Q&A - The Event Merchant Co
The Event Merchant Company is a speciality tableware rental business for weddings and events. Enamoured with the art of entertaining, Co-founder, Annie Hodder shares her passion for table styling and her travels curating pieces that form their collection. Be it vintage-inspired to contemporary designs, it's a luxury range from dinner plates, charger plates, fine and coloured glassware, cutlery and small tableware, that can be tailored in any combination to create a uniquely set table and event.
What inspired the creation of The Event Merchant Co?
My own wedding experience! While planning my wedding, I wasn’t able to source the tableware I was looking for and had my heart set on. From a young age, I’ve always been loved the art of entertaining, and when I began travelling in my early 20’s, I started collecting tableware pieces from all over the world. I’m alluding to my age, but online shopping and social media didn’t exist during those travels, and so I would collect pieces from markets and one of a kind stores and post them home or somehow manage to fit them in my suitcase. When it came to planning our wedding tables I was looking for beautiful pieces that would create fond memories for our guests; however, the range was limited in the Melbourne market at the time, and so my husband and I created The Event Merchant Company.
Describe your style philosophy.
Romantic, artful, tailored and joyful.
What are your tips for creating the perfect wedding place settings?
Most of us have set the table at home; it’s a ritual we participate in from a young age. Remember when your parents used to ask you to set the table for dinner? Your wedding day is the most meaningful table you’ll ever dine at so be considerate of your guests, be inspired to create an artful experience and be brave with your selections; functional doesn’t have to be boring! More often than not, the most excitement and surprise arises from unexpected choices, and your guests will love the details you put into your table setting.
Why should couples enlist a stylist?
Stylists have a tough job, their role is not merely to make an event pretty, although that does help! A stylist or planners role is to infuse the history of the couple into the event to create a more meaningful story. They’re tasked with creating intangible moments that take guests on the ride of the couple’s journey and ensuring each special touch leaves a lasting memory. That alone illustrates their importance on your wedding day and why they are invaluable!
Is choosing a wedding theme a must?
Pinterest wedding fever can take over while planning your own nuptials, and even though many styles or ideas may appeal to you, they might not always work together. This is where a stylist or planner can provide guidance and pull your wish list into one cohesive event.
Choosing a theme isn’t always necessary either, as each wedding should pull the personality and story of the couple together to make the day unique. Ultimately, the theme should be the bride and groom!
Which items are your favourite from your hire range?
That’s like trying to choose your favourite child. Honestly, I can’t pick a favourite! Each time we style a table, I have a new favourite product and combination. I love seeing the endless options our clients create, and every place setting varies from one to another.
A LITTLE MORE PERSONAL
What inspires you?
Gardens and the country, particularly in spring and autumn when the colours are so vivid. Travelling the world, history and books. I love a good coffee table book!
What is on your playlist presently?
Bahamas ‘Lost In The Light’ and Joshua Radin’s ‘I’d Rather Be With You’ are on high rotation at the moment. I stumbled across each artist on a Spotify playlist, and anything Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong always feature too.
Next travel destination?
Lake Tahoe, California! We’re heading away for our winter break to a friends wedding in the USA and then to Tahoe to hike and enjoy the outdoors.
Favourite food spot?
Le Bon Ton in Collingwood, in addition to the authentic atmosphere and southern and cajun style food, their cocktails are sensational. It’s no longer on the menu, but I always order a Southern Belle.
I love Dahlias! Anemones also have a special place in my heart as they featured in my wedding bouquet.
What don’t you leave home without?
You will always find a small bottle of a Jo Malone fragrance in my bag, a Burts Bee’s lip balm and a notebook and pen. I’m old school and prefer to write rather than type!