Blog written for Your North East wedding magazine published Jan/Feb 2020
you can read the full magazine here
- You have £5k in total (not just for styling) as your wedding budget. How can you best style your wedding venue with limited funds?
When you are working with a smaller budget there are several ways in which you can make your money go further with regards to styling your venue.
- 1.Think about your ceremony space and wedding breakfast room are there decorations/props which could be used in both locations? Most venues will have a team who would be happy to reposition items during the day for you.
- Think about your choice of decorations, empty gin, wine or beer bottles look great as table centres decorated with gathered or home-grown flowers, your tables don’t need to be all matching, going for a more mismatched feel can save you money.
- Try and double up, often your favours for you guests can act as decoration for example small potted cacti look great as a table piece and name places and make great gifts.
- Don’t be afraid to add in some DIY elements, select an area of styling you feel confident with maybe your sweets or gift table and involve your family and friends in helping you to decorate or style it. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for this and this means saving money in certain areas will allow you to splash out in others.
Couples often think when on a smaller budget a stylist is out of reach but often they can save you money with the items they have and little tips on how to stretch that budget it’s always a good place to start your wedding planning.
- You have £15k in total (not just for styling) as your wedding budget. How should you best style your wedding venue?
When you have a slightly larger budget available you have a few more options open to you, it’s important to prioritise the areas within your venue/s which are most important to you with regards styling, this will of course depend on the style of venue you have chosen.
The top three areas our couples tend to focus on first are the aisle, the table setting and the lighting, once these are set then other areas can be tied in.
The aisle is one of our favourites to style in many cases it’s the first place our couples see each other on their big day, when we work with our couples we consider many aspects, for example, the size of the aisle in comparison to the wedding dress it’s not best idea to line the aisle with burning candles if the bride has a large train or full skirt. The style of the chairs or pews will also dictate the style of dressing possible and in some instance the amount of styling/decoration required.
Finally the area in which you say I Do, if the wedding is taking place in a church then often we will only add limited styling in to this area, where as if the wedding is in a barn or outdoors couples have many more options available to them from arches, to Moon-gates, balloon or flower walls or even naked tipis depending on the style of the wedding and venue.
Table settings is often one of the areas which couples spend the longest time on, they are a really important part of your styling as they fill the room in which your friends and family will spend most of the day. We always consider three main things when planning tables, one the style of the venue and its furniture, the time of year and most importantly the personalities of the couples. The materials and colours used can really add to the space, whether it’s a natural look you are going for with moss, hessian and natural candles, a more minimal look with greenery and vintage candlesticks or the decadence of velvet runners, metallic lanterns and deep colours. Tied in closely with your tables is the names and table plan for your guests one of the aspects of your styling which all the guests will read, there are many inventive ways from hanging frames, planted ladders and etched signs which are available to couples today.
Finally lighting, this enhances your wedding theme and the overall ambience, the correct light installation can help set the right mood and can also be used to add focus to areas of your venue and act as a great backdrop for photographs. Lighting can also enable outdoor areas to be utilised in the evening for socialising and help guide your guests’ home.
- You have £50k AND OVER (not just for styling) as your wedding budget. How can you style your venue when you’ve got the cash to splash?
A budget of over £50,000 for your wedding will really allow you to have a day styled and fully personalised to you both as a couple. Although the same principles apply with regards to the areas of your venue to style, the range of materials and finishes available to you is a lot greater, with this size of budget you really can design a one-off day.
The guest experience is really important to our couples and with this size of budget most couples will probably be looking at free bars and plenty of food for their guests. With regards to the venue styling this budget would allow you to have many custom made pieces and add in some special treats for your guest. Personalisation is a lovely touch to any wedding; embroidered fabric napkins can bring an extra elegance to any table when the budget allows, couples may also look at bringing in different furniture into the venue when they have this size of budget to ensure it entirely ties into their theme and becomes a very much their day.
Statement light installations especially for weddings in the darker months can turn any venue into a magical space, with this budget couples again could have a specific installation designed just for them.
