Love is wild: taking weddings to the next level

Rebecca Stoner, left, and Jessica Bunting, are excited for next weekend's wedding fair.
David James/Stuff

Rebecca Stoner, left, and Jessica Bunting, are excited for next weekend's wedding fair.

It can be pretty wild trying to organise a wedding, especially these days. David James catches up with some of the creative types at the upcoming Loved Ones Wedding Fair to get the scoop on the latest trends.

Dead flowers, naked tipis and food trucks are just some of the new sights to see as wedding trends shift away from the slick and clean.

Marlborough's creative streak spills over into a broad range of fields and industries, and many of our local designers, artists, sculptors, and culinary geniuses are finding their artistic foothold in the the art and craft of the wedding ceremony.

Rebecca Stoner, a florist at Forget Me Not, left, and Jessica Bunting, designer at Betty and Co, work on one of their al ...
David James/Stuff

Rebecca Stoner, a florist at Forget Me Not, left, and Jessica Bunting, designer at Betty and Co, work on one of their al fresco dining creations with Wild PeakTipis.

And why not? It's the perfect canvas and venue to exhibit your creative efforts.

This Sunday, The Vines Village, near Renwick, will be hosting the Loved Ones Wedding Fair in its backyard.

A point of difference from the usual colossal wedding expo that some of us have come to expect, the Loved Ones Fair will be showcasing some of Marlborough's local creatives who have promised a more interactive occasion for the public.

Betty and Co designer and wedding event planner Jessica Bunting is co-ordinating the Loved Ones Wedding Fair and says the event is an opportunity for local creatives, doing something outside the norm, to demonstrate their love and passion for what they do.

"There are people in Marlborough who are constantly blowing my socks off with their creations and new ideas," Bunting says. "The vendors we choose love what they do. They are typically from an arts background, and are passionate about what they are creating.

"I believe that if you do what you love, people will fall in love that."

Bunting says it's a day for everyone. The public have an opportunity to listen to live music, sample some local wines, eat food and see local vendors demonstrating their talents.

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"And you don't have to be getting married to come to the fair," Bunting says. "You just have to have a love for art, locally-made goods, food and drink."

Forget Me Not florist and event designer Rebecca Stoner will be one of the vendors at the fair.

She says she has been working more with wild and dead flowers in her arrangements for a reason.

"I love working with wild flowers, and we are seeing more people wanting that on their wedding day. Not so neat and tidy. A little messy. And now brides want dead flowers being included in bouquets.

"That's going to be big thing coming up. Dead and wild flowers give the arrangement more texture."

Rebecca says it's great she has has forum to display her latest creations.

"There's a real need for this kind of fair because people will have the chance to interact with us – to see, to taste, to touch, to ask questions. Instead of standing behind the table showing photos, people will get to see what we make and how we present things."

Noa Potiki, of family-owned Wild Peaks tipis - that's right, those coned shaped tents - says her interest in creating Nordic-styled tipis for weddings came from her frustration in finding a wedding venue.

"I just got so sick of looking at big white marquees, and big dining halls. I wanted something different for my wedding." 

Nordic tipis are becoming a huge attraction worldwide for weddings, Potiki says.

"Instead of the usual white marquee, the tipis will appeal to people who are looking for that free, natural and wild look."

Potiki says the new trend towards a natural look is reflecting the change in people's lifestyles.

"As people are changing their diets, and what they consume in general, there is a shift towards a more organic and natural aesthetic with weddings also."

Frances King, at Feast Merchants, agrees there is a change away from the conventional style of wedding. Feast Merchants are a dining service – wedding caterers, if you will – that perform their cooking duties from a food truck.

But instead of pie, pea and mash, King and her husband Rory serve up nuevo cuisine from the registered kitchen on wheels.

"Next season we hope couples will want to go a little outside of their comfort zone," King says. "We do offer creative bespoke menus tailored to suit the style of the wedding, and family style dining is the most popular at the moment. However, stand-up tapas are our favourite because of the range of items you can serve."

Feast Merchants will be offering some of their nibbles at the fair alongside other vendors including the very new Vino Van, a 1960s retro caravan bar, and Lawson Dry Hills will be divvying up samples of their new rose.

People can check out a broad range of services from makeup and hair to fashion, stationery to candles, and even tipis.

"Weddings are an awesome way to show your personality," Bunting says. "It's a fun day of love and it doesn't have to follow traditions. It can be exciting and look beautiful and Marlborough has some amazing vendors. It's really time to up the game and show everyone how cool we are here."

The details

Loved Ones Wedding Fair

The Vines Village, 193 Raupara Rd

Sunday, October 1

Tickets at

Door sales available.

 - Stuff


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