Vintage wedding decor  

If the words rustic, vintage and boho send goosebumps of delight across your skin when you’re planning your dream wedding day, then this one’s for you! Think of pieces sourced from all over, that give you that dreamy feeling of nostalgia - and you’re thinking of Handmaid.


Handmaid, based in the Kāpiti Coast, is certainly a product of love - in the words of Charlotte Lee-Butler. “My husband and I got married after many adventures together and I loved creating the celebration of our family, and thus the specific idea of Handmaid was born... We have an ever-growing range of vintage and boho items to hire and we also love to design and style celebrations too.” From quirky vintage props, furniture, decor and games, to the most delicious caravan bar Sadie Swoon (complete with bar staff and services!), Handmaid really has it all. They can even offer their styling services, and have it all set up for you, spending their time meticulously planning and designing their part in your wedding.


We asked Charlotte to share some wise words about upcoming trends in wedding styling and decor, as well as a few of her best tips and tricks for planning your day!


Wedding couples with Sadie Swoon vintage caravan



While not a style per se, I think New Zealand will continue to see an emphasis on really personal weddings that truly reflect the couple (which we love by the way) and at venues that they feel reflect them... I think we are going to see a bigger emphasis on florals, including the use of dried flowers and we’ll start to see more floral ceremony circles instead of (or indeed with) arches and arbours. Portable bars are on the rise that can be used in or outdoors and we’ll see more of them around the place too.


Vintage typewriter and flowers by Handmaid



For bolder couples, we’ll start seeing more fiery reds/tumerics/oranges in the wedding palette - pops in florals, napkins or going all out with these vibrant hues. However, I don’t think the more romantic blush/greens/whites are going anywhere as that’s just a great and achievable classical look for many couples.


Personally, I have a penchant for deep, jewel tones and if working with softer or paler colours, I have a weakness for pops of something bolder to create vibrancy. However, it really just depends on the vibe of the couple and I still love pastels and even simple, classy white and green weddings can give us goosebumps all over!




Argh, that question is too tough… However, Sadie Swoon (our vintage caravan bar) would have to be my favourite “piece” (if you can call her that!). I think she would be utterly insulted and outraged to hear such a demeaning statement. I’m certain that she’s an ardent supporter of the #metoo movement and of the search for gender equality the world over! Sadie is the result of soooooo much planning, thought, love, sweat and tears and was such a labour of love for us. She was not long ago a piece of crap destined for caravan heaven and yet, here she is now in all her glory – beautiful and also functional. She really does delight people near and far and somehow, wherever she goes, the party ends up based around her….not sure why!


Sadie Swoon vintage caravan at night



  1. When you are working with the wedding budget, make a list of all the wants and whittle it down to the non-negotiables for you both. The non-negotiables from couple to couple can be so different… At the end of the day, decide what it is that is most important to you. Obviously, it is going to be marrying your special someone, but what’s the next most important thing? For some, it’s the lasting memory and that’s why the photographer and/or videographers are so important, for others it’s showcasing New Zealand for overseas guests so the site/ceremony/venue can be really important. 2. The day truly will go by soooo fast. Think about what will allow you to enjoy every little moment. It might be delegating to trusted friends or family, or to outsource the planning/set up/pack down or on the day coordination. If you have children, I highly recommend having someone who is in charge of your children (if you have any) and who will whisk them away to bed so you can kick up your heels unimpeded later on. 3. I often say to my couples that the ceremony is really ALL about them. The reception then is a lot about their guests and showing them a great time, albeit filled with the couple's personalities... Re-focus on just you and your partner (and kids, if you have any and are you're involving them) and what you want to say to each other in front of your nearest and dearest.



In case it hasn't come through already... Just that we get SUCH a kick from being involved in weddings. It’s a true privilege and one we don't take from granted. We also take ‘giving back’ seriously at Handmaid and love that hiring is such a sustainable way to reduce waste at your wedding.... Even though we are a small business, we have never believed being small gives us an excuse not to give back in various ways - be it time or money. We provide financial support to local charities in Kapiti and also donate elsewhere to help make the world a better place.


And if you weren’t already in love with Handmaid after seeing their gorgeous work, Charlotte says there are more gorgeous things coming their way! “An exciting new hire edition to the collection is coming soon, which we can’t wait to share when it does! Squeeee!”


Keep up to date with all things Handmaid, and check out their listing.