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Undeniably precious remodels: Via Sollertia


Jewellery handed down or gifted to you is undeniably precious, but it if it doesn’t suit your style or is broken, you just won’t wear it. Think how much more meaningful it would be to wear the gems from a loved one, rather than just admire them in a drawer.

 

 

With Via Sollertia having the services of the South Island’s leading gem-setter, the perfect remodel is easy: your precious and semi-precious stones plus the metal can be redesigned into pieces you won’t want to take off.

You can browse pieces in store and in the catalogue and see what design styles jump out and the design process often sees people add to the components. The final design can be drawn up for you, while your stones and metal stay on site in the hands of a master craftsman. The finished piece will be personal, beautiful and a source of everyday joy.

 

 

Find Via Sollertia at 11 New Regent Street, phone 03 366 8001, or visit www.viasollertia.co.nz.

 

 


 

Destination… honeymoon!


Honeymoon memories are never unpacked when it’s time to come home. Those blissful moments in time are a forever investment worth planning for.

 

 

 

We asked Mel Hubber, co-owner of House of Travel Ferrymead, for advice on some of the hottest honeymoon picks for 2020.

 

Tahiti for two
Bora Bora and its glistening azure seas is synonymous with romance. Mel recommends staying at Bora Bora’s Hilton, Four Seasons, St Regis or Conrad, or perhaps sail away with your spouse on a Windstar cruise and see more of the islands.

Bali for brides and grooms
Head for the laidback Gili Islands, Mel says – Gili Meno or Gili Air are romantically quiet, or for slightly more action, stay at Pondok Santi on Gili Trawangan. There’s white sands, clear waters, no cars, biking, sunsets and snorkelling with turtles. Pledge your love forever in an infinity pool in Ubud, where peaceful resorts perch high above terraced rice paddies. Indulge in spa treatments for two at a wellness retreat.

A villa in Sicily
For romantic rustic charm, live like a local and walk hand-in-hand among the local markets of Southern Italy. Mel loves the area of Cefalu for beachside bliss.

New York, New York
From October next year, Air New Zealand flies direct to the ultra-romantic city of New York with its iconic landmarks for honeymoon photos, exquisite shopping and dining, and Broadway. Mel recommends the old-school luxury of the Four Seasons, or the decadent difference of the Mercer, or Ian Schragers’s Public Hotel for fabulous views of The Big Apple’s skyline.

Cruisy Greek Isles
With its white-washed villages upon azure waters, Greece is the perfect place to gaze into your loved one’s eyes over a Mediterranean meal. It’s paradise on a platter. Mel says there’s a perfect cruise for every pair, from the likes of MSC Cruises, Azamara, Windstar or Celestyal.

Hawaii happiness
Hawaii has the Aloha spirit. Mel suggests staying at Westin Moana Surfrider for old world grandeur, and for romantic moments, sip Mai Tais outside the Royal Hawaiian hotel. Newlyweds will love the outer islands of Maui or Kauai.

Local for lovers
No need to fly internationally to find a romantic getaway! Waiheke Island is a short ferry ride from Auckland with its many world-class beaches and wineries – a destination to rival the south of France. Stay even closer at an ultra-romantic Banks Peninsula destination. This includes sleeping in something different – a double-glazed pod at Te Wepu. Couples can also escape to the coastal farm retreat of Annandale.

Get cosy in Aussie
Cheap flights are perfect for those short on time. Consider a long weekend lover’s break in Sydney with beaches, shows and style, Melbourne for fashion and culture, or Brisbane to dine and shop. Couples can even add on a cruise with the likes of P&O, Princess, Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Further up north, Mel’s hot tip is to honeymoon at Hamilton Island’s Qualia Resort – a luxurious world of its own.

 

 


 

Trends that take the cake


The cake; it continues to occupy that all-important role of wedding centrepiece and this year, wedding cake options are unfolding like blossoms in spring – they are eye-catching, gorgeous, joyous and more wildly diverse than ever! From naked cakes to extravagant drifts of multi-coloured art, from royal lemon and elderflower iced beauties to tiers of actual cheese wheels – the variety is stunning.

