Stationery and monogram by Carmen Rocha Design. Image by Kevin Vytilingam

As we move into the new year at Carmen Rocha Design, enchant your guests and leave a lasting impression by incorporating my recommended new trends into your wedding day celebrations.

Metallic Colour Themes

A mix of metallic hues and whites top the palette charts of 2017. Softer, brushed metallic colours from bright white to gunmetal grey accents will totally help to achieve those “contemporary yet city hip vibes”. Combine this colour palette with an industrial and modern touches for a fashionable yet classy look.


Personalisation is becoming more and more crucial as couples realise their wedding is a celebration of their life together. Couples are marking their special day by putting their own unique touches on classic traditions and wanting to create cherished printed keepsakes for their guests. I have seen a rise in creating one-of-a-kind custom monograms and illustrations for couples that is seamlessly transitioned across their entire wedding suite from invitations, personalised menus, seating charts, websites, favours, programs and guest books.

Stationery and monogram by Carmen Rocha Design. Image by Kevin Vytilingam

Small, Intimate Guests Lists

There seems to be a move away from large wedding parties to a more intimate, smaller guest list. Couples are having weddings with just family and close friends. Big receptions are being replaced with dinner parties. I had a handful of weddings in 2016 that were 60 guests or less.

Showcase Culinary Heritage

From organic to local cuisine, mini bites to food trucks, and now we have arrived at a new culinary adventure. The popularity of young “foodies” in Melbourne with a passion for cooking, fine dining and quality food and produce means couples are wanting more choices and options to create custom menus tailored to their special day. I have seen more couples choosing to highlight their heritage through their menu choices during their wedding. We’re starting to see whole menus built around the food that resonates with the bride and groom’s upbringing.

Macramé backdrops

This Etsy-fuelled craft has become popular this year, where brides have been using them to add a boho luxe flavour to altars, dining rooms and photo areas.

Image via Little Lane Events

Incorporate Paper

Incorporating paper into your wedding day is quickly growing in popularity. Paper flowers, paper decor, paper props, table settings embellished with paper and sweet presentations can be incorporated into your big-day décor and used as a way to preserve special wedding “memory moments”.

Image by Indie Lane Photography via Elizabeth & Michael’s Charming Hinterland Farm Wedding

Live-Stream Your Wedding 

Planning a wedding can be a big job, so I’m always on the lookout for tools to help make the process more streamlined and fun. With a little technology and some organization, your loved ones can be with you on that special day by live streaming your wedding. Facebook Live is a new, interactive way to live-stream your wedding so they can still share in your joy. They can watch the entire ceremony, first dance, and cake-cutting as they unfold, or view the footage at a later time, since it’ll be stored permanently on your Facebook page. You can also use Skype, Face Time, Google+ Hangout.


Ms Chinoiserie Says: The trend towards personalization is one that I love; in a world where so many items are mass-produced, it’s lovely to include something that is uniquely yours!

About Carmen Rocha Design: As an award winning designer and art director, I bring back the aesthetics of correspondence. The hallmarks of my artistry are one-of-a-kind couture invitations and social correspondence that are finely crafted with meticulous attention to detail to complement your wedding or special event and captures your spirit and style. Once your style is defined, I will help inspire your signature look and expertly create a one-of-a-kind couture invitation suite that brings your desired theme and tone to an innovative new level.


Image by DJ: Plus! Entertainment

There are many options available to end your reception in a memorable way. Some couples choose to do it simply by saying good-bye on the dance floor or with a farewell dance to an upbeat song and others leave a little more extravagantly with a sparkler exit or fireworks. Which ever way you choose to end your reception, at DJ:Plus! Entertainment, I am guessing that you wish to end it on a high note and keep everyone buzzing all the way home! But what if a large portion of your guests have already left, what will those that are left go home feeling?

In some cases, guests will start to leave the reception earlier than the scheduled end time, until you only have 40 – 50 per cent, or less, of them left at the end of the evening. When this happens, it can give the impression that the wedding has ‘fizzled out’. This can happen for a number of reasons, but more likely this will be the case at a Sunday night wedding reception with a scheduled late finish time; the guests will start thinking about the fact they will need to get up early the next day to go to work or if there are a lot of children at the wedding, most parents usually want to put them to bed by a certain time. It is also important to understand that a wedding day and night can be really exhausting, not only for the couple but also for the guests who may feel wiped out after a long day and an hour or two of dancing, so may decide that it is time to head home before the scheduled finish time.

