WiTW Hearts…Sift & Gather

The mistress of cakes and all round amazing boss lady of Sift & Gather shares her story…

We are so lucky to be surrounded and advocated by some amazing, gifted suppliers, and we are super thrilled to be able to utilise our platform to showcase their talents, their backstories and their genuine passion for what they do.

As part of our WiTW Hearts feature, we are talking to some of our absolute favourite vendors from across the world; turning the spotlight on them…the ones who go above and beyond to make your day happen in the way you want it to. The people without which this industry would not be at all possible.

Today, we are chatting to the mistress of cakes and all round amazing boss lady, Amber Markland of Sift & Gather. Her story is beautiful and passionate, and I hope you enjoy reading it…

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So tell us Amber, how did you come to be doing what you do?

I didn’t know I loved cake, I was just looking for something I could do with my family to give back to others less fortunate. It changed my life forever. 6 years ago, I became the chapter organizer for a non-profit called “Birthday Cakes 4 Free” in the town of Milton, Massachusetts. I started baking cakes, and my entire family would deliver them with me to children, and seniors that could not afford a cake on their birthday.

Urban Edge Wedding Inspiration

I had know idea how much a cake could impact someone’s life. My children got to experience all the things a parent preaches about, being kind, genuine, respectful, giving, loving, and man did if feel good. From the very first cake that we delivered to a single mom, with 6 kids, on the verge of being homeless… I knew I was doing what I was meant to do. Since then, I have been perfecting my craft and finding a place in the industry that allows me to be uniquely me!

What aspects of weddings do you love the most?

This is easy, I love the LOVE aspect of a wedding the most! Here’s why… 14 years ago, I got married to the love of my life. Sounds amazing right? Well it was not what you see on Wed in the Wild, let me just tell you that. We were stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in potato country Idaho, in the United States Air Force.  I had a 1 year old on my hip, standing in front of a judge at the local courthouse. No family or friends to witness the once in a lifetime moment, no special vows written from the heart to read to each other, and no wedding rings.

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Now that I have witnessed and participated in real life weddings and elopements, I can see how special every aspect is to a couple and their loved ones. But the love that radiates between two people is so fulfilling to the soul.  Don’t get me wrong, I also love the design, florals, signage, cake, and all the details that pull it together. But I love the LOVE part of a wedding the most!

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What is your USP? How do you set yourself apart in the market?

It’s ME. I see how people can get caught up in doing what everyone else doing. I try and do the opposite of that! I do what I want…   I look at my business as a reflection of my individuality, it’s authentic to who I am as a human.  My brand is my aura, a beacon of light around me that puts off good vibes only and attracts people that want and need me. I sprinkle that shit in everything I make, along with a whole lot of my heart and soul. That’s what I want people to respond to first, ME, and then scream over how dope their cake looks and tastes! 

We really couldn’t agree more…you are your biggest asset!

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Are you keen to or have plans to launch any other products or services?

Not at this very moment… Right now, I am 100% focused on getting the brick & mortar, Sift & Gather cake studio up and running! Once that happens, you can bet your sweet ass we’re going to turn it up a notch! And don’t be shy about reaching out to me with questions, new ideas, or collaborations. 

What do you love most about the wedding industry?

Besides the couples, it’s hands down all the other vendors doin’ the damn thing. I can say, without a doubt I have made friends for life with several of the vendors I’ve worked with over the last year. These people that are pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into the products/services they are creating and providing for the couples we’re all so fortunate to meet is INSANE. I am humbled and honored daily by how lucky I am to be working in an industry that is so inspiring and supportive. 

Hail. Amazing, supportive suppliers can make all the difference when you are a solo business owner.

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Describe your ideal wedding?

My ideal wedding would be a small intimate ceremony, somewhere outside. Warm weather, no shoes, and a wedding dress that hangs off my shoulders and moves with the breeze in the air.  I’d walk down the isle with my 3 children by my side, to music that speaks to the soul.  The seasons most beautiful flowers, and a custom backdrop you’ve never seen before. Vows. Dinner around a gorgeous table setting, food, drinks, and a whole lot of dancing! Ohhh… and a beautiful cake! 

Which celebrity wedding style do you love?

I fell in love the very moment I saw the three individual cakes at the Royal wedding this last year.  It was so outside the box from what the past royal wedding cakes have ever been, and man did they make a statement. Simple, sophisticated, elegant, each one unique but still complimenting the others, and completely edible!

We agree…Meghan & Harry struck so many perfect chords! 

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What do you think is the biggest issue in the wedding industry?

Not giving credit, when credit is due. Sometimes the importance of a vendor’s role, gets minimized next to all the other important parts of a wedding. In my eyes, there is not one aspect of a wedding provided by a vendor that is not just as important as the next. The wedding comes together via a collective of talented, hardworking, worthy humans.  There is no i in TEAM, you know what I’m sayin!

We really do. Crediting is vastly important!

And finally, lovely lady, what does love mean to you…

Love to me is nourishment to the mind, body, and soul. It’s a feeling that feels so good, it almost hurts. Love is compassion and compromise. Love to me means, you can put your heart in someone else’s hands and know that they will hold it gently and protect it.  To me, love is something you give and receive. An explosion inside your chest when you look into the eyes of your children. An ache when you’ve become disconnected and distant from love you once had. Love to me means being gentle and kind. Love is loving yourself and all that you have to offer the world.

Love is CAKE!