 

 

History has it that the Romans broke a simple wheat or barley cake over the bride’s head after the ceremony for good luck and guests shared the crumbs, starting a long tradition of sharing the cake with friends. In the Middle Ages couples kissed over a tall tower of small spicy buns for a long and happy marriage, hoping the stack would not fall over! The 17th century brought in sweet fruit cakes and, at Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840, a hard bright icing was created and called ‘royal icing’. But it wasn’t until 1882 that the first iced tiered cake was presented – with every tier edible. From then on the cake became the marvellous wedding icon it is today.

In 2019 we have seen numerous trends emerging. Meghan and Harry cakes – lemon and elderflower concoctions on three separate stands – have been popular. But other trends are rising too.

Multi-tier cakes – as high as 10, 12 or even 14 tiers – are hot property. Some prefer the rounded look with a large base leading up to a small top, while others are going for the stark beauty of geometric squares and rectangles – with an occasional triangle or hexagon thrown in. Some use copper or black colouring for elegant effect. And, to add even more interest, it has become popular to ice some of the tiers with geometric designs – gorgeous Moroccan and Middle Eastern motifs are becoming extremely popular. A geometric tablecloth is sometimes added to create yet another layer.

For the nature lovers, ferns have replaced eucalyptus leaves. Crisp, elegant green leaves add a new dimension with the soft beauty of green against white, while trailing greenery incorporated expertly with icing is another style proving popular.

Also on-trend are ‘naked’ cakes, where the fillings between the ‘fault lines’ have been extended for added interest, with the outside iced only minimally or not at all. And the 100 percent plant-based vegan cake is another popular must-have.

For the lovers of artistic abandon, there is a rising trend of cakes showcasing palette knife-painted buttercream, sometimes with poetry inscribed or the names of the married couple, and sometimes a creation of lavish multicoloured modern art, almost too beautiful to cut – let alone eat!

It seems that 2020 will be the year where creativity will run riot – so let’s enjoy the tasting and the unfolding evolution of the cake!

 

 


 

Add colour to your engagement: Via Sollertia


From emeralds and rubies to sapphires and opals, more and more couples are choosing engagement ring options beyond the traditional diamond.

 

 

“Coloured stones are really popular, such as beautiful pastel tones, as well as champagne and yellow-coloured diamonds,” says Clare from Via Sollertia. “We can source a selection of stones from local suppliers, so couples can handpick the exact stone they want before the ring is designed and crafted.”

 

 

Located in the heart of the city on iconic New Regent Street, the family-owned business provides a bespoke personal design and creation service as well as a stunning selection of timeless, unique pieces – all beautifully crafted by the on-site jeweller.

For those planning a Christmas or New Year proposal, now is the time to start thinking about the design. “We like our clients to be involved in the entire process, from start to finish.”

Find Via Sollertia on Instagram and Facebook. Phone 366 8001 or visit www.viasollertia.co.nz for more information.

 


 

Something Old & Something New


Incorporating ‘something old’ and ‘something new’ is an age-old tradition that brides and grooms still take to heart on their way to the alter – but like everything, our weddings are influenced by trends, so we’ve checked out some of the twists you can expect to see putting a contemporary spin on this otherwise traditional day.

 

 

Brides are increasingly shying away from the traditional white frock, opting instead for black or even colourful wedding dresses, to be more befitting of the bride’s personality. Meanwhile, grooms have been choosing breathable fabrics like linen or going for a more casual look to better suit the long hours of the wedding day.

Destination weddings are nothing new but New Zealand is definitely moving its way up on the map as one of the most popular. Couples are also increasingly making a more adventurous journey to the alter in these destination locations. Featured recently in Vogue, Australian blogger Nicole Warne’s Lake Wanaka wedding was decked out in local foliage and catered by an artisan chef from Queenstown, with a helicopter transporting the bridal party to a mountaintop for the photoshoot.

That’s not the only clever way of capturing the day, with live-streamed weddings on Facebook and Instagram-specific photographers just some of the ways modern-day couples are sharing their special day with friends and family all around the world in real time.

On-site photo booths enable the guests themselves to capture the day, with options to dress-up or add a cool background image. We’re loving the VW Kombi Van Booth which adds vintage appeal to the wedding day. Most booth companies offer instant print-outs with the option to even save your photo by quickly adding your email directly to an online wedding guest book.

