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The greatest outdoors

A wedding reception usually makes up bulk of the big day, so it is no wonder the care and consideration which goes into planning this part of the celebrations. If your reception is going to be outdoors, here are some ideas to help set the scene.



No matter how outdoors a wedding reception is, many couples opt for some kind of roof just in case. And these come in the forms of marquees. Designs in recent years have included contemporary clear, bohemian giant teepee-style as well as repurposing less temporary structures like old barns or woolsheds.

While the bridal party take photos and guests are left to their own devices, add a fun element to the afternoon with some lawn games. From croquet to pétanque, corn hole, kubb, giant Jenga and ring toss – there is nothing like having some competitive fun in the afternoon sun. Especially if there is some music, canapés and champagne involved, too. You can even make them yourself!

Festoon, fairy, chandeliers, and lanterns – ideas for creating a romantic glow when the sun goes down can be as endless as your imagination. While candles create the ultimate atmosphere, these come with obvious caveats (wind, hazard), but many electric options mimic the desired soft glow and can be hung from trees, tents or poles for height, or arranged as part of table centrepieces.

A seated dinner of course provides tables and chairs for guests to rest and soak in the speeches and their table’s company, but pre- and post-meal it can be a convenient (and cute) idea to create seating zones. From antique-style furniture, to hay bales and bean bags – get creative to create interesting chillout zones.


Romance in the city: The Milton Street Substation

Step inside the green doors of this ex-power station on the fringe of Christchurch’s city centre and you are transported to an industrial chic wonderland. The Milton Street Substation is a unique venue which provides a contemporary canvas for your wedding or event.



PHOTO: Rebecca Claridge

Despite being close to 100 years old, a clever makeover of the stunning Sydenham building has both preserved its heritage charm while transforming it to include modern comforts.

Containing different zones across a large entrance foyer, dance floor space, mezzanine floor, sun-trap balcony and rear courtyard – couples and hosts can style the venue to suit whatever their day includes.

Owners Clark Mauger and Romy Gunatunga offer a more relaxed approach, allowing guests freedom to use whichever suppliers they wish to bring their event to life.

“People are looking for a different format these days. Many are wanting a celebration/party focus rather than your traditional wedding. Not only to give their guests a new experience, but it is usually less expensive too,” says Clark.

Previous weddings held here have included formal sit down dinners, more casual walk ‘n’ fork affairs – and even surprise weddings! A double decker bar truck has also been parked inside, and catered by food trucks in the courtyard!

“It’s very versatile for different uses,” says Clark. “We wanted it to be accessible and easy for people, so we don’t charge extras for corkage or tie you into specific suppliers; we’ve kept it simple and let people do what they want and be creative.”

Amenities have been added to the building to allow caterers and bar staff to set up and prepare food and drinks, and beautifully renovated powder rooms add a touch of luxury, too.

A large, sunny balcony leads from the mezzanine and overlooks the paved courtyard, which is resplendent with festoon lights, elegant wine barrel bar leaners and planter boxers.

As a venue, it can host up to 290 people. For weddings, the beautiful upstairs mezzanine can host 100 people for a sit down dinner, or for those looking for a more relaxed party style wedding, 150 or more can be easily accommodated.

PHOTO: Susannah Blatchford

“The building has so much character, it doesn’t need too much in the way of styling,” Clark says of features like the iconic red brick, glossy black steel staircases and fluted, wavy tin ceiling.

The unique character is an inimitable backdrop for photos, yet its city fringe location – just off the Brougham Street end of Colombo Street – also means couples can easily whip up to the Port Hills or into the Botanic Gardens and city centre for photos.


PHOTO: Susannah Blatchford

With the ability to host both the ceremony and reception indoors the venue is also ideal for winter weddings, and bookings are filling up fast for 2022.

Contact Venue Manager Alex Balchin on 027 445 5588 or via for a viewing.


Setting the scene

A defining feature of planning and organising a wedding is choosing a theme or style for the big day, which underpins the details on everything from invitations, to ceremony set-ups, reception tablescapes and venue styling. Metropol has rounded up three trends tipped to influence weddings in 2021 and beyond.



Embracing rustic and vintage vibes is nothing new when it comes to wedding décor, but the style endures. Mismatched and kitschy glassware and crockery create a fun yet fashionable atmosphere, and when applied to furniture and furnishings can make attaining the tables and seating easier than taking a more uniform approach.

More and more couples are leaning into bold colourful weddings themes which feature less creams and white and more fresh, nature-driven hues. Said to be bright, fun and happy – these palettes are present on everything from invites and stationary, to décor, tablescapes and food.

This might sound silly, given that flowers are synonymous with weddings, but blooms fresh and dried really are taking centre stage in nuptial styling. From large roof hangings and table centrepieces to more modest bouquets and bunches – the power of flowers is unmatched.


‘tis the season to be crafty: RESENE

As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, why not take the same positive approach to your festive flair? Before you go crazy at the shops on everything from too much tinsel to over-the-top ornaments, consider an eco-friendly approach to your home’s festive décor.


