As I write this feature I am putting the final touches to my wedding day later this month.

This will be a celebration that hopefully will leave our wedding guests with happy memories, satisfied palates and photos of a bride who’s relaxed as she’s been more than comfortable handing over responsibility for the planning of table runners, candles, flowers, centerpieces and such details to someone else.

And I’m not alone, it seems. According to Jenni Bentley, wedding and function executive at Fortitude Valley venue Cloudland, busy brides increasingly are happy to call in the experts when it comes to organising their special day.

There’s no doubt there’s an overwhelming amount of inspiration on offer, from specialty online sites and Pinterest, for example, to traditional magazines, and narrowing down the options can be difficult. Even the choice of venue can simplify the process quite a bit, as Jenni Bentley explains.

“We often have ceremonies in the ground level Madame Hedges area (of Cloudland) and, because it’s so decorated with 14-metre vines, the waterfall and spiral staircase, you don’t have to do a lot to dress it up. It’s very easy to go over budget when you’re looking at theming,” she says.

Wedding co-ordinator Sarah-Jane Iriks, of White + White, suggests brides can keep well within their budgets by hiring their theming and taking a DIY approach to some aspects, such as menu and place cards and other decorations, while splurging on special statement items. “Brides are putting their money into things that they really want, for example chandeliers are making a comeback. That’s a beautiful statement piece, as are ornate frames or pedestals of flowers,” says Iriks.

Theming trends are many and varied but vintage influences are still popular.

“With The Great Gatsby movie coming out there’s more attention to the 1920s and 1930s prohibition era and a more whimsical look, with brides wearing floral garlands on their heads or braids, going into a more French art nouveau or Moulin Rouge theatrical feel.”

Amini Concepts event stylist Alexandra Paterson says whimsical botanical elements and vintage-style apothecary jars are quirky elements that work particularly well with natural elements like timber planks and maidenhair ferns for a vintage look with a twist. “It’s more eco-style and brings the outside in to transform the space and make it a bit unusual,” she says.

On the other hand, couples looking to buck the vintage trend are turning to modern styling with a New York urban feel. “This theme features a lot of black and gold such as stationery with gold foil,” says White + White’s Iriks. “Within the modern realm chevron (zig zag pattern) prints go really well with gold and pick up on what’s happening in interior design.”

Unpredictable weather so far this year hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm for outdoor weddings. “We’re finding more couples are requesting completely outdoor celebrations for both ceremony and reception, although you have to have a wet weather plan and a marquee can really blow out the cost because flooring is also an imperative in wet weather,” says Iriks. Nevertheless brides continue to be drawn to outdoor weddings and the natural feel that can be created, sometimes with the help of decorations like the illuminated crystal trees available from Amini Concepts.


Top wedding themes for 2013

Gold rush

Metallic gold shimmering accents continue, working well with mint, emerald, black, peach, navy and other metallics such as copper, bronze and silver. But be careful not to go overboard and focus on tasteful highlights such as gold sequin tablecloths or table runners, charger plates, cutlery and gold-rimmed glassware, gold vessels or vases dusted in glitter to hold floral arrangements or tealight candles, golden confetti and Tiffany or Napoleon chairs.

Regal elegance

A return to formality and sophistication is reflected in crystal glassware, serious silverware, chandeliers making a comeback, old world brass vessels with a gold look to hold opulent floral arrangements, luxurious custom-made linens, foil-trimmed stationery, ornate mirrors and pedestals and bring the outdoors in ‘à la Parisenne’ garden-style and with plenty of floral garlands.

French Provincial garden

Little bud vases filled with single stem blooms be gone! Rambling, wild and natural arrangements are the new ‘green’ – freeform, sophisticated and creative. Lush, fluffy peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, dahlias and hydrangeas are the top picks. Imagine a villa in the south of France and style with a touch of romance. Define the look with French bistro chairs, natural timbers teamed with crisply painted white timbers, natural coloured linens, white-wash Tiffany chairs, French boudoir, Louis or Elizabeth button chairs, wicker baskets, chalkboard ceremony backdrops or delicate timber alter canopies, bare wooden trestle tables, French shutters, rustic stools, lavender and antique lace.


As seen in bmag issue 255