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Small changes for your big day


White may be the colour traditionally reserved for weddings, but it seems we’re increasingly looking to harness green in life, as in love. So, what does it mean to have a more sustainable wedding and how do you pull one off? Turns out there a plenty of small changes that can be made for your big day. We’ve pulled together our favourites.

 

SOMETHING BORROWED:
When it comes to the big day, many of your requirements will never be used again. So put some very real emphasis on the “something borrowed” and enlist your local hire company for whatever you can. It’s also a great way to support local.

LUXE LOCALS:
The closer your destination, the greener your big day! Cut back on those CO2 emissions by looking at some of your luxe locals. Canterbury is rich with stunning options for wedding destinations and your wedding day will be kinder on local guests – and
the planet!

CLEVER WITH CATERING:
Whether your venue is providing catering, or you’re hiring a catering company, look for someone who is environmentally conscious and uses local produce where possible. Perhaps it’s time to give a vegetarian or vegan menu a whirl? Not feeling brave? Perhaps just incorporate elements – it all helps.

TAKES THE CAKE
Does your cake really need to be shipped around the country? Why not order locally – makes sense when it comes to taste testing, right? Sourcing alcohol locally is another step towards slashing carbon emissions and, with Waipara’s exceptional tipples at our doorstep, why wouldn’t you?

GREEN OPTIONS
We’re taking green more literally with this suggestion, but potted herbs, plants and foliage make a beautiful, sustainable option. If you’re sticking to flowers, ask your florist to source locally. Make your flowers the new wedding favour or donate them, à la Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

SAYONARA TO SINGLE-USE
It’s time to ditch single-use decorations, such as confetti. There are plenty of green alternatives, such as biodegradable confetti or even dried flower petals. Send digital invitations and use chalk boards for menus and signage – getting the green tick never looked so good!


 

Thanking the bride tribe


Your bridesmaids, they’ve been by your side through thick and thin and possibly some bridezilla moments to boot! Chances are, they have spent months co-hosting the bridal shower, helping pick and pay for bridesmaids dresses and providing emotional support heading into your big day.

So, why not treat them to a little something special to show your appreciation and provide a memento for this special day? We’ve collated some fun, fabulous and functional ideas.

FUN
Fill jars with each bridesmaid’s favourite lollies and get a custom label that says Chill Pills to remind your tribe to enjoy themselves. What about personalised wine labels or champagne flutes with the wedding date and the bridesmaids’ names? Or plan ahead and get a great shot of your crew at the bachelorette party (not too far into the festivities) and have them framed – sweet and fun!

FABULOUS
Why not up the bride of the year stakes with engraved bracelets for your lovely ladies? Make them matching or personalise them with each bracelet unique to each bridesmaid’s tastes. A personalised thank you box will add a sweet touch. Meanwhile bride tribe spa sets are trending right now, packed with all sorts of pampering goodies.

FUNCTIONAL
Monogrammed PJs, satin bathrobes, purses or totes are not only practical, but they will make for great photos. A fun shot of your bridesmaids printed onto coffee cups will help them remember this special day when they have their morning coffee for years to come, or make it even more special with a small personalised memory album for each bridesmaid, including special moments you’ve shared over the years.

No matter what you decide to go with, keep it genuine and something you know your girls will appreciate. Show them some love — after all, it’s these women who have put their heart and soul into making your day such a special one.


 

Flower Power: Victoria Florists


Flowers bring colour, texture and feeling to your special day. Metropol catches up with Leanne Lovell from Victoria Florists about what colours and varieties we can expect to see adorning upcoming weddings.

 

How much are floral colour choices for weddings influenced by trends?
Mostly as many brides get ideas and are inspired by what they see in magazines and online such as Pinterest.


What colour preferences are you seeing coming through at the moment?
Whites and greens are still dominating colours with blush and plum also very popular.


What are the main varieties brides-to-be choose for their big day?
As with so many aspects of our homes, fashion and food, sustainability is big news in wedding flowers. Locally sourced flowers and wildflowers, garden flowers, dried and fresh mixed, all get used in our bouquets.
We’re seeing plenty of foliage like eucalyptus, olive and berries for opulent bouquets which give instant ‘wow’ factor with inclusion of all-time favourites such as peonies, hydrangeas, proteas, dahlias, gypsophila and roses.


What about your own personal favourites?
I just love the mixture of dried wildflowers, fresh flowers and the different foliages available now! With the trend being big and flowy, I can let my artistic flair go wild. I must say over the last 36 years, floral wedding bouquets have changed so much and I really love what’s on trend now.
Are there any new varieties to the bridal line-up that are proving popular or do we tend to stick to the classics?
Yes, dried flowers are officially all the rage now and all things natural in table decor and backdrops are either all dried and/or fresh flowers. Meanwhile, some brides do like the classics and we can cater for all styles. Succulents are increasingly becoming popular and we’re seeing a lot of flowers adorning wedding cakes.


What are some other unique ways of incorporating the beauty of flowers into the big day?
A modern take on the traditional wedding arch makes a statement backdrop for the ceremony and can be reused for the photo booth or top table. Also hanging floral displays are a popular way to wow your guests.


 

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.