Kate Forsyth is more than just a friendly face. She’s a wife, mother and the co-founder and creative director of Good Day Club – a rad Melbourne company formerly known as Good Day Rentals that specialises in furniture hire, event styling, graphic design and creative workshops (and whose work you might have seen here).
We’re often asked by couples whether they should DIY their wedding styling. And our answer is typically some sort of version of the following: you absolutely can. But it pays to get to grips with what’s really involved, because we can tell you now it’s not something that you can whack together in a few hours before the wedding. And nor should it be – that time is most suitably reserved for smashing a couple of sparklings or beers with your wedding party.
So it’s your call, but know that if you want a flawless, eye-popping, professional look, definitely think long and hard- (or not: think short and fast) about bringing in a professional. There are people like Kate out there that make a living out of doing this because they are amazing. A great wedding styling will be able to work with you within your budget to tease out your vision and then make it even better.
Given that most of us aren’t too familiar with the real, nitty-gritty side of what wedding stylists do, we decided to go behind-the-scenes with Kate to see what a typical wedding day in the life of Good Day Club looks like. This is the part after all the planning, sourcing, custom-making – the part where the magic happens. Enjoy.
6:00am – Alarm goes off, Dave (other co-founder and GM of GDC) wakes me because I never actually hear the alarm (thank you ear plugs!). Jump straight in the shower feeling equal parts tired, pumped and nervous. It’s been more than four years styling weddings, but I still get nervous as well as super excited. We LOVE weddings! Today, it’s an edgy sunset vibe wedding for Becky and Gearoid at industrial venue Two Ton Max in North Melbourne.
6:15am – Dress in what has become my installing-a-wedding uniform; bright t-shirt, bright shorts, long socks, fluoro runners and giant earrings.
6:20am – Make scrambled eggs on toast for Dave and I. Force it down thanks to my nervous feels, knowing that I need good fuel for the long and intense day ahead. Drink it with a cup of earl grey tea. Normally we would all sit down and eat together, but our three year old is with my parents this morning because three year olds and wedding set-ups are not the best mix. So we miss his weirdness and silliness. Meanwhile at our warehouse…
6:30am – Over at the warehouse, a couple of our excellent casual staff have just taken our truck – God – out to collect a bunch of furniture from Collingwood Children’s Farm, one of our fave inner city venues. When they arrive back, they give everything a clean and a vacuum, getting rid of the serviettes down the back of couch cushions and the toothpicks in pot plants, ready for some of those items to go out to Becky and Gearoid’s wedding today.
6:50am – Dave makes his signature on-site lunch of hummus, salad and ham rolls. We also pack some fruit and other snacks, and several bottles of water. Taking care of one’s self on site is so important – you’re full of adrenalin at the time, and you don’t feel hungry or thirsty, but it’s a recipe for disaster if you don’t eat and drink enough fluids – the next day you’ll feel like a truck has run you down and then reversed over you a few times for good measure.
7:00am – Dave and I head off to the warehouse in Sunshine West. We listen to Run The Jewels on the way, because it’s fun music that gets us pumped for an exciting day!
7:15am – Arriving at the warehouse, Dave and one of our staff head off to Hertz to collect a second truck for the day. I get started picking the items we’ll need for Becky and Gearoid. It’s about two trucks worth, so it’s gonna take a while. Luckily I have help from our studio assistant and stylist, Stevie and a couple of other pairs of hands. This is probably my least fave part of the job, but I try to compartmentalise and not think about how I am a ‘fancy removalist’ as my mum once called me #thanksmum.
8:15am – God is all packed up full of ace velvet, pastel and print furniture items. We start packing up the second truck. There’s six of us so it’s all getting a bit awkward! I double and then triple check that we have everything on the pick list. And then I get nervous and add a couple of extra items ‘just in case’. I do this every time.
8:45am – We’ve packed up both trucks, triple checked we’ve got everything. Now I give the team a briefing on the set-up.
9:00am – We’re running super early, so I get everyone’s coffee orders, and we all head off for the short trip to Two Ton Max.
9:15am – Dave and I stop off at Auction Rooms in North Melb to get coffees. The barista says he digs my look and my giant earrings and tells me it’s very ‘Retrosweat’. I look it up on Instagram, and he is dead right!
9:30am – We arrive at Two Ton Max to our two waiting trucks. The DJ and the lighting and rigging teams are also running early (venue entry is not until 10am), so we drink our coffees and chat, before I give the team another brief about the venue’s rules (no tape on the floor guys!). It’s a super chill start to the day which is so rare, so I enjoy it very much.
10.00am – The venue opens and we’re on! YEW! Stevie and I direct the team about where to put everything – the worst thing is when furniture is put in the way of part of a set-up and you’re forever moving things to move things. Such a waste of time! The dining chairs get put immediately in place, lounge furniture stacked in the ceremony area, and all the bits and pieces (of which there are boxes and boxes. And boxes!) in the outside area.
10:15am – Stevie and I do a walk around, talk to the venue manager, discuss a change to the order of install for the lighting/rigging/stage folks, chat with the florist to make sure she is happy with the flow of things, and then get started!
10:30am – Two of our staff and one of the trucks leaves to do some other collections and deliveries.
