The official blog for Harlow Garland Weddings and Events. To search for posts or view all posts, head over to our library which is searchable and categorised! 

Creating Your Save The Dates

Many couples decide to send out save the dates to their guests prior to their wedding invitations as a way of announcing the date of their wedding and other basic information. It also lets guests know that they will be invited to the wedding at a later date.

Are Save The Dates Necessary?

Save the dates are completely optional and depend on the couple and on the wedding. Although, if you are planning a destination wedding save the dates are often necessary. You may also want to consider sending save the dates to your guests if your wedding will be taking place during a busy time, such as the summer and over public holiday weekends. This gives your guests enough time to plan their schedules.

When To Send Them

It is best to send your save the date cards out around six months prior to your wedding. If you are having a destination wedding, you may want to send your save the dates out eight to twelve months prior to your wedding. This gives your guests enough time to save and plan for your wedding.

Who Should Receive Them If you already have your guest list finalised, it is a good idea to send everyone a save the date card. Even if you already have verbal confirmation from some guests, such as parents, siblings and your wedding party, it is still good to send them one. Although, when sending your save the date cards, keep in mind to be sure of who you are sending them too as you only want to send them to people who you definitely want to attend.

What Information To Include

Your save the dates should include your first names, your wedding date, the wedding venue and its location. Remember that you will still be sending out wedding invitations, which will include more detailed information about the day. Some couples also like to include ‘formal invite to follow’ on their save the date cards.

Should Your Save The Dates Match Your Wedding Invitations?

It is completely up to you whether or not you want your save the dates to match your wedding invitations. If you are yet to decide on a theme and style for your wedding day, save the dates are a good way to experiment. Keep in mind that your save the dates are your guests first look into your wedding, so do not be afraid to get creative – you want to create something that is going to get your guests just as excited as you are for your big day!

Creating Your Perfect Bouquet

Traditionally, wedding bouquets were seen as a symbol of luck and fertility and tossing the bouquet was meant to spread that luck to others. Today, wedding bouquets are a way to show self-expression and enhance the weddings style.

Creating your bouquet is one wedding detail that you should definitely not overlook. It is the main accessory to accompany your beautiful gown and will appear in all of your photographs - so it is important that you love it. As simple as it may seem, when creating your bouquet there is more to think about than just the type of flowers and what colours they are.

To help you, we have put together a basic guide for creating your perfect bouquet for your special day.

Gather Inspiration

When you first begin to create your perfect bouquet it is a good idea to collect images of different bouquets that you like to help you identify and understand the trends, styles, colours and flowers that you like best. Pinterest is a great tool for this.

Bouquet Style

Choosing your bouquets style is an essential part of the bouquet decision process. There are no set rules for styles but you may want to keep the proportions in mind so that it suits your figure as well as your dress. Your bouquet should not overpower you nor be too small. For example, a cascading bouquet may overwhelm a petite bride. For more information all about vast styles of bouquets, head over to our blog post on discovering your bouquet style.

Colour Scheme

The colour of your bouquet is another important element as you don’t want the colour of your bouquet to clash with the rest of your wedding colours. We also recommend not having too many different bright colours within your bouquet so that it does not stand out too much in your photographs. Instead, have a mixture of neutrals and colour to keep your bouquet balanced. It is best to talk to your florist about which hues they recommend using to complement your wedding colours.

Have It Reflect Your Wedding Style

Adding small details to your bouquet can help to bring your wedding style together. Brides often opt for fabric to tie around the flower stems that fits with their wedding style. For a more rustic styled wedding, twine is a popular and effective choice.

Keep It Seasonal

Like anything, flowers are best when they are in season. Having seasonal flowers will ensure that your bouquet looks its best throughout the entirety of your special day in person as well as when it its photographed. For a summer wedding, take a look at our Seasonal Summer Flower Guide.

Here at Harlow Garland, for your bridal bouquet whatever you wish, we can create it.

