Decorating for Love…

25th January 2019

Lisa Botwright looks at the best ways to bring a unique touch to your wedding venue…

Floral Flourishes

The most traditional way to decorate a venue, flowers offer endless possibilities for dramatic design. Flower walls can provide show-stopping backdrops, flower arches make romantic focal points and formal floral arrangements bring quintessential elegance. Create a dramatic blanket of colour with flowers suspended from the ceiling, trail garlands in place of table runners and create interest with artfully arranged bowls of flowers. Or keep things casual and use jam jars for hand-picked posies. Since an abundance of blooms can be expensive, why not prioritise flowers for the bridal bouquets and up the use of greenery instead? Twist ivy around candle holders, tuck scented herbs into the napkins and decorate chairs with lengths of silvery eucalyptus leaves.

Quirky Qualities

Weddings should reflect a couple’s personalities and it’s the quirky individual touches that bring a smile to guests’ faces – luggage tags as place cards for the travel-obsessed pair, for example – or make for meaningful emotional connections: photos of loved ones unable to attend taking pride of place on the top table. Making a feature of the seating plan is a great way to personalise the day. Name tables after your favourite films, bands you’ve watched live, countries you’ve visited as a couple, or board games you both remember playing from your childhood.

Creative Crafts

One way to personalise your wedding – and get the most out of your budget, if that’s a consideration – is to create the decorations yourself. A DIY wedding can be time-consuming (so do rope in help from loved ones) but it’s also very rewarding. While stationary and table decorations are fun to make – and some very impressive and creative ideas can be brought to life with little more than hessian, ribbon and cardboard – some people go the extra mile and sew their own dresses, prepare their own food or write their own music for the ceremony. Hand-made wedding favours can be a nice touch – so unleash your inner Kirstie Allsopp and make gifts for guests to take away: pretty baby soaps, small jars of jam or chutney, or miniatures of home-infused gin.

Glorious Gifts

One bride I know collected vintage crockery every time she visited a charity shop. In two years, she amassed a gorgeous collection of mismatched cups and sauces – shabby-chic style – in which she served an amuse-bouche of homemade soup to start the wedding breakfast; afterwards she gave the china away to guests to keep. Other touches that your friends and family might appreciate are baskets of warm blankets to wrap around shoulders on chilly summer evenings; or flip slops for the female guests to use when achy feet mean high heels get kicked off.

Blissful Boho

Do you want romance with flickering candlelight, grandeur from chandeliers, or a boho feel with ad hoc strings of festive fairy lights? To a certain extent your venue will dictate your choice. A large hotel will already have stylish mood lighting in place, although you can always add your own touches, while a neutral marquee or church hall gives you carte blanche to dramatically transform the space.

Trends for 2019 include bespoke neon signage; ‘blisslighting’ – creating a starry sky or a winter wonderland with falling snow flakes; ‘monogram lighting’ – projecting your wedding date onto a wall or large surface, or giant letter lighting (see left).

Centre Stage

Wow factors might be a feast for the eyes such as stunning lighting or flowers, or something quirky for guests to do – a photo booth, or a merry-go-round, say – or gorgeous alpacas to pet (alpacas love human interaction, but do make sure you go to a reputable breeder that has the animals’ welfare at heart). It might be the first dance that you’ve choreographed between the two of you and have been practising for weeks, or your towering wedding cake dominating the dining room. But the feature that will truly take centre stage – the one thing that your guests will care about more than anything – is a relaxed and happy bride and groom…

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