Event planning & style guide: Resort luxe engagement party

Getting engaged is one of the most momentous occasions in anyone’s life, and being able to share the love and joy with your closest family and friends is something special. Here’s how we planned an engagement shoot that was giving ‘Resort Luxe’ – inspired by the location of our Director’s recent romantic proposal, in the breathtaking Bali.

It’s the dream, right? A stunning holiday off to Bali with your significant other, soaking up the sun and sipping on cocktails, working on that glowing tan. You head out for a romantic dinner, and then the love of your life is down on one knee and asking you to spend forever with them. We’re getting emotional just thinking about it, and this particular engagement holds a very special place in our hearts.

When we started planning this shoot, we wanted to bring that feeling to set, and showcase how that could be done with the right styling, venue and details. 

The brief:

Resort Luxe. We LOVE the concept of an event executed so beautifully that it transports you to another time and place, and we are even more in love with the result of this shoot. 

We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give a step-by-step guide on planning and styling the engagement shoot – and whilst this theme was giving a whole lot of boujee feels – you can easily use this guide to adapt it to your own vision for your upcoming engagement party – or any party for that matter. 

And if you need a little extra help – you know where to find us 😉 


Step 1. Set the theme.

Theme, vibe, mood – whatever you want to call it, this is one of our favourite processes and a crucial step. We head to Pinterest and Instagram and scour through images and videos to find the ones that jump out at us, and put together a mood board to perfectly encapsulate our vision.

The mood board will set the colour palette, the decor elements, the food and drinks you’d like, the floral choices that will work, the venue, and the overall look and feel.

Once you have your images and mood board locked in, the planning can officially begin, and it will all be a LOT easier having a visual to refer back to and share with your suppliers.

A colourful event mood board, with muted olive green, sunset orange, tobacco brown, marigold and powder blue, put together by Coral & Co., for Margot's engagement shoot in Melbourne.

For our  Resort-Luxe engagement shoot, we put together a mood board that was an homage to destination proposals. With muted olive green, sunset orange, tobacco brown, marigold and powder blue to incorporate a feeling of elegance in sunny locations – think the glistening water in Saint Tropez in the South of France, the golden sands of Cabo San Lucas, or a little closer to home in the lush greenery of Bali. These colours had not been mixed before and went against the grain – yet our Director was so inspired by these hues that stood out on her trip that it was a clear choice to mix them together.

Melbourne event styled setting plinth topped with a powder blue celebration cake with florals, a backdrop and tropical florals sitting in front of the backdrop and plinth.
Melbourne event styled setting - tropical gerbera flowers, by Coral & Co.

Step 2. Lock in your venue

The location of your event should be booked in before anything else. You will need to discuss several details with the venue that will make set up a lot easier – some questions to ask:

  • When can we bump in and out?
  • How long do we have to bump in and out?
  • Can we have our own music?
  • Can my event planner/stylist have early access to the venue to set up?
  • Are there any decorations that are off-limits? Some venues don’t allow glitter or confetti, for example.

Your venue may also have decor and furniture they can provide which will save a lot of money – and if not, this is another thing to factor in. Do you want different chairs or tables? A pop-up bar or food cart? A Photo Booth or photo backdrop? All things to think about! 

Added bonus when the venue has a fit-out that suits! Our shoot was held at The Running Postman in Camberwell, which was absolutely perfect. It had a touch of resort chic about it, which touches of azure that matched the blues in our mood board, and as we styled the elements together the result was striking.

The Running Postman ticked all of the boxes. It is dog friendly (the list could end here and be enough), can comfortably host up to 50 people, is located near public transport, has a friendly and welcoming team, and most importantly – they know their stuff when it comes to food and wine. Picking a venue that can offer superior service, food and drinks is often remembered and admired by guests.

Check out The Running Postman here for your next event, or just your next night out with the girls or guys.

Outdoor area of an event space used by Coral & Co. Dark blue stools sit next to dark stools and table tops. A grey sign, reading the name of the wine bar "Running Postman" in white writing sits on a wall which is also grey.
Melbourne event styled setting - inside of a wine bar. Blue and Orange spiraled candles sit in the the middle of tables, next to cut melons and coconuts. Bottles of wine sit on a shelf above the tables, against a concreted wall.
Melbourne event styled table setting with tropical florals and fruits and candles
Melbourne event styled setting wine bar

Step 3. Find your suppliers. 

And by suppliers, we mean the magical and clever humans that you’ll work closely with to make your dream event a reality. If you’re using an event planner or stylist (like us!) we will do most of the liaising and planning with the suppliers, keeping you in the loop as needed.

If not, you will have a bit of back and forth with them yourself to discuss the finer details such as colours, personalisation, food and drinks, number of guests, dates, bump-in and bump-out, budgets and timelines.

