Set the mood with dé­cor that says it all. Let this step- by- step guide help you on your way.

New Zealand Weddings Planner - - Editor’s Letter - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY AMANDA THOMAS


Let­ting your venue guide your dé­cor style will not only re­sult in a more co­he­sive look, but will also save you some coin. It would take a lot of lush green­ery to give a slick ho­tel space a wild, ro­man­tic feel – in the same way pol­ished, smart fur­nish­ings would look out of place in your aun­tie’s rus­tic barn. Let your­self be guided by no­tice­able fea­tures of your venue. Are the walls a deep mid­night blue? There’s no use valiantly stick­ing to your colour pal­ette of orange and pink – you’ll achieve greater im­pact by work­ing with a scheme that makes the most of the navy, in­stead of try­ing to ig­nore that it’s there. Think of your venue as the foun­da­tion of your wed­ding de­sign.


When set­tling on a wed­ding style, it makes sense to look at your­selves: your re­la­tion­ship, what you both en­joy do­ing, and your per­son­al­i­ties. If there is a spe­cial mem­ory or hobby you share, then it can be a nice per­sonal touch to in­cor­po­rate this into your wed­ding vi­sion as well. For ex­am­ple, if you have fond mem­o­ries of trav­el­ling the south of France to­gether, why not al­low this to be part of your in­spi­ra­tion with sprigs of French laven­der at place set­tings?


Whether it’s a Pin­ter­est board, torn out pho­tos from a bridal mag­a­zine, or a phone al­bum filled with In­sta­gram screen­shots, gather all your in­spi­ra­tion to­gether in one place and look for com­mon themes. You might no­tice a con­sis­tent colour pal­ette, cer­tain tex­tures or pat­terns that con­tinue to reap­pear, or an over­all ‘vibe’ that shines through, fit­ting your de­scrip­tion of the per­fect day. Your vi­sion board will also give you an over­all sense on if your ideas are work­ing to­gether har­mo­niously, or if there are some el­e­ments clash­ing.


There’s no need to choose a par­tic­u­lar “theme”, but de­cid­ing on a few key words that sum up the feel of your day will help you com­mu­ni­cate your vi­sion to ven­dors. For ex­am­ple, you might look at your vi­sion board and say ‘Okay – the hues here are quite light and nat­u­ral. I can see lots of rus­tic tex­tures and de­tails are made of ma­te­ri­als like fo­liage and tim­ber. All of the flo­rals seem to be un­struc­tured, with lots of green and apri­cot through­out. There are a lot of can­dles and warm light­ing, and the over­all feel­ing seems to be re­laxed and fun.’


If your vi­sion board isn’t quite com­ing to­gether but you can’t seem to put your fin­ger on where the clash is com­ing from, ask some­one you know for a sec­ond opin­ion or put it aside and re­visit it af­ter a cou­ple of days. If you’ve been con­cen­trat­ing on it for too long, it can be easy for ev­ery­thing to blur to­gether so it’s help­ful to have a fresh set of eyes to look back over your ideas.


Find­ing the right peo­ple to help pull to­gether your vi­sion can make all the dif­fer­ence. Per­haps a hire com­pany whose prod­uct line re­ally suits your style, or a stylist who can help pull to­gether all the per­fect lit­tle de­tails. Spend time, too, re­search­ing cake de­sign­ers and florists, and take time to com­mu­ni­cate your per­fect vi­sion so every­one un­der­stands what you want.


With plenty of time to go be­fore your wed­ding day, gather all your ac­ces­sories, dé­cor, DIY and props to­gether, and prac­tice ar­rang­ing them so you es­tab­lish how you want them to look. Keep ba­sic styling rules in mind, for ex­am­ple: ob­jects look best when grouped in odd num­bers, and tallest ob­jects should be placed in the mid­dle of groups to cre­ate a bal­anced pyra­mid ef­fect.


On the big day, you don’t want to be stress­ing about any of the de­tails. Find a plan­ner or stylist who can help you, or re­cruit a close friend or fam­ily mem­ber to lead the set-up charge on the day. Give them clear in­struc­tions, and all the essen­tial equip­ment they might need such as scis­sors, cel­lotape, matches, and flo­ral wire, so they aren’t caught short at show time.

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