of flowers are thrown away the following day; destination weddings have guests flying from all corners of the globe; and electricity to power a small town is used to produce a band’s single 90 minute performance.

    Of course, we are in the entertainment business, but what can we do as an industry in order to shift this and make it more of a priority?

    We came up with a few starting points for reducing the Carbon footprint:

    1. Ask your client about their priorities – we tend to assume that clients with deep pockets throwing large amounts of money on a party aren’t interested in their environmental impact, however, we should dig deeper to discover their sense of social responsibility. Many billionaires are at the forefront of investing in sustainable products – for example the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – and we should suggest ways in which their party or wedding could have aspects that would retain impact, but that would be more responsibly sustainable.

    2. Choose suppliers who are aligned with your environmental impact outlook – for example, a caterer who has invested in a food wastage scheme where food preparation is kept to a minimum, recycling is at a rate of 95% or higher, and leftover food is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, where green energy and fertiliser are produced.

    3. Go paperless and plastic-free – a small step, but whether this is just in your office, for example showing clients budgets, moodboards, proposals and floorplans online; or extending to encouraging clients to send out email invitations rather than hard copy card which needs to be posted and delivered around the world. We love a beautiful printed invitation as much as the next person, but is it time for the industry to catch up with bigger priorities? In terms of plastic, most bar companies and caterers in the UK will only use paper straws now, but consider all areas where you can use sustainable products instead of throwing away items at the end of the night.

    Overall, we should be taking steps towards an industry-wide commitment to sustainability in order to ensure the future of our industry. Imagine how our industry will change with an increasing reluctance from guests to travel on planes/trains/buses to attend an event; the extra contingency planning required for natural hazards such as flooding, landslides etc, which are said to increase with global warming; the changes in food availability as crop production around the world is affected by higher temperatures.

    To conclude, the overlap of the events industry with the hospitality, tourism and design worlds shows we are not alone in needing to tackle an issue that would be easier to sideline as a threat to our industry. If we harness the positive outcomes that could come from taking big steps to make our industries more sustainable, we are far more likely to guarantee a bright future.

    For further information on this subject, please click here for an article about sustainability in the wedding industry.

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  • Destination Weddings for US Clients: taking advantage of the strong US Dollar

    Several conversations in the last week have led us to write about the noticeable advantages to our American clients who are planning weddings in the UK or Europe next year. With the British pound and the Euro weakening against the strong US dollar, clients paying in dollars are able to get more bang for their buck thanks to the currency exchange rate.

    Hampton Court Palace

    The past few years have shown a noticeably increasing interest from American clients wishing to get married in the UK in a quintessential English stately home, castle or hotel. There are venues to suit individual tastes, and some offer bedrooms for the wedding party as well. From Blenheim Palace to Cliveden House, Hampton Court to private grand houses that only Albion Parties has access to.

    Private House in England

    Across Europe, France and Italy are the top countries for Albion Parties for destination weddings. Every year we head to the South of France, where from Cap Ferrat to St Tropez we organise weddings and parties during the summer season. The cult of Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly has given the Cote D’Azur a classic chic feel that’s impossible to resist. We find that our clients choose to have their wedding near glitzy St Tropez, or in the gentle charm of the Provence hills a mere few kilometres away from the coast. Private villas, owned or rented, are a good way of having privacy and the ability to party late into the night without a curfew!

    St Tropez

    Weddings in Italy used to be all about Tuscany, but with Puglia growing in popularity with the likes of Borgo Egnazia, and celebrities like Misha Nonoo getting married at Villa Aurelia in Rome, there are many more contenders. In addition, Lake Como and Venice continue to attract those seeking a beautiful backdrop for their wedding photographs, and both locations have exceptional light that is impossible to replicate elsewhere.

    Villa Aurelia, Rome

    A note on a relatively new venue to keep an eye on… Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro. This was the first Aman hotel outside of Asia, which personifies the exceptional service and attention to detail the brand is renowned for. With many different options for where to hold each aspect of your wedding weekend, there are gardens, a small town square, swimming pool terraces and a restaurant to make each day feel memorable in its own way. This is a sensational destination to consider for a summer wedding. The hotel gets booked up so it’s worth booking well ahead of time. Direct flights from London to Dubrovnik make it an easy hop.