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Photography Credits

Cast & Forge

Marnie Cornell

Sam & Sola

Our Top Boho Trends for 2019

We have collated all of our favourite boho trends for 2019 into one insane list…

We personally cannot wait for 2019; with so many amazing trends which lend themselves so perfectly to bohemian dry-hire and outdoor weddings, couples will be quite literally spoilt for choice. And we cannot wait to see how some of these big-hitting trends fit into people’s special day.

Here at Wed in The Wild, we aim to bring only the best inspiration to you, which is why we have collated all of our favourite trends into one insane top trend list…

Australasian-Style Grazing

Fast becoming a show-stopping feature at weddings and events, Australasian-style grazing is set to grow even more in 2019. Gone are the days of afternoon tea and beige buffets, theses insane works of art add colour, texture and taste to your big day.

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And whether you want to include an iconic grazer instead of canapés, or have it replace your wedding breakfast or evening banquet, there is only really one company in the UK that you should be contacting…Grape & Fig.

Dried Flowers & Foliage

As much as we love flowers in any form, we are loving the textures that dried flowers bring to the table; especially big palms and grasses. Mix dried flowers with fresh flowers to create a gorgeous contrast, or go all out and utilise just dried flowers in your bouquet, ceremony arch or flower crown.

DF1Photography: Chasing Moments. Floristry: The Posy Collective

Be sure to speak to your florist well in advance for the possibilities available to you for your wedding date.

 

Illustrated Stationery

Some say that stationery is a waste of money, but we beg to differ. It may be paper, but there is a world of opportunity available, especially if you opt for a bespoke design. Illustrated stationery is on the rise as more and more couples understand the importance of a good stationery suite, and how the right design can set the tone for your whole day.

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IS2Stationery: Wonderland Invites. Photography: Camilla Andrea / Kelsie Low

Why not ask your stationer to include an illustration personal to you, like your wedding venue, parts of your decor, a portrait of you both or even a map detailing your wedding day and all it’s little details.

Eco Weddings

In a world which is under threat from pollution and global warming, many couples are interested in how they can ensure their wedding is more eco-friendly and ethical.

There are so many ways you can help; from choosing to hire rather than buy, choosing second hand or reclaimed over new, utilising small businesses over mass-production large-scale companies, utilising bio-degradable cutlery and crockery, and of course, ensuring all waste is recycled at the end of your day.

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Anthology Vintage Hire has all the reclaimed/vintage furniture you need for your day.

Check out some more tips and tricks here.

Statement backdrops

OK, so backdrops aren’t anything new, but over the past couple of years we’ve seen a huge rise in big-ass statement backdrops in bohemian weddings. And this year has seen a sharp incline in wooden and multi-textural backdrops in particular…a trend we see continuing into 2019.

LB1Backdrop: Laura Burkhart. Photography: Marnie Cornell

From geometric and tribal patterns, to swathes of hand-dyed linens, tassels, macrame and beading,  make a statement backdrop part of your big day and give your guests an altar to really talk about!

Big Jewellery and Crowns

When we say big…we mean big. Gone are the days of flower crowns…there we said it…statement jewellery is set to be all the range for 2019 and beyond.

From earrings and rings to intricate, mind-blowing crowns, there are some amazing brands, like Verbena Madrid and Opal Milk, which are paving the way for beautiful statement bridal jewellery that is different to the usual stuff you see on ASOS.

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VM2Crowns & Earrings: Verbena Madrid. Photography: Nicola Dixon / Pablo Laguia

Recommendation: Grape & Fig

Are you fed up of the same old, three course, sit-down meals at weddings? Look no further than Grape & Fig.

Are you fed up of the same old, three course, sit-down meals at weddings? Are you looking for a completely different concept for your big day?  How about a long, flowing table, artistically turned into an abundant bounty of  all the very best antipasti, cheeses, breads, fruits, nuts and chocolates?

We’re talking honeycombs dripping with fresh, sticky honey.  We’re talking soft, creamy cheeses, paired with artisan breads and oils. We’re talking delicious, homemade chocolate, and beautiful fruits. Are your mouths watering yet?

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Image: The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography

Well…it’s Toria’s job to whet your appetite, and it all began with her own wedding back in 2016. A passion project turned fully-fledged business aimed at bringing Australasian-style grazing to the UK, Grape & Fig is the name on everybody’s lips…

We’ve been lucky to have worked with Toria on a number of projects over at Wonderland Invites, and it has been an insane year watching her grow and her business take shape. From weddings and baby showers, to celebrity birthday parties, product launches and corporate dining, Grape & Fig is well and truly making it’s mark on the UK foodie scene.

Images: Grape & Fig on Instagram

So, why have a grazer at your wedding?

The answer, of course, is why wouldn’t you? Traditional weddings are becoming a thing of the past as couples embrace new ways of celebrating with their loved ones, and grazing tables are the new buffet. Some would call them show-stoppers, and rightly so, but we would call them a work of art.

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Image: The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography

Toria meticulously curates her grazing tables for each of her clients, working with them to create the perfect show-stopping piece of edible art for their event. She responsibly and locally sources where possible, and even makes some of the items found on her grazers herself. Additional services such as incorporating foliage adornments and even tablescape styling utilising beautiful luxe props can be added for extra wow factor.

Images: Grape & Fig on Instagram

“So, where do I sign?”

The Grape & Fig website is super clear and transparent, and due to the amount of enquiries they receives daily, they are unable to hold dates. So if you are keen and want to book a table of grazer goodness for your wedding, get in touch with Toria and the team now!

Featured Image by Kelsie Low Photography