10:45am – We made a sunset gradient ribbon and foil installation, built around the couple’s own red ‘Til Death neon as the ceremony focal point, which would become the band’s backdrop. I carefully unwrap it, position in and then direct the riggers to get it in place above the stage they’ll later install.
11:15am – Stevie and I talk napkin folds! I request she folds them into penises, she looks at my like I am crazy and I explain that I saw someone do that on Instagram. She also rejects my request of a swan #whateverstevie. The napkins we’re using for this sunset vibes design are a sunset orange, and are quite a firm fabric, so it turns out our folding options are a bit more limited than usual. We get out the name cards / menus (which are the coolest repeating sunset gradient!) and do a few trial runs, before deciding on a simple rectangle fold.
11:30am – Vintage silver candle stick holders are put out on the long tables, with a mix of sunset coloured candles. The flowers are put out too and the tables are starting to take shape.
12:00pm – I give the big marble bar a good clean because we are about to transform this bar with a sunset gradient custom decal – essentially three big bits of vinyl, custom printed, to cover the top, sides and front of the bar. It’s a beautiful bar, but it’s just not the couple’s style, so it was one of our priorities to design something to transform it in line with the concept.
12:15pm – Dave, Christian and I lay out each piece on the bar and make sure we have them the right way so that the gradient pattern flows from light pink, through to orange, onto purple and then indigo. We measure and mark for bloody ages to ensure we cut out the correct piece to make way for the sink and tap. It takes ages, and it’s a bit tense, because we only have one shot at this!
1:00pm – Stevie and I start with the side pieces to get practise before we do the biggest piece on top. We’ve done this twice before, but this is a different type of vinyl (suitable for wet areas) which is apparently less forgiving, so we’re a bit nervous. It goes on pretty well and looks bloody ace! We do the second side, and then begin to do the large top piece. The large piece takes a while and we have to stop and re-do parts a few times. It’s a bit tense, but we have each other’s back and we make it happen. Eventually it’s all on, and we cut small pieces to finish off the sink and tap areas. Stevie goes around with a pin to get the bubbles out, while I start applying the EL wire lights to the front edge of the bar to create a ‘neon’ vibe to give the whole thing some depth.
1:45pm – We get the venue manager to turn on the bar menu GIF projection and it comes to life on the big wall behind the now transformed bar. It’s coming together! Ame from Raven and the Rose places the epic bar story florals onto the bar – a bar story – which is a few very large vessels of florals where the vessels are not really visible. She’s done these in line with the sunset colours and gradient, and the overall look is wild and edgy and it looks amazing!
2:00pm – The caterers, Firecracker, have added white plates and pale pink chargers to the table set up, plus glassware and silver cutlery and it’s taken shape. Those gradient name cards are looking ace but we notice the pattern is not quite right so there’s a flurry of activity to work out they’ve used an old seating chart to set the tables. With some help from Stevie, it gets back on track and it’s looking super fine!
2:15pm – I start to put the final touches of the ceremony furniture – a rad mix of benches and lounge furniture, it’s super luxe and fun. The ceremony area will be re-jigged once guests move to cocktail hour – and transformed into a lounge area, dance floor and space for the band and DJ. We add flowers to the side tables, signing table (which is a record player!) and second bar (our pink pressed tin bar with added neon sign!). Raven and the Rose’s ceremony flower install is so amazing – I’m absolutely loving how it’s all coming together.
2:30pm – Up goes the seating chart with added ribbons and foil to complement the overhead install. And same for the welcome sign out front – we added complementing ribbons and foil to this too, which really added interest to the signs.
2:45pm – Our pink trestle table is now set up and the grazing table starts to take shape. As usual, you just wanna shove some cheese in your face but you don’t because you’re a professional goddamit.
3:00pm – We do a final walk around, checking everything, making probably imperceptible changes (to other people, but not to us!), and running through the run sheet to make sure everything is done. And done perfectly! Our photographer arrives to shoot styling set-up photos for us. When we love the design of the wedding we will often get a photographer to shoot it for us, to ensure we get lots of amazing shots of our work for our future marketing and social media purposes.
3.15pm – Dave arrives back after going to collect our little guy Remy. Remy and I have a lovely reunion of cuddles and kisses, and then he crawls around the stage pretending to be a cat for 15 mins while I give final briefs to the venue manager, Stevie (who is staying to do the re-jig of the set-up post ceremony), Christian who will be bumping this out with two other staff at midnight, and about seven other vendors who have started asking me a billion questions. I think it’s my rad tool belt that makes me look like the person who you should ask questions.
3.30pm – I hug the caterer and the florist and Stevie, and say my goodbyes to the lovely venue people. We’re about to jump in our car when Carlo from Lunar Red Films turns up and so I have to hug him too. We’re so excited that he’ll be shooting this wedding, because his work is ACE!
3.35pm – I grab a beer from the esky in the back of our ute, we put on some tunes and hit the road. I drink my beer feeling super happy with how it all turned out and pumped for what an amazing night our rad couple are going to have. I then do an Instagram post and put several photos of the set-up on our stories. It’s been an ace day and my heart is so full! My feet are sore, and I am sweaty and a bit of a hot mess, but it’s all part of the job.