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Via Sollertia

A new chapter: Via Sollertia

If someone special has bequeathed you jewellery that means so much, but just doesn’t suit, Via Sollertia has a brilliant solution – remodelling – to get the piece out of the drawer and onto you.


Via Sollertia


Jewellery designer Clare establishes the style of jewellery you like, be it classic, modern, art deco, or art nouveau. “Browse pieces in store and in the catalogue and see what jumps out,” she says. “We’ll work with what you’ve got, re-using the stones and metal on site to create something completely personal.” The design process often sees people add to the components and Clare draws the design for you to take away and keep. Wedding and engagement rings are being modernised and reworked too.
“Re-modelling is my favourite thing to do,” Clare says. “It’s so special, creating something with huge history that people will actually wear and love, bringing a new chapter to the life of the jewel.”



Via Sollertia


Via Sollertia
11 New Regent Street
Ph 366 8001


looks to love: Canterbury bride

Glancing at wedding dress trends for 2019, it’s clear that saying ‘yes to the dress’ doesn’t have to be a hunt for indiscernible white gowns. If you’re planning your big moment and wanting something unique and fashion forward, then look no further as we take you through five standout styles that have caught our eye for next’s year nuptials.


looks to love

The Markel effect

We’re already seeing Megan Markel’s effect on the fashion world and now it’s taken over the bridal world. The Royal wedding’s influence is apparent in many styles which showcase glittering tiaras, regal elegance, capes, high-neck gowns and oh-so simple cuts. Markle’s modern look has inspired many major bridal designers. Expect to see a lot of minimalistic gowns that mimic her effortlessness, like breaths of fresh air. For a simple cut dress, consider a tiara to complete that imperial look. They may have once been dubbed as dated, but thanks to Megan Markel and Kate Middleton, they have made a comeback. These women proved that tiaras can look beautiful if done in a delicate way.

Lavender to blue

Many bridal designers have ditched the traditional white dress by adding a little colour to their latest collections. We are seeing hints of lavenders and soft shades of baby-blues that are sweetly reminiscent of Cinderella. Princess ball gowns with pastel colours are incredibly popular for 2019 and many of them are adorned with beautiful floral appliqués, which will leave any bride feeling pretty.

Oversized bows

It’s a classically romantic motif that bridal designers turn to again and again. We’re talking about the bow, but now it’s back and bigger than ever as it has become a focal point rather than a finishing accessory. Oversized bows have also taken on a sculptural shape and take pride along necklines, low backs, or clinching in the waist to create a flattering point.

Suit up

Dare to be different? One of the latest trends is a tailored suit, or bridal jumpsuit. It may seem less extravagant, but a suit is no longer just for courthouse weddings as brides are opting for a modern and chic look. This trend also allows the bride to be more comfortable, allowing freedom to cut loose on the dance floor and celebrate her big day. So, if you’re simply more of a pants girl, a bridal suit might be just the thing for you, or even your bridesmaids.

Marvellous metallic

Glinting metallics and sparkling sequins are another trend ruling the runways. They make a bold statement for a bride who is all about glitz and glamour. Popular metallic hues include gold, copper, champagne and rose gold. However, silver seems to be the metallic of choice. Paired with romantic silhouettes, the silver fabric creates a glamorous feel that will make your guests swoon on your big day.



Culinary Capers

Culinary Capers: Canterbury bride

When it comes to weddings of 2018/2019, it’s all about making it your own. So not surprising then, this clever customisation is making its way through to the menu.


Culinary Capers


Although it’s the sentiment of the day that wins out in the end, marking your commitment as a couple, fact is, how it all comes together is representative of the promise you are there to make.
When it comes to making your matrimonial mark, menus and desserts play an important role in the overall vibe of the day and they’re getting more creative every year.

Expect to see more DIY food bars at weddings of 2019, with an increasingly unique mix of foods. More couples are steering clear of the traditional three course meal and serving comfort foods such as pasta, pizza and burgers.

Brunch-themed weddings are trending in a very big way. A less expensive option, they’re featuring everything from street style food caravans through to make your own meal stations and with that, we’re seeing a big uptake in dessert bars.

