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Planning Advice, Styling & Décor

My 5 Wedding Breakfast Styling Tips

So not to disappoint here is my latest blog post (as voted by you) – My 5 wedding breakfast styling tips to help you to narrow down all your styling ideas. This blog will walk you through the 5 details I consider when designing a wedding breakfast.

1. Colour Palette

I always start with my colour palette. Your colour palette sets the tone for the whole aesthetic and decorative details. I use my venue to draw inspiration for this.

I consider the style of room where the wedding breakfast will take place, how the room is decorated and any prominent features it may have. I also like to think about what season the wedding will be taking place in.

Then I go on to create a colour palette consisting of 5 key colours which I will draw from for my florals, linen, table settings and décor details throughout. Adding more colours than this can overwhelm and almost over power the overall aesthetic you are hoping to achieve.

Remember less is more when it comes to your colour palette. Keep it refined, considered and cohesive for optimum impact.

2. The Venue

The overall aesthetic of your tablescape should align with the style of your venue. You want to chose decorative details to compliment your venue not contrast it!

Start by considering which 3 words you would use to describe your venue? Now think about your wedding vision and the way you want your wedding to be described.

Once you have these words consider the different ways in which you could compliment and encapsulate this vision.

This is something I go into much more detail with my couples during their wedding consultations and venue site visits. Do remember, styling your wedding day is a progression of ideas and does takes time and a lot of consideration. Don’t worry if this is something you feel you keep coming back to and evaluating.

3. Table Style

What style of table will you be having? This is such a crucial factor to consider and one which plays a big part in the whole design of your tablescape.

I consider different layouts and details depending on whether I am styling a long trestle or a round table.

With long trestles you tend to have less ‘spare space’ you mainly have the space which runs down the centre of the table. Whereas on a round table you tend to have a larger amount of central space to work with.

Next I consider what the tables look like and the setting of the wedding breakfast.

Traditionally most round tables will need clothing as they tend to be pretty ugly (in my experience). However a lot of long trestle tables are designed with beautiful wooden tops and work really well unclothed. These tend to work best in a more rustic or outdoors setting such as a barn or marquee. Therefore you may feel like adding a simple table runner down the centre of each trestle to add a hint of colour and texture.

If you have opted for a stately home or hotel, for your wedding breakfast then I would definitely recommend the addition of table linen. This adds a level of sophistication and crispness to the overall look and styling of your wedding breakfast. A beautiful base layer for you to style as you wish.

4. Menu Choices

This is a big one and one a lot of couples don’t consider! Your menu choices make a significant impact on your styling choices and the way your tables are laid out.

Think about the menu choices you have made; have you opted for sharing or plated?

If you have opted to include sharing elements then you need to consider, where these will be placed on your tables and how easy it will be for guests to reach and share these dishes amongst one another. I personally find sharing menus work best with long trestle tables. Most trestles divide between 6 guests (perfect sharing numbers) and have the ideal amount of space down the centre for sharing platters.

If opting for sharing you may find you have less space for decorative details. Therefore make your food the star of the show! Create varying heights using risers and trail soft foliage along the centre of the tables to add detail and colour. Why not consider dotting bud vases, taper candles and tealights along the table to add interest and detail.

If however you decide to opt for a plated menu then really the only thing you need to make space for is salt and pepper and accompaniments. Therefore you have more space to dress and style the space on your table as you like.

5. Height Variation

Considering height is crucial to a successful table design. If your guests can’t see one another it makes it really difficult for them to engage in conversation. Your wedding breakfast is a key element to your day and takes up a big proportion of time, therefore you want guests to enjoy themselves.

You can create height variation in so many different ways including;

  1. You could mix and match the centrepieces you have on each table (this works really well if you are having round tables). Opt for a hurricane vase with pillar candle on one and then a high floral vase arrangement on the next.
  2. You could opt for one tall floral arrangement as a main centrepiece then decorate the outside of this with small votives, tealights, bud vases etc.
  3. Or why not vary the heights of the floral/candle arrangements you have running down the centre of your table. You could achieve this by alternating between taper candles, tealights and varying floral arrangements.

I do hope you’ve found my 5 wedding breakfast styling tips a useful starting point.

This is definitely an area I spend a lot of time discussing and reviewing with my couples all to make sure the venue and vision for their day aligns. If you would like to find out more or want help with elements to consider when designing your wedding breakfast then do get in touch.

