One of the first things that a guest will notice at a wedding ceremony or reception is the styling or decorations. Lets face it, every bride and groom wants to have their wedding look and feel a certain way that reflects who they are and what their wedding day represents.

Whilst this has traditionally been a job delegated to the bride, there seems to be quite a few grooms game enough to have an opinion as well.  I think this is great as the ceremony and reception are a true reflection of the couple, rather than being very one sided.

When producing wedding videos we love a well styled ceremony or reception venue.  All good feature films requires cut away shots to break a scene up, and the finer details of the decorations are a great place to start.

We often get asked by brides ” do you have any tips on styling my wedding, you’ve seen so many surely you would have the inside scoop…”. By now we’ve attended hundreds of weddings so we’ve put down some points to consider when styling your wedding:.

Styling your wedding reception

Set the Mood

How do you want your guests to feel.  Like music, the decorations at a wedding will set the mood for your guests.  Do you want it to be formal or casual, modern or traditional or possibly themed?  Once you decide, this will help you choose what elements will set the mood of your venue ie. candles, flowers, balloons etc.

Pick a Colour

Choosing colours may be as simple as selecting your favourite colour, or possibly the popular colour of the season.  Remember to try to choose colours that work well together, either by complimenting or contrasting depending on the effect you are after.  Also consider if the decorations will go well with what the bridal party will be wearing.

Site Restrictions

When considering styling your wedding, make sure the venue allows you this freedom.  Some venues offer you the room as a blank canvas to style as you please.  Other venues may restrict how much you can do, or require you to use a specific styling company to undertake the decorating for you.  Take pictures of the wedding venue to refer back to when considering a decorating idea.

Time Restraints

Most venues will only give you access to the ceremony or reception venue a few hours prior.  Also be aware if the space may be used for other ceremonies or events prior to yours.  This will affect the amount of time you have available.  One other thing to spare a thought for is who will be coordinating the decorating for you?  Whilst you may be a very organised couple, I doubt any bride or groom has time on their wedding day to be involved in decorating.  Ensure that those styling, know exactly what look you are after, and that they allow plenty of time to set-up.  It can be heartbreaking walking into your venue and not have it looking the way you pictured it.  Also remember to organise someone to take down the  decorations after the event.  Most places will have restrictions on when you are able to do this.

styling your wedding bridal party

How big is the Event

If you are having a big wedding with lots of space or a small wedding in an intimate venue, remember to style accordingly.  Big decorations will cramp a small space whilst small decorations will appear tiny in a large space.

A big consideration is will your event have kids? As a parent of two rather rough young boys, kids tend to get bored during ceremony’s and receptions and your decorations may be just the distraction they are after.  You may want to choose decorations that are not so fragile and won’t be dangerous or easily swallowed.  If you are having a few kids at your event you may want to set up a kids area, where they can play safely and not disrupt the formalities of the day.

How much to spend

Work out your budget and do your research.  There are a lot of experts in styling your wedding nowadays, as well as companies that hire everything from linen to candelabra.  Ask them questions and seek advise.  They will have plenty of ideas you may not have thought of.   Even Op shops can be a treasure trove to budget savvy couples.

Let the most stylish thing be you

Remember that whilst the style of your day will be affected by your decorations, your day is about more than how everything looks.  It is about you as a couple and the vows you are making to each other.  So don’t sweat the small stuff.  If not everything goes to plan, laugh it off and just have fun.