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Favour Ideas For Your Wedding Day

Favour boxes by Bespoke by Harlow Garland. Image by  Adelina Photography

Favour boxes by Bespoke by Harlow Garland. Image by Adelina Photography

Many couples opt to give each of their guests a wedding favour as a memento of the special day. Here are some of our favourite wedding favour ideas that you can easily create.

Mini Potted Plant

Mini potted plants are a great choice for your wedding favours that can also double as a place card! When choosing a plant, succulents are perfect option because they are easy for your guests to care for once home. Opt for small pots that coordinate well with your wedding colours and tie around a ribbon to add a card with each guests name.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers are the perfect favour option for a Spring wedding – and also double as a gorgeous piece of décor! Display bunches in metal buckets on a tiered stand next to your doorway. Once your wedding comes to an end, invite guests to take a bunch of the blooms as they are leaving.

Personalised Chocolate Bar

Personalised chocolate bars make for a wedding favour that everyone is sure to love. Choose your favourite store bought chocolate bars and personalise them by rewrapping them in paper that coordinates with your wedding theme and colours. Tie ribbon or twine around each one and add a piece of card with the bride and grooms name and the wedding date – here you could even also write a short message to each guest!


Candles are a thoughtful wedding favour that is sure to last well after your wedding. Choose one scent or a variety and if you are making your own, put them into containers that suit your theme – whether this is a mason jar or teacup.

Jar Condiments

If you and your partner are the foodie type, then jarred condiments are the perfect wedding favour idea. As they are simple to make in bulk, opt for your favourite jams, pickles and chutneys. Add labels with what is inside and personalise with each guests name!

Mini Wedding Cakes

For something slightly different than the traditional tiered wedding cake, opt for mini wedding cakes as your favour. Put the cakes into individual boxes and decorate them to coordinate with your wedding. This is also a great budget option.

Candy Station

Candy stations are becoming increasingly popular for wedding favours. Have a table with a variety of sweets where your guests can pick and choose their favourites and then put into bags to take home with them. For something extra, have your bags personalised with the bride and grooms names and the wedding date.

Creating Your Wedding Reception Seating Plan

Image by Danielle Bohane for a Harlow Garland real wedding

Image by Danielle Bohane for a Harlow Garland real wedding

Arranging your friends and family into a seating plan for your wedding can be a tricky task – especially because it can only be done once you have received all your RSVPs and finalised the guest list. There are many different things to think about, should you have a table dedicated to children? Do certain family members not get along? To help you with the process, follow our basic guide to creating your seating plan.

Formal Seating Plans

Typically couples opt for a formal seating plan for their reception to create ease. Guests like to know where they will be sitting and it will take away their anxiety over everyone having to find a seat. A seating plan is also helpful for caterers. If you have guests with dietary requirements, having a seating plan will help to get their specific meal to them with ease.

Bridal Table

The bridal table is usually a long, rectangular head table that is situated at the focal point of the venue. The Bridal table seats the bridal party. Traditionally, the bride will sit to the groom’s right, the maid of honour on his left and the best man to the bride's right. The rest of the party follows, alternating male and female. Although, you can configure this table how you please. Quite often, couples opt to have the bride's party to the right and the groom's party to the left.

Parents Of The Bride And Groom

Traditionally the parents of the bride and groom are seated together at a table along with any grandparents. However, couples with divorced or separated parents would not be comfortable with this arrangement. Instead, you could seat each set of parents at different tables with their parents and any other close family or even friends.

Create A Mixture

For your remaining friends and family, it is always best to mix and match people around. Try to seat people with others they are comfortable around, as well as adding in people they may not know as well. If you have a few guests that don’t know anyone else attending the wedding, try seating them near people that might have similar interests to them.

Children’s Table

If you have a number of children attending your wedding you may want to seat them all together at a children’s table. If you have only a few children attending, it is best to seat them next to their parents.

