Wedding planner and stylist, Cristina Lubarda, shares her tips on how to bring the outside in with this whimsical garden wedding reception styling. Everything from the stunning bridal table to an ethereal dessert display are covered, plus tips on how to make any styling concept become a reality.
Firstly, how did this beautiful reception styling theme come about?
“The bride, Claudia, and I worked on the concept together. She was having a garden ceremony and wanted to keep an outdoor feel for the interior of the reception. So ‘enchanted forest’ was the theme we ran with – the aim was for natural but polished.”
How did you decide on the colour palette?
“Claudia had an image of makeup inspiration she wanted for her wedding day which had a plum coloured lip. From that image I suggested using deep plums and pinks for the floral arrangements, since it would be a nice pop of colour.”
The Reception Setting
How did you style the reception tables?
“We wanted to keep natural elements in all styling wherever possible, so we used gorgeous handmade stone table tops that sat on trestle legs. For the bridal table, we added beautiful cascading blooms and moss which hung over the front of the table to soften the look. To add a bit of elegance to all the raw elements, we used crystal cut goblets and champagne glassware, gold rimmed crockery, charger plates and vintage cutlery. Behind the bridal table, we hung vines shaped like curtains to give a bit of a wow factor.”
What did you do to add variety to the scene?
“We decided on three different centrepieces which would work with the overall theme and budget. Wax dripped wine bottles clustered together as candle holders; tree branch candle holders with Dahlia and succulent heads placed at the bases; candle lit, moss-filled terrariums and scattered mason jars of all sizes for additional glow.”
The Dessert Display
What was the concept for the dessert table?
“The couple decided that instead of having bonbonnieres, they wanted a self-service dessert buffet so each guest could take a ‘goodie bag’ home with them. I really wanted to give the feeling that this display just got picked up out of the forest and placed in the reception.”
“Timber slices became display stands for each sweet treat. I filled the spaces between the log slices with moss, also cascading it down the front of the table and around the frame. All desserts had an organic appearance to compliment the style, such as hand cut vanilla bean marshmallows, dark chocolate tarts with edible petals and rough cut brownie brittle.”
How did you give the wedding cake it’s ‘moment’?
“The gold cake was a stunner, with plum and deep red florals made of fondant. It was displayed on a wine barrel centered to the bridal table – I used a half barrel beside it, styled with flowers and candlelit mason jars.”
What is your best advice for creating a seamless look for your reception?
“Visit the venue to get a sense of size, style and lighting. Organise the placement of tables, dessert buffet and cake to maintain a balanced space within the reception. Make sure all decorative items work well within the venue, for example, high ceilings need tall centrepieces to fill the room. And once set up is complete, always try to look at the space with fresh eyes. Sometimes it helps to step away for a while and walk back in – you may pick up on something that isn’t positioned correctly.”
And finally, any tips when working with many different suppliers to bring a concept to life?
“Show them inspiration images and a colour palette you’re working with, and keep all suppliers in the loop when creating a specific style – it helps them to clearly understand what look you’re trying to achieve.”
Location: NSW | Photography: Siempre Weddings | Venue: Eschol Park House | Planning & Styling: Cristina Lubarda | Flowers: Clementine Posy | Cake Stand: Penrith Wine Barrel Hire | Tiffany Chairs: Party Hire Group