How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

How do I create rustic & woodland themed wedding or event

Most people will think..Well that’s easy & maybe to some people it is..It could also be why it is such a popular choice and I might add still going strong. When we’ve seen ‘vintage’ come and go and come back in some forms again. Still so many people love the idea of a rustic themed wedding.

 

What it means

Rustic is a very loose term and can simply be a bride thinking she wants the opposite of a slick contemporary look. Or for some they choose to style everything down to the favours in a strong woodland / rustic theme*. That’s their take and there really is no right and wrong. You should use your own artistic licence here.  For example if I hear woodland I think a cute outdoor space to dress. But the client may be trying to recreate that mystical forest outdoor theme inside top to toe.

*I love this image found on pinterest of the detail you can go to.

Rustic & woodland themed weddings and events

What you need

There are 3 main ingredients here. Top of the list is tree slices, these are used mainly to elevate the design whether it is for cakes, buffet, food station or a photoshoot. Candles give that magical look. Moss fills in the gaps. Then anything else you add leads it in one direction or another. Apple crate definitely more rustic. Pine cones & leaves will take you more strongly to the woodland path. Although as I said before both will intertwine.

This one on Pinterest is utterly gorgeous with just three (my magic number)  items. Logs, candles & flowers. Right down the middle rustic and or woodland. Gorgeous.

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

These are my version of how you can elaborate on a woodland theme.  The extra props I used on both pushed into an enchanted forest theme complete with potion bottles, branches, bones, ivy and mystic balls.

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

 

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and events

The most important thing

The styling always looks the best if you can elevate it so the eye is drawn comfortably around the spectacle in whatever form this may be. It won’t look anywhere near as impressive if you have to look down onto a flat table. Get some large pieces in there to really lift it in my case here for this wedding at the garden museum – apple crates and plenty of them. Get it high.

How to create rustic and woodland themed weddings and eventsMany of these props can now be hired here and if you don’t see what you are looking for do get in touch on the contact form. 

Here’s some rustic themed canapé tray styling to complete the look. These weren’t all created for the same event. So try and stick with something that matches and runs throughout. For example I would continue using these Shimeji & enoki mushrooms throughout the rest of the displays. Rustic & woodland themed weddings and events

Rustic & woodland themed weddings and events

 

How do I style a halloween party

Are you wondering how do I style a halloween party – A grown up one? Let me throw you some tips so you can wow your friends at home.

Where to start

Choose your colour scheme. Traditionally there’s not much to play with here. Black, orange, red, purple, gold are about your strongest colours for this time of year and this is plenty! If you remember my rule from previous blog posts you’ll know to stick with 2 or 3 colours to keep it slick.

Where & what to display & dress

Up there at the top of the list should be to decide what sort of party you want to hold. Like if you are having a dinner party where you’ll want to dress the table or a stand up drinks you can decorate more of the room. How do you style halloween

This is loads of fun if you’re having a drinks reception. Theres a focal point and it gets everyone fully immersed.

Likewise this dark moody dresser could be  propped with some ghoulish props or kept gothic and moody..How do I style a halloween party

Halloween party

For dinner parties or events you can still go super stylish and have as many gourds and pumpkins as you like or none at all and get really creative. I utterly love this company. @casadeperrin on Instagram. They do all sorts of table top curation & rental in LA and are the absolute best!

 

How do I style a halloween party

 

I also love this image on Lettice event  Pinterest page.  It’s macabre but also delicate too. Big up – if it was their super cool creation.How do I style halloween party

Finishing touches

You know how easy this would be to do. You can buy mirrors like this from Ikea and using those spray paints to distress the frame and the mirror adding the skeleton with a glue gun. Hey presto you have a great feature.

How do I style a halloween party

No halloween party is complete without some front door decoration. This is mandatory. It helps your guests know where to come and gives them an exciting taster of the stylish event they have waiting for them inside. How do I style a halloween party

If you want to remind yourself of a previous halloween blog post with one of my fave mood boards check it out here. 

 

Sophisticated Halloween events

Sophisticated Halloween events

Look at these little beauties.. Totally perfect for your sophisticated halloween events.

 

Halloween trays

Inspiration

Add a few autumnal leaves and you have a bowl food tray that will glide through this season until the dreaded Christmas season! After some research we found these sophisticated trays at Notre Monde

Halloween doesn’t have to be black and orange!

…And we don’t all have to be able to carve a face in a pumpkin. I’ve gone a different route this year.

Black skull pumpkin

Top tips for a sophisticated halloween event

Here’s 3 of my top style tips :

1) Matt black is an all time winner

2) Gold adds sophistication

3) Using just two colours keeps it slick

Add your ghoulish desserts on to one of these burnt dressers and you are literally laughing (in a witches cackle)

Halloween dessert bar

We have dressers to hire that can be adapted & painted to suit the perfect halloween party.

Jones hire stock this athena range, which is couldn’t be more suited for Halloween. But I did say sophisticated so you may want to loose Dracula’s teeth. Although we can have a little fun sometimes and I’m certainly not averse to that…

halloween dinner party

Food Styling credit  : Maggie Ruggiero & Prop Styling credit : Elizabeth MacLennan. Image saved from  Food Network .

Check out some more fab images from some creative people all saved to my Halloween Pinterest page.

Top picks added to my moodboard.

Black Halloween moodpboard

Food station commotion

Everyone is all over the food station at the moment. It gives theatre to an event. And thanks to Heston (no surname required ) all guests and clients are looking for theatre with every mouthful and they are quick to move on to the next thing . They are even bored of dry ice God damn it. I do wonder where it will all end up. My husband is  a chef -a bloody good one at that- and he’s paring his components right back so maybe we are actually going full circle.

