Archive for the ‘Wedding’ Category

Wedding Files: Part I – Bridal Preparation

May 23rd, 2014

Hello, it’s been a while! Do you still remember me? You may have noticed over the last few weeks that there have been some problems with the blog loading up. For a moment there, there was actually no blog, because I was in the process of switching web hosting providers resulting in a slight interruption. Thankfully, I was much too preoccupied to worry about such things because, I was, you know…busy GETTING MARRIED!! As many of you know, Saturday, 10 May 2014 was the day my sweet D and I tied the knot. It has been an absolute whirlwind of a time, with family and friends having flown in from across the globe to celebrate with us (and sadly, back out again – all too soon). What a busy, intense but immensely fulfilling time it has been. From the excitement-filled arrivals of loved ones, to the sleep-deprivation-inducing wedding prep, to the BIG day and then on to the cleaning up, winding down and then relaxing last week. Phew! The day itself sped by at the speed of light. Thank heavens Anouschka Rokebrand and her husband and partner Ray were there to capture every last detail because holy moly, I sure missed a few things. And because I am so thrilled with the results, I have decided to divide my last ever Wedding Files posts into four parts and take you through the day in chronological order, starting with the bridal prep on the morning of the wedding. Feel like reliving my magical day with me? Well let’s get this party started! (Note: This may well be my longest blog post ever and it’s only the beginning! Oops…)

Photography by Anouschka Rokebrand / Styling by Avenue Lifestyle Get the full scoop

Wedding Files: Venue Dilemma + Special Arrivals

April 25th, 2014

Hi guys, back again to share some wedding news today as it’s been a while since I updated my Wedding Files column. Those close to us will already know that we faced a major hiccup in our wedding planning process this last few weeks. With just 8 weeks to go before our big day and all the plans put in place, our dream wedding venue fell through. It was the most spectacular old building just begging for a beautiful wedding to take place inside it, and I was just dying to share it with our guests who are traveling over from Australia and South Africa to celebrate with us but due to issues with the building (which is currently undergoing a massive refurbishment) the plans fell through.

Gutted doesn’t begin to describe how I felt when we had to go back to the drawing board in such a short space of time before the wedding, knowing that we have so many friends and family traveling so far to be there with us and to suddenly find ourselves having to change plans and find a whole new venue, re-do the invitations and start from scratch. After an incredibly stressful couple of weeks scouting new venue options, negotiating, rethinking the day, we finally secured a new venue and I am so pleased and massively relieved! I will share the venue details after the wedding {wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for our guests} but what I will say is that it ties in very nicely with the concept we have been working with for our reception – a low-key, modern organic, local affair that reflects us as a couple. Now that the venue has been secured, we have managed to get out the invitations, a little too late for my liking but they are out nonetheless and our guests know where they will need and when (even though we sent out our Save the Dates months ago}.

Jen Huang Photography

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Photography Workshop with Anouschka Rokebrand

March 10th, 2014

Hi guys! My goodness it’s been an age since I was here last. Things are just extremely busy on my end, with the wedding in just 8 weeks, the renovations an ongoing happening in our home and we have both been really busy with work. All positive things of course, but all at once, one doesn’t quite know where to begin each day! But I’ve been working on a fun project lately, which I thought you might like to see. I was asked by the wedding photographer Anouschka Rokebrand {who I often work with styling and shooting editorial shoots for Style Me Pretty and who will be photographing my own wedding soon} to style her upcoming photography workshop, taking place on 8 April. For any aspiring wedding photographers out there, particularly those that live in the Netherlands, she will be giving an in depth look into her work as a successful wedding photographer with tips on how to get started in the industry, how to find and develop your own style, the kind of equipment needed as well as tips for networking and marketing. Anouschka has a very defined style and brand aesthetic, so when she asked me to style her workshop (which will be photographed by its attendees) I wanted to make sure that I pin-pointed her look to perfection from the get go. As a starting point, I put together a couple of moodboards.

Anouschka Rokebrand Photography Workshop / Moodboard styling and concept by Avenue Lifestyle Get the full scoop

Wedding Files: Inspiration for the Maids

February 13th, 2014

I am so grateful that my two sisters, two best friends and dear cousin will be joining me as I say my I Do’s. As the big day draws nearer and their flights have been booked, they are naturally looking for inspiration and  ideas for dresses, shoes and hair. Though I’ve been collecting inspiration on my Pinterest board for the last year, I decided to throw together a few moodboards for the girls to show them the kind of look and feel we are going for so that they can prepare a bit in advance. For those planning their own wedding and need a little inspiration in this particular department, I thought I’d share them for you to see too. So let’s get swept away by pretty stuff today!

Bridesmaids by Avenue Lifestyle

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Wedding Files: The Caterer!

