At Wild Hearts, we are so fortunate to work alongside some of New Zealand’s top wedding photographers and industry creatives. They work so hard to help to create their client’s dream day and they are an endless source of inspiration for us. With so much talent behind these brands, we are spotlighting some of our favourites and sharing their insights.
The White Tree is a refreshing creative hub that offers live music, photography and film for your wedding day or event. They’ve hand picked a team of musicians, photographers and filmmakers in New Zealand and Australia to form part of their unique collective. With so much talent offered under one roof, you then have the job of deciding which services you’d like, the extent of the package you need and the individual professionals you’d like to be part of your day.
We know that choosing any one of these services can sometimes be daunting as they’re such integral components of your day, so we love the idea behind The White Tree, ensuring that you get vetted, top quality, fun creatives to form your event. The White Tree’s website is a hive of information – you can browse their musicians and lens gurus, see their work, and best of all, their pricing is transparent and booking system is easy to navigate.
The White Tree strives to keep these key ingredients of your day creative, cool and fun so that you and your guests have an unforgettable experience. Masters of entertaining and creating good times, The White Tree will ensure your memories are solidified and amplified. We talk to James below for more insights into The White Tree’s innovative platform.
So firstly, give us a classic, ‘First Day of School’ introduction of you and your team!
We love live music, photography and film. So much so, that we combined all three services and bundled them under our one creative roof. We provide these services for weddings, events and festivals…and we’ve been doing so for 12 years now!
Tell us about how ‘The White Tree’ was born, and a bit about the business and what you guys offer?
Before starting the biz, we’d been really active in the Melbourne original music scene and also the advertising/fashion/events scene for photography and film. In 2008 when we started, this was a really energetic and exciting time in Melbourne. We did, however, feel that the wedding industry hadn’t picked up on a range of new trends and technologies. It was certainly still sitting there in a pretty cheesy and tacky fashion! So we had an idea to gather a bunch of our talented creative mates across the music, photography and film industries, and present some new refreshing products for wedding couples. We rolled this out in a way that was scaleable, i.e. we weren’t going to be one set band; but rather a collective of musicians – where clients can pick and choose their singers and instruments. Very quickly (within 6 months) we had hundreds of clients booking us. We did a little happy dance for each new booking we received. We still do this, so there’s lots of happy dancing that goes on in our office.
Talk to us about the process of booking with The White Tree, what the experience is like and how it works from start to finish?
We spend countless hours continually onboarding new musicians, photographers and filmmakers. There is always someone new and talented popping up, so we never pause in this area. We then build digital showreels and portfolios for our creatives, and present them to couples who can pick and choose what suits their vibe. We also believe in simplicity and transparency when it comes to pricing, so, all of our packages and services are listed clear as day on our website with the inclusions and prices. We actually have no idea why so many wedding businesses refuse to put their prices up. Couples (and the industry) are gonna find out eventually!
How would you describe The White Tree’s style within what you offer, photography and film-wise?
We like to draw on a range of cinematic and documentary influences to capture content that feels real and emotive.
Finding a band and entertainment for a wedding or event is often far down the list when wedding planning, why do you think epic music is so important on a wedding day?
As I write this, we have a scenario where Covid-19 has lead to most governments around Australia and New Zealand placing certain restrictions on dance floors at weddings. So now, more than ever, couples need live entertainment to inject their wedding with a big shot of energy and engagement. For us, we love leading epic sing-a-longs, having banter with the crowd and we enjoy performing a huge range of songs to appeal to all demographics. There are so many age groups at weddings so it’s vital you find a band that functions as a human jukebox. I honestly feel that a great band can make or break a wedding. And now, more than ever, I really believe that to be true. Entertainment should be right up the top of the list when it comes to wedding decisions.
How have the last few months been for you guys in the face of a pandemic?
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster! It’s tiring keeping up with all of the government announcements in relation to weddings (I can feel wedding couples smiling and nodding!). The hardest thing has been the pressure to conjure up a framework on our own accord. I mean, there’s no government guidance for wedding businesses and couples to adhere to, so we’ve had to work hard to meet couples in the middle. Essentially, this has forced us to relax our terms and conditions and enable clients to change their dates and transfer deposits. This is a challenge for all wedding businesses as we’ve essentially been forced to put the tools down and stop work. But, we’re just focussing on the light at the end of the tunnel. Our model is set up to deal with multiple bookings so we’re looking forward to rocking hundreds of weddings in 2021…which may be our biggest year ever!
What’s a crazy story you have from an event or wedding you’ve worked on?
We once had our showcase event double booked by a venue in Sydney. We literally had our prospective wedding clients starting to arrive, at the same time as an insurance company had their staff arriving for their corporate Christmas party. The insurance company had an extremely conversative CEO, but after a fair bit of negotiation, we agreed to merge the events. Our clients could watch us from one side of the room, and in return…the insurance company scored a free band! The CEO issued strict instructions that it could only be jazz or background music that was played. We obliged. But as the night unfolded, our crowd and his staff started to throw back the beverages and before long they started yelling for us to play tunes like Wagon Wheel, Summer Of 69, Long Way To The Top, Uptown Funk, Shake It Off etc. Again, we obliged. Everyone was having a great time, except for the poor old CEO who just couldn’t lighten up. But if 99/100 people have rocked out and had a whale of a time, then we feel we’ve done our job.
Does your team have a favourite soundtrack to listen to at work?
I can’t listen to music as I work. I can’t multitask. I think I just get distracted and start focussing on the music. But our other guys like listening to Radiohead, Fat Freddy’s, The National, Neil Young…the list goes on.
Is there anything exciting in the pipeline for The White Tree?Any plans you want to tell us about?
We have a new site dropping in a couple of months. It’s been a labour of love and it’s looking sick!!
Do you have any final advice for couples planning their wedding days?
Right now, my advice is to invest in good food, good wine, a great celebrant, an awesome photographer and filmmaker, a beautiful venue and a great live band. They’re the big-ticket items that I feel are going to be really important to people and key ingredients to a successful wedding during and post Covid.