If you’re newly engaged, you undoubtedly have a lot of planning ahead of you and a whole host of ideas for how you want your wedding day to look before you and your partner get to the big day. Initially, it can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re thinking of doing a lot of the work yourself and need to source items to turn your venue from a blank canvas into a dream come true for both of you.
You may have thumbed through some wedding magazines and scoured the internet looking for the perfect guide to help you and your partner create your fantasy wedding. Still, many of the only guides only have quick checklists or photos to look at without helping you understand how to get to the final product. Often the checklists only touch on major components and not the little touches that can make or break the overall look of your wedding. No one will forget to order seating, tables, or somehow forget to arrange bouquets or boutonnieres from the florist; it’s always to finer details that get left behind and forgotten in the chaos of planning a wedding.
All the small touches and carefully arranged decor will have the most significant impact on the aesthetic of your wedding and make it more memorable for you and your guests. Why have a wedding straight out of a catalogue that has been done thousands of times when you can create the unique wedding of your dreams? You obviously don’t need to include everything in our guide in your wedding, but we’re here to help you with a comprehensive list of ideas to make your wedding memorable and unique.
There are many stylish ways to decorate the space you’re using for your wedding ceremony, whether your want to match the decor to your wedding colours, overall theme, the furnishings, or keep it in line with the seasons. The options available to you are never-ending, and many of the decoration choices you make for the ceremony can be carried over to the reception and table designs.
The first component many couples put a lot of thought into is the aisle that one or both of them will be walking down during the ceremony. If you choose to use a runner for your aisle, where your wedding ceremony is taking place will dictate the material you can use. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, consider whether the runner you are choosing is both waterproof and stain-resistant. You will also need to consider how it will be secured in place as you don’t want a gust of wind blowing it up and into any candles you may be using. The location and size of the venue will also help you determine the runner’s size before you buy it. For a rustic outdoor wedding, consider using a sheet of burlap cut into a strip then covered with wildflowers and held in place by large vases full of sunflowers for the aisle runner.
When it comes to finding the perfect backdrop for your wedding ceremony, finding a venue with character will help you create a beautiful album-worthy wedding. Weddings in historic barns are particularly popular for this reason as they come with great wooden doors, exposed beams, stone walls and flagstone floors. Historic barns are a fantastic backdrop in the idyllic UK countryside, and it’s simple to take them to the next level with little details such as wooden chairs left uncovered with bouquets of flowers tied onto the backs and a stunningly colourful aisle made from flower petals.
Be sure to include aisle markers during your ceremony to show your guests where the seating ends and the aisle begins; you wouldn’t want anyone accidentally knocking over candles or tracking mud across your runner before the ceremony even begins. A decorative shepherds crooks standing in pots filled with tall flowers hanging vintage lanterns can create an eccentric yet serene atmosphere for your ceremony. You could also try glass bowls filled with water and floating candles to increase the romantic vibe of the venue.
Don’t stop at the aisle when it comes to the details of your ceremony. Include a decorative welcome sign and a seating plan if you have assigned seating during the ceremony. Many couples add wedding favours on the chairs for guests; these can be little gifts to take home or filled with petals use during or at the end of the ceremony. If you’re not having a seating plan but need to reserve seating for specific guests that you want in the front row, try gorgeous personalised cards from Photobox for that special touch. Finally, consider adding an ornamental arch for you and your partner to stand under during the wedding ceremony. You could have the arch made from fabric, flowers, tree branches, or even colourful lights; the sky’s the limit.
There’s more to styling your wedding reception than arranging the tables and placing centrepieces. Remember to consider the whole room when decorating your venue; the floors, doors, walls and ceiling are just as important to the aesthetic as the tables and chairs. Add draping ceiling fabrics and coloured rugs to bring movement and warmth to the space, using table and chair coverings as the finishing touches to the room.
Including the right lighting will be just as essential as the accessories you choose. Pick a venue with large ornamental ceiling lights and tall windows if you want your reception to have a bright and grand aesthetic. If you would prefer a more intimate feel, use candles or small lights on each table to bring your guests closer together.
There are many other gorgeous additions to add to your reception venue to give it a unique and draw-dropping look for your guests to talk about for years to come.
- Signage: No wedding reception is complete without adequate signage to direct your guests. The signs don’t have to be purely practical though, add a little whimsy to the designs you choose that compliments the rest of your theme or colour scheme. Include a welcome sign decorated with lights or pictures as well as signs to show where the toilets and parking are located. Don’t forget a sign for the seating plan if you’re having a sit-down meal.
- Quotes: add to the sentimental and romantic feeling of the day by hanging quotes around the venue. Try asking friends and family for phrases they would use to describe you and your partner as a couple or use in-jokes from your relationship to create conversation starters.
- Candles and lanterns: These excellent additions will compliment your venue both during the day and as the party heads into the evening.
- Lounge seating: Have an area set up for after dinner, so your guests can mingle without standing in the middle of the dance floor.
- Hanging decor: use vintage low hanging lightbulbs, fairy lights, lanterns, balloons and floral arrangements to add texture to your room.
- Guestbook: No wedding is complete without a guestbook for those attending your wedding to write their well-wishes and thoughts about your day. It will give you more than photos to look back on, and some of the kind words might even cause you to shed a tear or two.
- Photos: Have a photo booth for your guests; choose one that prints the pictures with sticky backs, and your guests can include their favourites next to the messages they leave in the guestbook. If a photo booth isn’t in the budget, include disposable cameras on the tables for your guests and have a basket they can leave them in at the end of the night for you to develop later.