Two of New Zealand’s most sought-after wedding stylists, Claire Donaldson of One Lovely Day and Fallon King from The Little Hire Company, talk us through some top trends and style ideas for the year ahead.
Claire Donaldson, One Lovely Day
What kind of wedding styling is on trend at the moment?
I find weddings tend to follow interiors and fashion trends. So this season we’re keeping along the lines of a beautifully pared-back, timeless vibe. Sculpted florals, simple but special table pieces and attention to dressing a hero piece that packs a punch, be it a ceiling installation or a beautiful bar.
Colours are still having a neutral feel, but with accent pops of colour going through in terracottas and olive are always beautiful.
What are you particularly loving right now?
I love a wedding to be timeless, I think there’s something so special about being able to look back on your day and not feel it’s caught in a time warp of fast-moving on-trend items. I also love a good print, so a subtle print in table linen is a favourite of mine. Mixing textures on your table setting is something I love – every guest interacts and touches their individual spot at the table so having beautiful pieces in front of them is never unnoticed.
What’s something a bit special you did for a recent wedding?
With the recent Covid carry on, weddings took a little break. But from that came some beautiful moments where couples had a chance to step back and reinvent how they would celebrate their day.
Once we hit level 2 I did a beautiful intimate wedding at The French Cafe restaurant in Auckland, where guests were treated to a very personal wedding styled so beautifully, as instead of catering for huge numbers, time was able to be spent on having the best of everything. From the food and wine to the floral and all the details. It was so lovely.
Fallon King, The Little Hire Company
What are some styling elements you think will be trending for the year ahead?
We’re seeing two quite different trends at the moment. One is minimalist, and the other is at the other end of the scale using large feature floral and greenery installations.
While a minimalist style sounds quite simple, it’s all about using quality styling items such as candle holders, dinnerware, cutlery and linens, which really give a luxurious look. When incorporating florals, these can be single stems rather than lush arrangements and using dried floral has been a favourite!
On the other side of things, we’ve seen clients dreaming of bountiful florals and greenery, tending to opt for large feature floral pieces such as a hanging installation or large sweeping ceremony florals that can be moved and re-purposed for the reception.
What are you excited about styling-wise at the moment?
Where to begin?! I feel it’s a really exciting time right now! I adore a well-styled place setting. Gone are the days of a standard folded napkin with a name card and cutlery placed traditionally at either side of the plate. We’re now seeing shaped name cards, different placement of cutlery and knotted or draped napkins. Taking time to think about where each piece will sit at a guests place setting really transforms an entire table, and there’s no additional cost – just a bit of playing around and getting creative.
We’re also seeing clients be a bit more bold and brave with their styling choices. I personally love when a client wants to do something a bit edgy – we’re creative, we get excited about doing something a bit out there or a bit different. I’m working with a client at the moment who wants to incorporate neon lights, disco balls and bountiful floral in a stunning inner-city industrial venue here in Christchurch. It’s edgy, exciting and it comes with creative challenges, which is something we’re always looking for.
Tell us about a couple of lovely things you’ve done at recent weddings…
We’ve hired trees from a local nursery a few times now and they’re relatively low cost, meaning saving on the budget while styling areas. We’ll often bunch trees and shrubs together at different heights to give a really full look – styled around the head table, lounging areas or to section off a large open space to break things up a bit.
TLE HIRE COMPANY PHOTOGRAPHS BY MELISSA GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY, LUKAS PIATEK PHOTOGRAPHY
E LOVELY DAY PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANELLE BOHA