It’s a big job, and if it’s a large event you should be prepared for a lot of emails and admin, but we are the first ones to say it is absolutely worth it when you see the final result of your hard work and planning.

This shoot saw us collaborating with some incredible creatives, who well and truly ran with our Resort Luxe theme.

Elle Creative.

Having had the pleasure of working with Elle across several shoots and events, we knew her keen eye for detail and quirky personalisation would be the perfect fit. Taking care of signage, stationary, drink stirrers and tags, as well as the backdrop, Elle was able to see our vision and add her own flair. The elements she created were integral to the shoot being a success, and they were a wonderful example of how the smallest details can have the biggest impact.

Urban Antidote.

We love the florals that our talented florist comes up with at any time – but the concepts that we were presented with blew us away. A true creative mind, she was able to steer away from the traditional ‘tropical’ florals that we have seen many times before – there was not a palm leaf, pineapple or banana in sight. Instead, we saw the clever use of Asian fruits such as jack fruit which was a delightful nod to Bali. 

Single stem flowers and a jaw-dropping arrangement added the touch of luxe we were after. 


Having the theme circled around Bali, Dossé was the missing piece of the puzzle providing candles and stands created naturally with an eco-conscious and sustainable approach. The twisted candles and raised holders added texture, height, and an abundance of aesthetically pleasing photo opportunities.

Dossé sell tumblers and pot candles in an array of unique colours – we’ve definitely purchased a cheeky few to have around the house.

Hayden O’Neill.

No event should be without a photographer to capture the happy moments you’ll cherish forever. Hayden captured the shoot in a raw and authentic style – using a mix of in and out focus and somehow managing to keep the venue looking both moody and resort-like. 

Each of our styling elements got a moment in the lens, and the results speak for themselves.

The Bridal Aesthetic.

Providing a textured white plinth to hold the cake was a simple way of adding to the theme – we were instantly thinking of the whites of the buildings on the Greek Islands. Talk about luxe. The vases used for the single stem flowers were a dreamy ivory – a stunning contrast to the black candle holders, and a subtle pairing against the occasional pops of colour.

The vases can be purchased for you to add some beautiful decor to your home.

Violet & Salt.

We all know that no birthday celebration is complete without a cake, whatever your age.

The brief by our Director was to create a bespoke rock-shaped cake, with unique exploration of various textures and sculptural shapes. And Violet and Salt did just that; Through their intricate attention to detail and meticulous arrangement of flowers, V&S created a decadent cake complete with powder blue icing, it was structurally interesting and aesthetically beautiful. It was the perfect ‘cherry on top’ for the shoot, and let’s not even get started on the delicious flavour –one slice was not enough. 


As we know, it really is all about having the best photo opps for your socials. A personalised decal adds an epic element to an event that will have you pointing the camera in a heartbeat.

Initials, sparkles in the bathroom, and fun quotes were found throughout the venue for the shoot, which introduced the tone and enhanced the theme. We designed an entrance floor decal to mimic a hotel lobby entrance tile – with ‘Welcome To Engagement Resort’ giving a  5-star feel and cheeky party mood from the minute you walked in – if there is a chance to add a fun touch of personalisation that will wow your guests, we’ll take it.

Step 4. The fun part: Styling. 

To suit your style, and make it truly yours.

We took care of the mood board, the sourcing of suppliers and venues, and putting it all together on the day to give the gram-worthy finesse we are known for. Our premium styling, touches of luxury and softness combined with the colours palette was a direct nod to the destination proposal, and the feeling of love in paradise. The wonderful thing about what we do is having the freedom and flexibility to go all in, or keep things subtle. A Resort-Luxe theme definitely gave us a lot of inspiration to work with.

Step 5. Pick your outfit, and find the accessories to match.

Okay, sure, this one isn’t directly related to the styling of the event (or the shoot) BUT, isn’t finding the outfit one of the best parts of any event? It is for us. What’s the point in having a fabulous event if you don’t feel just as fabulous yourself?

You can probably tell by now that we are obsessed with opulent details that stand out from the crowd – which is why we believe no dress or outfit is complete with the frosting – the headband or jewellery, shoes or bag that ties the look together and takes everything up a notch. 

For example: A pearl bag to go with your killer outfit is the cherry on top of the already stunning cake. We snuck a little accessory into the shoot to keep it authentic – and we love the look of the pearls against the softer textures.

Planning and styling an event is a chance to unleash your creative side, express yourself, and in the case of this shoot – bring back one of the most special moments and celebrate the feeling. 

This guide is just the beginning – get in touch with us today to get started with planning your next event – we also offer consultations if you just need a nudge in the right direction. Happy planning party people!

Love Coral & Co. x

Images by Hayden O’Neill

Written by Kelly Mills