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FLORAL DREAMS Event styling extraordinaires, The Style Co are a creative design studio based in Melbourne, with a focus on wedding and floral design (and have produced some of our favourite weddings!). Their amazing team have created and managed every aspect (from furniture, floral installations, lighting, invitations and more) of some incredible weddings and events in Australia.
We recently caught up with Marie Cruz-de Vera & Sarah Gonsalves (who co-founded the company in 2010), to gain an insight into how they started and to pick their creative brains their favourite wedding trends.
You built The Style Co with no formal event styling training which obviously proved to be no challenge as the success of your business is undeniable! Can you tell us a little about that journey and what was the driving force in your success?
Success is a funny word to us as we believe the business is still a work in progress and there's challenges around every corner, but big or small, what we've been able to do is stay resilient and use challenges to our advantage. The more we're challenged the more we learn and the better our business becomes.
Creativity, innovation, building amazing relationships with clients and anyone we come across and of course, having a great team and culture is what drives us every day. As well as being able to share our work with so many people here and even beyond our shores. It's grown to be something beyond even what we had imagined.
What do you love most about styling weddings?
We love the freedom of creating something from scratch. From an idea, a colour, a texture, a memory, we can design a unique experience for our clients and their guests.
We love that each day is different, that every project is different and the amazing relationships we have with our clients - we like to think we make a meaningful and positive dent in their world.
What would your dream brief be?
To be honest it would depend on the day you ask us, each day it's different! The hard part is choosing one!
If we were to choose right now (out of the many) it would be an outdoor dining experience on a loooong table. A laid back boho meets palm springs feel with pastel tones, retro inspired patterns and layered textures.
We're always after something different so the more creative freedom we get, the better :)
Have you had a particular brief that has been more challenging then others?
From co-ordinating a marquee build by the bay in Sydney using a 2-man inclinator shared with 20 workmen, to working in 45c degree heat over 2 days in the middle of a field ( yeh you know which one ;) ). We've had a few, but they make for the most memorable events.
What styling elements and floral choices spring to mind when you think of Luxe Bohemian style?
Soft light florals and organic free flowing foliage, layering of raw materials with some delicate and plush finishes, mismatched patterns, and a palette of muted colours.
What impact do you think florals and styling have on the overall feel and aesthetic of a wedding?
It makes a huge impact on how guests feel on the day. Consider your guests and the experience you want them to have, this dictates what you do and how far you go with styling.
Styling isn't just about making spaces look pretty and full, it about giving and making considered choices to create an experience that stays with someone for a long time.
What do you believe to be the most important styling element in visually planning a wedding?
There's not really one styling element we could choose, it really depends on the client, the venue and the brief. Sometimes it's an installation that will add character and transform a room, other times the space is so beautiful that all we need to do is add a few elements to compliment the space.
What are you favourite flowers and styling elements to work with?
Marie: I love interesting and lush plants probably more so than flowers, the bigger the plant the better! I love mixing plants with textures such as timber, metals or concrete/stone.
Sarah: Balloons!! The more and the bigger the better! I also love phalaenopsis orchids, they are so beautiful and versatile.
What advice do you have for brides who may be unsure about what theme or colour palette to go with when planning their wedding?
We suggest to think of the experience you want guests to have. If you imagined yourself there, how does it look and how does it feel? Then consider what colours and textures work well with what you envisioned. 'deep and moody' tends to lend itself to deep, bold colours, while 'playful' calls for a bright colour palette, and a 'laid back and natural' vibe asks for muted colours or nature inspired tones and textures.
Marie - You began a support and information group for female entrepreneurs in 2011 called The League of Extraordinary Women. Can you tell us more about the support group and why you felt compelled to start it?
Back when it was just me, working alone in business was isolating and sometimes left me unmotivated. I met three other female Entrepreneurs - Sarah Riegelhuth, Sheryl Thai and Liz Atkinson and we co-founded 'The League' together as we saw it as a great opportunity to create a community of other female entrepreneurs that were more like us. Wanting to challenge our industries and help each other build better businesses.