The Pre-Wedding Shopping List – Putting the finishing touches to your wedding décor
Hello again, everyone! Amazingly it’s August already, so one thing I am busy with right now is (yes) my favourite bit of planning a wedding: The shopping. This part is all about scouring shops and the internet to find all the little finishing touches for your wedding décor, and for me, those details are some of the most important. Ask any chef and they’ll tell you, “it’s all about the presentation”, and that’s something that I think holds true for weddings too. The idea is for you to enchant your guests and really absorb them in the atmosphere of your day.
As much as I absolutely love this part, I know from working with brides and grooms that this stage is often the one they find the most terrifying, so today I’m writing about what to shop for or organise in the last few months to add those beautiful little styling details and finishing touches to your wedding décor.
When I’m styling a wedding, I always focus on a few really key details to make the wedding unique, and with the power of Etsy and other creative websites at your fingertips it’s pretty easy and relatively inexpensive to add completely bespoke and beautiful little details to your wedding design.
I asked the lovely Dyanna LaMora to provide the photos for this post because she’s one of those photographers who really knows how to make the most of all those special little details. For me, the best wedding photos always capture the emotions and relationships of the day, but they also capture the atmosphere and the details in a way that reminds you of how it felt to actually be there. So one thing I always recommend in the last few months before a wedding is to make sure you think about the detail and décor photography.
Everyone thinks about which photos they want of their friends and family, but very few remember to think about anything else. My advice is to add in little accessories for the photographer when you’re shopping, send on copies of your invitation suite, schedule time for your photographer at the venue before guests arrive and make sure your photographer has a list of your favourite elements of the wedding design so you can be sure to capture memories of those beautiful little details.
This year, table décor for me has been all about the stationery. There are just endless options right now for delicious handmade and creative stationery elements that actually become the table décor. Clean calligraphy is really popular right now, but the fun part is really in the choice of materials; from luxurious, ultra-thick card stocks, to elegant hand-torn paper, vellum, and custom printed linens. It’s such an obvious suggestion, but really Pinterest is amazing for stationery ideas. When thinking about where to invest time and money in your wedding detailing, I’d ditch the favours, chair sashes and tea lights for a bit of paper-luxury on the big day.
So much effort and expense goes into choosing the perfect engagement and wedding rings, but hardly anyone ever remembers to think about how they’re presented on the day. One of my favourite additions to any wedding is a pretty ring case or box which always makes for a really memorable photo. I’m a huge fan of the pretty velvet ring boxes available from The Mrs Box and La Petit Box and there’s also a fantastic selection of creative ideas on Etsy for glass boxes and vintage options which work well with practically every wedding design and style.
Mix it up
One thing that adds something special to wedding décor is mixing styles together. If you’ve gone rustic in your décor, try and add in some really ornate accessories. I love shiny brass candlesticks mixed with natural woods and greenery or geometric, modern touches mixed in with luxury vintage. Getting this right can be tricky, but if you hang around for a few hours on Instagram or Pinterest you’ll pick up some great pointers on how to get this right and it really can make all the difference.
A little bit of creative signage adds so much to the impact for guests as well as being functional. I love adding signage to practically everything from the bar to the entrance. If you’re deciding what to choose, we’ve said goodbye to chalkboards, light up letters and rustic signage in favour of custom printed linens, aged wood and oversized hand calligraphy on giant spools of paper, which make for an incredible backdrop for your ceremony or cake.
Accessorise Your Accessories
Once you’ve pulled together the little decorative items for the wedding, spend a little time thinking about how you’re going to actually present those. A beautiful cake or dessert bar is totally wasted on an ugly backdrop or ill-fitting table so think about hiring in or buying what you need to present what you have in the perfect way. Don’t feel like you need to decorate everything, just focus on a few key areas and that’s what people will remember. One thing I always do is to put together a box of accessories and decorative extras from candles to fruit or bud vases so I have that little extra something on the day if I need it.
2017 has been the year of the hanging décor, with suspended florals and decorations dominating every blog and magazine. I’m not usually a slave to fashion (I can’t say goodbye to rose gold just yet) but this is one trend I am right behind. Bringing in a hanging element to the wedding décor can create a massive impact with minimal effort and expense so it’s one of the best ways to make a feature of an element of the wedding you’re really proud of. There’s so many options right now for how to do it, from hanging flowers to hoops of greenery or string lights and this type of feature always makes a fantastic backdrop for photos.
Pimp Your Flowers
Picking the flowers themselves is often half the battle with floral presentation on the wedding day, and it’s often the little details that make all the difference. Speak to the florist about how you want the bouquet tied, and what with and add on extra flowers and greenery to your order to use in presentation throughout the venue just in case. Right now, florals are loose and organic and one of the things on my shopping list for every wedding is hand dyed silk floral ribbon, which I think is one of the prettiest and most popular trends of the past few years. Easily available online, this pretty ribbon and fabric is also fantastic for flat lay and detail photography as well as accessorising place settings; so for me, it’s a must-have.
I really hope this has given you a few good ideas for how to put the all-important finishing touches to your wedding décor, but as a wedding planner and stylist who’s been to more weddings than I can count; I can hand-on-heart say that the best weddings are always the ones that are really warm and personal. That’s not something that’s determined by how much money you spend or how expert your styling skills are but it is definitely about the love that you put into creating it; so enjoy every minute of the shopping and flex those creative muscles!
Love Sara xx
A huge thanks to Dyanna LaMora for providing the photography for this article.