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Image: It’s Beautiful Here via Danielle & Adam’s Relaxed Fitzroy Wedding at Panama Dining Room

It would be wonderful if we could choose exactly when and how we make our memories so they would all be delightful. Certainly every bride does her best to plan a perfect wedding that will turn into perfect memories, but for good or ill, there is always something that goes awry. At my daughter’s wedding, everyone received the gift of a giant orchid because the florist mistakenly ordered catalyas instead of cymbidiums. At my son’s wedding, the florist was incredibly late, and we all had to wait while the tables were dressed. Still, each wedding was lovely and unique.

In this year of the pandemic, even when plans go amiss, it’s especially important to appreciate the lovely and the unique, to find a way to enjoy the happy things, and to keep safe.

Have you postponed your wedding? Worried about keeping your gown safe until the new date?

Image: Bonavita Photography via Skye & Brad’s Handmade Gum Gully Farm Wedding

Image: Lauren Campbell via Charlotte & Adam’s Romantic Garden Southern Highlands Wedding

If it’s not more than 18 months until the new date, discolouration should not be a problem if:

1. Your gown is stored in an opaque, breathable bag that keeps out light. Be sure to get rid of all plastic—whether it’s the very thin plastic used by dry cleaners or a bulky plastic bridal bag. If nothing else is available, wrap your gown in freshly washed muslin or an old sheet.

2. Your bag is NOT stored somewhere it is extremely hot or extremely damp.

3. Your bag is hanging in a non-smoking environment; the smell from heavy cigarette smoking will penetrate the bag.

Of course, your gown will need to be pressed after it has been in a bag for any length of time. That’s why many specialists and some bridal shops are offering postponement packages that include pressing—and even alterations–when you are ready to wear your gown.

What can you restore or discoloured family gown or veil?

If your mother’s gown (or even your grandmother’s gown) is yellowed and stained, there is a way to remove discolouration and old stains. Ordinary dry cleaning won’t help, but members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists have a special process that will. Some fabrics are more difficult to treat than others, and it’s best to look at the gown together with your specialist. Your specialist can often give you some idea of what can be done by looking at a photograph.

Whether your vintage veil is a beautiful lace or a net decorated with lace appliques, it can be returned to the true colour and sewn onto a comb so that it goes perfectly with your new gown. The exception is silk illusion, but even if your veil is a crumbling silk illusion, the lace trimming can be removed and sewn onto new net that complements your gown.

And what could be more unique than wearing a lovely family heirloom for your wedding?

Image: Kate Drennan via April & John’s Enchanting Old-World Garden Wedding

Ms Floral Says: This is such fab and practical advice for anyone wanting to keep their gown safe before or after their wedding, or wanting to restore an older dress. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us, Sally!

About Sally Conant: Sally Lorensen Conant, Ph.D., is executive director of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, an association of cleaners In five countries who focus on caring for specialty gowns. She also owns Orange Restoration Labs in Connecticut, consults with museums and historical societies, and is often featured in wedding books, magazines and websites. She received the International Drycleaners Congress’ Makoto Igarashi Award for Restoration in 2005 and is recognised by the Association of Bridal Consultants as a Master Wedding Vendor.

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Polka Dot Bride Shop

I think it’s pretty safe to say while couples carefully planned all the details of their upcoming nuptials and us industry professionals immersed ourselves deep in to the wonderful world of weddings, none of us ever saw this coming.

What a ride it has been following the announcement in late March that weddings are subject to new restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The current restrictions allow a maximum of five people to be present for the ceremony, which includes the couple, the celebrant and the two witnesses. Celebrations after the ceremony are also currently facing restrictions due to social distancing rules.

Wedding Brisbane

Almost overnight, couples were left to face the heartbreaking reality that they needed to postpone their long planned wedding day, left to avidly contact their entire dream team of wedding vendors they carefully hand picked, with fingers, toes and legs crossed they would all be available again on a future date.

Meanwhile, every wedding industry professional worked tirelessly with many concerned couples to accommodate them as best as possible in rescheduling to a new date, and in the case of celebrants including us through our service Elope in Brisbane, sometimes working with them to adjust the plan to them having a small intimate elopement style wedding with the big celebration with guests to follow at a later date when the restrictions have eased.

The wedding industry is the industry of LOVE! It’s full of passionate professionals that continually seek to go above and beyond for their couples.

