REAL WEDDING | Rachel + Matt

Trattoria Emilia, Melbourne

When gorgeous couple Rachel + Matt asked us to do the event design and styling for their February 2017 wedding, we were like HELLS YES! After all, they wanted us to come on board to transform the laneway that leads up to the entrance of fabulous Italian eatery, Trattoria Emilia, to create a wedding reception like no other. Because even though us Melbourians love a laneway, holding a wedding in one is definitely not the norm, but that’s the sort of job that we love – non-traditional, fun, interesting with a scope to do some cool stuff!

We embarked on our design process, meeting with Matt and Rachel at the venue to talk about how they wanted their guests to feel, and the experience they wanted them to have at their wedding. Unsurprisingly, they wanted something really different and unlike other people’s weddings, but they also felt really overwhelmed with how to achieve it. Their Pinterest boards were a mish-mash of 454 styles of wedding inspiration that would make their wedding look like Pinterest had thrown up on it, so they called in the experts!

The design

Rachel + Matt really wanted a big party. And they’d been really conscious with their planning and decisions to make this happen. For instance, they planned to have speeches post-ceremony at that venue, so that once guests reached the wedding reception, it would be all about fun and enjoyment.

So we took our cues from this – one of the things Matt told us is that he loves going to pubs and having great chats with friends over a nice beer. He enjoys sitting at high bar tables and wanted that to be part of the design. Both Rachel and Matt loved festoon lighting so wanted that to be part of the design – plus the laneway was lit only by very old school industrial (but not in a good way) street lamp with a very yellow tinge. The laneway is bluestone on one side, and full of huge air grates on the other, which screamed New York City to me, and so the concept was starting to take shape. Being a laneway too, it had it share of graffiti and large bins.

New York City is a place known for making use of every single space. For mixing the old and the new. For it’s night life and fun. For its art and design. So taking all of those things into consideration, we came up with the Modern Vintage New York concept. And the couple’s Pinterest was full of green and metallics. We decided to add some blue to keep it cool and fresh, and so the colour palette was born.

NYC pavement is covered in stenciled signage, so instead of the usual wedding welcome sign, we had an artist use a vintage NY style font to stencil the lovely couple’s names on to the ground. It was not *that* hard to clean off at midnight. Or was it? Probably. Most things are harder to do at midnight. The other signage was created to give a nod to the green NYC street signs.

Creating an eye-popping entrance way that delineated the space (from the rabble of the public, god forbid), but that also set the scene for a super fun, cool reception, was a big priority. We decided to integrate the lighting design into the entrance way, and let in flow down the laneway from their, both lighting the space but also making it look just gorgeous.

We opted to replace about 1/3 of the white festoon bulbs with coloured bulbs which really created a fun and different look. The laser cut geometric acrylic shape installation brought the modern to the space and created a arty, cool space at the entrance that the guests just loved.

Our friends from Celebrate Party Hire supplied the high bar tables and stools that created that ‘pub’ vibe Matt loves and a range of lux vintage arm chairs and lounges, along with lots of rich timber side tables and crates really created a warmth in the space that most people wouldn’t expect when hanging around a laneway.

Matt and Rachel told us that dozens of people had mistaken their wedding for a new laneway bar and had to be chucked out – we took that as a huge compliment! This wedding will always be a favourite and we hope you have gotten some non-traditional, totally rad inspiration from it.

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FURNITURE USED IN THIS WEDDING

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