Seating Chart and Place Cards

A seating chart is usually placed near the entrance of your reception. Here your guests will be able to see a list of all guests with their designated table. Place cards with everyone’s names are to be arranged on each table to show the guests designated seats at the table.

Bridal Survival Kit

hot by Kate Little for Harlow Garland

hot by Kate Little for Harlow Garland

When it comes to your wedding day, it is best to plan for all scenarios. No matter how thorough your wedding day itinerary is, small glitches can often happen. That’s why we have put together a wedding day survival kit, to help your special day go by without a hitch.

Whether your updo is falling out or your lipstick is wearing off, we have rounded up the bridal wedding day must haves to help keep you feeling and looking your best! Collect these essentials into a cosmetics bag that colour coordinates with your wedding theme and hand it over to your maid of honour for safekeeping and emergency touch ups throughout the day. This survival kit can also be the perfect gift idea as a bridesmaid to the bride-to-be.

Lipstick – First and foremost to have in your survival kit is your lipstick (or lip gloss). On your day there will be much talking, eating and drinking so having your lipstick on hand is vital for many quick touch ups.

Perfume – Having a miniature or sample size of your favourite perfume on hand is perfect in order to quickly freshen up throughout the day.

Bobby Pins And Hair Ties - Bobby pins and hair ties will be your saving grace if your updo starts to come undone or if you decide you need your hair out of your face for all the dancing at your reception.

Blister Plasters – Keep on hand blister plasters in case of any unexpected blisters. To avoid needing to use them, we recommend wearing in your shoes around the house prior to your day to ensure they are comfortable.

Tissues – Your wedding day will no doubt be full of happy tears – especially when it comes to speeches. Keep a travel size pack of tissues on hand to wipe any tears away and avoid any running makeup.

Face Powder – A good face powder is a must have to keep on hand for any fading of your makeup or perspiring. Face powder is especially important if you have if you oily skin to help keep your makeup looking fresh all day and night long.

Hairspray – Keep a travel-sized bottle of hairspray on hand to keep your hairstyle fresh and perfectly in place throughout the day – hairspray is especially important if you are donning a chignon or updo.

Compact Mirror – You wont want to be leaving your guests every couple of hours to go to the bathroom and check your makeup, so keep a compact mirror in your survival kit for on the go touch ups.

Panadol - What could be worse than getting a headache on your wedding day? Keep panadol in your survival kit for any unwanted aches or pains.

Comfortable Shoes – In case of aching feet, bring with you a pair of comfortable or flat shoes for the reception – you will thank yourself for it!

Venue Spotlight: The Rippon Hall

The Rippon Hall- an impeccable location overlooking its own vineyards, Lake Wanaka and the mountains beyond, what more could you ask for?

Its endless styling possibilities are just one reason The Rippon Hall such an appealing venue. After 30 years of planning it was wisely built from the land, the walls made from compacted earth dug from the hillside and trusses built from the land’s own forest.

The surroundings of The Rippon Hall, offer a natural amphitheatre, gift in prospective brides an array of options for stunning outdoor weddings.. The majestic atmosphere created by the backdrop of the vineyards, Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps are an ever popular location to hold your nuptials. For an even more private option, opt for the nursery site, nestled intimately between the vines.

Choose to share your vows in this romantic setting, followed by continuing the celebration on the expansive terrace or in the grand hall. The main hall can also be the perfect option for an incredible winter wedding. With its native rimu flooring, it is a blank canvas to really let your unique touches and imagination shine.
Imagine opulent white draping, a sparkling night sky of fairy lights overhead,, or floral garlands woven among the rafters, all framing the stunning picture window which looks out to that inimitable view. All with the roar of the lavish log burner which works quietly to keep the room cosy and intimate.

If you prefer something slightly more exclusive for your special occasion, The Rippon Hall also offers a smaller loft space. Should you opt to simply spend your ceremony at Rippon, there are options to suit you also, with the various extraordinary outdoor spaces and The Rippon Hall allowing for smaller or larger gatherings.