Speaking of vintage charm, votives of random shapes and sizes emit a timeless glow that creates ambience for evening weddings that are reminiscent of the old world. Meanwhile, the textured and vibrant colours of local flowers bring natural style to today’s weddings and this resonates with both the eco-conscious and those couples wanting ‘local’ to be the focus of their special day. Fresh caught salmon and free-range chickens have been seen on wedding menus, creating plates that stay true to the land and its values.

Less is often more and this has never been more evident than in more intimate weddings that we’re seeing more of, with small guest numbers allowing for a more personal and meaningful day, with just your closest friends and family to share it with.

Whatever style you choose, mixing both old and new traditions is always a beautiful way to celebrate your special day.

 

 


 

The perfect fit: Via Sollertia Jewellers


Purchasing an engagement ring is an exciting milestone and there’s plenty to consider when making this significant decision.

 

 

Thankfully, the highly-skilled team at Via Sollertia Jewellers can help streamline the process, with handy tips, friendly service and expertise.

Before purchasing or having something special custom-made, it’s important to consider your stone choice. Diamonds and sapphires are known to be harder-wearing, but if you have another stone in mind, the setting design can be adjusted to suit for daily practicality.

Of course, the engagement is just the beginning, so it also pays to think ahead and factor in wedding and eternity rings that will fit together in the future.

The important thing is not to feel overwhelmed by the process, that’s where the Via Sollertia staff can help. It’s easy to overcomplicate the design and it becomes a chore, rather than the enjoyable experience it should be.

To discuss the best options for you, visit the 11 New Regent Street shop, or phone 03 366 8001.

 


 

Destination Honeymoon


The honeymoon; that blissful life event in both time and place, when you get to have your new spouse all to yourself.

 

 

Nowadays, honeymoons are an evolving rehash on tradition, to fit in with our unique and crazy lifestyles, and new possibilities the world has to offer. Nonetheless, they are best totally tailormade to each twosome.

One thing is for sure, ironically even the most spontaneous adventures are best well planned. Booking your honeymoon in advance is always the best adage. This is to take full advantage of lucrative flight deals, exclusive sought-after accommodation and perhaps that coveted honeymoon suite. To be assured of getting in to the resort which has the most azure waters, or the room with the best views, it’s the early bride and groom that gets rewarded. It’s one big important job out of the way too, while wedding frivolities are filling up the diary.

There is plenty of evidence to suggests that looking forward to a holiday is just as pleasurable as being on one! Have the travel wallet ready on the mantelpiece and start dreaming. The destination and budget may not be a problem, but time is increasingly of greater issue to couples. Mini-moons are bite-sized holidays, where you can snatch say a luxury three-day romance across the ditch, and then save the fortnight full-on safari for a year down the track. It is sure to keep the flames of love flickering.

If you have a ho-hum budget, lavish it up locally and go 5-star all the way, without the travel expense. You’ll be far too busy looking into each other’s eyes to notice the familiar scenery anyway. Just be sure you are tucked away from everyone you know. Also, many new resorts and hotels have amazing opening specials. You could nab a 5-star experience for a 3-star price. This is where a travel agent in the know can be a godsend.

Honeymoons can have another purpose, perhaps to learn a new skill or share a mutual passion or hobby, even one that got you together in the first place. Perhaps a culinary educational tour for foodies or a cycle adventure. Find a romantic city and immerse yourselves in every crevice of its art and culture scene. Or flee straight to where the snow is falling and ski your hearts out. Eco-based holidays are also a choice of heart.

What lures most couples though is sunny beaches where toes entwine in white sand – with frozen margaritas to cool off. Sigh. There are romantic clichés for a reason. Check out resorts that families are unlikely to flock to. Pick the quiet season, or a secret spot with no crowds. Choose a cruise that’s not a party ship – one where you can have the option of dining and reclining alone together under the full moon.

Don’t forget to tell everyone, from the airline to hotels and restaurants, that this is your honeymoon. You never know your luck; many people in the tourism industry are only too pleased to dish out the royal romantic treatment.

Occurring once in a blue moon, this is the holiday that you’ll be asked to talk about until the end of time. The photos will up there with the wedding pics. So, make it a magical, memorable one – or two.