Season Flower Guide: Summer

Photo by Kate Little for Harlow Garland

Photo by Kate Little for Harlow Garland

Flowers are an exceptionally important part of most weddings as they can add an air of opulence to the day. When deciding on flowers for your wedding day it is best to look at what is seasonally available to ensure the most beautiful blooms and to avoid being disappointed. Today we are focusing on some of our favourite flowers available throughout summer to help you decide which flowers suit your wedding and season best.



First and foremost is the peony. Peonies have become exceptionally popular and demanded over recent years thanks to their full bulbs and ruffled petals and are especially popular among brides wanting to create a vintage theme. Available in white, hues of pinks and deep red peonies are a beautiful option for many. For a gorgeous statement, use peonies in your centrepiece and bouquet.



Hydrangeas are made up of many small flowers which create a beautiful full bloom. They not only come in beautiful pastels but gorgeous vibrant tones too. Hydrangeas are the perfect option for larger floral arrangements.


Dahlias are a lovely large bloom with lush petals. They come in a beautiful range of colours including white, yellow, orange, red and pink and are the perfect flower to add to your bouquet and centrepieces. Due to their size, dahlias are a great alternative to peonies if you are after a more affordable flower option.

Sweet Pea

Sweet Peas are a smaller, more delicate flower option with a lovely fragrance. Available in shades of white, pink, and purple, Sweet Peas look lovely and romantic arranged on their own but are also beautiful with other summer blooms.

Calla Lily

Calla Lillies are a popular flower choice among brides for its gorgeous elegant shape and large variety of colours. Available in lavender, yellow, orange, dark maroon and many more shades, there is a colour to suit all wedding themes. Calla Lillies are perfect for a more unique bouquet. For summer weddings, bouquets full of mixed blooms create a beautiful and fresh look.

Harlow Garland's specialty florals department, Blooms by Harlow Garland is able to bring your floral vision to life! Whether it's a simple bouquet arrangement or the full floral styling of your wedding, we'd love to discuss your vision and how we can make it a reality. Contact us today.

The Intimate Winter Wedding


The French Country House Tauranga (via)

The French Country House, Tauranga (via)

The French Country House, Tauranga (via)

Chateau Tongariro (via)

Chateau Tongariro (via)

Heritage Hanmer Springs (via)

Heritage Hanmer Springs (via)

It's hard to believe it's already February as we've been so wonderfully busy with beautiful bridal couples this busy summer wedding season, and though the sun still beats down hot upon our backs as we work away, our winter brides are now in full swing with their planning for upcoming winter weddings in a few months so today, rather than posting inspiration for a summer wedding, we thought we'd put the spotlight on winter weddings - how to plan, the style, the inspiration, the locales:

While we adore summer weddings, there's something so inherently magical about a winter wedding, especially so if you're granted the luxury of a snowy scene for your big day. While those locations may be few and far between in the major cities, heading a little out of town to Ohakune in the north island or Queenstown and surrounds in the south can bring an abundance of that winter wonder and the magic of candlelight and sparkling fairy lights.

Our director is particularly in love with winter weddings - the earlier hour of dusk, the warm firelight, the intimacy of a smaller gathering, the long sleeved gowns and fur accoutrements, the lush evergreen foliage and deep colours of the winter florals. Winter weddings should never be discounted simply due to the possibility of bad weather - it's even an old tale that rain on your wedding day brings good luck!


If your venue is a little further off the grid than a major city centre, factor in a back up generator to ensure the festivities aren't over far earlier than planned due to a powercut.

Choose a venue that is easy to get to with plenty of local accommodation and safe transport - especially if you're in a snowy locale nestled in the mountains.


Add extra travel time to get to your location(s) and consider holding the ceremony and reception in the same venue for ease of transportation and to ensure the day's events continue on schedule.

The usual timeline will be either brought forward or pushed back depending on what light you hope to capture. With dusk far earlier than in summer, your sunset ceremony may need to take place at 4-5pm while in contract a summer sunset ceremony might take place at 8-9pm. If you're hoping to capitalise on the darker more intimated winter feel, then you have a lot more freedom as to when you begin.

