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Something new…


As the world transforms, wedding trends in 2021 are taking on a dramatic new life, seizing every precious opportunity to tie the knot and live it up in the moment with loved ones.

 

WEDDING DRESS – OR PANTS?
From flowing frocks to modern and edgy pant suits, no one look is dominant for the new year. UK’s Hitched has us drooling over dramatic necklines and backs, embellished sleeves, big bows, sequins, and modern lace. Flattering, fun jumpsuits and pantsuits in slender silhouettes, and mini-dresses or suits add statement. Equally, demure, simple flowy gowns are romantically 2021.

RINGS WITH AN EDGE
Pastel pinks and blues sparkling with iridescent romance are representing true love for the new decade, cites Harper’s Bazaar. However, equally it’s the go for gothic with dramatic depth and attitude. The solitaires, three stones, and halos are back – but as a different dazzler with changed-up settings. Also, chunky solid settings are boldly carrying precious rocks.

A SMALLER RECEPTION
Small and special has superseded large and lavish due to tightening budgets, travel restrictions and precautionary measures for any alert-level surprises. This only means more quality time with guests, less stress, easier arrangements, and adventurous, quirky location choices perfectly suited to a more tight-knit party.

CAPTURING THE MEMORY
Wedding videos that capture the whole day and thereafter – as well as live streaming. Relaxed photography and drone shots capture those magical impromptu moments and nuances before, during and after. A bit of creativity and imagination, and it’s just like being present for far away whanau and friends.

FULL ON FLOWERS
We’re not skimping on the flora. Trails of flowers and greenery from the ceilings, floating whimsically across tables to the floor, through to the still-popular living-wall trend. Conversely, the bouquet is shrinking in size, but easier to hold for the photos, showing off the bride’s silhouette instead. Flowers in her hair is 2021’s natural beauty.

CAKES AND CUISINE
Mini mouthfuls from a macaron tower, in wedding-theme hues, and other individual, portion-sized, while-you-mingle desserts are it. For colourful cakes, faves like chocolate are beating traditional fruit cake. Adorn with floral, whether real or sugar. Classic kiwi comfort foods such as cheese boards and decadent local fare is the new flexible feast.


 

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.


 

Wedding registries


Giving gifts will never go out of vogue and wedding presents even more so. Traditionally, this came with horror clichés such as three-too-many toasters or a dubious art piece to look at every day until it “broke”!

A bridal or wedding registry is an easy-peasy, fabulously fun, win-win for everyone. It is still in line with excitement and sentiment, compared to asking for cash – which doesn’t vibe with many. This also helps out our local companies – by sending a little love their way.


TRAVEL
This is the opportune time for lovebirds to explore dreamy Aotearoa while we momentarily have it to ourselves.

And setting up a wedding registry with the couple’s favourite local travel agent makes for domestic-travel bliss.

If hearts are however set upon faraway sandy shores, overseas travel can be booked for well after the wedding and there is no time limit to use the funds.

Honeymoons can often sit on the back burner after the expenses of a wedding.

So giving the gift of travel is a marriage made in heaven and one that everyone can pitch in for, no matter their budget.

Couples can opt to pre-book the honeymoon, or decide after the wedding once they have a budget to play with. Their guests can opt for their token to be anonymous or not.

The travel fund doesn’t have to be just for travelling either. The travel agent can organise the perfect inclusive romantic hotel wedding night, or two, without having to leave town.


GIFT STORES
Many a favourite local little suburban gift shop or larger department store will be happy to do up a wedding register, and they often have a convenient online system in place.

The couple can select any number of items they love, to suit all budgets for their guests and loved ones who are unable to be there.

Some independent and specialised on-line registries have also popped up too.


LOTS OF CHOICE
Offer guests a range of registry variety. Perhaps select a large online store and a smaller local giftshop, for example and ensure there is plenty of choice for not-too-pricy items.

It is nice too for the gift giver to buy a present they could easily have chosen anyway.


DIFFERENT LIKES
Any gift relating to coupledom can be set up as a registry, such as a cosy new log or gas fire for home renovators.

A sporty couple, for example, would treasure a gift for their common love of the outdoors, like a romantic luxury tent.


ETIQUETTE
Just as it’s impolite to ask for birthday present, most choose not to include the registry on the wedding invitation, instead including a separate note, or mentioning it personally.

This makes it less mandatory and more of a suggestion. And there will be guests that prefer tradition, want to give money, or a special surprise.


 

A not so white wedding


Calling all brides-to-be! Your wedding is just around the corner and we know there’s a million and one decisions to make – with colour palette top of the list. While traditional white will forever remain the staple shade of the big day, it’s time for these unconventional colour themes to have their turn in the spotlight.