From rustic homemade tarts to elegant French macarons, delectable desserts not only satisfy the sweet tooth of the most hardened guest, but they add personality to a very personal day.

Tie your sweet treat into your overall theme, make it something special that is specific to you as a couple, or perhaps create a coffee and tea bar. The world is your culinary oyster.

A royal flush

A royal flush: canterbury bride

Chances are you’ve heard the term ‘the Meghan Markle effect’ over the past few months. It was used to describe the fashionable clout wielded by our newest royal, the Duchess of Sussex, in the lead up to her May wedding to Prince Harry, as fans flocked to copy everything she wore.


A royal flush


But the biggest impact Meghan Markle is making is on the bridal industry. Her pared-back elegance is influencing everything from dress design, to décor. Even culinary creations are getting the royal treatment in the upcoming bridal season, after an estimated 47 million people tuned into the royal wedding from the US and UK alone. On her wedding day, the duchess looked exceptional in a white silk boat necked gown designed by Clare Waight Keller – the artistic director of Givenchy – followed by an elegant white, halterneck silk crepe creation by Stella McCartney for her evening gown.


A royal flush


Timeless and chic, it’s not surprising this understated style is coming through strong in wedding gowns across the globe. Gone are the detailed embellishment we’ve seen in previous years, even the detailed lacework of Kate Middleton’s 2011 frock has been eschewed in favour of simplicity
Meanwhile, tiaras, capes and sharp pantsuits – Meghan’s signature style – have all been making a stylish appearance in receptions and after-parties the world over.


A royal flush


Wedding cakes, venues and even the decorations bestowed upon them are being influenced by the Meghan Markle effect, with a clean, neutral colour palette and simple, minimalist design coming through.
When it comes to the cake, white frosting and white flowers are increasingly making the cut.


A royal flush


With fruit cakes traditionally being served up at royal weddings – designed to keep long enough to be served at the christening of the couple’s first child – the lemon elderflower cake was something of a departure from the norm.

But then that’s not surprising from a newly anointed royal who is all about breaking down the barriers.


A royal flush
Isaac Theatre Royal

Unforgettable Experience: Isaac Theatre Royal

Many people aren’t aware that the Isaac Theatre Royal is available for hire for private performances, weddings, corporate events, functions and so on,” says Freya Alexander, Head of Commercial Events.

Isaac Theatre Royal
There are stunning spaces throughout the venue.


There are stunning spaces throughout the venue which lend themselves to a variety of events. The Ravenscar Dress Circle Foyer is perfect for a classic cocktail event, the plush lounge style Grand Circle Foyer lends itself beautifully for private dinners or a special birthday celebration and the purpose-built Gloucester Room can be transformed from a corporate meeting setting to an entertainment venue.

The auditorium seats up to 1,290 over three levels; ideal for a conference plenary, with the stage itself being the perfect setting for a welcome dinner, awards ceremony and even a wedding reception. Looking out to the majestic heritage dome ceiling, the opportunities are endless.


For bookings phone 03-260 5252 or email


A romantic backdrop: Heritage Hanmer Springs

When it comes to New Zealand wedding destinations, the romantic mountain views and landscaped gardens of the Heritage Hanmer Springs provide an amazing ceremonial backdrop.

A landmark venue just 90 minutes from Christchurch, it’s a world away from the ordinary, in a stunning alpine retreat that will captivate you and your guests.
The venue can arrange everything, from tailormade menus, to beverage and staffing needs. There is a fabulous ballroom, complete with open fireplace, or enjoy a stylish and unforgettable lawn wedding in the picturesque gazebo set amongst beautiful gardens.

A range of accommodation is available, including three-bedroom villas located around a charming lake. Guests can enjoy all Hanmer Springs has to offer, including the world famous thermal pools, a short walk across the main street.
If you are looking for elegance, a spectacular location and personalised service, choose Heritage Hanmer Springs.

Email, phone 03-315 0065 or visit

Ilam Homestead

A Heavenly Venue: Ilam Homestead

To visit the historic Ilam Homestead, now a wedding and functions centre, is to take air from a more elegant era. Gorgeous palatial details plus an old-English-style botanical backdrop set the homestead apart.