    For all of our American clients, take the leap and you will be rewarded. Not only is there a wealth of spectacular places to get married in the UK and Europe, but you’re budget will be going so much further due to the exchange rate on the dollar, and give you much more than you ever hoped for!

     

    Photography Credits: HRP, Sophia Spring, Amaury Brac, Stefano Casati

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  • Bespoke Stationery: Choosing the right calligraphy for you

    First impressions are key, and it’s always special receiving a beautifully written envelope through your letterbox giving a hint of what’s in store for the rest of the celebration.

    Traditionally, calligraphy has been mainly used for invitations, but now it is incorporated into many ‘on the day’ aspects at weddings and parties. Our recent favourites include marble coaster place names at a wedding at the V&A gallery in London, or personalised fans for favours at a beach party in St Tropez.

    While it may be an ancient art form, the styles to choose from have rapidly increased with the popularity of a wide range of new scripts pairing the classic techniques with modern, casual, personality-filled styles.

    The consistency and precision of Italic hand and Copperplate can bring a more formal look to an event. Italic hand is elegant without being fussy, and you can’t go wrong choosing this classic, timeless script. The simplicity makes this style very versatile – we have found this script works equally well for personalising traditional wedding invitation suites to writing names on slate placemats at a Woodland Themed Bar Mitzvah.

    Modern styles embrace imperfections and can add unique character to your event. They are flowy in nature, with flourishes that have a fun, bouncy vibe. This was perfect for playful placement cards we made for a 50th birthday party last year.

    At a recent dinner held in a warehouse, the contemporary calligraphy really enhanced the décor and theming, which was all based on one piece of artwork chosen from the client’s favourite artist. Guests found their table in the colourful envelopes displayed on the placement table, and clear acrylic cards with their names on were at each place setting.

    There are so many modern calligraphers who each have perfected their own individual lettering style. A good place to start when searching for a calligrapher that suits your personal taste is by looking through Pinterest and Instagram, which are full of great photographs of calligraphy and chic ways of including it in your event.

    It’s the small details that often make the biggest impact, and handwritten calligraphy is a great way to add a personal touch. From the moment a guest receives their invitation, carried through to the details on the day, handwritten calligraphy is definitely a way to impress your guests.

    Photography Credits: Tom Greenly, Albion Parties, Sim Canetty-Clarke

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  • Parties: 40th’s are the new 21st’s

    Turning 40 is a huge milestone, some say life begins at 40 so why not embrace this notion and throw an extravagant party to make this important occasion memorable.

    Don’t take it too seriously; it is a great chance to be over the top with wacky ideas and a time to go big on the theming. Whether you make an entrance on a heliosphere, serve shot skis from an ice bar and cover Claridge’s ballroom with snow, or book a private performance by a world-class comedian, there are endless possibilities!

    When choosing your theme, think about the things you love whether it’s a special place where memories were forged or a film that has defined your life. Start with the most basic of concepts, a sliver of an idea, and run with it – before you know it you will have an array of unique ideas to really make your 40th as outstanding as it should be.

    Once you choose a party theme, the rest of the decision-making process becomes much simpler and lots of fun.

    We have found that 40th birthday parties are a time to be wild; find your inner child and don’t hold back. At a Wes Anderson-themed rave guests arrived to giant inflatable tentacles breaking out of the windows, and were greeted by Lobby Boys at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Guests could enjoy a warming curry whilst sat on the train in Darjeeling and by ducking through a Fantastic Mr Fox rabbit hole, they were immersed into a Life Aquatic scene.

     

    We love creating an environment full of secrets and surprises, giving a multi-dimensional and faceted experience, leaving guests walking away sharing their own narrative of the night.

    Photography Credits: Stephanie Trowell, Sim Canetty-Clarke

    By in General, Private Parties