While you won’t see us giving timber and cheesecloth styled table scapes the boot anytime soon, we’ve got eyes for a hot new babe in town: travertine!
Used for centuries for building and furniture, travertine is now making it’s way in to the world of styling.
A travertine accessory adds a touch of elegance to any space. The natural colouration of travertine makes it blend well with other accessories you already have without clashing because one stone compliments another so beautifully.
What is travertine?
Travertine stones are actually seashells that have been compressed to form a mineral deposit. The deposits, which have a beautiful appearance, are made of compacted limestone. This deposit can be either soft or hard depending on the environment that the stone is in.
As recently as the 1980s, Italy was the only known location with travertine quarries—hence the reason you’ll notice the Italians make some amazing travertine furniture. Today, quarries are in operation all over the globe, including Turkey, Iran, and Mexico.
How are stylists using it?
Travertine “rough cuts” or “slabs” are great for styling. They bring a raw, textured element to your design.
We love using slabs of all shapes and sizes styled with candles, greenery and other accessories. It literally looks great with everything and comes in a range of colours and varying textures to play with.
As an event styling trend we are just seeing it emerge and expect it to grow over the next couple of years.
You can buy travertine tiles locally in tile stores, hardware stores and some homeware stores stock travertine accessories.
Event hire companies are also starting to offer slabs for hire.
How we can help
We have started growing our collection of rough cuts and slabs and you’re going to start seeing a lot more travertine in our styling over the next few months.
We are so spoilt for choice in Sydney when it comes to great public parks and reserves. Whether it’s a harbour view, serene lakeside or bush backdrop you’re after, Sydney has it all.
Unfortunately, as the picnic industry in particular has grown, the pressure on local parks and reserves has forced many councils to impose strict rules around how professional event companies can operate. Some charge booking fees, others require permits and some councils have been forced to ban professionally managed events all together.
The best option is a bookable venue, park or space. This ensures no grumpy ranger is going to come along and question your permits, no council rules will dictate how and when we set up, you know the toilets are clean and close by, the parking is good and we can extend the length of your event so you can enjoy for as long as your booking allows.
If you don’t have the budget to book a space, there are still lots of lovely parks where we can operate legally and create your dream event.
There are a few tips we swear by when picking the best spots:
Access: it’s important that your guests can easily access your chosen location. No one wants a 5km hike to the party spot (especially not us!). All our favourites have great access to parking and public transport links. FYI if access is difficult, we charge additional fees.
Location: Sometimes, the best spot for your celebration might be somewhere you hadn’t though of (or even heard of before!). We’ll ask you what vibe you want whether it be beach, park, bush or urban and then we can recommend some great spots that suit. If harbour views is your wish, it’s actually better to head OUT of the city for your picnic (unless you’re happy paying fees to the inner city councils & trusts for the privilege of using their space). You’ll actually get better views from the suburbs surrounding the harbour like Birchgrove, Balmain, North Sydney, Watsons Bay etc.
Amenities: NO ONE wants to walk a marathon to find the toilet. It’s so important to ensure the amenities are close enough for your guests, without being in the background of all your Instagram posts. We don’t recommend any picnic location where there aren’t amenities close by.
Shade: SOOOO IMPORTANT! The last thing you want is your drink getting warm and the chocolate melting in the Summer sun. All our favourite spots have ample shade and we know where and how it falls throughout the day so we know just where to set up to ensure you are comfy for the entirety of your event. We also have access to amazing pavilions and marquees through our event partners and have beautiful market umbrellas for hire as well.
Weather: You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather... But we can do the next best thing! We have a list of amazing indoor venues where our picnics and events look just as pretty as they would if they were set outside. Venues will always incur a small fee, but we think it’s worth it rather than the stress of when that storm is going to roll in and ruin all the fun.
Park & Council Rules: The most important part of planning your picnic is making sure the venue you’ve chosen allows picnics. You can’t just show up and set up professional events in most parks. Majority of councils, parks and gardens now require you to make a booking if you are using any external providers. We can help advise on which parks best meet your needs and we are across all the rules.
Food: It’s not a party without the food and drink but it’s no fun lugging it all in and then dealing with the eskies and empty bottles afterwards. We work with amazing caterers and grazing companies so no matter what you’re after, we can arrange it on your behalf.
Council websites are the best place to start when you are thinking about having an event in a public park or reserve. All councils have their own rules and regulations and you face hefty fines if you are in breach.
How we can help
This is what we do and we’ve been doing it for a long time. We have established relationships with the councils where we operate most and know the rules (and don’t break them!).
We can also review any paperwork you are required to sign with your venue to make sure what we have planned can go ahead and we liaise with them throughout the planning process.
Like fashion, wedding style evolves over time and trends come and go.
As stylists, it’s up to us to have our finger on the pulse and know what trends are emerging and what we’ll see in the next 12 months.
Styles that have gained popularity over the last few years and continue to grow are vintage, rustic and boho (lucky for us!). But don’t envision your Nan’s old lace tablecloth, these looks have become elegant and refined and really lend themselves to personalisation. They are also our speciality!
Wedding florals have gone insane over the last few years and now it’s not a matter of if you should have them but a must, and a lot of them!
Don’t worry, you don’t need Kim Kardashian’s budget to create an amazing floral impression. Florals can mean anything from those celebrity Instagram weddings right down to a low key backyard affair.
For the budget conscious, Baby’s Breath is making a huge comeback. Great for large arrangements, garlands and centrepieces, Baby’s Breath is soft and feminine with a classic familiar elegance.
Colours are very personal and the Bride and Groom will have strong preferences but there are key colours we expect to see more of over the next year.