I’d love to hear from you!

Image Credits – Emma Ryan Photography / Anna Beth Photography / Freya Raby Photography

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Planning Advice

What Is A Micro Wedding & Why Might You Have One?

So what is a micro wedding I hear you ask!

A micro wedding is typically a wedding which contains 50 guests or less and is not to be confused with a small wedding or elopement.

Well, what’s the difference between a micro wedding, a small wedding and an elopement then?

A very good question!

Now the difference between a small wedding and a micro wedding does seem to vary depending on who you talk to! Not at all helpful, I know.

A micro wedding traditionally involves no more than 50 guests, where as a small or intimate wedding is based around an even smaller guest count (20 or less). A small wedding might also follow less traditions or formalities (however this is not always the case). For instance, couples may veto a cake cut and first dance. Or opt for a less formal sit down wedding breakfast and instead have a family style bbq. Some would suggest a small wedding is all about the ceremony and marriage commitment rather than the ‘extra’ details.

Whereas the definition of an elopement wedding is “to run away secretly in order to get married”. A marriage which consists of the two of you, plus a select few witnesses, these may be people very close to you or people you’ve never even met before. Most couples who elope tend to pick a location away from their family home, somewhere meaningful to them as a couple. An elopement can be seen as a ‘hassle free’ way to tie the knot, without the pressures and expectations from family and friends.

5 Reasons You Might Consider Having A Micro Wedding

Micro weddings are definitely not to be seen as micro in any way other than the guest count. They often contain the same fundamentals and traditions as a larger wedding. With some arguing that micro weddings allow you to tailor and personalise your wedding to your guests, providing a more bespoke day. This is mostly due to couples allocating a similar budget for a wedding of 100 to their wedding of 50. This results in a larger budget to spend on elements such as personalised decor, fine dining and luxury drink offerings. 

1. Share your special day with your nearest & dearest only!

As you have decided to focus on a smaller guest list it’s important that the people you do invite are your most nearest & dearest only.

Don’t get sucked into the whirlpool of plus ones, work colleagues and family friends. Having a micro wedding is all about spending the most personal and special day of your lives with your favourite people.

Make it clear from the outset that you intend on having a micro wedding so hopefully no one will be left confused as to why they haven’t been invited.

2. Get creative

A whole host of different venues will become available due to your reduced guest list.

This may even include places which feel more personal to you as a couple, such as your favourite restaurant, art gallery or museum or even your own back garden!

See this as the perfect opportunity to go off piste. Select a venue which may not traditionally be seen as a wedding venue or one others may have to rule out due to guest numbers. It’s another way to create a day truly unique to you, your partner and your lovely guests.

3. Lets talk food & drink

A lot of couples who decide to opt for a micro wedding do so, so they can spoil their guests (and themselves). Think about it, it is the perfect opportunity to go all out and select the finest quality food and drink possible.

With more money to spend per head, as well as more time to spend with your guests, what better way to do so than sipping your favourite cocktails or tucking into a delicious 5 course taster menu?

Why not look to allocate a greater proportion of time to your drinks reception and wedding breakfast. This will create a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing you and your guests to enjoy the day rather than feeling as though you are rushing from one thing straight to the next.

You could opt for a specialist bar offering a bespoke cocktail and champagne menu. You could look into creating a tasting menu with wine pairing, prepared by your own Michelin starred chef. Whatever it might be, make sure it adds a ‘wow’ and excitement to your day. Make it a talking point for all of your guests. It’s the perfect opportunity to create something you might not find at a larger scale wedding.

Top Tip

Whatever you do though, don’t forget about the importance of ambience!

Your luxury dining experience won’t feel so luxury when there’s no background music. Music helps to set the tone, so think about what you’re trying to achieve and make sure your choice in musician or band reflects this.

Do also make sure to think about how your entertainment will transition from day to evening. Do you want something more lively in the evening to get guests up partying? Or are your guests the type to sit and chat all evening long? As you’ve only invited your very nearest and dearest you know them well, so pitch your entertainment at what you know they’ll enjoy.

4. It’s all about the details

Go all out with the finer details and personal touches. Source suppliers who focus on creating bespoke and personalised items, rather than mass produced ones.