All the intricate flowers placed on the plate with with long tweezers with millimetre precision are being stripped right back. Just look at Vijante my favourite restaurant oh no it closed down. Hmmm . Look at how many new restaurants popped up in the last couple of years up with only one or two things on the menu (even bigger stateside)  like Burger & Lobster, Ooze (risotto only) Bubbledogs, Meatballs. etc. Not to mention the upmarket burger explosion. Simple is back ..for a while anyway.

But for us the event caterers we have to give choice – and that we do. Food from every nation. I’ve had to research diets and religions. Like the Jains diet. I’d never heard of it until I started working in event catering. So yes everyone is quite used to Canapes with their champagne now. Or, if the guests are special enough – a sit down dinner. But now it’s the rise of the FOOD STATION & BOWL FOOD event. This is where it would appear I come in. Event managers call me in when their client says “we’d like interaction” “a food station”  “mini bowls” so their guests can talk to each other while slurping over a delicious noodle dish from an authentic 8oz chinese pail. Or tempura veg served in cones made from Chinese newspaper that I’ve run to China town to pick up 50 copies of.   Don’t get me wrong it’s not a new concept I’ve been designing food stations for 8 years plus but it’s really ramped up in the last year or two!

So my job is a bit more like set design in this respect.  You need to create a mini China on a 6 foot trestle table or India, Italy, Mexico or a picnic or seaside scene. I discuss with the Event managers, get the brief work with the Chefs on what food they will be serving and start sourcing and researching. Here’s a few from the last twelve months :

Tiffany theme food station
Tiffany theme breakfast buffet
English summer picnic theme
English summer picnic at The Granary building Central Saint Martins University of Arts
Seaside theme food station
Seaside theme foodstation

 

Indian theme food station
Indian Theme food station at the Natural History Museum

 

Chinese food station
Chinese food station

 

Sweetie food station
Sweetie bar
Italian theme food station
Italian Deli food theme.

 

Done with Slate & Olive wood

I have been designing all manner of items for the food service industry for the past 7 years. It started off as canapé trays & food stations but I’ve realised how many other items people are looking for. These were three of my first designs when I worked full time at Alison Price.

unusual canape tray staggered canape tray P1050308

Since I started working on my own I’ve branched out to all sorts of things. People are hungry for something different with every event and (thank the lord) are moving away from the bane of my life – olive wood and slate !! Hurrah. Don’t get me wrong: I love slate and anything grey for that matter but it should be left on the bathroom floor …

That’s my opinion and it could be said I have an unhealthy obsession with acrylic – all colours ! Especially the neons. But so do caterers because it’s so easy to work with and dynamic. Perspex – which is the brand name don’t you know – are always bringing out yummy new textures and patterns. Just look at these sparkly and patterned ones. Mind you you’d need to do an event a week for a Russian Oligarch to have trays made in some of these.

patterned perspex glitter perspex textured perspexperspex impressions perspex swatches neon perspex

I do work with other mediums like wood. If it’s been designed nicely and not just a slab then I’m not averse to it.  Or my new fave Corian. Look at this little lot of samples. You can even get it in slate colour and my skilled fabricators can mould it with no seams just like those stunning kitchen work tops with the sink all in one. Again bring in an Oligarch though.

corian samples

 

So you see there’s no excuse for plain old chipped slate now.   Every caterer’s stores that I’ve ever been in (and I’ve been in a few since starting my own company 2 years ago) has a pile of it somewhere. All chipped naturally . Where did this all come from?  Slipped off a roof and onto a kitchen pass??

Ok if we have to use it because we’ve got it. Dress it up a bit like I’ve done here. Actually these are quite nice pieces as it goes.

slate canape trays slate canape trays Slate canape tray slate canape tray

But a damn plain sheet usually chipped: nope not on my watch thank you. It’s washed up.

So it is my personal mission to get slate off the menu.

 

Shakespearean Christmas in London

This event started out slightly differently to the normal ones that I work on. Rather than a commission from an events company, I was asked directly by the end client to style their event.  This made it a bit harder for me as I was starting from scratch with equipment. Most caterers I work with have a stores that I rummage around and add things to when I have my theme. Ebay was my best friend  here combined with lots of trips to Wimbledon car boot sales!! Once the client had found a venue (with a view – was most important) I was then off to work. On this occasion the venue determined my styling – it was Shakespeare’s Globe. So there was my theme! Done.

It always starts with a moodboardShakespeare Moodboard

I created a food station – something I am asked to do a lot these days. It helps to define a theme on an event and it gives guests some interaction with their dining experience. A growing trend ! It also worked well for Christmas.  Obviously I placed candles everywhere to set the scene and old books, lots of them. The thicker the better. They help to give height which draws the eye around the food station. I thought a cheese station was fitting for this event.

Shakespeare Event

Shakespeare Event Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare Event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare event

Shakespeare Christmas

 

Grape tree cheese station

IMG_3253

It started off looking a bit like this …and grew and grew from there. IMG_2923

The client asked me to to think of a give away for their clients seeing as it was Christmas.

So what else would 200 (mainly) men appreciate taking away at the end of a night into a cold December evening. We had hip flasks branded in the company logo RSG.…My office this time turning into a production line for a lovely ginger-smelling cocktail.

P1140417

Thank you to David Spink Photography for most of the photo’s.

 

Shakespeare Mood board