 


 

Gown Guidance


The sentiment behind your wedding day is undoubtedly the most important aspect, but let’s be honest here, the bride’s entry is the moment that all in attendance are waiting for with baited breath. Whether you’re a bride-to-be or simply dreaming of your big day, finding the perfect dress is perhaps the biggest decision.

 

 

If you are planning your big moment and looking for some guidance on your gown, then look no further. Bridal Fashion Week has just hit the global runways, from Milan to New York and Paris to London and we’re delivering a beautiful overview of the must-have looks for 2019/2020.

One of the biggest trends to hit the runway was capes; the new and improved version of the traditional veil. Now, if this is something you may be into, look for a super elegant lace cape that just covers the shoulders paired with a long lace train; it is sure to give the allusion you are floating down the aisle.

One of the new – and most controversial – trends to catch the eye and imaginations of brides-to-be globally, is a touch of colour in the gown. While some designers are adding pastel tones like a soft pink or serene baby blue, others are going bold, adding red, deep purples and even yellow into the mix, perfect for the outgoing bride. Not feeling that brave? Keep the bold look for a second dress to slip into for the reception.

A new trend which is increasingly popular with the modern day bride is the ‘nude tattoo’; a white or nude tulle embellished lace which sits on the skin effortlessly, giving off a sophisticated, ‘tattoo’ effect. Another trend which ties in incredibly well to the nude tattoo trend is sleeves. Long, fitted, lace sleeves are ideal for early spring or late summer weddings when the breeze is still on the brisk side.

Exaggerated volumes and 1920’s inspo are definitely for the brides who aren’t scared to stand out. Whether it is the fringes, low waist, sequined look of the decade, or the flounces and multi-tiered tulle skirts that will have you feeling like a princess, adding a satin sash, a precious belt or even a brooch will help enhance your waistline. Any bride wearing these is bound to have fun on her wedding night.

With boho bridal on its way out, designers have stepped up the glam factor – and we’re not just talking layered skirts, ruffles and embellishments. Feathered frocks, plush details and plummage are taking to the aisle – after all, 2019 is all about the dramatic, the theatrical and the grand.

Lastly, if dresses or big puffy gowns are not your thing, one of the hottest tips to emerge from Fashion Week was co-ordinates; a skirt and top or even a suit eschews the classic design of the wedding dress and allows you to make a bold statement that will catch everyone’s eye – and attention.

 


 

Designed together to last forever: Via Sollertia


Planning a surprise marriage proposal but unsure of what style of engagement ring to choose? The team at Via Sollertia Jewellery have created a way to keep the proposal a surprise, but also ensure the ring is exactly what your partner wanted – The Nu Proposal.

 

 

Nu – French for nude – means the perfect diamond or gemstone is chosen and displayed inside an eco-friendly rimu ringbox for the proposal.

The next step: bring your new fiancé into Via Sollertia on New Regent Street to create a beautiful bespoke engagement ring together, designed around the selected gemstone, says manager Clare.

“We understand the pressure of finding a ring you know your partner will love, so we wanted to make it a little easier. When the couple comes in to see us, they are involved in every step of the process, from design through to completion.”

Find Via Sollertia on Instagram and Facebook.

Phone 03 366 8001 or visit www.viasollertia.co.nz. 11 New Regent Street

 


 

Will you marry me?: Via Sollertia


Let’s face it, when it comes to proposals of marriage, nothing beats making it an unforgettable one. Who can resist the bended knee, the proffered ring and the view from atop the Eiffel Tower?

 

 

While it’s winter here, it’s summer over there, but you want this romantic getaway to be perfect – so you need to visit bespoke jewellers Via Sollertia at 11 New Regent Street!

Bring your thoughts and ideas to Clare and her dedicated team. They will craft and create that very special and unique ring that says everything about who you are as a couple and the love you share.

But even better, your beautiful ring comes with a bonus – it’s tax free! That’s a lovely surprise and incentive, isn’t it? So much so, that now you’re wondering about a gondola in Venice… or a beach in Bali… the Empire State building perhaps? The possibilities are endless.

Phone 03 366 8001 or visit www.viasollertia.co.nz.