Do something different with your favours. Instead of offering guests a foil wrapped chocolate, why not have a local chocolatier make each guest a box of beautiful hand painted chocolates.

Alternatively, why not look to have each of your guest’s names hand embroidered on each napkin. Not only will this add a beautiful finish to your place settings, but it will be a lovely keepsake for each of your guest.

Don’t underestimate the importance of these little touches, your guests will really appreciate the extra effort and time you have gone to.

Things To Consider

Why not go one step further and hire items such as charger plates, coloured glassware and luxe table linens. Decorative details when combined make one hell of a statement.

5. Quality time

For some, larger scales weddings can almost feel overwhelming. Some couples see it as a way to celebrate in the company of everyone they know and love, whereas others find the concept completely stressful.

For couples worrying about how much quality time they will be able to spend with their guests and each other, a micro wedding might just be the answer.

A micro wedding means fewer guests, so in theory more time to spend with each one. Time to chat, grab a drink and to take a moment out just the two of you. As a result, you could argue that you spend less time entertaining and more time celebrating. Sounds like the perfect solution to me.

Top Tip

Whatever you do, don’t forget to hire a photographer to capture your day.

You’ve gone to every effort to create a highly personalised and meaningful wedding, filled to the brim with love, happiness and your favourite people.

So make sure you have these special moments documented for you and your guests to look back on for many years to come.

Hopefully, that helps to eliminate the confusion around what a micro wedding is and provides some interesting pointers on why it may just be the best idea for you and your unique day.

However, as you can see, reducing your guest count doesn’t necessarily reduce the amount of thought, effort or planning that goes into organising a micro wedding.

For more tips and advice on how to create your perfect day then do get in touch.

Image Credits – Phoebe Jane Photography / Wynn Davies Photography / Ivy Alice Stationery / Charlotte’s Floral Design / The Whimsical Cake Company / Denton Hall / The Beverley Barn / Hannah Rachael Weddings

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Planning Advice, Q&A's

Botanical Filled Q&A With The Wonderful Polkadot Stationery

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to share with you this amazing insight into the world of all things wedding stationery. In this Q&A I ask Polkadot Stationery everything you need to know about working with a wedding stationer.

This includes how to work with a stationer, how they can help to bring your wedding style to life and why it is so important to be picky!

The wonderful Beccy started Polkadot Stationery back in 2012 “as a way to explore her passion for all things paper”. Beccy loves everything botanical and finds inspiration for her hand-drawn collections from the great outdoors.

Can you tell us more about Polkadot Stationery & your design style?

Botanical and hand-drawn! I love the outdoors and there’s so much choice with which flowers and plants I could draw for the next range. I like to keep my designs quite relaxed and rough so you can see the pencil marks too. I think it adds a more human quality to the designs which I like. 

Where do you draw inspiration for your ranges?

There’s some woods near my house that are really lovely to go and have a walk in – if I see a flower or plant I like I’ll take a photograph of it on my phone so I can reference it later. I have an album on my phone called ‘Polkadot Inspiration’ so it gets popped in there until I need it. For colour palettes I find a lot of nice imagery on Instagram and Pinterest too. Sometimes the colour palette I use is based off what is trending too though, for example at the moment deep greens, ferns and eucalyptus are most definitely in as well as softer more neutral tones such as blush pinks, terracotta and burnt orange.

Which is your favourite range & why?

I’ve just released a range called Wildflowers which is probably my  favourite so far. It’s just really simple and elegant. I also love Hand-painted Dahlias – I used gouache paints for this one for the first time and I’m really pleased with how it turned out – it’s still got that rustic, imperfect loose style that’s important to me.

I love that a lot of your designs are hand drawn, do you use any other processes when designing?

It’s a bit of a mixture really. I’ll use my iPad sometimes as I have some software on it called Procreate that effectively turns it into a drawing tablet. I use an iPencil with that and I absolutely love it because you forget you’re not using a real pencil. I also sometimes just use pen and create a really simple 1-colour design – Hydrangea Garland was created just using a really fine nib pen and then the drawing scanned into my iMac. I’ve also recently started experimenting with gouache paints as I love the texture of them.

What types of paper do you use when creating your collections?

The print of all of the wedding stationery orders is outsourced to a professionals printers. They use really nice thick, textured papers as well as more unusual stocks such as recycled kraft and vellum. I think paper choice can really make or break a collection so I always take the time to really think about which paper best suits the design.