Ilam Homestead

Built in 1856 as the residence for the landowner of the entire suburb of Ilam, the homestead subsequently became part of the University of Canterbury. It was a residence for university officials and later on, an exclusive staff club. Its true potential is now realised following the launch of Ilam Homestead Functions Centre in April 2017.
This is one of those glorious houses where, if the skies opened on your big day, it wouldn’t matter in the least. Carved antiques, expansively-proportioned windows and ornate fireplaces provide the artistic background, not to mention gracious outdoor porch-verandas and lush gardens.

Ilam Homestead

Following the 2010 and 2011 quakes, the homestead was extensively remediated. Thankfully, refurbishment has trodden lightly on the past. It’s now a beautiful venue for weddings; a choice which means photography doesn’t need to happen elsewhere.
Homestead General Manager Jamie Costelloe is well used to hosting both larger weddings and more intimate cocktail-style gatherings here. Canterbury’s best catering partners are employed, meaning there’s plenty of choice in inspired and creative food to suit any occasion. The whole house can be hired, or part thereof, and differently sized rooms allow for plenty of big-day options.


Via Sollertia

Celebrating the jewellery of love: Clare from Via Sollertia

Designing has always been what floats Clare’s boat. Training initially as an architect, the Manager of Via Sollertia knew that jewellery design was actually where her heart lay. It still does.

Via Sollertia

Which is kind of great for someone who collaborates with couples over rings; the symbols of their enduring love.
Clare custom-designs for both locals and clients across the globe, from Via Sollertia’s New Regent Street boutique. Increasingly she’s asked for peachy, pinky, champagne-coloured diamonds in oval, marquise and pear-shaped engagement rings.
The stones and metallics at Clare’s atelier are spectacular. She lights up when talking about cuts of diamond and how a jewel will sit on a hand; matters of size, proportion and reflective qualities… all brilliant designer elements of every bespoke gift.

perfect wedding day

No-stress nuptials: tops tips for keeping your perfect wedding day from turning into a nightmare

Important events like weddings should be joyful and fun. Because of that very fact, there’s potential for stress to creep in as the unwelcome guest. It can all be great! It truly is possible to jettison much of the possible emotional strain, right at the outset.

perfect wedding day

How? By having a group meeting with parents and helpers over coffee or something stronger, to honestly assess expectations.
Brides and grooms have normally talked about the sort of day they’re wanting. And fair enough, especially when they are substantially lightening their wallets to plan celebrations unfolding the way they envision them.
Other people’s subconscious expectations can make events fraught. And if anyone close to the bridal couple has silly or unrealistic ideas, it’s better to know, and deal with these early.
So initial talk about the type of ceremony, the number of guests, the tone and level of formality, the speeches, and the amount of cash to splash is all good. Usually the payments involved are divvied up, and this is one bit to discuss very early, because deposits are involved in securing bookings. Why not also talk about impending planning tasks, and who is willing to do which?
The bridal attendants for the day may or may not be flush with resources. It’s an inspired approach when the bridal couple errs on the side of generosity, rather than assuming attendants will be able to afford their own ensembles.

Via Sollertia

Coloured gems get their sparkle back: Via Sollertia’s colourful collection of gemstones

At Via Sollertia on New Regent Street, Clare and the team are adding sophisticated sparkle – and colour – to their clients’ lives.

Via Sollertia

Ever-evolving styles are ushering in a new era of striking coloured stones and Via Sollertia is at the forefront, with an exceptional and exquisite selection. “We’re noticing a strong trend of people choosing something with colour versus the traditional white diamond,” Clare explains.
“Sapphires and diamonds are the most common stones used in engagement rings, but I’m not sure everyone would know that sapphires are available in not just blue.”
They also come in green, yellow, orange and pink. Even rarer sapphire colours include the padparadscha sapphire – a deep peachy pink. “Diamonds don’t just come in white either; they come in champagne, chocolate, yellow, pink and even grey/silver!”
Tourmaline is also winning affections as an affordable stone that comes in a range of colours. “They come in varying shades of green, pink/red and blue. The designs you can create around a coloured stone are fun and interesting and you can hand-select a particular stone yourself. We have a large range in store as well as fab suppliers who can send us particular stones for clients to view.”