January 16th, 2014

Ooooh, I have exciting news to share today. We have chosen the caterers who will be taking care of the food and drinks at our wedding this May! The puzzle is slowly coming together and I feel that now that we have catering organised, the rest will flow together nicely. We are very excited to be sharing our special day with Femke and Eddy, the husband and wife team behind the successful catering service and cooking school Hééérlijk.

 Liesbeth Klaase and Femke Ditmars, Photography / Marlous Snijder for Oh Marie! Magazine

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Wedding Files: Save the Date!

December 29th, 2013

Hello! Did you have a lovely Christmas? The time just flew by so fast this year that it’s hard to believe Christmas has already been and gone. We’ve been spending some  much needed time together these last few days as things have been insanely busy the last few months with buying the house, renovating and very busy work schedules. We have managed to tick a bunch of things off our seemingly never-ending renovation to-do list, so it’s been a wonderful {sort-of} break.

So now that 2014 just about here, we have also been getting into wedding planning mode! We’ve been engaged for a year now and our big day is just over 4 months away so we also have that huge to-do list to contend with too! So to kick off my Wedding Files column once more, I thought I’d stop by and share with you our Save the Dates, which we made ourselves. I really loved a gorgeous Save the Date I’d spotted on Minted a few months ago {they have a huge and lovely selection, check it out if you’re in the market for beautiful paper goods!} but in the end we decided to save some pennies we could put elsewhere and I am so pleased with the result. We used one of the beautiful photographs snapped by Anouschka Rokebrand during our engagement shoot. As we had so many favourite images and couldn’t decide, I made two versions, one of which we sent out to our nearest and dearest. So this one is especially for you. Save the date, you guys!

Save the Date by Holly Marder/Avenue Lifestyle

Ok, now I’m excited! This month, I am meeting with my wedding dress designer to finalise the design and select the fabrics, and am hitting one of my favourite shops with a good friend to choose some jewellery to wear. We will also be selecting our caterers this month, which is also exciting because the food is a very important element of the celebrations. And some of my most cherished guests will be securing their flights over to join me up there on the aisle. It’s going to be a fun few months!

I’ll be sharing all the wedding details and inspiration on the Wedding Files column over the coming months as things gradually fall into place. In the meantime, drop into my Pinterest wedding board for a peek into the kind of gorgeous I am planning in the spring!

Have a fabulous new year and see you back here in 2014!


Wedding Files: Our Engagement Session Featured on Style Me Pretty!

December 6th, 2013

So today I am getting personal, and romantic. And even a tad mushy. And that’s OK every now and then, because it’s not very often that you find yourself splashed all over the pages of your all-time favourite wedding blog, hand-in-hand with with man you love. So, I hope you don’t mind me dropping in today, giddy with excitement, to share a collection of my favourite images taken recently of my fiancé  and I during our engagement session. Our incredibly talented photographer Anouschka Rokebrand did such a beautiful job at capturing us in the most natural, relaxed way, giving us a bunch of images to treasure that just ooze a love so tangible you can almost feel a warm glow emanating from the computer screen. And of course every girl wants to look her best on these romantic occasions, so just as well I had Katie Larcombe on hand to pretty me up for my husband-to-be! It was such a fabulous afternoon. Sigh…

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 6.00.20 PM

Our engagement session / Photography: Anouschka Rokebrand / Hair & makeup by Katie Larcombe

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Make a Floral Headband

October 10th, 2013

Hello! How are you doing? Do you feel as if the days are just melting away this year, or is it just me? I’ve been such a busy bee lately with so many things going on that I have been finding it a little hard to keep up. You know the old saying, ‘when it rains, it pours’? Well, it’s bucketing down over here and I am both loving it and willing things to slow down at the same time, worried that it might all just topple down around me. Between interior shoots that I am now doing on a weekly basis, regular columns I’m writing up for Houzz and Decor8, a huge new interior styling project and styled interior productions I’ve been doing lately with the wonderfully talented photographer Jansje Klazinga, I am positively swamped! Throw in a busy (and rather stubborn though delightful, of course) little toddler who spends at least 60 per cent of her day saying the words ‘no’, ‘nee’ and ‘mamaaaa’, a wedding next May which needs to be planned in full and a new house next month that needs a makeover, and that’s where I am at this point in time. Do I sound like I’m freaking out?! Maybe just a tad, but I am also incredibly grateful for all the wonderful things have eventuated from my hard work in the last few months. I found out yesterday that a recent production I styled with Jansje – the most amazing Rotterdam home – is going to be featured in the Dutch magazine VT Wonen! We also did another beautiful production that is going to make an appearance in 101 Woonideeën and the Belgian magazine Feeling Wonen, so all fantastic, and this weekend I am off to the Frankfurt Book Fair to hang out with my co-authors in the interiors book we all collaborated on recently. Exciting times ahead!


