I know the thought of styling your big day can seem overwhelming. You’ve spent the last few months, if not years scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram and no doubt a wide array of wedding magazines. You now have an abundance of images and are full of conflicting ideas. At first, it may seem as though you have too many ideas to start narrowing them down to one theme. Don’t worry, I’ve created a list of tips on how to start compiling your ideas.
Consider Your Venue
Your venue will dictate a lot in regards to the styling of your big day. Therfore it is really important that you don’t work against it. You chose this venue for a very good reason, so it’s now about showcasing this for all to see come your big day.
You may have chosen your venue based on it having extensive grounds, or the fact that it has a modern decor. So now is the perfect time to revisit this reason.
This reasoning speaks volumes about what type of day you are looking to achieve. If you love that your venue allows you to have an outdoor ceremony, followed by a cocktail drinks reception, then show this off. Make this a focal point of your day. You might do this by creating a selection of personalised cocktails with complementing canapés.
If you love your venue because it allows you to relax and not succumb to tradition, then play to this by offering guests a sharing feast to remember. Have this brought to the tables on an array of platters for guests to dive into. Let the food speak for itself.
Things To Consider
It is important you consider why you love your venue and how you see your day flowing, before you get down to the styling of your big day. You don’t want anything to come across disjointed or unconsidered.
1. The type of venue you have chosen
If you’ve chosen a barn for your big day, then this is going to have a completely different feel to a stately home. Work with the styling/decor/colour ways of your venue not against them.
2. The rooms/spaces it has to offer
It is important to consider what part of your day you will be having in which location of your venue. This will heavily dictate how much styling or what details you may like to add.
- Is your ceremony onsite?
- Will this be indoors or outdoors?
- What is the room or outdoor space and what features does it have to offer?
If you’re getting married in an ornate 19th century chapel, then there may be no need to add detailing to your ceremony. Let the beauty of the chapel speak for itself. You can almost over decorate and take away from something naturally beautiful.
If your getting married outside, consider what time of year it will be. Will there be an abundance of flowers filling the gardens? Is there ivy growing up the archway where you say I do? Again you might not have to add anything to your ceremony, it may already be done for you.
Visit your venue at the time of year you are looking to get married. This way you can get a feel for what the space would look like, the lighting, the scenery. Always make sure to take pictures. It’s always good to have an idea of the space you are working with. This can massively help when pulling together your ideas.
3. Can you use your decor and styling elements more than once?
For instance, if you have tall floral arrangements for your table center pieces, can these stay on the tables during your evening reception? If your evening reception is taking part in another room, could these instead be moved to the bar or evening food station?
It is really important that you consider where your decorative elements are being placed and what overall impact you want them to have on the room.
4. What part of your day do you want to show off?
To do this you can break your day down into a timeline as below (every timeline will differ)
Ceremony – Drinks Reception & Photos – Wedding Breakfast – 1st Dance & Cake Cutting – Evening Food
Now consider where each of these elements will be taking place and which will take up the most time.
This is important to consider as it will help you to work out what you would like to dedicate your styling budget to and why.
Is it that your drinks reception is reflective of your love of cocktails and you want to wow your guests with something more than prosecco? Why not arrange to have a ‘feature’ bar installed in your venue, with mixologists serving personalised cocktails. This will add a bit of theatre to your day and will get guests talking among themselves. You could always go that extra step and arrange for an image of the two of you to be printed on top too.
It is good to have an idea of what is important to you both, then you can start finding ways to make them standout for your guests too.
This is something that I advise you to consider throughout your planning process. Seasonality is crucial in providing you with the best quality your suppliers have to offer and can be very expensive trying to source products which are not in season. You may also risk sacrificing on the quality too, something which I don’t advise. This really is your opportunity to show off the time of year you have chosen to get married, something I would always advise you incorporate into the styling of your big day.
How To Do This
1. Choosing flowers in season
If you think flowers are going to be a key part of your decorative styling then speak to a florist who uses lots of beautiful seasonal blooms. Work with colours which reflect the time of year you are getting married in. For instance, in Spring soft pastel colours work really well, if you are getting married in autumn a tonal orange and auburn palette is really warming.
Don’t ask your florist to source peonies in December, it’s just not feasible and isn’t reflective of the time of year you have chosen to get married!
2. Select food and drink to match the time of year
If you are getting married in mid July and you hope to have your wedding breakfast out on the terrace, under the suns rays, then you probably don’t want a 3 course Yorkshire Roast. Be mindful of the overall feel you are trying to achieve. Instead opt for Mediterranean sharing platters full of light fresh salads, fish and olives. You don’t want to overfill your guests so all they want to do is go to their room for a nap.
Instead of having 3 courses, why not offer more canapés and have a 2 course wedding breakfast instead. This all goes towards building the ‘theme’ of your day.
3. Choose a complimenting colour palette
If you are getting married in a stately home, then rustic detailing probably isn’t going to complement the decor. Some stately homes offer feature rooms, decorated in rich and opulent colour ways. Therefore, you may wish to offset this with a soft, light colour palette full of ivory’s and green’s.
The colour of your attire can really aid in building your colour palette too. Choosing suits/dresses to compliment your flowers or the time of year is crucial. A light blue or grey suit works well in spring and summer months, whereas heavy tweeds or navy work well in autumn and winter. Don’t underestimate how important these elements are in creating your overall theme.
You may even wish to match these colour ways to that of the ribbon which ties together your bouquet or that of your chair sashes.
Added extras are things such as napkins, charger plates, cutlery, crockery and glassware. Little details, which if added correctly, can make a big difference to the styling of your big day. Done incorrectly, these can distract massively from the aesthetic/theme you are striving to achieve.
You don’t need to throw everything at your wedding. Small touches can make a big overall impact, if done correctly.
Details To Consider
A good quality napkin goes a long way. They are not only a practical necessity for your guests, but a lovely way to add detail to your table setting. These come in a variety of colour ways and fabric choices and can be folded in an array of styles. This is another way for you to showcase your colour palette.
Your venue will most probably provide ‘standard glassware’, however you could also look into sourcing coloured or styalised glassware from a hire company such as Whitehouse Event Crockery or Duchess and Butler. It is worth noting that this can be costly and may not have a big enough impact on the styling of your day to warrant the additional spend.
3. Cutlery and Crockery
Another great way to add a touch of luxury and ‘wow’ to your tablescape. These won’t go missed by guests and are an added detail especially if you are opting for a simplistic center piece. By adding a charger plate or coloured cutlery, you really can create impact in the overall aesthetic of your table design. Again an added cost, but very effective.
As you can see there really is a lot to consider when styling your big day. Creating a carefully constructed theme can go a long way to building a cohesive look. This can feel like one of the most challenging and time consuming aspects of planning your wedding, therefore it is the prefect time to bring a wedding planner on board. They can help you to channel all of your ideas and bring to life your dream day.
Image Credits – Freya Raby Photography / Phoebe Jane Photography / Anna Beth Photography / Hannah Brooke Photography / Wynn Davies Photography