Meant to bee

Odgers and McClelland turned "Wedding Stylist" for the day to help with finishing touches and an Italian grazing table at The Dag Sheep Station.

Wedding styling is not a direction we predicted for Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores, but when asked by a young ex-Nundle, Sydney-based bride to help out with the finishing touches for her Nundle wedding, the ideas started flowing. We have known the bride since her early teens. She taught our daughter violin for several years and when I was commuting between Nundle and Tamworth for a time, I would sometimes give her a ride if she had after school music lessons (or missed the bus!). Add to this her vision “I want it to look like Duncan’s shop” and the lament “You’re the only person I trust”, and we were just so flattered we couldn’t say no. So with “Wedding Stylist” hat on we talked about creating an Italian feast table where guests could graze at their convenience between courses prepared by the team at the wedding venue, The Dag Sheep Station. The bride and groom came up with some beautiful local touches, giving each guest a jar of Middlebrook Honey and Honeycomb, and enlisted the help of the knowledgeable ladies from the Nundle Garden Club to fill glass bottles of various sizes with blooms from their members’ gardens. Where we came on board was to brainstorm sources of local produce, suggesting bread rolls from Morpeth Bakery and rolls, cheese wheels, and charcuterie platters from Le Pruneau Restaurant. For candles we recommended Stax of Wax at Newtown and the bride took he own initiative and rolled her own beeswax candles for the tables, placed on individual vintage saucers. We also agreed a giant blackboard mapping out table seating was a must. When it came to decorating the “sumptuous” Italian feast table we started with a large timber dough kneading trough that we bought from our friend antiques dealer Kevin Blackwell. We filled the dough trough with five red and white five litre enamel buckets that held olive tree boughs laden with fruit, while Fowlers preserving jars were perfect for posies of Bay leaves, basil, and rosemary.New England Larder caramelised balsamic vinegar, Murray River Salt Flakes, a large tea caddy, stenciled timber tea box, coffee bean hessian bag, and 500ml enamel teapot for tea spoons were other O&Mc signatures. Wire mesh, and glass food covers, oversized white ceramic platters, mini easels holding blackboards with the words “Taste”, “Savour” and “Enjoy”,  and the food itself completed the still life. We woke to a bride’s worst nightmare – rain. Plans for a traditional Italian wedding procession through the village from Nundle Woollen Mill along Jenkins Street to All Saints’ Anglican Church looked shakey. But when the time came for outdoor pre-wedding drinks the sky serendipitously cleared and the procession went ahead. As guests arrived at The Dag, the “Wedding Stylist” was in top gear finishing the Italian feast display, placing condiments and bread sticks on the tables and lighting candles to the band’s funky sound check. Appropriately it was the bride and groom who outshone all other adornment. The venue, the table decoration, and the food were merely a romantic, rustic, country backdrop to their happy, beaming faces, young, in love, and celebrating with those they care about most. While we won’t be nailing a “Wedding Stylist” shingle to our door, we felt happy and excited to be a small part of our friends’ big day.

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