It’s been utterly heartwarming and inspiring to be a part of an industry that without question instinctively banded together and adapted their services to support their couples. From wedding caterers moving to online pre-prepared delivered meals (who doesn’t need those during isolation!) to photographers offering drive by family portraits on your doorstep. And the celebrants, happily offering complimentary postponements and ensuring couples still get the wedding they have been dreaming of, despite many experiencing their own small business (and their passion) unexpectedly coming to a complete standstill. We personally adapted to the restrictions by launching our new wedding offering elope designed to inform and equip couples that still intend to wed in a small elopement style ceremony under the current restrictions.

wedding professionals

We realise as celebrants we are among the lucky few wedding professionals. Sure, only being permitted to officiate micro weddings is extremely limiting for our couples, however we are incredibly grateful we can still perform these and do our little part in ensuring these weddings are still incredibly special and memorable.

What precautions are the wedding industry taking to keep you safe during restrictions? 

We believe it’s vital for wedding industry professionals to comply with the government’s restrictions and follow hygiene practices and social distancing.

While the following outlines procedures we have implemented for our clients, these will likely be similar to those of many other streams within the wedding industry, to ensure a safe environment and reduce the chance of any potential spread. You should be able to feel comfortable to be asking your other chosen vendors to be doing the same.

Meetings

  • Online meetings are now also available for local couples (in addition to our interstate and overseas based couples) we offer our clients a choice of video conferencing methods/ apps.
  • If or when an ‘in person’ meeting is necessary, we advise clients before the meeting that we will be adhering to social distancing practices and that we will be unable to shake their hand. We have received an extremely positive response to this.
  • We ask couples to advise us if they haven’t been feeling well or have arrived from overseas within the last two weeks, in which case ‘in person’ meetings can instead take place online.
  • We have antibacterial gel available, and we continue to wash and sanitise our own hands before, after and between every meeting.
  • We use antibacterial wipes to clean tables and chairs that are used for the ‘in person’ meeting, both before and after the meeting takes place.
  • We use antibacterial wipes to clean the pens used during the meeting.

Weddings

  • If using a microphone, we sanitise this before and after use.
  • We have hand sanitiser available for use, and we personally use this frequently.
  • Before the wedding commences, we include a pre-wedding announcement to remind guests of social distancing requirements and advise them of the couples request to avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
  • We respectfully aren’t shaking hands with or hugging clients or guests.
  • We request the full legal names of the two witnesses, so these can be printed on the marriage certificates, minimising the time the witnesses are in contact with the marriage paperwork.
  • We take a new signing pen out of a packet for the couple to use, and allow them to keep this at the end of the ceremony.
  • Tablecloths from signing tables are washed at a hot temperature after every ceremony.
  • If there is not a photographer stepping in after we leave, we will offer to take some photos for the couple on our own phone, to then send to them.

If our clients have any further requests that are in support of the health regulations for COVID-19, we will happily oblige.

wedding professionals adapt to COVID-19

We hope this post gives you some reassurance that you are in safe hands as you continue to plan your wedding during this time. If you have any concerns for your safety during the restrictions, we encourage you to raise these with your vendors who will appreciate your input.

All images: Twig & Fawn Photography

Ms Floral Says: Thank you for your perspective and for keeping couples safe during these trying times. The precautions you and other vendors are taking are extremely reassuring.

About Brisbane City Celebrants: We are a modern, happy and passionate wedding celebrant duo that simply LOVE celebrating love!

Image: Three Strand Photography / Florals: Pomp & Splendour / Styling: The Small Things Co

When considering the style for your wedding, the tablescape is often the first place to start. Choosing your table centres, whether it be a beautiful floral arrangement in a signature colour or that perfectly toned candle carrying over to the place settings, glassware and napery to perfectly marry your look together. There really are no rules when it comes to building your table look. Natural textures, organic weaves and bold metals can all be used. The important part is to ensure your table look is softened with floral and napery, as often it can feel too stiff or cold if these elements are not thought out.

Image: Anchor & Hope / Stationery: State of Reverie / Styling: The Small Things Co

Image: Free The Bird Photography / Florals: Raven & The Rose / Styling: The Small Things

Tables & Chairs…Take the Floor

The layout or floorplan of your tables is an important element to consider. Weddings have changed so much over the past 10 years, and we often hear married couples gesture that weddings are so different now to when they were hitched in the early 2000s.
The traditional round tables have been transformed into elongated lengths, with guests seated on rectangle tables across from each other. This creates a warmer family feel dining experience compared to formal round tables. From a styling perspective, long tables create more space to build your table centre look. It takes away the need for every table to be matchy-matchy, and allows a flow with your floral and decor. Styling long tables can also work out to be more cost effective, as you do not need to have a floral arrangement or cluster per table, but can spread them down the lengths to fill the room. Often when styling long tables, we don’t have a set plan, but instead place elements where they best fit on the day. With some areas being heavier and others more sparse. Despite its popularity, many couples still prefer to choose round tables. This is often influenced by guest preferences of seating and couples wanting to ensure that everyone will be happy with who they are sitting with. Another consideration is the flow of the room, with long tables often creating long corridors for guests to walk down to access other guests, the bathroom, dancefloor or the bar.