 

 

TERRACOTTA, CREAM AND GREENERY
Having an autumn wedding? This pretty palette is just the ticket.

Rich and earthy, terracotta captures the magic of autumn, especially when paired with the elegant neutrality of cream and the simplicity of green foliage.

If you’re tying the knot in winter, experts suggest swapping terracotta for a burgundy shade for more warmth and depth.

Bridesmaids dresses in terracotta offset the bride’s traditional ivory wedding dress wonderfully well, while a gentle backdrop of greenery ties the whole look together in a rustic but sophisticated fashion.

These dreamy shades offer endless opportunities for stunning floral bouquets, garlands and table centrepieces of blush and cream roses and sage-coloured foliage like eucalyptus.

Consider complementing this palette with gold accents and the soft glow of candles or fairy lights.


PINK AND GREY
Pink and grey have long been heralded as a perfectly balanced colour combination – and it’s not hard to see why.

Pretty pink hues, particularly the dusky shades of blush and mauve, paired with tones of grey offer a contemporary, stylish colour palette that’s 100 percent wedding album-worthy.

Dressing groomsmen in grey and bridesmaids in pink reserves the complementary colours of white and black for the special couple – the groom with a grey tie perhaps and the bride with pretty pink jewels.

Adorn tables with metal embellishments and floral arrangements featuring soft pink roses and grey foliage.

Carefully chosen lighting completes the look effortlessly – and voila! Tying the knot never looked better.


WHITE AND CLASSIC BLUE
The 2020 Pantone Colour of the Year was bound to make its appearance – and we’re not complaining.

The timeless and enduring hue is striking on its own, let alone balanced by the crisp classiness of white.

If your heart’s set on a traditional white wedding, consider adding a dash of this regal shade for interest.

Accessorise your reception with blue lighting, bunting and table accents such as napkins and placeholders.

Or why not forget the classic white tablecloth and wow your guests with a classic blue one instead?


TOP TIP: If it’s a cohesive yet mismatched look you’re after, share swatches with your bridal party and let them pick the style of dress that they like best.


 

An unforgettable setting: Amuri Estate


A beautiful wedding could not be simpler at Amuri Estate, Hanmer where the supreme views take the effort out of creating an unforgettable setting. The venue seats up to 200 guests and there is a luscious variety of spaces on the property.

 

Photography by Bethany Howarth Photography

 

The ceremony lawn looks across the valley to the mountains: lawn seating, or grandstand-style seating rising up the bank are options.

The paved canapé and drinks terrace is large enough for dining, and inside options include the large reception hall and the drawing room.

“It’s ideal for an intimate winter reception,” Manager and Wedding Planner Vanessa Orr says.

Working with three catering companies, Amuri Estate can offer you the cuisine and drinks of your choice in buffet, plated, and shared styles from the fully-equipped kitchen and bar.

Accommodation is available on site, with a lodge sleeping six within three king rooms with ensuite, and a kitchen/living area.

The Wallace Peak Cottage sleeps two in a king room and has kitchen, living and log fire.

A qualified Event Manager, Vanessa is your wedding co-ordinator on the day, or throughout the planning process, if you wish. Organising meetings, the run sheet, event plan, rehearsal, Vanessa liaises with the M.C., photographer and caterer on the day.

Table settings are available to hire, make your own selection or simply leave it all to Vanessa on the day if you prefer.

“I love seeing couples’ days come together; our stunning views ensure a picture-perfect start to married life.”

 

Photography by Bethany Howarth Photography

 

Step into wedding season


Whether you’re the bride, bridesmaid or a guest, it’s the heels that will give you your Cinderella moment. Metropol caught up with leading shoe designer Kathryn Wilson about the latest season of heels we can expect to see stepping into wedding season.

 

 

Why did you want to make the move into wedding footwear?
We have a lot of brides and bridal parties requesting bridal footwear and purchasing our beautiful shoes for their wedding day…we decided it would be great to offer our best-selling shapes and styles in a colour palette suited to weddings. We named the capsule collection ‘Happily Ever After’ and named each shoe with a wedding theme.

 

Happily Ever After Rose

 



Can you tell us a bit about the colour palette you’ve selected for the collection?

 

We have offered most styles in an off white, soft pink and blue and metallic leathers, pewter, gold and silver, which are great neutrals for bridal parties. Each pair has a blue glitter sole for their ‘something blue’ on their special day.

 

Happily Ever After White

 

 


Do you have any favourites or are they all your ‘babies’?
Haha yes definitely love them all but my favourite style would be the Challis Heel in white powder blue which has a beautiful gold metal wrap detail on the heel and a front platform so you can dance the night away with a reduced pitch on the heel.

