The Little Wedding Helper Launch Night ~ 27th July 2011
19 Friday Aug 2011
For the first time it felt like a real British summer’s day. The sun had been beating down over the harbour, heating the pavements to unreasonable levels and allowing, for once, the public to justifiably walk around in summery dresses and casual shorts.
As workers raced out of offices to make the most of the last few hours of the day, clouds began to roll in along the Avon. With the sunshine resting behind the clouds, a slight breeze rolled in over the harbour, creeping up to the terrace of the Riverstation in Bristol and gently kissing the bare arms and ankles of the gathered guests.
The pink bunting enveloping the leather sofas and metal furniture on the balcony flowed into the restaurant and circled around the bar and kitchen. Kirsten Butler from The Little Wedding Helper had been industriously styling the venue all afternoon in preparation for a ‘small’ group of industry peers to join her for her launch night.
As it happened, that small group ended up filling the whole downstairs bar and spilling out on to the terrace. As tealights flickered in tiny jam jars on top of heart-shaped pink doilies, sun-kissed wedding professionals began flooding into the bar with beaming smiles and eager eyes. With warm hugs and huge congratulations, guests obligingly took a glass of bubbles or a bottle of pressed fruit juice.
Out front, a VW van was bedecked with wedding garlands whilst a flatbed truck sported a cool graffiti billboard advertising weddings at the Riverstation. Passers-by peered curiously in, wondering what the flamboyant vehicles were in aid of and trying to catch a glimpse of the excitement within.
In one corner of the bar, a vintage DJ busied himself with original gramophones and record players, cranking the metal handle & flicking through vinyl records. The jaunty sounds of music from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s bounced through the room, injecting the atmosphere with a distinctly upbeat vibe.
A table full of gloriously complex shaped cakes drew adoring sighs from curious bystanders. The creator of these sweet geometrical wonders stood guard in a pink pinny, happily dishing out slices of cake to anyone who showed the faintest interest.
In a large window overlooking the harbour, a long table had been styled as a top table with pretty, vintage finishing touches. With cups and mini vases bursting with tiny mismatching collections of flowers, vintage china and shimmering cutlery, bespoke stationery and a pink and white chequered tablecloth, this was a table that oozed gentility.
Within the contemporary setting of the Riverstation, the femininity of the display worked as the perfect contrast to the minimal lines, black leather seating and modern art that remained in situ. The two elements blended together perfectly to create a marriage between stylistic differences.
As the sun began to sink below the horizon, leaving a trail of colours along the water, the chatter continued and laughter floated up into the evening air. Whilst sipping beverages through stripy straws and tucking into meringues and cupcakes in the corporate colours of The Little Wedding Helper, the assembled group chatted about all things wedding and a few things not quite so related.
Silver trays brandished by smiling staff offered hungry guests the opportunity to indulge in pork belly canapés, mini chunks of chocolate brownies and many more tiny delicacies that slimly passed as a substitute for dinner.
Tucked away around a corner, a draped red curtain acted as a background to an informal photobooth. Initially apprehensive, guests soon began queuing up to choose props & create their own comedy moment to be captured for the photographer’s future use of bribery. Little tiaras, feather boas, top hats and more were all utilised and abandoned in quick succession as folks attempted to do each other’s tomfoolery.
No nook or cranny had been left untouched. Kirsten’s attention to detail had ensured that each tealight holder was wrapped with skinny ribbon or rustic twine; birdcages sat in empty corners, sprouting occasional peonies and funky vintage signs; suppliers’ business cards and flyers were incorporated into the set, providing a colourful blanket around a faux table plan; unused shelves suddenly sported white baroque frames with press about The Little Wedding Helper. There was something to look at wherever you glanced.
Having had tours of the venue, eaten their way through a variety of sweet treats, mingled with various vendors and had their photos taken, many of Kirsten’s ‘small’ group found themselves ensconced on the large sofas on the terrace, beneath cabanas and a muggy night sky.
Sipping drinks, cementing old acquaintances and revelling in new ones, it was safe to say that The Little Wedding Helper had not only orchestrated a successful launch for her own empire, but also helped create yet more love in the south west wedding industry.