What would you say is the benefit of working with a wedding stationer?

I think knowing that you’re working directly with a graphic designer on the design of your wedding stationery means you know you’re going to get exactly what you want. If you can imagine it, we can most likely create it! Even though I offer ‘off-the-shelf’ designs, there’s the flexibility for couples to change parts of one of my ranges if they want to, so go for a semi-bespoke design. I also do totally bespoke designs for those  wanting something that’s 100% unique to them.

Have you got any top tips for couples looking to work with a wedding stationer?

For bespoke designs a Pinterest board is always really useful for me – it gives me a good idea into the style of the wedding they want to create and gives me a better understanding for the vibe they’re wanting. 

What should couples bare in mind when working with a stationer?

I think just not to worry too much about being picky and saying what you want. Tell me as much as you can about what your day will be like, what colour scheme you’re going for, the venue, the flowers…even what you’ll be eating! It all helps me build up a picture of how your wedding is going to look, so helps me create the perfect stationery for the day.

When would you advise couples start to discuss their wedding stationery?

Some couples send their save the dates out as early as a year and a half in advance and others a few months, so it varies massively. If you’re not sure which supplier to go with it’s a good idea to get some samples sent out to you to see the quality before you make a decision – we offer free samples direct from our website. If it’s a totally bespoke design that’s going to be created I would say get in touch 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send them out as this will leave enough time to make amends and finalise any artwork.

Do you offer a consultation where couples can discuss their ideas?

Yes couples are free to contact me as much or as little as they like. This can be over email, the phone or even via Zoom! To help them visualise my designs even further I also offer free samples direct from my website – couples can choose up to 3 of their favourite designs to see physical samples of. If it’s not possible to meet up in person to discuss bespoke designs, in the past couples have sent me swatches in the post of their bridesmaid dresses so I can match the colour. However they wish to work with me is fine by me, I’m very flexible in that regard.

What processes are involved in creating a bespoke stationery suite and how long does this typically take? 

Generally, if you went for a bespoke range I’d say get in touch  approximately 2/3 months before you’re wanting to send your save the dates out. Creating designs from scratch that are hand-drawn can take a lot of time, so I like to make sure that nothing is left to chance. If it’s one of my off-the-shelf designs then I would say the lead time would be anywhere between 2-3 weeks, it’s much quicker. Couples are sent PDF proofs of their designs until they are happy with them and they are then sent to a professional printers to be created. 

How long can a couple expect the print and assembly process to take? 

From placing the order with the printers, it usually takes between 4-6 days for the final items to arrive with them. This depends a lot on the size of the order though and some items can take a little longer e.g. die-cut, irregular-shaped items are more complicated so have a longer turnaround time.

How often do you release new ranges?

I’ll always try and get a new design up online as soon as I’ve created the invite design, even if the rest of the suite of matching items haven’t been developed yet, just so clients can see if it’s something they might like. Generally speaking, I would say every 3/4 months I’ll try and release something new.

What can we expect from Polkadot Stationery in 2020?

I think it’s going to be tricky this year because of the pandemic, but I would like to say more hand-painted ranges because I’ve really loved getting to experiment with the gouache paints. I’m also planning on offering a new product for summer wedding but I can’t say too much about that yet, it’s a secret! But they’re going to be beautiful!

I hope this has inspired you to start thinking about your own wedding stationery and just how beneficial it can be working with a designer. Especially if you want to ensure that level of quality and attention to detail is carried throughout your wedding.

It really is important to not underestimate how much of an impact stationery has when conveying your wedding aesthetic. It is the first glimpse your guests will be given of your wedding day and helps set the tone for what’s to come. ⁣⁣

With this in mind, I always recommend working with the same stationer to create your full stationery suite where possible. From your save the dates and invitations, right through to your place cards and menus. ⁣⁣Keeping your stationery cohesive will make sure to add the perfect finishing touch to your big day.⁣⁣

You will find out more about Polkadot Stationery and the beautiful ranges Beccy has to offer by clicking the links below.

https://www.polkadotstationery.co.uk/

http://instagram.com/polkadotstationery

Let’s bring your dream day to life!

Contact me for help and advice on how to successfully select the perfect team of suppliers for your big day.

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