Coming up with a centrepiece idea can be difficult, there’s so much else to think about and organise! Hopefully our guide will be able to provide more than a little bit of inspiration and take the stress off at least one aspect of the wedding planning!
It may sound overly simple, but don’t underestimate the visual power of the candle. Keep it minimalistic and elegant with a single pillar candle in a tall monochrome vase or cute and quirky by placing a few smaller candles in some mason jars for a more vintage feel. Choosing to include candles of various heights can lend an interesting visual effect to your tables and the absolutely huge range of colours that candles are available in means that no theme has to be left out!
Although the bare branch is something traditionally associated with the darker, colder months of the year a straightforward bit of customization means that this decoration is able to fit in beautifully with any kind of season or theme. A sweet spring or summer centrepiece can be achieved with bright seasonal flowers and few faux birds whilst a sprinkling of epsom salt and glitter combines to create a magical sparkling effect. Spray paint is a cheap and effective way of ensuring a nice personal touch and that your favourite colours are able to coordinate well with your theme.
Like the candle, the lantern is capable of being a very versatile centrepiece. Combining several smaller lanterns with our branch idea from above, particularly hanging them on the piece or arranging them into a pretty border circling its base, is great for achieving a more naturalistic look whereas a taller type of lantern, casting a softer light over everybody at the table, helps to create a more intimate, family feel.
If you or your significant other are any type of literary fan incorporating books into your centrepieces could be a novel way of expressing your love for each other. A small stack of love stories whether they’re classics like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or a something a little more modern like Nicholas Sparks’ total tearjerker The Notebook would be a unique addition to your wedding, and could even encourage some highbrow conversation amongst your guests!
Let’s face it, despite everyone’s best efforts that wait for food at a wedding can sometimes feel like an age. So why not give your guests something tasty to snack on whilst they wait? Edible centrepieces have become something of a trend in recent years with everything from mouth-watering fruit arrangements to sweet treats like mini macaroons and cupcakes or even an artfully arranged selection of cheese and biscuits having taken pride of place in the centre of the table. It’s a lot more memorable than a simple bread roll.
When experiencing your big day, it can be easy to get lost in the sheer amount of things you need to remember. A wedding day is a balancing act between enjoying the day to its full and keeping your guests happy. With so many people mixing together, it can be tough to take everyone’s wants and needs into account. Guests can be notoriously difficult to please, but there are ways you can plan your wedding to keep the maximum amount of people happy throughout the day, no matter what the situation is. Here’s some of the most common guest complaints and how you can deal with them.
Before sending out those important Save the Date cards, make sure you have a consensus as to when the most convenient date for your guests is. Obviously it’s your wedding and you should be able to have it whenever you want, but at the same time, you also don’t want a wedding with some of the most important guests missing. If you’re planning a wedding during a potentially busy time of year, such as Christmas, it’s best to check in advance if this is suitable for the majority of your guests. This way, you’ll avoid disappointments or complaining during the big day.
Consider the climate
One of the biggest factors in how comfortable your guests are is the weather. If your guests are too hot or too cold, it won’t take long for them to complain. Plan your wedding around what time of the year it is. The weather is always unpredictable, but an autumn or winter wedding will probably require an indoor venue. However, it’s important to remember than a warm climate can be just as uncomfortable as a wet or windy one, so consider using air conditioners during a summer wedding.
One thing that can ruin a wedding for your guests is being unable to eat the food that’s available. When thinking about what food you wish to serve, inquire with your confirmed guests to see if there’s any specific dietary requirements that you need to work out. The last thing you want on the big day is a vegetarian who can’t eat anything on offer or people having to avoid food due to allergies. As well as this, it’s good to get a general consensus about what your guests like to eat. If you know that the majority of your guests aren’t fans of seafood, for example, then you’ll have an idea as to what to serve.
A wedding is a full on day of fun, excitement and emotion. After the ceremony, many guests will be waiting to get stuck into the celebrating. Whilst it’s of course traditional for the best man and others to make a speech, what you don’t want to happen is guests getting bored waiting for speech after speech. When collaborating with those who are speaking at the reception, perhaps consider giving them a rough time-frame for their remarks, to avoid guests struggling through a half-hour speech. Short and sweet is often best for your reception, especially if there’s youngsters in attendance.
What can sometimes happen with weddings is guests seeing the bride and groom walk down the aisle but then never again for the rest of the day. During your reception, take some time to greet and talk with all of your guests, so they can personally congratulate you and take some time to catch up. They’re there for you, after all, and some will have travelled far to get there, so make sure you make them feel like their attendance is appreciated. A way you can make this fun is by having the photographer snap each greeting as you go round, giving you another fun memory for your wedding album.
When planning a wedding, your guests first impression isn’t limited to just the day. The invitation is as important as any other aspect as it gives you a chance to get your guests excited for the event. Because of this, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to give your invitations a more personal touch than the standard, shop bought examples.