Go big if you have the budget to bring in some large statement pieces. Giant trees look amazing inside a church or large venue they really bring the inside in as well as providing that wow factor.
- Why should our readers hire you for their big day regardless of the budget they have?
One of the benefits of hiring a stylist for your big day is the array of items they have available for you to use to style your venue but also their experience and most importantly in many cases the other contacts they have within the industry whose expertise and advice they can call upon to create your dream day.
Once our couples have started to finalise their ideas, which often includes a shared Pinterest board, we offer time in our studio where we set up a table and allow our couples to play around with ideas using the items we have available. It’s often hard to imagine what your table will look like and how much space you have available to dress, especially with the increasing popularity of grazing boards and sharing dishes. We will often contact our couples caterers to confirm sizes of boards and dishes so we can make the set up as realistic as possible. Not only does this process help couples decide on designs and takes away some of the worry, but if they have chosen to set their tables themselves for their wedding it’s a great opportunity to take photographs to hand out to family and friends who are helping. We work in many different venues and some venues due to their nature have limited set up times, hiring a stylist for either the full planning or just on the day set up allows our couple to hand over that part of their day to us enabling them to enjoy the final lead up with family and friends and gives them a little more of the ‘element of surprise’ when they walk into their venue.
We also provide a making service so if any of our couples have an idea whether it be with regards to a photobooth, table plan or ceremony arch we are able to custom build these pieces and if requested personalise them for the couple.
- What’s your starting price and what does that include?
We don’t have packages, or a minimum spend, we design our service around our couples and the venue they are using, this way we can adapt the service we provide for each couple. We offer a straight hire service where couples can hire furniture, props and crockery from us which we can deliver and collect, or they can collect from the studio. We can also provide a full or partial set up as well our ‘Elves and the Shoemaker’ service where couples who have decided to dress the venue themselves, we then come in over-night or the following morning and take down the venue packing all items for later collection. Thirdly we offer the full design and dressing service where we meet with the couple, produce designs for all aspects, have a second meeting to show the designs and then dress the venue for their big day.
- Finally, what are the trends for wedding decorations for 2020?
Eco or lower carbon footprint weddings. All of our tables are made from doors or reclaimed timbers and with our mismatched vintage chairs we are finding our couple are wanting to dress these for weddings using potted herbs, cacti, foraged or homegrown flowers and dried flower arrangements. A couple who are marrying on the beach are planning to use driftwood, shells and dried seaweed on their tables. Favours which are aimed at the environment are also popular for next year, wild seeds for bees, honey from local farms and donations to local charities.
Couples seem to be continuing to head away from a specific theme/colour for their whole day, they are bringing in different aspects of them and their lives into different areas of their day. We have one couple where each of their tables will be decorated in the style of the different countries they have travelled to together; another couple are using photos of each of their guests as their table plan.
Coloured glassware and cutlery are still continuing to be popular for next year with either plain simple crockery or the layering up or vintage mismatched pieces. Table runners in natural fabrics as well as some more luxurious velvets in darker tones.
Food styling is continuing to grow in popularity with our couples whether this be a statement piece of furniture for their cake and other sweet treats or grazing tables dressed with props, flowers and plants which tie into the theme. We started providing grazing tables as part of the business 2 years ago to tie in and complement our styling services.
Statement lighting continues to be popular with light up letters still on many couples’ wish list but also the use of lampshades clusters and chandeliers in unusual places.
Self-service guest drink stations are also on many of our couples lists for next year especially those using marquees, tipis and home venues for their day. We have Pimp your Prosecco bars, Gin and Rum trolleys, Beer barrows, Roll top bath ice bars and Hot chocolate stations, with some couples having their own signature cocktails premade in our Kilner jars for their guest’s arrival drinks.
Comfy Zone – seating areas for guests are also continuing to be popular next year whether it be a mix of sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and lamps or more bohemian style with peacock chairs, rugs, trunks and floor cushions. We are starting to see more of these areas being requested in outdoor locations, obviously weather dependent.