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What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden

by | Styling Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Melissa of Oak Linden What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden

Melissa at Oak & Linden is a wedding stylist with a particular passion for floral design. She brings her keen eye for artistic detail and a distinctive flair to her styling – and then there’s the flowers, oh, those gorgeous arrangements – to complement it all! Thinking outside the square to bring all the elements of your dreams together, Melissa works to create your vision, for this most important of days. And to see it all come together, on your wedding day, is surely the stuff of dreams!

When did Oak & Linden come into being?

Oak & Linden came into being in London back in 2011.

What is Oak & Linden gaining a reputation for in the wedding business? 

We are gaining a reputation for our styling and floral design. Originally we only offered wedding styling and hire but after dipping our toes into floristry we found that people couldn’t get enough of it. We always try to add something different to our floral designs, be it working in a quirky touch such as fruit and berries or using unusual vases. We also offer planning, coordination and installation, making us a one-stop shop for engaged couples.

As if she wasn’t busy enough, having a background in interiors, Melissa started a sister business in which she offers interior styling. It’s a great way for couples to create a wedding registry because she can create a registry based on the items suggested to style their home.

oak linden 5 What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden

Image by Lil Elements

How would describe your style – both with styling and florals?

The Oak & Linden style, whether it be in styling, florals or interiors, is all about timeless elegance and a celebration of natural beauty. We love combining interesting textures and delicate colour palettes. We always add our signature quirky touch to reflect our client’s personalities in a unique way. Having begun life in London, we often bring an international edge to our designs.

What excites you about styling a wedding?

I love the process of transforming a space and seeing people’s reactions once the installation is complete. Hearing gasps of delight and surprise as they discover all the little touches is such a rewarding experience. That said, my favourite part of the process is the very beginning…Its the first time you walk into the space and your mind races with all the different ways you could transform it. Its the possibilities and allowing your mind to run with any crazy idea that pops into it that gives me the biggest rush.

oak linden 3 What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden

Image courtesy of Oak & Linden

Do you see particular styles being used, or do you like to encourage your brides to ‘think outside the square’ and do something a little different?

Of course we see trends and couples bringing in similar inspiration images but because our designs are a response to both the locations and the couple’s personalities, by the end of the design process they are always unique. We do the ‘thinking outside the square’ for our brides and often when we present them with these ideas they have no hesitation about running with them.

Do you think that making the wedding styling and florals cohesive with the style of the reception venue is important?

Absolutely!! The venue is the foundation for the design. We do love to contrast styles though – just because a venue might be rustic, it does not mean that the styling must be too. It’s all about thoughtful execution.

As it can become really confusing with all the different gorgeous elements/styles available to include in a wedding, do you see part of your role as helping brides to clarify and refine their wedding décor? How do you achieve this?

This is the most common thing we come across. Brides come to the initial consultation with so many ideas and say that they know what they like but they are having trouble refining their ideas and bringing them all together. Most of the time we resolve this by finding a way to link the ideas – for example colour can be a great unifier.

oak linden 8 What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden

Image by Nerida McMurray Photography

What do you love about flowers?

They are my most trusted muse! Almost all my designs are sparked by something I’ve noticed in nature. Flowers are particularly great for coming up with a colour scheme. Within one flower head there can be a wide spectrum of colours and they are always harmonious and full of depth! So I guess what I love about flowers is they are always inspiring.

Do you see the flowers arrangements as being the ‘glue’ that brings the whole style of the wedding together?

For sure! They set the tone for the whole space both in terms of colour and texture.

What are some of the quirky, and different ways we can use flowers at the wedding?