** Styling by Vanessa Nouwens | Images by Bryce Carleton


The best part is that creating a consistent holiday look throughout your home while spreading Christmas cheer is surprisingly easy to achieve with little more than a few Resene testpots.

Whether balls, stars, hearts or angels are your cup of tea, dazzling Christmas tree ornaments can be achieved for far less than the cost of brand-new items.

By taking a creative approach, almost anything destined for the recycling bin can enjoy a second life as a Christmas ornament.

If you’re feeling crafty, upcycle some wood offcuts from a previous project and turn them into simple shapes using a jigsaw or scroll saw.

Paint them in your favourite Resene colours, drill holes near the tops, run through some ribbon or twine, and you’ll have everything you need to trim the tree in no time.

The best thing is if you want to change your theme colours next year, you can just paint them again.

Or, grab the kids and take them for a walk to the op shop and hunt out some old ornaments that could be made new again.

You’re sure to find some quirky treasures that will quickly become family favourites.

Get inspired at your local Resene ColorShop,

**Walls painted in Resene Merlot; floor in Resene Half Spanish White; coffee table in Resene Merlot, stars on the back shelf in Resene Triple Concrete; the tree ornaments in Resene Quarter Spanish White and Resene Merlot; star trays in Resene Triple Concrete; small bowl with sweets in Resene Ebb; boxes in Resene Merlot, Resene Ebb and Resene Triple Concrete.


Make way for a Memphis revival: RESENE

Just like that old adage goes – everything comes back around. Once laughed off as one of many crazy choices of the 1980s, the loud colours and zany patterns of the Memphis design movement have snuck their way back into the Zeitgeist.




This radical throwback bedroom pays special homage to the Memphis movement.

The walls are painted Resene Kandinsky with a grid in electric blue Resene Wet N Wild.

The easiest way to achieve the effect is to paint the wall in two coats of Resene Wet N Wild first, then mask off the grid using painter’s tape before painting a couple of coats of Resene Kandinsky over top.

The tape can be carefully removed once the wall is touch dry. Invest in good quality tape for the best results and use a utility knife along the edges of the tape for extra clean lines if you are concerned about the top layer of paint lifting.

Resene Wet N Wild has been continued from the base of the grid on to the floor while the plant pot and vase are painted Resene Jalapeno to play off the reds in the artwork.

The bedside table is in Resene Secrets, a paler and greyer shade of green than Resene Kandinsky to help it contrast the main wall colour, with a drawer in Resene Wet N Wild so that it still ties in well to the theme. The lamp and picture frame are painted Resene Half Black White.

The grid pattern has also been taken on to the duvet cover, pillow and cushions to create a sense of repetition while the ficus adds some freshness and greenery to break up the space yet still feeling undeniably 80s in its own right.

With its eye-popping colours and distinct illustrative style portraying one of the most popular icons of the era, the Bowie Art Print by Anna McKay fits the scheme perfectly and ties the whole look together.


Mood board: Background in Resene Wet N Wild with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from left to right) in Resene Half Black White, Resene Secrets, Resene Jalapeno and Resene Kandinsky and a vase painted Resene Jalapeno.


Get inspired at your local Resene ColorShop,


Velvet dark: RESENE

Create a sophisticated look for an outdoor living space, using the velvety depths of Resene Porter on the wall and Resene Woodsman Light Greywash Light on the framed trellis to break up the dark wall. The trellis even has the potential to act as a growing frame for a flowering climber.

Styling by Megan Harrison-Turner, Images by Bryce Carleton


The deck is finished in Resene Woodsman Mid Greywash as a tonal complement to the trellis.

The Resene Woodsman finishes on both the deck and trellis, add an on-trend look to any timber product while allowing the beauty of the timber grain to show through.

They are also available in interior formulations under the Resene Colorwood stains range.

Against the neutral appearance of the black and grey, add pops of colour in any shade you like.

This chair and tall pot are painted in Resene She’ll Be Right (turquoise) with other pots in Resene Away We Go (green) and Resene Cleopatra (mustard).

Pour yourself a refreshing drink, grab a book or magazine to read and settle in for some relaxing outdoors time.

Paint colours:
Wall: Resene Porter
Trellis: Resene Woodsman Light Greywash
Deck: Resene Woodsman Mid Greywash
Chair: Resene She’ll Be Right
Plant pots: Resene She’ll Be Right, Resene Away We Go and Resene Cleopatra


Get inspired at your local Resene ColorShop,


Buy now, decide later: Via Sollertia

This would not be a bridal issue without paying tribute to one of our favourite bespoke creation specialists; Via Sollertia Jewellers.



The team at Via Sollertia are skilled professionals who offer amazing services to all of their customers, from finding the perfect diamond or gem for you, to custom creation and maintenance services.

While investing in the idea of a long future together with your partner is a big decision, so is the piece of jewellery that will cement that union.

The Nu Proposal is a great way to take off a little bit of that pressure.

