The Melbourne Cup is renowned for its flamboyance and splendour. Yes there are horses and we all get excited when they run. But it’s also so much more than that. It’s a day where you can really think creatively, make a statement and put together an event that has some serious WOW factor. Keeping your guests reminiscing for the entire year about what a great time they had and not caring that they can’t even remember which horse won the race.
Whether you’re planning on hosting a corporate lunch for your well-deserved employees; You’re putting on a private party for clients or friends; Or you’re throwing an extravagant Tipi event to seriously impress - we have you covered. Our experience and expert tips on how to design a Melbourne Cup event will see you hosting a stud event with both ease and great style. (Oh and we also have some great cliché horsey puns for you to cringe at… because it’s impossible not to. #SORRYNOTSORRY)
Here are our 7 top styling tips….
1. Think bright, bold and theatrical colours
The Melbourne Cup is a fun Spring event - one that invites light, bright and fun colours as well as a bit of theatrical design. This is the time to get in touch with your more adventurous side!
There are no strict rules when it comes to choosing colors for Melbourne Cup Day attire, but the spirit of the occasion encourages you to go all out. Think big and bold! Melbourne Cup fashion is all about making a statement, so consider wearing eye-catching pieces like wide-brim dressy hats, beautifully embellished headbands, sculptural headpieces, or striking fascinators. Embrace the opportunity to express your unique style and go all-in on your fashion choices.
The key thing when working with bright colours is to make it a feature through decor elements such as flowers, stationery and textiles. Spring has an abundance of beautiful bright flowers to play with - so let your floral arrangements speak for themselves. Go for a neutral lounge and dining setting but throw in some vibrant cushions, rugs and accent pieces to rein in the fun (rein - get it??). Tie it all together with a statement piece such as a floral installation or photo wall to get a cohesive (and theatrical) theme going.
2. Add a touch of glamour
It’s one of the biggest events of the year and alongside the Melbourne Cup race track you can expect to see big gowns, sparkles, sequins and impressive headpieces. It’s all about the glamour! So use this as your inspiration to inject some glam into your event.
Styling with metallic gold and silver tones adds a touch of sophistication to your space. Think gold vases, glitter cushions, gold cutlery and other decorative details in things like your centrepieces, charger plates, glassware and even stationary.
Keep in mind that we’re also seeing a seventies trend this season, so think about the possibility of adding a touch of lace, crochet, macrame and wicker into your styling. Paired with more contemporary pieces, these will really create a stylish and on-trend setting for your guests.
3. Run with your theme
It’s a race after all. So embrace the theme and take your guests on a journey that’ll appeal to their sense of fun. Weaving in a meaningful event theme is an effective way to deliver a message.
It all starts with defining the reason for hosting an event. Is it to drum up brand recognition? Reward hard-working employees? Working this out alone will spark some great ideas for the event. You can set the tone for your theme from the very beginning with the invitation. And then keep it running through every detail of the event - little details such as the race book covers and pens, your menus, the room styling and even the staff uniforms. Keep your guests intrigued by creating a cohesive event that stays true to your brand and theme.
You can also have a lot of fun with your catering selection - which is something that really anchors your theme. More on that next!
4. Food and drinks
The type of food and drink you choose is going to depend on what your theme is. But your general options are usually a sit down lunch, food on the go or a cocktail party. A picnic style setting also works great for race day events, as your guests can cluster around a lower table amongst soft cushions and ottomans to watch the races unfold in comfort. And of course food trucks are super popular at the moment and add to that carnival feel. Plus they’re logistically easy. So something to consider!
Whatever you decide to go with - there needs to be plenty of food on hand. Especially if the drinks are flowing…we don’t want people horsing around after too many drinks on an empty stomach.
There’s also lots of fun to be had with the drinks - can a champagne fountain ever be too extravagant?? Discuss your catering options with your stylist to see how you can work the food and drinks into your theme. It’s important to get that right to ensure you have both a cohesive theme and keep your guests excited.
5. Create chill out zones
Speaking of champagne fountains, the bar is hands down going to be the hub of activity at any Melbourne Cup event and the perfect place to create a bit of a chill out zone where your guests can mingle. A decorative bar sets a fun tone to your theme and the rest of the day, so think about styling it with bright fresh florals, signage, and beautiful crystal glassware to give it that luxurious touch.
A relaxed lounge area is also a great idea as it gives your guests a place to retreat and relax when they start to get a bit of racing fatigue. Comfy couches and ottomans will be a lady-in-heels best friend by the end of the day. And a TV screen in that area wouldn’t go amiss either!
Also, don’t forget to think about the comfort of your guests if you are hosting an outdoor event - it’s a long day in the sunshine so if you haven’t organised a gazebo then consider some market umbrellas for your outdoor seating areas.
6. Photo backdrops are a sure bet
A photo backdrop is a sure bet (last one, promise!) for your Melbourne Cup event and gives you all sorts of opportunities to be creative. Afterall, guests go through a lot of effort to glam up for the day - so they want an excuse to capture that in style!
Think along the lines of a lush green wall, floral installation or a more simple white timber backdrop dressed in colourful blooms. Throw in some fun signage and props and you have a sure crowd-pleaser. Make sure you also nominate a hashtag for instagram!
Lots of fun to be had and your guests will appreciate having a gorgeous setting to get a visual memento of them all dressed up! Plus you have an added statement piece to carry your theme through. It’s a win-win!
7. Get frocked up
Let’s face it, Melbourne Cup is as much about Fashion as it is horse racing! It doesn’t matter if you’re not at the Race, it’s a great excuse to frock up! As part of the celebration, you could also host a cheeky fashion show or prize for the best-dressed lady and man.
Get in touch to see how we can help create the perfect event contact us on 07 5470 2468 or at [email protected]