But without further ado, I am excited to share a pretty project that I recently did for a beautiful wedding event Engaged, which took place last Saturday here in my home town of Delft. I plan to take you on a visual tour of the event soon, but until the images are ready (as I didn’t get a chance to take any myself), I will start by showing you what I got up to! I hosted a workshop offering brides-to-be a few fun and easy DIY projects to try for their own weddings, not as an expert on crafting but simply as a bride-to-be myself wanting to share some of my own inspiration. I was a little nervous (OK, I was packing myself and no doubt had a face as red as a beetroot) but I went well prepared and with an open mind. I hosted three workshops over the course of the afternoon and evening, rotating with my good friends Nathalie and Tessa, interior designers at Nu interieur|ontwerp, who were hosting a moodboard making workshop. Within minutes of the event opening its doors, the entire workshop schedule had filled up! The energy was so positive and the ladies who joined our workshops were all adorable. I returned home with very tired eyes, but a full heart and above all, pride in myself, mostly for attempting the workshop in my broken Dutch – a milestone for me after 4.5 years of struggling with the language and all of it’s gurgling, long-worded glory!


As you have no doubt guessed by now, one of the DIYs on offer during the workshop was a pretty floral headband. If you haven’t already noticed, they are HOT this year for weddings. Big, small, bright, delicate, dramatic and dainty. They are all the rage and I am so on board with this trend. I expressed my love for them in a recent Wedding Files column, so I thought I would show my eager workshop attendees how to craft one of their own. I have to admit that I approached this task a little too confidently. My mum was a florist many years ago, so I kind of assumed it was in the blood. Not quite the right assumption to be making because attaching tiny little stems to a thin and slippery wire can be a fiddly little job! Trial and many an error led me to this method, which I think is one of the simplest ways to do this. So with the gorgeous leftovers from the workshop, I came home and crafted one just for you, complete with a full how-to so you can try it yourself. It is surprisingly easy with a few handy tips, and the results are just so pretty. So let’s get started! First up, you will need fresh flowers. I chose blooms that were available locally, and avoiding the typical orange hues that are available at this time of year, I went with muted purple-blue and soft pink tones to create this feminine and whimsical wreath. I really wanted to use lavender but it was not available, until then I found two die-hard sprigs in my garden at the last minute. Combined with rosemary, it smells heavenly. You will also need:

flower headband_4

flower headband_1

Step one: Start by cutting a length of aluminum wire (about 30cm long) using your wire cutters. Prepare short lengths of florist wire for later, as well as several lengths of florist tape, cut into thin strips (you’ll thank me later when you’re not grappling to wrap a fat piece of tape around a tiny little opening). Twist a long length of florist tape tightly around the aluminum wire and press it in with your fingertips so it sticks. You should feel a sticky residue from the tape on your fingertips.

Step two: Prepare several clusters of flowers of two or three varieties each and secure by wrapping the stems in florist tape. For example, I did one with a spring of rosemary and a small cluster of hydrangea. The fuller you want your floral headband, the fuller these bunches can be. I was going for a more delicate one, so I kept them at no more than three stems per cluster.

flower headband_2



Step three: From the centre of the aluminum wire, attach one of your flower clusters using a small strip of florist tape. Press it down to secure. Attach the second little cluster to the wire in the same way. It should be facing the first cluster, leading in the opposite direction. You should now have two pretty floral clusters in the centre of your headband.

Step four: Continue adding flower clusters to each side in the same way, using the thin pieces of tape you prepared earlier to attach the taped up stems to the aluminum wire. Stems should all be going in the same direction. You might need a little more strength in some areas, in which case use a short length of florist wire and wrap it around the area (see above), pressing it all down to secure it with the tip of the wire cutters.


Step five:  Keep working your way around the length of aluminum wire until you are pleased with the way it looks, as well as the balance of flowers, foliage and colour. Try it out on your head for size, and when it is about the right size, cut two lengths of ribbon (about 20cm each) and knot to each side of the headband, just beneath the last cluster of flowers. Secure it with a fat piece of florist tape and give it a squeeze for good measure. Snip the ends of the wire on each side and voila! You have yourself a floral headband fit for a fairy princess!




I feel a little cheesy adding that last image of me, but I had to show you it on! Pretty, right? I had such fun putting it together in our little garden with Lola by my side creating one too (actually she was on a mission to destroy all my attempts at keeping this one intact and trying to photograph it, the little monkey!). So there you have it, a whimsical crown made from delicate and fresh blooms.

Hope you enjoyed this little project! I’ll be back again soon with another tutorial on the other projects we did during the workshop, as well as a tour of the event itself as it was so lovely and inspiring.

Have a wonderful day!

Holly x

* Images original to Avenue Lifestyle by Holly Marder