Via Sollertia explains that “’Nu’ translates to nude in French. By proposing with the perfect diamond or gemstone you get a stripped back, stress free moment”.

Buy the diamond now and decide on the technicalities later.

For more information phone 03 366 8001 or check out their website.


Building a bridal bouquet

If you want to add your own personal flair to your big day, why not DIY your own beautiful wedding bouquet? An increasing number of brides-to-be are getting hands-on with the flowers with their bridesmaids ahead of the wedding. So grab the girls and make a party out of it! Check out our top tips and tricks for DIY-ing your own beautiful bouquets.



  1. Calculate how many flowers you’ll need by considering the venue, your bridesmaids/groomsmen, the number of tables etc. Download a free wedding flower worksheet to help you figure out if you’re going to under or over-order flowers.
  2. As soon as you have the flowers, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle and put them in water (you might need a few buckets for this!). This allows them to absorb more water and keeps them super fresh.
  3. Start by picking your first flower, then add a complementary flower. Keep incorporating flowers until you’ve got the bulk of your bouquet ready, then add smaller filler flowers or greenery between them.
  4. The last thing you want is your bouquet coming apart mid-way down the aisle. If you don’t have floral tape, bind your bunches with a few clear hair elastics, then conceal them with fabric or ribbon.
  5. Trim the stems so they are all the same length – but make sure there is room to hold it comfortably. Top tip: measure two hand lengths from the base of the flowers, then add a few centimetres of wiggle room.
  6. Pre-purchase the supplies you need. You’ll probably want floral scissors, floral tape, pins, floral wire and ribbon. If you’re using roses, we recommend investing in a stem stripper to remove thorns and leaves without damaging the stem. You can find these online or at most specialist flower/garden stores.
  7. Order your flowers well in advance and have them arrive the day before the wedding to ensure they’re still fresh. Utilise the help of the florist if you’re not quite sure on the blooms you want. Traditionally, most flowers in a bridal bouquet stick to the colours of white with delicate greenery like eucalyptus. Splashes of pink or other pastel colours are commonly incorporated – think peonies, lilies, pink statice and of course, roses. Got your own unique colour scheme? Pick beautiful blooms to match.
  8. Loose petals or excess flowers? Save them for eco-friendly confetti! Keep the shavings in a vase for guests to toss at the newly-weds. You could also get creative with floral ice-cubes – just press petals into an ice tray filled with water and freeze.

Stunning bridal bouquets: Victoria Florists

When Leanne Lovell of Victoria Florist began her floristry career 35 years ago, dried flowers were all the rage and now they’re back, mixing it up with fresh flowers and looking lovelier than ever!


“The differing textures and fabulous colour variations add another dimension of quality to the bouquet that’s simply stunning,” Leanne says.

Popular with brides are hydrangea, statice, nigella, gypsophila and limonium, while dried grasses, like bunny tails, wheat and yarrow, contrast beautifully with roses, freesias and proteas.

Leanne recommends going onto the new Victoria Florist website to check out the dried flowers and foliage available, or call and chat with the experienced and lovely team about any bridal bouquet requirements.

Thrilled to be back in action again, Leanne has this to say to her supportive, loyal clientele: “A mighty big thank you, everyone!”

Find Victoria Florist on the corner of Wairakei and Idris Roads. Phone 03 351 7444.


Find your focal point: RESENE

Rooms decked out in dramatic shades from top to bottom are everywhere right now. But while you might be in love with the look of these schemes, implementing them can be intimidating for many.


If you’d like to dabble in a bold or moody look, bathrooms and ensuites are the ideal place to try out dark or vibrant Resene paint colours or Resene wallpapers.

If you’re investing the time, money and effort to do a bathroom renovation, why not make it one to remember?

Try something courageous and it’ll surely be the talk of every guest you host.

To start building the look, find a focal point that you are drawn to when you walk into the room – that’s the best place to create a feature with interesting materials, textures or colour that give some real oomph to the space.

This master ensuite is inspired by Resene Wallpaper Collection E384534.

Contrary to the popular belief that they make spaces feel smaller, fully saturated shades can work well in bathrooms.

This deep blue tongue-and-groove panelling in Resene Bunting makes the glossy white bathroom fixtures pop.

The rest of the colours in the space coordinate perfectly with the wallpaper – from the bright coral Resene Apple Blossom on the towel ladder and stool, the dusty rose Resene Coral Tree on the soap and lotion dispensers, and the soap dish in Resene Coriander, to the side wall in Resene Pewter and the rich Resene Coconut Cream floor.

Finish the look with a large statement mirror to help reflect more light around the room, add in layers of soft towels and no-care plants.

Get inspired at your local Resene ColorShop,


Background in Resene Merino with A4 drawdown paint swatches (from top) in Resene Apple Blossom, Resene Coral Tree, Resene Bunting, Resene Coriander and Resene Coconut Cream and a strip of Resene Wallpaper Collection E384534. The soap dispenser is painted Resene Coral Tree and the dish is painted Resene Coriander.