A bride never forgets her wedding day, but what about the guests? When planning a wedding, it is easy to fall into the trap of copying trends and traditions, leaving you with a generic, cookie-cutter wedding like every other. Many people say it is the small details that count. With the help of these tips and suggestions, you can turn your wedding into a unique and memorable day for all. And the great thing is, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Don’t forget to let go and enjoy your day!
Celebrity wedding planner Anthony Del Col says white is back big time. With the dress, flowers and setting. He’s also seeing a lot of monochrome: white wedding dress, black bridesmaid dresses, black and white tiered wedding cake. If black and white is your thing but you want to push it a little, red roses make a glamourous highlight colour.
We love this vintage-inspired white wedding. Image: Martha Stewart
Go for a colour scheme that compliments the season or location? For spring, try buttercup yellow, pale blues, and blossom pinks. For autumn, sage green, burnt orange or burgundy red.
For brides, incorporate the main colour in more ways than just the bouquet. Try a matching nail polish, shoes or hair accessory – we love the bride above with her hot pink lips and shoes.
Use a symbolic motif throughout the wedding on invitations, reception decorations, cake decorations and thank-you cards. Suggestions include lovebirds, butterflies, dragonflies, your chosen flower, love hearts, your and fiancés initials, or icon from your honeymoon destination e.g. Eiffel Tower, or for an autumn wedding – leaves.
Have an inspiration board
This is when it gets really fun. Purchase a corkboard and pin anything on it that gives you an idea during the planning process: photographs, tear-outs from magazine, fabrics, poems etc. This will help you when
meeting with wedding planners, photographers and dressmakers and explaining exactly what you want.
However Anthony Del Col recommends you also make a scrapbook with things you don’t like, that way it’s easier for those working with you to get a true sense of your style.
Food can provide colour against a simple table setting Image: Martha Stewart
Tip: Display the inspiration board at your reception so guests learn where you drew your inspiration from and how the wedding came together.
Make a list of your top priorities and spend money on those. For example, if you’re into photography and great food, invest in a quality photographer and caterer, but don’t sweat it on bonbonnerie or a string quartet. Make sure you review all your options and have everything spelt out in black and white so you don’t have any hidden surprises.
There is no shortage of celebrants out there, so make sure you meet a few so you feel comfortable with them. It will make the vows that much more special.
We love the the age-old tradition of throwing confetti as the newlyweds exit the ceremony but it’s been in turmoil for several years – paper is bad for the environment, rice is bad for the birds. Try Eco Confetti from All Things Confetti – it is made from organic material and is 100%
To save time, choose a venue with a variety of views, for example a park, lake, city view, so that your post-ceremony photos can have some variety and you don’t have to drive around to different venues.
Have a plan B in case of bad weather. We all love the outdoors but there are some stunning indoor locations.
Sydney’s QVB is a gorgeous backdrop for photos, and a once-off fee costs $50 fee which goes to charity!
After the ceremony
While the bridal party are off having photos, the guests are typically left waiting around for the reception. If the ceremony and reception are being held in the same general location, organise an area for guests to comfortably wait. Have food and drinks available: Devonshire tea, cocktails or ice-creams.
Organise entertainment to pass the time: why not try some classic board games (think Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Cluedo) to get guests comfortable with one another?
Or, if your wedding is on location somewhere i.e. a vineyard or a tropical island, organise a short tour.
Ask everyone a few weeks before the wedding to contribute their favourite love song and give this list to the DJ. Your guests will love feeling involved.
Give your friends a laugh by hiring a photobooth. They can have some fun keepsakes or stick a silly portrait beside their personal message in your guest book. Funky Fotobooths offers 4 hour hire for $1450. Go to: www.funkyfotobooths.com.
What a beautiful backdrop for a photobooth! Image: Martha Stewart
Create a signature cocktail – name it after you and your partner, eg K.P Bliss, your honeymoon destination eg The Parisian, or your theme: for Rustic Italian, try La Dolce Vita! And keep them coming the entire evening!
Do you cringe thinking of all those untouched dessert plates? Give your guests a dessert they will enjoy…because they made it. Have a sundae/icecream buffet – set aside a table with sprinkles, fudge, lollies, cherries, nuts, biscuits, mini marshmallows, fruit and of course, icecream! Any leftovers can be bagged and given to children as bonbonnieres. If you want to add authenticity, use traditional sundae dishes and lolly jars available from Hospitality
Products: www.hospitalitywholesale.com.au or plain paper cups which you can add your own “wedding logo” to.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Opt for a classy cheese and wine dessert instead. You can now order ‘cheese cakes’ made of wheels of different cheeses stacked on top of each other to form a cake.
Try etsy for a huge variety of cute cake toppers. Just search for ‘cake toppers’ – the seller Peanut Butter Bandit even creates personalised cake toppers that look like you! www.etsy.com/people/peanutbutterbandit
Display photographs of your parents’, grandparents’ or any other admirable
couples’ wedding around your reception as symbols of the couple you aspire to be.
Anthony Del Col recommends you size up the centrepieces. “Make them short or really tall, nothing face height, otherwise you won’t see anyone!”
Name each table after a place you and fiancé visited together. Incorporate this into the centrepiece photos of you in that place.
For extra colour, get interesting shaped bowls or glasses (i.e. a large martini or wine glass) and fill with objects in your chosen colour scheme: petals, fruit, or maybe a fish! Or try a classic birdcage entwined with flowers and vines.
Beach themes are really popular – Wheel and Barrow have the sweetest candles in coconut shells for only $14.95. Choose from coconut, mango, citronella, vanilla, mandarin or frangipani, or mix it up and
have a different scent on each table. www.wheelandbarrow.com.au
Natures lovers could try leaves, pine cones, stones, twigs. Also, have the seating plan drawn up on a piece of bark or wood.
If you are having the ceremony outdoors and are concerned about the heat, why not purchase some silk hand fans for your guests as pre-wedding gifts from Pink Frosting. Prepare them in personalised gift boxes so guests have a permanent keepsake from your wedding. Silk fans from $3.65 each at www.pinkfrosting.com.au
Send your guests away feeling lucky with Chinese fortune sticks. Wrap them in coloured napkin or cloth of your choice for a clean and chic feel. See: http://www.admiraltyantiques.com.au.
Alphabet cookies filled with jam make a lovely parting gift. Image: Martha Stewart
Food is a gift that will always be appreciated. How about giving away a small bottle of your favourite olive oil, or a vintage jar filled with organic honey? Or maybe after a night of partying save your guests the embarassment of a late-night kebab stop by giving them a snack pack of cookies?
To make your gifts even more special, why not buy them something that goes to a charitable fund? With a small donation on behalf of each guest, the Cancer Council will send out a pin and personalised thank-you card for each guest. To order visit: https://www.cancer.org.au/
We hope these ideas have inspired you! We’d love to know what ideas you have to make your wedding fun and unique – share them here!