MADE WITH STYLE
Styling your ceremony and reception space can be as significant a part in setting your wedding’s overall tone or theme as the location – or even the gown itself. The three often go hand-in-hand to create the unique and stunning aesthetic for the celebration, capturing the connection and distinctive style of the bride- and groom-to-be, as well as the hearts of their guests. Here, Amelia Mansell discusses the ample beautiful ways to style your ceremony and reception space with Brooke Mulholland, owner of Perfect Day Event Hire.
Deciding on how to style your wedding can simultaneously be an adventure and a challenge, wading through an abundance of décor inspiration and advice to find the perfect items that will complete your aesthetic, as well as represent your unique personality as a couple. But no matter the base style or theme of the wedding, there are numerous decorative items and concepts that can be incorporated and personalised to fit, ensuring your celebration is everything you envision it to be.
TRENDS FADE, STYLE ENDURES
Wedding arbours are synonymous with elegance. Timeless and ever popular, these beautiful structures come in all shapes, sizes and are made from various materials that can then be adorned with the personal touches of your choosing. There is a depth of history behind wedding arbours, arches, and canopies, from the ancient Roman altars to the Jewish chuppah, each use is steeped in symbolism – from good fortune, to representing the new life and home of the new couple, the door-like structures symbolise and capture the beautiful moment of a new life journey.
Beyond this rich undercurrent of tradition, there are stunning stylistic benefits that make arbours a beautiful inclusion at any wedding celebration. Whether your ceremony is outside or in, these structures can be a spectacular styling tool to tie your whole celebration together. Available in all shapes and sizes, from the traditional square frame to a modern curve or geometric shape, arbours are a fabulous backdrop to ceremonies, creating a focal point for the couple to stand before and stunning photo opportunities both during and after the wedding.
Adorning the arbour with flowers – fresh or artificial – is widely popular, and a great way to include your favourite colour or chosen wedding flowers. And, as suggested by Mulholland, depending on where the ceremony and reception are located, the arbour can be reused as a feature later throughout the day. “An arbour can be used after a ceremony as a backdrop for photo opportunities or depending where the reception location is to the ceremony, you could move it to be put behind the bridal table as a feature,” she notes. “When it comes to the arbour, the couple can have as much input as they like, we have a few options of artificial flowers but these can [also] be rearranged with adding their favourite fresh flower or colours.”
As all social media posts can attest, there are several small yet effective styling techniques that can elevate your reception decor – each touch showing another facet of your unique personality and style. Simple touches such as “a little wooden sign for the signing table that says MR & MRS, small flower arrangements, or little signs on the chairs with the names reserved for guests” can add a welcome ambience to the space. Enchanting table decorations, such as small flower arrangements and candles, in lanterns or jars perhaps, can also go a long way to create the perfect atmosphere. The simplicity of each of these items provides a breadth of style options – a geometric versus a traditional lantern can offer an entirely different mood, while a vase of flowers compared to a line of foliage creates another.
LIGHT IT UP
Whether your ceremony and reception are occurring on the same venue or separately, having items that can be easily moved and repurposed, or are able to provide wonderful photo opportunities once the ceremony is over is a great strategy when planning your celebration. Light up letters have joined the ranks of beloved wedding décor items, with the letters LOVE, as Mullholland explains, often being “the most sought out, as of the meaning behind it and what it symbolises”. The initials of the bridal couple or MRS & MRS are some other fantastic options, offering a personal touch for each couple.
All of these can be used beautifully at the ceremony, but can be especially dramatic at the reception, positioned “around the dance floor, behind the bridal table or even at the entrance into the reception”. And whether the reception is earlier in the day or in the evening, these lights create an enchanting feature for all wedding and guest photography.
The secret to the versatile success of these feature lights is the fact that they are battery operated, meaning you aren’t restricted by power sources when deciding on their placement – indoors or out. And while they are safe to leave outdoors if the weather turns for the worse, the pegs used to hold them in place are easily removed if any wedding attendees feel particularly helpful in the pack-up process.
There are very few styling items that can be restricted by their location. With a touch of imagination and a vendor you trust, there is a concept that will tickle the fancy of any bride. But one of the main items that Mulholland asks brides-and grooms-to-be to be careful of location-wise, is the dance floor. For those planning to have their dance floor outdoors and on grass, Mulholland suggests a heavier and sturdier surface, like Perfect Day Event Hire’s “light wood dance floor, as it is more durable and stable” for external use.
Another thing that couples should consider is the preparation and pack-up. Companies such as Perfect Day Event Hire offer delivery, set up and pack up packages, and the ability to coordinate the items and take the time needed for styling on the big day. An extra bonus is that in the cases of a multi-venue celebration or if the weather turns bad, organising a professional company to help move and re-set up your styling decorations can be one less thing to worry about on the day.
Every couple and wedding is unique in its own way, with individual styles, instincts and visions for a day like no other. Starting the process with some guiding ideas is a great step to help refine and achieve your vision. “Once you have chosen your location, make an appointment to meet up [with your vendor] to go over the items, making sure you have photos of what you envision and what we can work with to make it all come together,” the stylist explains. Above all, Mullholland’s advice is to simply enjoy the process. “Enjoy the whole planning experience and go with what makes you happy, and what you would like for your special day!”
Image courtesy of Perfect Day Event Hire