Let's Break It Down:
The Design Depot
Clothes have a funny power. They let us express who we are and how we feel. There’s nothing better than a tracksuit and ugg boots on cold winter’s day at home. On the other hand, the feeling of a tailor-made bespoke gown for a formal affair is out of this world. So when it came to preparing this wedding for our client, whose gown had been custom made in Paris, we knew it was destined to be a royal affair and it was all about designing a space befitting that dress!
The day after receiving the client brief, we had a team meeting at National Gallery of Australia in Canberra where the Tom Roberts exhibition had just opened. On viewing the collection, we came across the painting of the signing of Federation at the Royal Exhibition Building, completed 113 years earlier. In that moment, staring at an oil panting, we found our venue.
So the challenges began; how do we create genuine warmth, intimacy, and the feeling of a family within such a space as the Royal Exhibition Building. Most buildings of this era were designed specifically to keep the lower classes away, and their sense of grandeur can be intimidating. Then of course there were the 100s of practical issues that came with working in a heritage site. But let's be honest, where’s the fun without the challenge?
Immediately we knew we needed a set designer and a good one to break up the space and get the Victorian colours of the existing building aligned to our contemporary colour palette. The guys did some research and we came across a great team who created all the walls and walkways. They integrated a building which seats 3000, into an arrival area, salon and dinning room that felt both special and warm for 500.
The intimate details are especially important in any large-scale environment and the bigger the event the more it needs breaking down. Gold acrylic tables were designed to add modernity as well as house long tables of more guests mixed with smaller rounds in custom linens. A formal head table grounded the space and created the perfect backdrop for speeches and photography. Calligraphy placeards afforded guests the luxury of seating allocation and custom menus highlighted the resident chef for the evening, Neil Perry.
Overall the feel was to be international, a heavy use of contemporary strong coloured floral and a mass of crystal chandeliers. Together we got there, and over many nights of sushi and Haigh’s chocolates a dream wedding was enjoyed by all.