Image by Love, Katie & Sarah via Claire & Jason’s Modern Yarra Valley Wedding

Accordingly, some of the many questions I cover with my couples are firstly, should we start earlier and end earlier or what do we do if the guest numbers start to dwindle? Do they wish to stick to the schedule or wind things up a little earlier and end the celebration on a high? We go through this so that the best result possible is obtained and exactly as they desire. Are they happy if at the end of the reception it is just them and a few close family and friends left or do they wish to end it a little earlier and leave the guests wanting more?

One of the most important aspects of great entertainment and creating memories is knowing when to end the wedding. Just because the wedding has been scheduled to end at a certain time does not mean that the reception needs to end at that particular time. If you did have something such as fireworks planned for the end of your reception, wouldn’t you want all your guests to enjoy them, rather than only those that are left? If you wait until your guests have started heading for the door, you have waited too long. If you plan a fun, upbeat and finite ending to your reception, your guests are much more likely to remember it for how much fun they had, rather than how tired they were and that they decided to leave early. If there are some guests that you know will want to party on, you always have the option to organise a small after party elsewhere.

Image by The White Tree via Sophia and Andrew’s Botanical Southern Highlands Wedding

So don’t necessarily leave it until either of you are ready for the reception to end or wait for the scheduled end if you are seeing a mass exodus of tired guests. If you trust your entertainment professional to help you decide on the key moment when you should “end” your wedding reception or party, I assure you, it will be much more effective and end on a high note. Why is it that many successful performers and business people retire at the height of their success? It is so they are always remembered for how great they were, instead of how they fizzled out into oblivion. Don’t sacrifice the energy of your reception to get the last few minutes out of your contracted time with your venue. Know “when to say when”. Have the best day ever and end it with a bang!!

Ms Chinoiserie Says: You never want your big day to end – but I love the great advice about leaving on a high note…. and save the ‘best’ until last!!!

About DJ:Plus! Entertainment: We are a premium, boutique style, wedding DJ & MC entertainment service, designed to offer creative planning to make a wedding so much more personal, engaging and meaningful, resulting in an original celebration that totally represents each couple and is heaps of FUN. This is coupled with polished announcements and customised ideas for guest involvement, all tied together into a smooth flowing agenda that will be simply unforgettable.

This week on ‘Behind The Door With’, I’m thrilled to be catching up with an industry legend, Allie Hammet from Table Art. Located in Melbourne’s leafy inner city suburb of Hawthorn, Table Art is home to the most amazing selection of luxury, high end table linens including an array of tablecloths, napkins and cushions. You can’t miss the bright green shop front with the beautiful, ever changing table displays in the window.

Allie started Table Art eleven years ago after being made redundant from her job in the events industry and noticing a gap in the market for luxury, high end linens. “At the time the only options for fabrics were damask and organza” says Allie, “and I wanted to offer clients something better”. Allie experimented with upholstery and dress fabrics and found that not only was the quality better but also that the options for different patterns and styles was endless. After running the business from home for two years Allie found her perfect shop on Burwood Road in Hawthorn and hasn’t looked back.

As soon as you enter the shop, which is open by appointment only, a little world of fabrics in every colour and texture is revealed as well as a fantastic selection of props and event accessories. The front window always has a beautiful display table all set with place settings and elaborate florals which Allie says “some brides just choose for their wedding on the spot”.

There’s a comfy meeting spot for discussing options and looking at pictures and Allie loves having her desk in the front shop with all the natural light too. Out the back is the warehouse where all the linen is stored as well as where all the packing, receiving and dispatching of linens to the laundry happens. Upstairs is a flat where Allie lived during her first couple of years after starting the business, which now has become home to hundreds of cushions!

Allie says the best thing about having the store is the sense of community she finds in Hawthorn village. The shops next door will often hold onto linen for clients to pick up after hours and Allie says she couldn’t cope with out her coffee fix from the cafe across the street, Blood Orange. It’s also on a main road close enough to the city for most clients to pick up and drop back their linen which means Allie and her staff can concentrate on working in the store without too many deliveries to do.

When it comes to work/life balance Allie is honest and says it took her about eight years with the store to find the right combination. This has become even more important since her gorgeous baby daughter was born last year and now Allie has started doing more work from home. I ask Allie what her favourite jobs are and she says “I love clients who want to play with colour and aren’t afraid to try something bold and original”. I imagine that’s pretty easy to do when you’re in such a fabulous shop!

Images by Alexander Mcintyre, Andrew Hobbs,   Brent Lukey and Table Art

Ms Chinoiserie Says: I love this beautiful shop – imagine being surrounded by luxuriously beautiful fabrics and accessories all day; just dreamy! 

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events.