A white wedding isn’t what it used to be. These days it’s more effortless and relaxed. Think less Princess Diana in her puffy prom dress and more Haley Baldwin in classic lace and beading.
Neutrals are timeless so it’s not surprising we continue to see their popularity at weddings. Neutrals take a back seat to the stars of the show, your florals and of course, you! They allow you to include creative elements that sing.
Pastels are a favourite over Spring and Summer. They bring a warmth and freshness that is familiar and inviting. Peach, dusty pink, mint and sage will be popular this season.
Metallics add a touch of luxury to invites, place cards, signage and cake design. Gold, rose gold and copper are trending and compliment most colour pallets beautifully.
Custom signage has grown in popularity over the last year and we only see it gaining momentum over the next 12 months.
Your wedding signage isn’t just about telling people where to sit, it can form an integral part of your styling and lead your guests on the journey of your day.
There are so many options to choose from and your overall wedding style will help you make a decision. Your signage should form part of your theming and integrate in the look.
Finding the perfect venue for your ceremony and reception can be one of the most stressful parts of the wedding planning.
The first thing to do is imagine how you want the wedding to look. Is it an outdoor soirée or a formal seated affair? Budget will also play a big part in the venue you choose.
If you know what you’re looking for but don’t know where to start, ask around. If you have a stylist or planner you want to use or suppliers that are a “must have” for your big day, ask them where they’ve done weddings before.
The most important thing to do is to be clear about what the venue provides and what you can and can’t bring in. A lot of venues require you to use their stylist and caterer where as others need you to supply everything yourself.
Whatever vibe you choose, be patient and look at lots of options. When you find the one, you will know straight away.
Remember, it’s all about you
Trends are a great place to start when planning your wedding style but remember it’s your big day and it should reflect you both as a couple.
Pinterest and Google are a great place to start. Do some research using the colours you like and that represent you. You might find seeing them in action might change your mind.
Wedding magazines are hard to come by these days but there are lots of online versions that offer great advice about industry trends and actual weddings.
How we can help
This is what we do!
Like any industry, all stylists have their own specialities, expertise and aesthetic. It’s important to find a stylist who understands your vision and can bring it to life within your budget.
Our first meeting with you is to understand exactly what you want in order to create your perfect day and to see if we are the perfect fit for you (that’s the most important part).
The most important part of planning any event is having a vision. It will make everything easier from sourcing supplies to picking a venue. With a clear vision of what you want the event to look and feel like, you narrow your focus and cut out all the noise.
A Design Board, commonly referred to as a “mood” or “inspiration” board is a collection of images that evoke the style or theme you want for your event. It’s a great way to start bringing your vision to life, it’s also extremely helpful to share with any vendors and even friends and family who may be working with you to ensure you’re on the same page.
The images you put together should represent your main ideas, using a coherent colour scheme and tone. Keep it personal to you, add touches that are unique and meaningful. Pinterest boards are great but you don’t want to simply be copying someone else’s special moment. Create your own story.
If it’s your wedding you’re planning, it’s important to sit with your partner and ensure both of you are represented individually and as a couple. Talk about what’s important to you, what are you passionate about and what special moments can you represent through the style and vibe of your big day.
Whatever your personality and taste, between creating your Design Board either on your own or with your stylist, you are sure to discover your own unique style and create an event that is authentic and unique.
Great apps for creating your Design Board: Canva, Moodboard (available on iPhone and Android).
PowerPoint and Word are great programs to use if you prefer the computer and you don’t have to learn any fancy new skills. Just copy and paste the images you like.
Paint swatches from the hardware store are great for helping convey your colour scheme and they’re FREE!
How we can help
All the events we curate start with a Design Board. This helps us get on the same page as you and gives you the confidence that we understand your vision.
So who is this Little Bird anyway? I thought it was about time I made a proper introduction.
I’m Ebby and Little Bird is my dream. Since I was a little girl I loved to plan (I was known as a little bossy boots back then – actually I’m still known as a bit of a bossy boots) but really, it was the beginnings of a career in management and organisation.
My background is in the corporate world where I had the opportunity to be part of event execution for over 15 years. As an ex governance professional I have extremely high attention to detail so being on event committees and ensuring things go off without a hitch was a natural fit for me. I also love socialising and meeting new people!
A few years ago, when my son was still very little, I decided to go part time to spend more time with family (kids grow up too fast!). Having time away from the office meant I could focus on my creative side as well and I felt like it was time to take a little leap of faith and start my own events business.
Thus, Little Bird hatched! With the help of my husband and little sister, we scoured vintage and thrift stores for unique pieces and started putting together an inventory of beautiful picnic supplies. Over the last 18 months that collection has taken over our home, garage and the shed out the back and contains some of the most amazing rugs, cushions, lanterns and props I could ever have dreamed.
The business was slow to start but word began to spread in our local community and around Sydney and now we are booked most weekends and have a list of beautiful clients (and new friends!).
My husband and sister still help out now and then but Little Bird is my baby and it’s me you will deal with from start to finish. I get so much joy from seeing a client approach their picnic, knowing I’ve been able to be part of a special occasion and create their dream set up.
Little Bird works alongside some other amazing picnic providers in Sydney and we all support and cheer each other on. It’s such a wonderful community to be part of. I could never have dreamed that my “competitors” would become such a big part of my own business and journey.
The future is so bright for Little Bird and I am so excited about what’s to come. I am now working full time in the business after taking a leap of faith and leaving the corporate world behind in 2020!
Check out our Signature Picnics and contact us now to book in your next event. I can’t wait to meet you xxx