The extensive caterers’ kitchen opens onto the hall’s terrace, surrounded in lush evergreen, it is the perfect location for post ceremony drinks and canapés while the guests watch as the newlyweds are photographed among the vines.

As Rippon is one of Otago’s oldest vineyards, they are pleased to serve their own wines at all of the venues weddings. With the well-deserved worldwide reputation that Central Otago has for its Pinot Noir, Rippon has various popular and delectable Pinots. Not to mention the other varieties that Rippon’s vineyard has on offer. To select your favourite of Rippon’s wines, it is suggested you attend a wine tasting in the venues own wine tasting room in the weeks prior to your wedding.

With access to The Rippon Hall from the day prior, you have extensive time to hold your rehearsal dinner as well as prepare your decor for the big day, with proficient staff to work alongside you. This ensures your special day will run as smoothly as possible, giving you time to truly enjoy and take in the exciting and memorable experience that it is.

With its spectacular backdrop, there are many photography locations to choose from, the likes of the verge of Lake Wanaka, intertwined in the vineyards or in front of the main hall’s warm firelight during the winter months. Whichever you may decide upon, you can be certain that your wedding will result in exquisite photography.

With its fantastic facilities and remarkable setting, The Rippon Hall is a timeless and opulent venue beyond compare ready and waiting to impress you and your guests for your wedding or next event.

Harlow Garland is the exclusive wedding planner for The Rippon Hall.

How To: The Basics of Mismatched Bridesmaids

Image by Kate Little for Harlow Garland, bridesmaid attire by Alannah Hill, Wedding gown by Vinka Design, Hair by Inspired Hair

Image by Kate Little for Harlow Garland, bridesmaid attire by Alannah Hill, Wedding gown by Vinka Design, Hair by Inspired Hair

Having to decide on a bridesmaid dress that the entire of your bridal party will love as much as you do can be a daunting task. Luckily for you, the trend of mismatched outfits is becoming increasingly popular.

If you’re considering letting your bridesmaids choose their own dresses, it can take a lot of unnecessary stress off your shoulders, as well as making sure everyone is happy and confident. However, the mismatched trend can also come with a variety of challenges in regards to ensuring your bridal party doesn’t turn up looking disjointed.

Follow our quick tips and options on following the trend to make sure you and your bridesmaids still have uniformity – you still want everyone to look like part of your bridal party in the end!

Mismatched Dress

Having each of your bridesmaids in a different style of dress ensures that each of them are dressed in a way that is flattering to their own body type. Often when having different dress styles, the bridal party decides to have all dresses in the same colour, this helps to ensure a cohesive outcome. Differing the dress styles is a sure way to please your whole bridal party – especially because there is a better chance that they will want to wear the dress again!

Mismatched Colour

Having an array of colours in the same dress style is one of the most popular ways to follow the mismatched bridesmaids trend. Keep it balanced by staying in the same colour family or complementary colours, the likes of lush tones of royal purples or pastel peach. Opt for a colour that fits with the rest of your wedding and décor for ultimate wedding consistency.

Mismatched Dress and Colour

If you are wanting to go all the way in the mismatched trend, try mismatching your bridesmaids dress style as well as the dress colour. However, keep in mind that this can be overwhelming and may look disjointed. Try to keep some aspects similar, maybe you want to have all dresses the same length or of similar fabrics.

Mismatched Accessories

If you’re not compeletly sold on the mismatched trend, keep it more subtle by mismatching hairstyles, shoes or accessories and keeping the dress style and colours the same. This is the perfect option if you are wanting to go for the more traditional bridesmaids style while still keeping on trend and contemporary.


Set up a Pinterest board with all your bridesmaid inspiration. This way your bridal party can see and understand the dress styles that you like as well as colour palettes. Pinterest is an effect way to give subtly direction and guidelines while also providing your bridesmaids with more freedom.

Follow us on Pinterest here!