Image: Kas RichardsStyling: The Small Things Co

Is The “Bridal Table” Still A Thing?

In addition to table shape the bridal table placement is another consideration to throw in the mix. Traditionally, the couple would sit with their bridal party on a head table, sometimes even on a raised stage overlooking their guests. With the move away from traditional styled weddings, many couples now choose to sit in the centre of the room amongst their guests. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are now often seated with their partner and some couples even choose to have their parents and siblings seated on this centre table. Couples embrace this option because they prefer to not be on show all evening, and also would like to be more accessible to their guests throughout the reception. Styling is also easier with this option, as you are not needing to dress the entire front of the table. I always suggest to my clients that we do something of note in their table centre, whether it be fuller floral, denser candle light or a hanging piece above them.

Image: Three Strand Photography / Florals: Pomp & Splendour / Styling: The Small Things Co

Colour (and Texture) Me Happy

In terms of styling, we like to play with colour in a tasteful way. Couples will often bring to our initial styling meeting some inspirational photos of looks they love. We pick a colour palette to work with and then build the look from there. It is important to note that just because you pick a key colour, it doesn’t mean that you have to stick to exactly that colour. For example, a client may show us a terracotta they are loving, and so we build their colour palette using; beige, nude, blush, latte, coral and toffee. This gives you room to move in your styling and enables you to introduce this colour way throughout the elements. For this particular colour palette as an example, we may use: quick sand and toffee roses, blush phalaenopsis, terracotta vases, white clay candlesticks with latte candles, baked clay napkins, rose gold cutlery, an organic textured plate and cream menus with a coral font.

Image: Free The Bird Photography / Florals: Raven & The RoseStyling: The Small Things Co

Image: Charmaine VisualsStyling: The Small Things Co

It’s All About the Small Things

Consistency is essential in pulling off a look that inspires, gives direction and makes sense. Something as simple as a tablecloth or seating can really change the whole room. These are large items, and if they are the right or wrong colour or style for your chosen look they can make or break the vision. Bringing in a chair that not only works with your colour palette, but also the style and feel of your wedding can be the finishing touch your look needs. Consider that these chairs for example will be filling your room, times the number of guests you are having, this can really make an impact. Tablecloths are also similar, in that they really fill the entire table. From a stylists perspective it isn’t the best when you have spent all of this time curating a beautiful table look, you arrive at the venue to style, and the white poly tablecloths from the venue are all set with iron lines on show. Having a hired natural weave tablecloth in your colour palette creates an impact and marries together all of the elements.

Image: Three Strand PhotographyStyling: The Small Things Co

Less Is Still More

We are so excited to see what 2021 will bring for the wedding and events world. I think that we will see a few of 2020’s trends carry over into 2021. We have seen a real shift with people turning their noses up at non recyclables and single use items. Styling has turned away from the glossy and opulent and more towards the organic, textural and raw elements. Wedding styling tends to follow the interior design trends, which is strongly influenced by clothing and fashion. Cooler colour palettes are beginning to emerge, with sage and soft blue hues trending. We have been working on a few mood boards with sage and soft green colour blocking lately, and we are absolutely loving it.

Image: Anchor & Hope / Stationery: State of Reverie / Styling: The Small Things Co

A Final Thought

Following this current health crisis (he who shall not be named) and the reduction in imports along with people wanting to support local, I believe we will see a stronger focus on locally sourced materials. As a hire company we will be looking inward and sourcing our new ranges locally as much as possible. We are so excited to see what local artisans and creatives will be developing over this period and will certainly be sourcing their products. Handmade will replace mass produced and with this we will see more unique tablescapes coming to life. Imagine clustered miss shaped clay vases all in the same material and colour, filled with locally grown floral and hand dipped candle light. The options are endless and we are so excited to create these looks for our new couples.

Ms Floral Says: This is so inspiring and informative! No doubt it will help a lot of couples dreaming up and planning the perfect tablescapes for their weddings. Thank you, Paula!

About The Small Things Co: Paula is the part owner and creative director at The Small Things Co, a Melbourne based decor hire and styling company. Paula is a passionate creative who has flourished in the wedding space, creating unique styles for her clients along with her team for the past four years. The Small Things Co prides itself on sourcing unique and hard to find products to make available in their hire range for couples to style their events. Paula shared some of her passion with us at Polka Dot Bride about creating the perfect tablescape for you and your guests to enjoy.