Long gone are the days when wedding design was standard – the ‘one size fits all’ approach, with the arrival of Pinterest and Instagram has most definitely gone! We say ‘HURRAH’! After all it is your special day and as such it should be a reflection of you and your husband/wife-to-be.
One of the first steps of planning your wedding (as you are working your way through that mahoosive checklist of venue, ceremony, invitations, food, entertainment, wedding cake, bridal wear etc.!) will be to figure out your wedding style. Don't panic, because believe me, this bit can actually be lots of fun!
But just how do you start to identify whether you are looking for something classic, or modern, glamorous, vintage or rustic? And how do you create a coordinated look that really ‘feels’ like it represents you?
There are a multitude of ‘Wedding Style’ type quizzes online you might like to try (simply Google ‘What’s My Wedding Style’!). These are fun but after trying one or two you may come up with some conflicting results, as one of our lovely brides-to-be recently found out! However fear not, because I have put together some handy hints and tips to get you started, so you will soon be working out your wedding style and DIY-ing like a pro!
1. What’s My Style?
Let’s start with working out your style. For some couples this is really easy. You might instantly know the sort of vibe and feel that you want – maybe you have always dreamed of a boho or festival type wedding, or would prefer a more traditional or rustic theme? Maybe you have a love of bright, bold colours (definitely me!) or lean towards pastel shades? For other couples, it’s not always so easy. The key thing here is to identify your own style so that you can focus on what’s important to you stylistically and décor-wise.
Do use Pinterest, magazines and wedding blogs for inspiration – there are some totally amazing online wedding resources; but rather than trying to emulate someone else’s wedding entirely, try and focus on which elements appeal to you the most. Mood or pin-boards can be hugely helpful here and in the longer run actually save you time and money. Getting it right now means you will be less likely to impulse buy, make expensive mistakes or DIY pieces that subsequently don’t sit comfortably within your overall theme.
To make a wedding mood board, simply cut-out or pin pictures, photos and colours of things you love and are drawn to. Very quickly you will start to identify your look, colour theme and style. My top tip here would be to create your board and then wait a couple of weeks before you finalise it. Often when you re-visit it, you will see images that that don’t quite ‘fit’ with your ideal. Simply delete these until you have a look that works for you (and makes you feel excited & happy!).
Once you have identified your preferred style, the next step is to work out how you can achieve your look through colour and design, always working within your wedding budget. For many brides this will mean identifying which elements, decorations and pieces you can buy, DIY or hire.
2. To DIY or Hire?
I really believe some of the most memorable weddings I have attended as a guest or had the privilege to work on and style, have included some element of DIY; where the bride and groom, friends or family have taken the time to create something personal or totally unique for their special day.
There really are so many ways you can incorporate a personal touch. Favours, for example, are one of best ways to do this (for 30 simply wonderful wedding favour ideas, do have a look at my previous Blog here ).
Place/name settings for your guests are also another element that you might like to consider making yourself. I have seen everything from hand-painted pebbles, to beautifully decorated corks, fir cones and leaves for place settings. Or if you are nifty with graphic design, why not have a go at designing and printing your own ‘Advice for the Bride & Groom’ cards or tags for that all-important sparkler send-off? You are only limited here by your imagination because whatever your budget for wedding décor, you really can make it look beautiful with a little creativity. Just choose something that you’re good at, and more importantly enjoy doing.
If you do decide to have a go at making your own wedding decorations, there are two tips I can offer before you commence your project:
a) Know the total cost of a project: I promise you it’s very easy to underestimate cost here, so know your budget, work out the cost of your materials and ‘price twice’ to be certain. Take into account stationery costs, printing costs, crafting materials etc. Good quality silk flowers and garlands in particular can be a significant expense, so it's a good idea to shop around.
Always remember there are often significant savings and advantages to be made when you hire the items you want - particularly the larger, statement pieces.
At The Wedding Library, we know and understand just how costly it can be for couples to decorate an entire venue. That’s why we have lots of beautiful affordable pieces for hire that we can personalise just for you at little or no extra cost, working in colours and styles to match your preferred décor or theme. Our stunning floral wedding arch is a great example of this as it can be dressed in a number of ways with different colour roses added in to compliment your decor.
Hiring also means you won’t have any issues finding space to store everything ahead of your wedding, or need to worry about setting-up on your special day and packing down afterwards. We really have got you covered!
b) Allow enough time to complete a project: Starting a project sooner rather than later is a great idea, especially if you are juggling a home, family-life, and work. It can be a real challenge to find the time to dedicate to making pieces yourself. However it’s amazing how much friends and family can help here, with everything from sourcing materials for you online, to piecing together those all-important favour goodie- boxes. In my experience, people usually LOVE to help and be involved if they can. It’s all part of the fun and build-up to your special day! I guarantee you will get a huge sense of satisfaction making something personally for your wedding. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
3. Will my style work with my Venue?
This is a little ‘chicken and egg!’ If you have worked out your style or theme and know the sort of wedding and décor you would like before you have booked a venue, you can of course choose somewhere that will work in tandem with this. For example, if you have your heart set on a rustic style wedding, incorporating lots of natural elements and greenery, a barn might be the perfect choice as your venue.
If you have already booked your venue, my advice would be to stay as true as possible to the style and locale of the place to make it feel authentic. Always work with what you have, not against it because I promise it will cost you less and look better too.
So there you have it - except to say most importantly, remember to have lots of fun along the way! It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about how your wedding should look. If it feels right or important to you to have an ice cream van and pizza, fairground rides, a fairy-tale theme, rainbow colours or balloons instead of flowers…then just go for it!
And if you need any advice or help with identifying your style and theme, from making a mood-board to choosing your wedding colours; to working out which bits you can make yourself and selecting those all-important props and decorations to hire, you know where to come. We have a huge catalogue of truly wonderful and unique pieces available to hire, many of which we can personalise just for you. Pop through to our stock page & gallery for some inspiration and ideas.
My Wedding Library door is always open and I’m super happy to help.
Happy wedding planning Lovelies!