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FEATURE: STUDIO SPENCE – DESIGNER & WEDDING STYLIST

I don’t usually feature the work of other studios on this blog, however, I think that this lady deserves some attention… Allow me to introduce Kristine Spence, of Studio Spence – graphic designer and Sydney wedding stylist.

Back in 2016, I was hired to photograph Kristine and Shamus’ Berrima wedding reception (you can read about that wicked night over here). Something I recently found out, was that their wedding styling was so on point, that Kristine was asked by Richard Kemp from Eschalot Restaurant to continue working as wedding stylist for the venue’s other clientele.

Fast forward a year… I again made the trip south to photograph a garden engagement party in the Southern Highlands. To my amazement, the event was styled by Studio Spence. Although this might not have been a wedding reception, it’s amazing how an awesome wedding stylist such as Studio Spence developed this backyard into an awesome space for Rhiannon and Billy. This would have to be one of the best garden engagement party’s I have ever seen!

I turned up to catch the last of the daylight and walked into a fairly large backyard that had been completely transformed; with 2 rotisseries on the go; rolled blankets for warmth; a garden bar serving punch, wine and beer; a really awesome, custom designed cake made by Kristine with a watercolour icing design and custom laser cut cake topper (to match the font on the couple’s wedding invitations); 3 large half-cut drum fire pits with marshmallow dessert stand to go; and the whole space was covered with a false ceiling of coloured bunting and festoon lighting. But most amazing of all was an enormous wall-divider constructed out of recycled wooden pallets that kept the guest experience intimate. As Kristine recently posted on Instagram, “When you’re literally given a bare backyard you add colour, palettes and a whole lot of love”.

Kristine is a graphic designer by trade. She is based in Sydney’s inner west and has worked for Australia’s largest floral supplier as the sole in-house graphic designer before taking the leap in 2014 to start her own studio. Studio Spence offers a totally bespoke wedding styling experience to her clients. I thought I would give Kristine some airtime on this little blog of mine. If you’re looking for a wedding stylist in Sydney to assist with your wedding stationery or creating your dream reception, her contact details are available at the end of this post. I think I’ll let Kristine take over with a few lines to tell her story…

Pete: Let’s start with a broad question – how would you describe your design style?

Kristine: This really is a challenging question to answer as a wedding stylist. I would say my style is conceptual, eclectic and refined but it is mainly about my client and their vision. It is about being adventurous and thinking outside the box to create an event that truly reflects the couple in every detail.

Pete: Even more broad – What inspires you?

Kristine: Everyone I work with is so different and this in itself is really inspiring. Getting to know my client’s tastes, personalities, their story, and style guides my whole process. I also draw on a love of interiors, magazines, fashion, art, typography and nature to dream up an event that conveys real emotion and connections. I also have an unhealthy love of second hand and antique stores.

Pete: Where would someone find you on a Sunday morning?

Kristine: Sunday isn’t Sunday without breaky at a local cafe! I am a self-confessed coffee addict and if I can’t have eggs, sourdough and great coffee I feel like I’ve been robbed lol.

Pete: As a wedding stylist, what is the craziest design brief you have ever received? Was it this pallet wall?

Kristine: It was definitely a crazy brief but I loved every minute of it. As you mentioned it was held in a stock standard backyard. I had to start from scratch and create spaces within a space. We built two pallet walls, made chairs & bar tables and made 12 metres of colourful bunting. I did everything from conceptualising to executing the event, designing the invitations, making the cake, floral styling, cutting out the B + R letters with a jigsaw (I’m not afraid of a power tool!) and hand painting the signs. My husband is a carpenter by trade and I’m constantly roping him in to create unique pieces for clients so when I said I needed a pallet wall he was right onto it.

Pete: Where do most clients get bogged down when styling a wedding reception?

Kristine: There are hours and hours of work in planning, sourcing and executing a successful event. I would say people underestimate the time and end up jamming too much in at the last minute or relying too heavily on their friends and family to do the work. It’s always a good idea to consider hiring a professional who can expand on your vision and execute it down to every detail, leaving you and your guests to enjoy the day.

Pete: What would be one small piece of advice that you could give someone who is currently planning their wedding?

Kristine: Don’t lose sight of what the wedding is actually about: you and your partner’s commitment to each other. Focus on the feeling and emotion you want to invoke at your wedding and style your ideas around that. Ask yourself: what is the vibe we want to create – is it more of a formal or informal gathering? Is it a traditional, family-focused event or a laid back soiree? Start with emotion and build from there. Nowadays, a wedding is more of an expression of who you are rather than following a standard script. Don’t be afraid to think differently. Whatever you decide, it should always reflect your personalities as individuals and a couple.

If you’d like a wedding stylist for your wedding or special event, feel free to email Studio Spence on [email protected]. If you’re planning a wedding in the Southern Highlands and want to chat wedding photography, drop me a line here.

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