 

 

Blushing Bride Powder Blue

 


about beautiful, well-structured traditional styles?
It depends on each bride and their own style… we offer our ‘classic hit’ styles in a bridal palette which are very timeless designs with the intention that you can wear them on your wedding day but also with jeans and a shirt to work or a long lunch with girlfriends… I think they should be a versatile style that gets use after your big day.

Blushing Bride White

 


 

What are some of the most important features of wedding shoes?
Comfort, for sure! So you can stay in them all day and dance the night away… but also be feminine and flattering on the foot as a finishing touch to the wedding dress. Several styles in our bridal collection have a stacked heel which will suit garden weddings on grass, as a lot of New Zealand summer weddings are outdoors, which make fine stiletto heels tricky to wear.

 

Going to the Chapel Lace

 


What was your own choice for your special day?
Funnily enough I couldn’t decide until on the day! I took a few options with me from our collection and then decided on a closed toe style with a high ankle detail… these are being added to our ‘Happily Ever After’ collection this summer.

 

Happily Ever After Powder Blue

What are some of the main trends – colours, features etc – we can expect to see coming through over the next year across all shoe styles?
We have a lot of beautiful colour showing in our current and next summer collections… the winter styles which are currently available are offered in classic rich palettes of chocolate, tan etc but bright accents of hot pink croc, pink, blue and orange metallics… the Summer ’20 collections are super pretty soft pastels with apple green and lilac being key tones.
We cannot resist a beautiful, colourful, comfortable shoe to brighten our day and make us feel like you can take on the world!

 

Wedded Bliss White Pebble

 

Social vs. Structured


When it comes to the big day, or any big ‘do’ in that case, do you plan a grazing table or a sit down meal? We check out the pros and cons of each.

 

Grazing tables

Grazing tables are undoubtedly eye-catching edible works-of-art. Here are a few tips to consider to prevent a potential disaster.

  1. The first question is, can you really cater to an entire all-day wedding with just a grazing table? The answer is yes, but you must do so with a lot of planning and preparation, if not with the help of a professional team. You’ll want to consider how much food you will need based on the number of guests invited.
  2. How is the table going to look after a hundred or so people have started picking at it? It’s not only important to ensure the table will be replenished as the day goes on, but also that the food continues to be styled so that it still looks appetising. If your catering team is just going to set up the platter, someone needs to be made responsible for maintaining it.
  3. Dietary preferences and requirements: are you catering to vegans, vegetarians, coeliacs, or even pregnant women? If so, how will the foods be separated to reduce the risk of cross-contamination, and how will you inform your guests of gluten-free, dairy-free or nut-free options?
  4. It’s likely your guests won’t be the only ones gathering to graze; how will you prevent flies, ants and other creepy-crawlies from snacking on the feast?
  5. Offering plates, cutlery and napkins, as well as suitable seating nearby, is a must for grazing tables to ensure they’re not over-crowded and you don’t leave your guests with sticky fingers.

 

 

Sit-down meals

Thinking of going down the traditional route of a plated three-course dinner? Here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Begin by choosing your preferred options for each course. Your caterer will then be able to give you a cost per person for your menu, so you can easily see how much of your wedding budget you’ll need to set aside according to your guest numbers. Because portion sizes have been allocated for each guest, this option also means minimal wastage!
  2. In today’s world of increasing dietary restrictions, you’ll need to offer options. It’s recommended that you find out your guests’ food requirements early on, so you can organize a menu that caters to them, too.
  3. A traditional three-course sit-down meal requires a team of caterers, meaning it’s typically the more expensive choice. However, you can save a lot on the quantity of food required (compared to a buffet-style), so you may be able to afford much better quality.
  4. Allow time. Each guest will have to be individually served, and the clean-up and turnaround for each course might have implications on the time you have allocated for speeches and dancing.

 

Takes the cake


It’s long been said you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but with our roundup of the latest cake trends for the Romeos and Juliets of 2020, you might just be able to! These are some of the sweetest staples of the big day.

 

CROCHET CAKE: You’ll find crochet and macramé winding its way around three, four or even five tier cakes this year, its intricate delicacy creating an elaborate lace-like feature.

I THINK OF YOU FRONDLY: With the modern wedding leaning towards a natural and clean colour palette, many brides and grooms are swapping their bright, colourful blooms for crisp, elegant ferns to decorate their cake.

FESTIVAL OF FLAVOUR: We’re quickly swapping out the traditional flavours of vanilla or fruit cake for those that are a little more exciting and unexpected, like pistachio, pink champagne and even lime.

SAY CHEESE! Well that was unexpected, right? Yes cakes made out of stacked cheese wheels are actually a thing! So too are stacked doughnuts, macaron towers and tiered cookie cakes, as today’s matrimonial matches are thinking outside the box for alternative ways to take the cake.