We were delighted to recently catch up with the lovely Hannah from Studio Porter, the London based creative studio specialising in design-led artistic weddings and intimate events. We asked Hannah some questions about her process and approach to wedding styling. Read on to find out more...
What sort of things do you look for in terms of vessels that can be used for wedding styling?
I tend to look for items or objects that have a uniqueness and elegance to them. This could be in the overall shape or design or even the material. It's all about working closely to the Design Guide that I create for each wedding, where it's my job as a stylist to source and find styling items that work well for each individual couple's brief and vision.
It's also important to find and work with items that are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye but are practical too. It's key for these to be versatile, so that we can utilise them in various ways, and it can also help, if not hired in, that they're items that can be repurposed again post-wedding, whether it's in the home or for another event.
Is there a main/key aesthetic you're known for?
All of my weddings will have some sort of artistic flair. I'm known to create weddings for clients that are unique to their individual style and personalities, where I love to create events that have meaning and purpose.
It's about working closely with each couple to help create a day that feels totally inspired by them and their story.
I'm also inspired by art, travel, interiors and fashion, so I'm constantly looking through magazines, visiting galleries and absorbing various cultures, which all contribute to my designs in some way.
Is the versatility of the vessels you choose important?
It's incredibly important for any vessel and/or styling element to be versatile. I'm forever testing and experimenting various ways of styling a certain element ahead of a wedding as it's up to me to come with and suggest different ways of utilising a product or vessel in order to keep it fresh and unique.
It also helps me with my own personal styling collection if the objects I use regularly throughout my weddings can be re-used and re-styled differently every time.
What GAIA item do you most enjoy styling with?
The collection as a whole is fantastic. It caters to and provides planners, stylists and couples with items that are difficult to source and find here in the UK. There aren't many suppliers who produce contemporary styling items like these.
They are items that are used so regularly within the wedding and events industry but they provide a more modern and contemporary take to the usual candle or card holder that we may usually see.
My personal favourites though would have to be the textured votives and sculpture dish. I recently featured the votives at a wedding this year and they added that extra touch of texture and stone-like element that I was hoping to bring to the overall Californian-inspired tablescape.
The bowl is then perfect to use for wedding cards, displayed fruit, confetti...almost anything! Mine is currently sat on my dining table at home, it's too pretty to store away.
What's your favourite part of a wedding to style?
My two favourites are the ceremony and the tablescape. They're two of the most important and impactful moments of a wedding day and areas of the day that require the most thought.
The ceremony is such a personal and monumental moment and one that should feel extra memorable and special. It's one of the first set-ups that guests witness for the first time and can really set the tone for the rest of the occasion.
The tablescape can then act as the perfect canvas to create something magical. I love coming up with and designing tablescapes because it's an area that enables me to be really creative. It provides an excellent conversation starter at the table and a 'wow factor' when the couple enters the room for the first time and they see it all come together.
Do you personally find it easier when you have more or less input from the bride and groom regarding what they want?
I try to encourage my couples to be as involved as possible, especially for the fun elements. I think it's important for couples to experience the planning journey one way or another. I always start my process with an in-depth Q&A and request as much information and inspo as possible from both bride and groom.
The more information that's provided to me, the better. I can then pick and choose what I think is worth exploring further, ultimately creating a vision that is completely tailored and suited to each couple.
However, it's important to mention that there always needs to be an element of trust when it comes to working with your wedding suppliers, especially your planner.
I work with couples who vary with their involvement, but regardless of how involved they are, most importantly, all of them wholeheartedly trust me with their wedding day and are happy to leave me to it if required.
Can you share any insights into up and coming trends for 2024?
2024 will bring us more bigger and oversized styling. Think big bows, dramatic draping and statement florals. More fashion-forward weddings will come into play, with many brides opting for a more modern silhouette, with up to three outfit changes throughout the day (because one wedding dress is definitely not enough!).
Guest experiences and multi-day weddings will continue to be popular, with an increasing emphasis on entertainment and production, as well as pre and post wedding day parties and events.
What's the most fun wedding trend or theme that you've worked on this year?
This year I decided to take a bit of a step back from work, as I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world this Spring. However, looking back at some of the weddings I've created so far up until this point, there isn't one that stands out amongst the rest.
Each wedding is so different and unique to the individual couple, it's hard to compare. It's certainly fun bringing various visions to life - Whether it was an elopement in central London with a couple who initially wanted a big wedding but ended up opting for an intimate one instead.
It meant they were able to enjoy a Michelin Star dinner together in a private room, surrounded by a flower meadow and mood lighting. Something I don't get to organise often but probably one of the most romantic settings!
Compared with a couple choosing a new barn conversion in rural Wales for over 10 guests, with a vision all inspired by the surrounding landscape and Autumnal setting.
You can find out more about Studio Porter here and follow Studio Porter on Instagram.