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Sydney event planner shares biggest wedding styling dos and don’ts and budget alternatives

An Australian event expert has revealed her biggest wedding styling dos and don’ts – and the one popular flower she would never use.

Kimberley Burrell caused a stir for criticising common wedding styling trends like baby’s breath flowers, ceremony arches and hessian table runners in a series of viral TikTok videos. 

The Sydney stylist, who has been planning weddings for more than 15 years, also suggested some alternate décor ideas that won’t break the bank. 

 

 Sydney event expert Kimberley Burrell (pictured) has revealed her biggest wedding don’ts in a series of viral videos and her decorating tips she suggests couples do instead

Kimberley said brides to be should not opt for hessian table runners or décor as it looks 'trashy' but instead use linen or linen look individual napkins (pictured right is baby's breath - a 'no-go' flower choice because of the unpleasant smell)

Kimberley said brides to be should not opt for hessian table runners or décor as it looks ‘trashy’ but instead use linen or linen look individual napkins (pictured right is baby’s breath – a ‘no-go’ flower choice because of the unpleasant smell)

Kimberley, who heads The Marmalade Sky, said brides to be should not opt for hessian table runners or décor as it looks ‘trashy’. 

Instead, she suggested individual linen or linen look napkins to achieve the ‘same sort of style and effect’. 

While linen napkins may sound like an expensive alternative, Kimberley said a linen blend is much cheaper, and can be found for as little as ‘two bucks a pop’. 

‘Don’t have gum and baby’s breathe as your table styling. It’s kind of just the lazy way to do the green and white colour palette and baby’s breathe smells like cat p***,’ Kimberley said. 

The stylist ranted about how baby's breath flowers have caused an 'unpleasant experience' for guests at her events if used 'en-masse' calling it the 'worst wedding trend ever'

'It's not because it looks bad, it's actually looks phenomenal, I personally love this trend...the problem is this smells horrific,' she explained

The stylist said baby’s breath is the ‘worst wedding trend ever’ not because of how it looks but because it smells ‘horrific’ and shouldn’t be used in large amounts on tables

Event expert’s wedding styling do’s and don’ts 

❌Don’t have hessian table runners

✅Do use individual linen-look napkins

❌Don’t use gum leaves and baby’s breath as your table styling

✅Do use classic flowers spaced around the table in elegant glass vessels 

❌Don’t cover an amazing view at your ceremony with an arch

✅Do have a low ceremony floral design

❌Don’t have tent fold place cards

✅Do incorporate the guests’ names into the menu to avoid clutter 

❌Don’t have hanging floral installs or tall centre pieces at a venue with a standard or low roof 

✅Do install floral arrangements from the ground up

❌Don’t book a venue with an established aesthetic and chose contrasting décor

✅Do book a venue that suits the design and style you’ve already got in mind

Source: The Marmalade Sky 

In a video, the stylist ranted about how baby’s breath flowers have caused an ‘unpleasant experience’ for guests at her events if used ‘en-masse’ calling it the ‘worst wedding trend ever’. 

‘It’s not because it looks bad, it’s actually looks phenomenal, I personally love this trend…the problem is this smells horrific,’ she explained. 

‘No one wants to have the smell of athletes foot wafting over the table while they’re trying to eat their steak or fish.’

Kimberley added her sentimental applies to when the popular flower is made into huge bouquets and instalments but small amounts of the popular flower in larger arrangements won’t cause a noticeable odour. 

Alternatively, she suggested using ‘clean classic flowers in elegant glass vessels’ to achieve a green and white colour palette saying a few bouquets spread over tables will be much cheaper than a big baby’s breath and gum leaf garland.  

‘Don’t pick an amazing ceremony spot with an amazing view and then put an arch in front of it – you’re going to lose the goddamn view,’ Kimberley said. 

‘Do have a low ceremony floral design so that you can have both the flowers and the view.’ 

She said while a bigger low floral arrangement may cost a little more, it can be repurposed, split into smaller bunches and used as décor at the reception. 

‘Why use it for 30 minutes during a ceremony and then never see it again?’ she asked. 

Another thing Kimberley warned against was ‘tent-fold’ place settings for each guest and said to instead incorporate each person’s name on the menu.  

‘It’s just one less piece of clutter that you’re going to put on your table, or don’t have menus at all, just have a cocktail style wedding,’ she recommended. 

Kimberley discouraged couples from paying for big floral arrangements hanging from the roof or tall centre pieces if their venue has a low or standard ceiling but to rather style from the ‘ground up’.  

Kimberley said not to use a ceremony arch in a place with an 'amazing view' as it will block the scenery and suggested a low floral arrangement instead

Kimberley said not to use a ceremony arch in a place with an ‘amazing view’ as it will block the scenery and suggested a low floral arrangement instead

Another thing Kimberley warned against was 'tent-fold' place settings for each guest and said instead incorporate each person's name on the menu to avoid table clutter

Another thing Kimberley warned against was ‘tent-fold’ place settings for each guest and said instead incorporate each person’s name on the menu to avoid table clutter

‘Get a nice lounge, maybe a neon sign, something that provides a photobooth opportunity and build a wow factor from the ground up. Less claustrophobic, less boxy, less closed in,’ she said. 

Her final tip is not to book a wedding venue with a set look or aesthetic and style it with décor that doesn’t match it’s theme like, for example, putting rustic decorations in an art deco building. 

‘If you start mucking around with the existing aesthetic of a venue it’s just going to end up looking silly, it’s going to look messy, it’s not going to make sense, there’s not going to be any cohesive flow to the design,’ she said. 

Kimberley said if a venue has low or standard height ceilings not to opt for hanging floral arrangements or tall centre pieces but rather style from the 'ground up'

Kimberley said if a venue has low or standard height ceilings not to opt for hanging floral arrangements or tall centre pieces but rather style from the ‘ground up’

‘You’re probably going to waste a s***load of money because you’re going to have to a lot to try and cover up the existing aesthetic.’ 

Collectively Kimberley videos racked up more than 560,000 views and many of her followers were thankful for the advice.

However, not all were convinced and criticised Kimberley’s takes saying people should be able to style their wedding however they want.       

‘I think I’ve planned and styled…a buttload of weddings during my career so I’ve learnt a few things and these are my tips and tricks. If you don’t like them that is totally fine,’ she replied. 

‘Remember the only thing that matters at the end of the day is you get to marry the person that you love everything else is a damn bonus.’ 

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