The styling of your wedding is an important part of the planning, regardless of whether you’ve got lots of inspiration or none. So we have asked French Wedding Style vendor Clémentine Ward from Awardweddings to share her expertise with you.
As a planner, I work on the styling once I’ve already booked all the key suppliers and have a good idea of the itinerary of the day.
Some couples have lots of inspiration, and some are not so sure how to tackle this area. It’s a big part of the wedding planning and requires a lot of little details. There are different ways to approach this. In this article, I’m going to share some of my experiences and tips on how to choose and create a style for your wedding.
The overall style
The most important point is to create a harmonious style that goes with your venue and the kind of day you are planning. The type of venue will be a good starting point for how the day will look like. If you’re getting married in a farmhouse, you’re more likely to have rustic or vintage decorations, whereas if you have booked a chateau, the style will be a bit more “fine art”.
You may have browsed on Pinterest and already started a mood board on the things that you like. If you don’t know where to start, there are some questions that can help you to find your starting point to then build around it:
- Have you seen a bouquet that you love?
- What kind of flowers do you like?
- Are there some colors/tones you particularly like?
- Do you love candles and want to build around this?
- How can the season influence my decorations?
Once you have defined a starting point, you can build around it. For example, the flowers from your bouquet can help you define the flowers for your entire day. You can then complement them with a few touches.
Or if you just love candles and have them everywhere in your own home, create a look based on this with candles and fairy lights everywhere to give the intimate feel you love.
Once you have got your main ideas, browse and gather lots of ideas for the entire day. Always keep the overall scenery in mind, it’s important to think about the overall experience when planning, and how each element will fit into the area.
The areas to plan for
With your mood board(s) for the day, you can then work on each area of the day. Select a handful of images for each part, otherwise, you or your florist/decorator will be overwhelmed.
- The welcome area would normally have a welcome board, a card box, your guest book and some flowers on the buffet. No need to go overboard on this, simplicity is good as your guests will only spend a short time in this area.
- The ceremony: you’ll need to decorate your arch and the aisle, as well as a table to sign your marriage certificate. Talk to your florist about your arch to see the various things she/he can offer. Think about the overall scenery here to position your arch. Your photographer can give you some advice.
- The cocktail reception: for this part, you can reuse what you had for the welcome area. Some flowers on the buffets and the poseur tables will beautify the area.
- Dinner: You will need to plan one centerpiece per table of flowers and/or candles or any other decorations you may like. Think about the chairs you’d like to have, as well as tables and linens. And ask your caterer which crockery and glasses they will use so it all goes with your overall style. Your caterer may have buffets, on which you can transfer the decorations from your cocktail reception.
- Party time: by this point, your guests will just want to dance and will not pay that much attention to decorations so don’t worry about organizing lots. Lighting becomes important at this time and you could have some candles, fairy/festoon lights or architectural lighting to lighten your venue. Talk to your DJ to see how they can help.
There is a lot of detail and logistics that go into planning the styling. The first step is to put together a detailed budget for everything. Things can creep up so it will help you keep an eye on your finance and easily see where you can save money.
You will also need to think about various logistical details to put everything into place. Here are some things you should consider:
- How do I arrange the ceremony chairs and how many arrangements do I need in the aisle?
- How many buffets will my caterer bring so you can plan decorations appropriately?
- Can I reuse my chairs from the ceremony to the dinner area? Will it not be too disruptive, or do I need two sets of chairs?
- Can you use elements from your venue into your styling, eg wine barrels for poseur tables?
- Stationery: not compulsory but can greatly help your day go smoothly. Here is a list of items you may need: welcome board, the order of ceremony, menu, table plan, place names.
- Be realistic: although Pinterest and Instagram are wonderful tools to get some inspiration, the images posted can sometimes be unrealistic. Talk to your photographer, florist to ensure what you want is doable.
- Less is more! There is always a worry of underdressing your day, but less is always more. Find one central line throughout the day to have some harmony all along. French venues are usually beautiful by themselves so there is no need to re-create a Pinterest exhibition. Your guests are coming to celebrate with you, not take notes of your decorations.
- Reuse your decorations. When planning your decorations, and flowers especially, think about how you can reuse them in various parts of the day so you can save money. For example:
- The flowers and decorations from your welcome area can be transferred to your cocktail area and the bar for the evening.
- The flowers from your ceremony aisle can go onto your bar, decorate the table plan, etc…
- The arch could be dismantled and go on to the evening area as a suspension or on the buffets, etc…
- Ask for some friends to move these decorations on the day, discreetly between two parts of the day. Friends and family members are always more than happy to contribute! Make sure you give clear instructions before the day.
- Think about the wet weather option! Spend a little time to think about how you will adjust your styling plan if it rains so you don’t panic at the last minute. A lot of candles can save the game there!
Overall, it’s important that your day looks like you, be personal! Try to include as many personal elements as possible if you can. Your plans will take time to mature as there is so much to think about, and things will fall into place.
If you are worried as to how Covid-19 could impact your wedding read our post here
Guide to Styling your wedding day