Modern Wedding... is always a bridesmaid and never the bride. We spend our days looking at beautiful weddings and writing about creative new trends, but we never actually execute those same ideas. Of course we get to see how you take that inspiration and run with it to create a stunning wedding day, and we do love that, but occasionally we find ourselves desperate to get behind that clipboard, crossing the t's and dotting those i's...
On Monday night we got our wish. We celebrated the 25th anniversary of our sister title Sydney Wedding magazine. With the best in the wedding industry on our guest list, this party could never be mediocre... here are our tips for creating a seriously memorable night!
We had two requirements for our venue, the first being a location in the heart of Sydney. The second requirement was a little more complicated, it needed to be a venue that most of our guests could experience for the first time or at least a versatile space that could be transformed in such a way so as to appear completely new (keep in mind we were hosting the wedding industry, so the same ole', same ole' just wasn't going to cut it!)
It was the newly opened Cafe Del Mar in Darling Harbour that ticked both our boxes. Channelling the relaxed comfort and effortless style of Ibiza, Cafe Del Mar transports you to the Spanish Isle with white, blue and gold interiors. Luxe marble and velour finishes, meant we didn't have to do a whole lot of work in this already beautiful space.
TIP: Work out your requirements and list them - it could be two things or it could be ten! Either way once you have a clear idea of your needs it will be much easier to narrow down your venue options and find one that's just right.
The aesthetics of Cafe Del Mar helped to inform our 'summer soirée' theme. With the weather heating up in Sydney and the festive season upon us it was the perfect time to celebrate with the delights of summer. We were guided by this as we planned other elements of the event, including a dress code of 'crisp summer white'.
A dress code can be daunting for some people so we prepared a Pinterest board with inspiration and ideas. You can check it out here.
TIP: Decide on a theme and stick to it! Avoid bringing too many elements into the event by measuring everything against that theme - Does this fit with the mood we are trying to create?
Fresh flowers never go out of style and we couldn't go past an opportunity to make the most of mother nature's decorative gift! Vesna Grasso Floral Designer was the only woman for the job and she brought the pretty vibes with suspended flowers and a sprinkling of cute arrangements on tables, chairs and walls.
We dressed ourselves with gorgeous fresh flower crowns from the flower crown queen Francis Floristry.
TIP: Fresh flowers are ALWAYS a good idea.
On the Menu...
While it would certainly have been spectacular to serve a menu of all white summery foods, we felt it was more important to feed our guests. We carried the theme instead with a signature white cocktail, the 'Sydney Summer-tini'. We worked closely with the amazing events team at Cafe Del Mar to create a menu which would leave our guests satisfied. Cafe Del Mar served a combination of delicate morsels and more substantial items like paella. See our menu below:
Watermelon, Persian feta, Jamon Serrano
Chargrilled chermoula chicken
Smoked Salmon, celeriac, apple & mustard
Wagyu bresola, potato skordalia, soft quail egg
Crumbed arancini with mushroom, tarragon & gruyere
Pork jowl 'cigars', truffle mash
Flash fried baby prawns, jalapeño mayonnaise
Slow roast lamb sliders, tzatiki
Mini Fish and Chips
Paella served in bamboo boats
TIP: At a cocktail event it can be easy to miss a plate of food wandering around with a waiter so Cafe Del Mar complemented this with a charcuterie station to ensure there was adequate food available from the very start.
We enlisted the help of event stylist Noel Nassar to create a dessert bar that would be the envy of all dessert bars…and those pictures speak for themselves! Dezertfull provided the sweet spread, while Loved By Lucy xo set the scene with romantic candlelight.
TIP: Give your guests plenty of time to admire the dessert bar before they tuck into the sweet treats. Build the anticipation with a sign that reads 'Dessert Bar Opens at 9PM'
It's no surprise we LOVE social media and we wanted to encourage all out guests to get social at the event. We set up an 'Insta-hunt' and unique hashtag to encourage guests to work their way around the room and discover all we had set up. We offered a prize for the most creative, fun and stylish Instagram! Using our unique hashtag, Social Playground were able to print all the Instagrams with their Instagram printer which guests could take home with them! Take a look at our Insta-hunt game below.
TIP: When designing your event, keep 'shareable' elements in mind and create a space conducive to social media.
The Next BIG Thing...
Say hello to the new wedding photo booth - it's called the Gif Gif Booth by Social Playground. We wanted to introduce our guests to something new and the Gif Gif Booth was the perfect addition. You and your guests can share the gifs on social media and what's more - they make everyone look amazing!! See all our gifs here.
TIP: Introduce your guests to something NEW and fun!
We're big believers in the 'wow factor'. Whether it's a wedding or event, it's important to give your guests a talking point. For us this 'wow factor' came in the form of life size white horses...with wings from Sydney Props. Sounds pretty crazy right? Well that was the point! The sight of these horses, decorated with fresh flowers by Vesna Grasso and even emerging from a 4.5m Cherry Blossom tree from Lush Designer Events were unmissable.
TIP: Sometimes crazy can be good 😉
Something to Remember...
We wanted this party to be a complete experience with so much to do and see. The kind of party where there's barely a second to look at the time. It also occurred to us that you look back on a night fondly when you have something to remember it by. These two thoughts lead us to the idea of a jewel tattoo bar and as far as we know, it was an event first! These jewel tattoos from Wicked Sista are the temporary tattoo for adults. The metallic boho designs look oh so pretty and our guests were thrilled at the prospect of being 'jewelled' up.
TIP: Send your guests home with something to remember you by!
We chose a very special group of wedding industry suppliers to help us with our 'big day'. They are a group of talented, dedicated and all round awesome people who make planning an event extra fun and exciting. We'd like to say a very special thank you to the following suppliers:
Evan Powis Entertainment - Always brings the good vibes!