Flowers can be your wedding favours too! You can fold the napkin into a pocket and slip a beautiful stem or mini posie in – tie it with a beautiful ribbon and thank you card. It’s simple, adds colour and style to the table and is a gift that all your guests will love. Too many times I see favours that are left behind…when have you ever seen guests not wanting to take the flowers!!! Flowers also don’t have to be used in a traditional vase. We’ve done arrangements in seashells, miniature glasshouses, logs and trophies…anything that has a hollowed space can be a vase!!!

oaklinden 9 What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden

Image by Nerida McMurray Photography

Do you have some favourite floral elements (or flowers) that you feel brings that ‘wow’ factor to the wedding décor?

I LOVE anemonies. I am also a huge fan of mixing small blooms in amongst larger flower heads. It adds depth, interest and texture to arrangements. For this, I often use wax or berries. This creates a wow factor because the arrangements become so much more interesting…the closer you inspect them, the more detail you appreciate.

You also have a hire business as part of Oak & Linden. What are popular hire items at the moment? 

Our hire range grows organically from the items we have custom sourced for clients. We don’t have 100’s of chairs, but rather one-off finds such as our industrial rusted LOVE sign. It’s become a mini celebrity…its been on the Today Show, in the local paper and magazines, fairs and wedding all around NSW. It was on display the other day and I had someone come up and say I know this sign, you must be from Oak & Linden!!! We often use it to style food stations or the gift table. We also have a swing we adorn with flowers for engagement shoots and a beautiful hand carved screen, which we’ve used both as a ceremony backdrop and as a seating chart display.

oaklinden1 What Would They Know? Melissa Kuti of Oak & Linden

Image courtesy of Oak & Linden

Where do you ship these items to? 

So far we’ve only had enquiries to ship within NSW but depending on the size and how delicate the item is, we could ship hire products anywhere really.

If money is tight, how can a bridal couple decorate their wedding in a stylish and elegant way?

I always tell people to book a space that is beautiful already so that they don’t have to spend a fortune decorating it. There are some things worth spending money on such as your venue and chairs – a good chair can transform a space! Fairylights and candles are so inexpensive and always make a space feel magical. Nowadays you can get battery-operated fairylights so having a power source is no longer an issue. String them everywhere!!! There are loads of businesses that will install fairylights for you too, which will be cheaper than buying them all yourself. Going for round tables rather than long ones can also be cheaper because you only need one centrepiece and no runner is needed.

With your knowledge of the bridal industry and weddings, do you have any further advice to give to brides?

Winter weddings are amazing! You can get better deals in low-season, have a greater choice of suppliers. Some of my favourite flowers are only available in winter too!!! Having an outdoor ceremony is beautiful but it has its downsides – formulating a plan B, making sure there is enough shade for everyone, getting heels stuck in the grass and long dresses dirtied. In a winter wedding you’ll be inside and these are no longer these issue!!

Thank you Melissa for sharing your story. To find out more about Oak & Linden visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Oak & Linden

Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

by | Event Reviews, Wisdom


Ms Chevron

It was a champagne-laden affair that saw guests from across Brisbane gather for the highly anticipated opening of Brisbane’s newest dining establishment, La Vue Waterfront Restaurant.

La Vue Restaurant 8 550x365 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

La Vue Restaurant 3 550x365 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

Positioned directly on the water across from the iconic Story Bridge, guests mingled and enjoyed a selection of canapés as twilight turned to evening, revealing the stunning panorama in all its glory.

La Vue Restaurant 2 550x366 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

La Vue Restaurant 5 550x365 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

La Vue Manager, Kenny Brown, said that the setting provided one of the most fitting backdrops in all of Brisbane for romance. “Whether it’s a special dinner for two or a wedding to remember, our setting, food and ambiance provides the perfect setting for creating memories.”

La Vue Restaurant 1 550x365 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

La Vue Restaurant 4 550x365 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

The opening gave everyone a chance to not only see the newly completed interior for themselves, but to also sample some of the delights of the menu. “Our offering is modern Australian but with a strong French influence,” says Kenny. “We utilize only the finest produce with time-honoured preparation methods and a strong emphasis on sauces and finishes.” Guests also enjoyed another French favourite, with magnums of Moet et Chandon flowing freely.

