Creative director and stylist Sandra Chau spoke to us this week to see what inspires her style!
Modern Wedding: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sandra: My name is Sandra Chau and I’m a stylist and creative director. I style and curate beautiful events and experiences for brides. Styling is more than a passion to me – it’s a part of who I am. I style to celebrate and strongly believe that the details in anyone’s celebration is nothing without the story and relationship behind the photos so telling my couples’ stories in authentic ways is at the forefront of my mind for any event.
I am also a mother to three year old daughter Annabelle and 4 month old twin boys Riley and Brody so suffice to say, my life is pretty hectic outside of the wedding world, but I like to think it all forces me to be super organised!
I love ice cream and cannot start the day without a coffee or two (I am a mum of three afterall!).
Modern Wedding: How did you get started as a stylist?
Sandra: As cliché as it sounds, I entered the wonderful world of weddings and events after I planned and designed my own wedding. I was working as a lawyer at the time and wasn’t particularly happy with what I was doing but loved every bit of the creative side to organising a wedding. I loved creating a concept and bringing it to life through the flowers, the colour palette and all the little details in between and it made me realise that I was craving some creativity in my life and work. So I eventually quit my job and never looked back. Turns out some of my lawyerly skills came in handy when it came to styling as attention to detail is key! So it was pretty perfect!
Modern Wedding: What colours and colour palette combinations do you love for next 12 months?
Sandra: I’m known for my minimal aesthetic when it comes to styling so I love soft and neutral palettes with dashes of colour. I am particularly loving a soft blue and white palette with pops of blackberry tones paired with green tones brought in through foliage.
Modern Wedding: What are your favourite new styling trends for 2017?
Sandra: I’m all about the textures, movement and thinking less is more.
Less is more: When surrounded by all the inspiration images and details galore on Pinterest, it’s easy to get carried away and hard to show restraint but sometimes having less on your table, for example, can be more beautiful than if having with everything from flowers to place cards to menus to candles to favours to 5 different glasses and so on. It can be freeing for brides who can feel a crushing pressure to not just have a beautiful wedding, but have ALL the pretty weddings in one. I love to help brides focus on less but better and more meaningful.
Textures and movement: I love bringing in different textures to an event as it creates a totally different experience and bringing in movement through fabrics can add a lot of depth to a design and create a kind of beauty that’s unexpected.
Modern Wedding: What are your favourite styling elements to work with right now and why?
Sandra: Silk: I love working incorporating silks into an event or shoot – whether it’s a simple touch like silk ribbons to a bouquet or going all out with silk fabrics on the tables. Silks move so beautifully with wind and can be manipulated freely to create static movement, it adds a lot of depth, beauty and an enhanced experience to images.
Ceramics: I love incorporating ceramic pieces onto a table or even just bringing them in to work with our couples’ photographers to photograph the details on. It’s simple, adds to a design minimally and creates a modern and clean aesthetic at the same time, which is my favourite kind of style.
Linen: Linens are great to use for events as it’s an easy to way to add some texture into a design and it comes in such a beautiful array of soft colours these days, there’s a lot of versatility to it.
Modern Wedding: What are your top 3 tips for brides wanting to create unique wedding style?
Sandra: Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Just because it’s your own wedding, it doesn’t mean you have to take on everything and do everything yourself. Outsourcing things to a professional may seem costly at the time but with their expertise and connections, it can not only save you time but also money. It also means you can focus on enjoying the celebrations and not have to burden your loved ones on the day to help you set up.
Be true to yourself – Everyone is there to celebrate you as a couple so make sure that your wedding truly reflects your story in an authentic way. You want your guests to feel the both of you as they arrive
Be cohesive – Piece everything together in a cohesive way - from the invitations to the colour palette to the outfits to the florals to the room layout and so on. Make sure it all flows and that everything has a place and is intended to be there.
Modern Wedding: If you were designing your own wedding, how would you style it?
Sandra: Oh this could take a while! But in short, it would be an intimate outdoor wedding with beautiful long wooden tables with soft silk runners lining the middle draped in an organic way. Sitting on top would be gardenesque floral centrepieces that are loose, natural, effortless and interesting in shape. Loose small buds of florals would gently fall, scatter and find its place on the table amongst ceramic votives. You may even find a loose flower drape down over the ceramic plates and touch ever so slightly the place card that has your name beautiful calligraphed on it which happens to sit on top of lovely textured linen napkins. I would keep it simple with small Spanish wine glasses so the tables won’t be too busy. I could go on forever!
Photography: We Are Origami Photo / Styling: Sandra Chau Design / Hair and Makeup: Sonia Allen Makeup / Venue: Hopewood House / Florals: Trille Floral / Calligraphy: Signora E Mare / Ribbon: Froufrou Chic / Gown: The Bridal Atelier / Model: Vilnius Lady / One on one with: Ginnyau #stylingbysandrachau #ginnyau1on1