Sometimes it’s those little details that make all the difference. So here’s our advice on making sure your wedding looks picture perfect…
One of the most important things to create the right sort of atmosphere is the lighting you choose. Brash, bright overhead lighting won’t create a party mood or put people at ease. In fact, turning on the overhead lights is a good way of telling everyone that a party is over. You need to be thinking about the different ways lights can be used at your wedding. At the ceremony you can use lights to create a focal point around the bride and groom, maybe by a backlit curtain. At your wedding reception you can choose table lights to create an intimate atmosphere. Oversize illuminated letters used at night in a garden or around the dance floor can create photo opportunities.
Presenting the entrance way
When people arrive, you want them to feel a sense of expectation and excitement, as well as a warm welcome. So make your entranceway to your reception as attractive and fun as possible. You can do this with signs, garlands of flowers, rows of lanterns and candles… loads of candles! Just speak to your wedding stylist they will be able to advise the best look for your wedding venue entrance.
A red carpet also works well. You could ask your photographer to ‘pap’ your guests as they arrive, which would make for fun wedding photographs. Or have a backdrop for guests to pose against on their way in, a bit like the Oscar ceremony!
If you’ve spent a lot of time, thought and money on your wedding cake, then you want to show it off to best effect. Don’t allow it to be plonked in the corner by the catering staff and only come into its own when you’re having the cake cutting moment. Instead, get your cake table dressed up beautifully. Sequinned fabrics can look fantastic underneath a wedding cake.
Chair hoods and drapes are one thing but don’t forget about decorating the bride and groom’s chairs. There are so many ways of doing this. You can buy ready-made signs saying bride and groom. You can drape different sorts of fabrics around the chairs, depending on the sort of day you’re styling up. For example lace for a vintage style day or hessian for something a bit more rustic, you may also want to add fresh flower details to your chairs. If the idea of a top table doesn’t really appeal to you then you could also consider having a sweetheart table.
These will be areas that will draw the eye of guests. Places like where you say your vows, where you cut the cake, the dance floor, entrance way. Make sure they are decorated and lit in ways that show them off to best effect.
If you’re pushing back tables at your reception to create a bigger dance floor then some people are going to be left without somewhere to sit. In addition, it’s likely to get noisy in that room and many people will want to sit, chat and catch up. So we really recommend having a separate chill-out room or area where people can relax somewhere peaceful. In winter, a hallway with a roaring fire can be a wonderful spot to gather. You can serve tea, coffee and wedding cake there too and maybe have a dessert table.
Going to a wedding as a single can be a bit dull if you’re put on a table full of couples. But if you put all the singles on a table together then there will probably be a lot more banter. And who knows what romance may blossom?
Ceremony styling at the Grand Hotel and Spa
Your guests need to feel welcome from the moment they arrive at your wedding. So make sure your ushers know how to do their job properly. At some weddings, it’s obvious that ushers haven’t been briefed on what they should be doing. They stand in a huddle, chatting around the bridegroom. Wrong. What the ushers should be doing is greeting the guests at the entrance to the ceremony, handing them an order of service and then showing them where they should be sitting. You might have free-seating, you might have the rows at the front reserved for particular people or you might have the bride’s friends and family on one side and the bridegroom’s on the other. It’s your call. But having well-organised ushers is something that’s really worthwhile getting right. Make sure they have a practise at the wedding rehearsal or the best man is well informed to tell them of their duties.