La Vue Restaurant 7 550x411 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

La Vue Restaurant 6 550x365 Brisbane’s Newest Waterfront Restaurant Opens in Grand Style

La Vue Waterfront Restaurant is situated in the heart of the CBD on the spectacular Brisbane River. With breath-taking waterfront views across the Story Bridge and a superb, European-inspired menu, the venue offers a stylish, sophisticated experience with a touch of romantic French flair. As well as being a popular choice for dining, La Vue is fast developing an excellent reputation as a venue for weddings and other events, with the experienced management team always on hand to deliver beyond expectations.

For more information or to request a wedding package, visit La Vue Restaurant.

Images via pdpr

What Would They Know? Ryan Fisher of Black Jacket Suiting

by | Fashion Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Black Jacket Suiting What Would They Know? Ryan Fisher of Black Jacket Suiting

For the men of the bridal party who dread clothes shopping, even for a wedding, Ryan from Black Jacket Suiting has some great advice and ideas to help make it easier. From suit styles and a wide array of fabrics, to a mobile service, a stylist and much more, Black Jacket Suiting has you covered. Lucky Brisbane grooms and groomsmen – Black Jacket Suiting is right on your doorstep to help you look sartorially elegant on the wedding day. And why not look super smart – it’s your wedding after all!

What was the catalyst for starting your business?

Working in the menswear industry for many year I could see the stagnation of the independents in the industry being run by an older and outdated generation. There was clearly a need for a re-think and progression into the 21st on how this side of the industry was operated. I want to revolutionize the menswear industry and offer an unrivalled house hold name that combines personal service and expertise with affordable price tags.

What experience do you bring to the business? Have you always had a ‘passion for fashion’?

Managing and running a menswear store for many years and specialising specifically in weddings gave me an ability to learn a lot very quickly. The passion for fashion has always been there as I pride myself on looking my best at all times and to be able to help other do the same is extremely rewarding.

Black Jacket Suiting2 What Would They Know? Ryan Fisher of Black Jacket Suiting

What do you most enjoy about running Black Jacket Suiting?

The personal interaction with all different manner of clientele that come into the store. I am a very people oriented person and am always down for a chat and to make my clients feel at home and a connection on a personal level as well.

Do you offer a wide range of ‘off the rack suits’ in store?

Yes, we now boast the widest range of off the rack suiting brands in Brisbane. With over 20 different suit suppliers we have access to an extremely diverse and plentiful range.

Can these be altered to suit different body types?

Yes, 90% of men can have their suits altered correctly to fit their shape. It is all about finding the right brand first and working forward from there. Tailoring is like cutting a piece of string, if you start larger you can cut to size. Always remember that with jackets the shoulders are the point to achieve the right fit and in the pant the upper thighs are crucial… everything else can be altered and we have a very skilled tailor who can take care of anything you need at very affordable prices.

What sizing range do you offer?

We offer a full range of sizes from children’s size 2 right up to larger gentleman’s size 156. Additionally, our tailor-made range can be made to fit any shape and size and is cut specifically to that.

Black Jacket Suiting 1 What Would They Know? Ryan Fisher of Black Jacket Suiting

Can you describe the process of having a bespoke wedding suit made by you?

We first start by talking about your needs and desires for your outfit, it is often best if clients can show me a picture along the lines of what they want. Next we start taking 35 points of measurement from the client/s to get their body shape exactly right, we note your posture, measurements and what type of fit and allowance you desire. We then send all this information away and 2-3 weeks later your suit arrives. We then do a final fitting in which any changes you are after our local tailor can fix up for you. We have a fit guarantee and the cheapest a quickest turn around for tailor-made suits in Brisbane so we will not rest until you are 100% satisfied with your outfit.

You offer a ‘mobile service’ for the bridal party. What does this mean, and is it popular with your clients?

