The Shake & Stir Festival is one of the UK's biggest celebrations of all things vintage, based just outside of Bournemouth. The festival normally takes place during the last weekend in June, spanning Southbourne's high street and Fishermans' Walk, leading down to the beautiful sandy beach. Featuring a wide collection of local artisan traders, caterers and entertainment, it attracts visitors from all over the country.

A couple of years ago I started working with Mandy and the events team behind the festival, on the branding and marketing materials for the festival. This has included items for the main festival as well as its side events Santa Baby & the Sponsor Evenings. From Posters and Leaflets to Tickets and Programs, each year a new design is created to represent a different era and style.

Words from Shake & Stir

Contrary to popular belief, a designer cannot read your mind. Without clear direction, designers are in the dark about your vision, and your final design will suffer. With Taryn at Live Laugh Create I actually do think that she can read my mind because her interpretation and delivery is almost always spot on to what I was trying to convey when it comes to brand imagery and marketing imagery.

To any busines owner this is a joy as we are not the experts in the design field, we merely have an idea, a feel of what we want but have difficulty conveying what we mean. As well as this it also takes time which is a valuable commodity for all of us whether we are the client or the business owner.

Just like going to a style consultant, where they look at the colours that suit your complexion and lifestyle, so Taryn does the same with your business and your projects. She takes the time to find out what you really need to deliver and convey the message, the look and the feel of the work for the project that you are trying to achieve.

I cannot recommend Live Laugh Create highly enough. As an event organiser I need the complete kit – the new brand imagery, the style, the font, the imagination that will give me the right look for my marketing tools of website, posters, banners, leaflets etc that will bring in sales and footfall. Taryn has delivered this for me time and time again.

Mandy Polkey, MD Stir Events

I don't know about you but I absolutely love wildflowers, so much so, that my daughter is called Poppy. There is nothing more natural than wildflowers and I think they work with any wedding style due to the variety of textures, sizes, and colours.

Here are some of my favourite images and ways to incorporate wildflowers into your wedding.


Bespoke Wedding Invitations : Live Laugh Create

Cake : Blossom Dream Cakes

Make-up : Timeless Beauty by Louise

Bridal Cape : Crown and Glory

Styling : Love by Design Weddings & Events

Flower Seed Favours : Erikas Whimsical Art

Flower Hair Accessory : Facaldo Flowers

Wild Flower Crown : Crown and Glory

Photography : Sofie Michelle Photography

I really appreciate good photography but have absolutely no idea how to take it. I also hate having my photo taken as I tend to end up feeling like a potato wearing makeup. Enter Emma!

I had stalked Emma's photography on Instagram for quite a while but never reached out. Then a mutual wedding supplier friend recommended me to be included in a styled shoot that Emma was putting together. After meeting up for a glass of wine, we chatted through all of the ideas for the shoot and I found out more about her passion for photography. We got on really well which I think is the most important thing when choosing a photographer.

A few months later I wanted to get some new lifestyle headshots for this website and I got in touch with Emma. She suggested bringing the kids and hubby with me to have a mini family shoot beforehand since we don't really have any photos of the five of us. I have to say I have never felt so at ease in front of the camera! Her ability to make us all relax and engage is amazing, my daughter in particular just loved her and followed her around like a shadow. Even my very shy little boy came out of his shell with her and the end result photos are just beyond my expectations.

Emma specialises in relaxed, fun and engaging photography that truly does make memories.

Emmas Top Tip:

When planning your wedding be completely true to yourself. Don’t be a copycat couple who feel there’s one way to do a wedding.

DO YOU and do it with confidence.

If you are a mellow soul who loves to relax outdoors barefoot with your favourite tunes then plan to do exactly that. If your a passionate about flowers, food, music, colour, friendships then show it all off. Your friends and family will love it because they love you.

Just some of my couples who have nailed it:

1. The couple were crazy about food and boy did they put on an epic spread. A very chilled teepee wedding in a field with the most delicious grub and relaxed atmosphere.

2. This was one creative bride who nailed her springtime wedding. Beautiful pastel tones and something for everyone including doggy treats as pet favours!

3. These guys planned their day around their favourite season... Autumn. Rich plum and peach tones finished off with twinkling candlelight. The bride cried when she saw it all come together just as she’d imaged.

Emma's Top Three Venues to Photograph:

1. The Kings Arms - Christchurch: It’s a combo of the quintessentially English old cricket pavilion, the huge outdoor space and the old ruins that make it so perfect.

2. The Old Vicarage - Hinton: This venue has so many photo opportunities it’s ridiculous! The gardens are so beautifully maintained and if you catch it in spring the lawn is scattered with beautiful blossom petals.

3. Sopley Mill: I’m a sucker for red brick! This venue is so full of character and history. It feels extra special and majestic at night when the festoon lights twinkle on the river.

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