Talk with your photographer about the look and feel you hope to capture to work out the best timings for the required light.


For clothing options, look for 20s-40s influences with furs, cardigans, long sleeves, scarves and pashminas. A striking art deco beaded gown would look perfect paired with a fur shrug while an elegant form fitting long sleeved gown would look incredible with a simple updo and ear adornments - elegance is simplicity. For the bridesmaids, attire is far cheaper in the offseason and you have the perk of finding all of the deep berry hued dresses made for winter weather at the likes of Alannah Hill to select from rather than the usual 'bridesmaid'-specific gowns.

Colour Palette

While most colour palettes will still suit a winter wedding, we love to focus on the deep romantic berry hues, the jewel tones and warmer gold, bronze and copper metallics.


Think Romanov Russia, Gatsby Glamour or Woodland Vintage - three dramatic extremes but all perfect examples of winter wedding wonder:

Romanov Russia: Gold, glass, jewel tones, crystal, firelight, chandeliers, candlesticks, coppers, bronzes, trinkets, elegant and sleek attire, white roses or berry toned florals, very formal.

*Gatsby Glamour: *Black and gold or silver, glitz, crystals, balloons, champagne saucers, art deco attire, pearls, art deco fonts and designs, prohibition, feathers and jewels, white orchids and lillies.

*Woodland Vintage: *tree trunk slices, hollow out tree limb napkin rings, moss, pinecones, birds, feathers, greenery and antlers.


We love mittens and scarves or blankets for an outdoor ceremony for favours or depending on your theme, s'mores, candles, matches, sparklers for the send off, coffee beans, honey pots, handwarmers in mini hottie covers, snowflake trinkets - there are so many options that are outside the realm of the usual favour fare.


Think texture - winter has some incredibly unique and textural blooms. Apart from the variety of seasonal evergreen foliage, you're also gifted with dried flowers, or unique blooms such as

Guest comfort

In creating a memorable winter wedding, guest comfort is going to be a priority. If your ceremony will take palce in an area exposed to the elements, offer mittens, blankets or pashminas for warm favours and have a cosy roaring fire and patio heaters set up to warm the area. Incorporate velvet seating, candelabras and hurricane lanterns mixed in with fairy lights or edison bulbs and cosy reception seating.

Offer a variety of warm drinks such as mulled wine, spiced cider, tea, coffee, cocoa and hot toddies served in copper Moscow Mule mugs.

Winter weddings can be some of the most magical and memorable weddings - they're often significantly less expensive than summer weddings and you won't be competing with other couples for vendors but moreso, winter weddings are more intimate and feel 'warmer' than many summer weddings because there's almost more a sense of community within the bubble of the winter wedding locale.

Remember too, to utilise our free wedding advice portal where you can ask us anything about your wedding journey and we'll respond with the benefit of our 16 years in the business!

#FridayFlorals: Real Wedding Florals

For today's #FridayFlorals post, we thought we'd share some images from a wedding we did earlier this year for Lauren and Bart. We designed the ceremony arch which was created in conjunction with Blush Floral Stylists and La Lumiere (draping). 

This wedding was a full service wedding including all styling, planning and day of coordination - our favourite package. We love full service weddings because we really get to be a part of the journey, keeping the brides from becoming too embroiled in the unimportant details or family squabbles over seating and really just watch them enjoy the process and relax and really immerse themselves in their big day. 

For this wedding, the flowers were done by Blush Floral Stylists who imported all the Colombian roses which really stole the show in the arrangements!

Images provided courtesy of Amanda Thomas Photography.

Harlow Garland's specialty florals department, HGBlooms is able to bring your floral vision to life! Whether it's a simple bouquet arrangement or the full floral styling of your wedding, we'd love to discuss your vision and how we can make it a reality. Contact us today.

Click on the images in the gallery below to enlarge.