Yes we do, this involves us traveling with swatch books to your home, office or anywhere you would like to come and measure you and/or your bridal party. We offer this as it can be hard to organise groomsman to be in one location all at the same time. Ideally the bride/groom would choose the outfit they desire first and we would come and fit up the bridal party during a dinner party they might throw. However, currently it has been most popular with our corporate clients who work in the city as we visit various firms with the same service. Personally I think this is due to the atmosphere and easy accessibility to the store frontage (Bulimba) as the bridal party seem to like to come in and have some refreshments while they get fitted up.

What suit fabric and colours do you recommend for summer weddings?

Summer weddings can be hard in Brisbane with the heat and if guys aren’t use to wearing suits a jacket can be very uncomfortable. I would suggest lighter softer pastel colors such as beige, blue and grey to complement the theme of the wedding as a whole and also thing about doing a vest and trouser combination as opposed to a suit which will keep the costs down and be more comfortable.

Black Jacket suiting resize 550x366 What Would They Know? Ryan Fisher of Black Jacket Suiting

Do you offer a wedding suit hire service?

Yes, we just started offering this service. Our hire range consists of four cuts (two slim, one contemporary and one regular), which encompasses 15 suit fabrics to choose from, 8 of which have options for a three-piece outfit. With our business ideals, image and integrity in mind Black Jacket Suiting sets ourselves apart by only hiring current fashionable and trending stock that carries the appropriate fit, style and shape for the modern gentleman.

Can you describe the experience of visiting your store for wedding attire? 

The store is the perfect setting for any guy who wants to make shopping a classy and expedient occasion. Based on what I witnessed with store layout’s in Paris and London, it is a thin long two level store. We keep the lighting bright downstairs where all the stock is kept and upstairs more subdued where the change rooms are as well as a small bar and lounge area complemented with seating arrangements and decorative imagery where clients can relax, enjoy refreshments and make the hard decisions that much easier.

Black jacket suiting RS What Would They Know? Ryan Fisher of Black Jacket Suiting

You offer a personal stylist for those visiting your store. What can the stylist advise on?

Our stylist/employees are trained to the highest degree to ensure that any occasion you may be going to we can advise on what is appropriate to wear. In the case there is something we are unsure on it is merely a quick research session away from being able to give advice to ensure you have the perfect head turning outfit. We have had many odd requests before and it would be quite rare these days to not be able to advise on any clothing matter you could throw at us.

Please describe dress codes for:

Black tie – traditionally a black classic shawl lapel tuxedo with a dinner shirt and bow tie. However, in more recent times this can just mean a suit, dress shirt and tie. It really depends on the event to what degree of strictness this entails.

Formal – at a minimum standard a suit with a shirt, however it is advisable to wear a tie.

Casual – depending on the time of day or night, chino’s or dress shorts (daywear) and a smart tee shirt or polo shirt.

RS Boyes NicholeLee JustForLovePhotography FrenchInspiredBridalShoot178 0 low What Would They Know? Ryan Fisher of Black Jacket Suiting

Image by Just For Love Photography

You offer online shopping where clients can buy everything from suits to shirts and ties and bags. Do you have any fashion/fit/style advice you can offer to your online client?

Online shopping can be very difficult, especially when it comes to suiting as every brand has different fits/cuts that do not suit every body shape. I would advise to only buy brands online which you know or have bought before. Keep in mind we are only a phone call away to advise on any matter. Other fashion accessories like shirts and ties are very easy to buy online, try starting slow with the process and build it up from there as you gain experience.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Unfortunately I do not get much free time as I am still completing my Law degree at the University of Queensland, however I do enjoy going to the gym and socializing/networking with friends on the weekend at Brisbane classy hot spots.

Thank you Ryan for sharing your story. To find out more about Black Jacket Suiting visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Black Jacket Suiting.

All images unless otherwise stated, courtesy of Black Jacket Suiting

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