My friend Angie is having a DIY Wedding Week over at The Country Cottage and I wanted to join in the fun. I love weddings. Love them.
When I had my flower shop we did a lot of weddings. A LOT. As a florist, I learned a lot about weddings, more than just flowers and decorations.
Flowers are generally the last on the massive to-do list. The ceremony & reception venues, caterers, dresses, photographer, etc., all are booked prior to the florist. I had to know all of the bride’s choices so I could help her choose flowers & decorations to coordinate and complement both the sites and the bridal party.
While I’ve done a lot of weddings through the years, there’s one wedding that stands above all the rest, and I wasn’t even the florist. My nephew’s wedding last May demonstrated what I think every bride would want – style. Thomas & Edwina’s wedding might not be your taste but I think it’ll give you some great ideas to make your own wedding beautiful and stylish, in your own individual way.
Make Your Wedding Unique
You can accomplish this if you keep six things in mind as you plan your wedding and reception.
- Pick a theme and carry it through every part of your wedding. colors, patterns, style.
- It’s your day so let your personality show through in your choices. Your guests are there to celebrate you.
- Details, details, details.
- You don’t have to do the obvious.
- Decorate for the venue, not around it.
- It’s your day AND your groom’s. Bring his personality in too.
— XIX —
That was the theme for Thomas & Edwina. That particular number means a lot to them. But that’s not the point. Anything can act as a theme for your wedding from a signature color, a particular pattern, maybe your monogram or song lyric. It’s how you include your theme that sets the tone.
In our hotel room we were greeted with miniature cupcakes topped with XIX and a note. What a sweet way to kick off the wedding weekend.
Their XIX was apparent through lighting – on the floor as we entered the ballroom and also on the focal wall. Lighting as become quite popular in weddings, so consider using it to demonstrate your theme.
What’s your style? If you think you don’t know, consider this – what do you absolutely love? Take that and incorporate it throughout your décor.
Edwina loves black & white and damask. The Hotel Shattuck ballroom in Berkeley, CA, was a perfect choice for her wedding with their black & white striped walls & magnificent arched wall insets.
To carry her theme, and style, further Edwina had damask furniture brought in. A settee in the anteroom.
When the ballroom was flipped from ceremony to reception they draped the banquet tables in simple black & white lattice tablecloths. Just another touch of Edwina’s style. Subtle, but effective.
Details, details, details. They’re the hallmark of any event but particularly weddings. As you’re making your plans, use every opportunity to display your theme or style. It doesn’t have to be lavish to be effective and you can do a lot yourself. Make sure you check out The Country Chic Cottage’s full Wedding Week for ideas.
Edwina & Thomas’ rehearsal dinner was at their favorite Japanese restaurant but she had placed small touches on each table, touches that brought her black & white damask influence to the start of their wedding weekend.
Darling photos of the couple were tucked here and there at the hotel, matted in black & white with touches of red, the wedding accent color.
A silver broach pinned on the bridal bouquet included someone dear to Edwina’s heart.
(I’ll mention here that their wedding was 5 days after my husband, Thomas’ uncle, died. A special chair held a lovely framed memorium, which I still have sitting on my dresser.)
Think Outside The Box
You don’t have to go with the standard flowers on the altar. This wedding had a very art deco feel to it, following the architecture & design of the ballroom.
An altar/stage was set in the middle of the ballroom, surrounded by sumptuous white settees. Pops of red were brought in with small ottoman stools.
In lieu of floral sprays, white feathers atop black wrought iron stands flanked the aisle.
The altar/stage had lucite cubes with cascading crystals, topped with simple white branches, draped in pearls. Different, yes. But it totally fit the theme of the entire wedding weekend. Since the altar was in the middle of the ballroom these glistening cubes were perfect and didn’t obstruct anyone’s view of the ceremony.
The Venue – Complement or Camouflage?
When you’re looking at sites for your ceremony and reception really look at the venue. Look with a photographer’s eye. Where are the best photo ops? Each venue will inherently have spaces that lend themselves to these. Whether it’s an outdoor garden or a beautiful architectural detail, find these spaces and then decide how much decoration, if any, is needed.
Your budget might dictate a simple hall with areas that need to be camouflaged, rather than complemented. Whether your venues have breathtaking interiors/exteriors or not, focus in on what can be accentuated and what needs to be hidden.
The beautiful Hotel Shattuck required very little decoration. Edwina & Thomas brought in seating & lighting with very little additional decoration.
This ballroom, btw, was used for both ceremony and reception. After the ceremony we went into the adjoining bar for cocktails and appetizers while they flipped this room for dining and dancing.
Include Your Groom
Most females, myself included, dream of our wedding day. It’s the one day of our life where we get to be the “princess”.
What I loved about Edwina & Thomas’ wedding most is that it represented both of them, not just her. As much as Edwina’s style was evident, so was Thomas.
I might have mentioned a time or two (!) that my nephew plays for the Atlanta Falcons football team. He’s also a true “sneakerhead” through & through. He’s known for that. Even as a little boy, he had mountains of sneakers. It was perfectly fitting then that the wedding cakes were in the shape of shoes – Nikes for his and Louboutins for her.
The his ‘n her cakes were perched atop shiny black goblets that set on . . . wait for it . . . a white baby grand piano. But wait, there’s more. That pristine white piano was their “keepsake book”. There were paint pens for writing greetings on the piano. I’m not kidding. The piano is now in their home in Oakland.
Okay, so maybe your wedding budget isn’t that of an NFL player’s, but you can still get creative and make it your own without winning the lottery.
This, my friends, was the ringbearer’s pillow. I’m not kidding here either. While were on the subject I have to show you the most adorable ringbearer in the world.
ahem. Yes, that would be my grandson in full out tuxedo with custom-made Nikes.
The groom’s style was definitely included throughout the wedding.
Make it Yours
It’s very easy to go over-the-top with your wedding. I know. I’ve been there. But the most important thing is to make it yours. You might not have the budget of an NFL player but you can still make your wedding uniquely yours, by careful planning and attention to details.
One last thing . . .
Photo booths are another popular trend right now. They’re also great entertainment for those guests who might not want to drink & dance ‘til 3 a.m.
Just another option to make your wedding memorable, for both you and your guests.
Awww. Every time I look at this I remember that wonderful wedding, full of the bride & groom’s vibe at every turn.
Want some more inspiration to make your wedding uniquely yours? Visit The Country Chic Cottage for a week full of DIY Wedding ideas!