Add something special
Everyone loves extras, so jazz up your invites by adding something that gets your guests ready for the big day. Including something like a personalised balloon that your guests can blow up and reveal the event details makes them a part of the experience, which, of course, they are. Your invitation can even be helpful for the guests themselves by including something like a map to the venue or a handkerchief invite that doubles as a pocket square.
Give calligraphy a go
Difficult to master but well worth it, calligraphy can give your invites a sense of authenticity that you won’t find on traditional invitations. As writing a personal invitation for every one of your guests can be very time consuming, this method could be best suited for a smaller wedding, rather than a huge event. Some companies will be able to do it for you, although this can potentially be expensive if you’re on a smaller budget.
Think outside the rectangle
When you picture a classic invitation, you’ll most likely think of a standard rectangle shape, that easily fits into an envelope. An easy way to stand out from the crowd is to change the shape of your invitations to something more unique. Have fun with the size and shape of invites by experimenting with circles or other custom shapes. This is easy to do and shouldn’t affect the cost of sending them out, and your guests will remember them long after they’ve sent the reply.
Wrap it up
Whilst a wedding invitation can get you excited for the big day, sometimes it can feel like just another greetings card. Wrapping your invites in something personal or unique can really complete the package. Using a small muslin bag or a simple piece of twine or lace can add that little extra something to an invite. If you’re on a bigger budget, a leather pouch can add a huge amount of authenticity, making sure that your guests know that your wedding cannot be missed.
Nothing screams “wedding” better than gold, so why not add some to your invites. Whilst this can be an expensive option, it does give your invites a little bit of extra class that your guests are sure to respect. Gilded words with a stylised font can look impressive or, if you’re going for a more subtle look, you can add a small picture of signature to the bottom of the page.
When picking a menu for your reception, you can drive yourself mad trying to think of dishes that will please everyone. With so many guests with so many tastes, you might think it’s hard creating the perfect combination of foods and flavours. However, recent trends in wedding menus mean it’s easier than ever before to create something vibrant, modern and delicious.
If you thought the cupcake craze was going away, think again. Cupcakes make the perfect entrée, with many chefs even branching into savoury versions. Mini meatloaf topped with rosemary and mashed potato “icing” or a tomato and basil parmesan mix can make a great savoury addition to a meal. Don’t be put off if you hear about cupcakes working as an entrée – they might just be the perfect savoury snack.
Individual wedding cakes
If the royal wedding rumours are true, then this could be the hottest trend to try at your wedding. While it seems a little “out there”, an individual, smaller wedding cake on each table will allow your guests to cut and admire their own dessert, rather than have something simply handed to them on a plate. This also allows you to personalise cakes, especially if you have one family or group of friends per table.
If you’re looking to inject your reception with a Spanish influenced, tapas might be the right road for you. Perfect for a more relaxed wedding, tapas allows guests to mingle and try all sorts of different flavours such as paella cups, garlic shrimp skewers and lime fish. If you want to keep your menu tied together without forcing your guests to sit at one table all night, then tapas is perfect.
The trend of mini-foods has dominated weddings in recent years, providing a quick and light snack or an interesting starter. Some will say bigger is better, but with ideas such as salads in shot glasses or fish and chips in a newspaper cone, mini might suit your wedding much better. A plate of mini burger sliders also makes an ideal starter if you’re planning on a big main course.
Food trucks and street foods
Usually relegated to music festivals or the side of streets, street foods are now one of the hottest things in the culinary world and are even making their way into weddings. Food trucks can be great if you want to put a unique, kooky spin on your reception cuisine. Enjoy another culinary trend with pulled pork or other high demand foods. You might even consider the option of hiring food trucks for right after the wedding ends, making sure guests don’t go hungry before the main meal.
Gearing up for your wedding can be one of the most stressful parts of the whole experience. With so many different things to plan, getting everything perfect can be a daunting task. However, a few simple steps can make planning your wedding as enjoyable as the big day itself.
Take your time
Your wedding is certainly something that shouldn’t be rushed, so leaving enough time to plan is important when creating the best day you can. This time can vary, with some couples starting the planning well over a year before the big day. There’s really no limit to when you can start, giving you time to save more money and ensure your wedding is as memorable as possible.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to please everyone and make everything perfect. However, it is important to prioritize your needs and the things that really mean something to you. If the photographer or DJ are what you want to get right, focus on booking those aspects first, rather than worrying about what guests are going to think.
Stay as a team
When planning something as big as a wedding, it’s easy for a couple to become divided in their opinions, especially if they have family and friends influencing them. It’s important to remember that this is your day, so decisions should be made by you and you alone. If there’s a direction you want to go in for your wedding, follow your heart and go for it.
Control your budget
When thinking about the money side of things, remember to leave some money aside for unforeseen circumstances. Ideally, you’ll want to put around 5% of your budget aside for potential expenses such as printing out new invites, umbrellas for a rainy day and ribbons for the wedding programs.
Never be afraid to ask
If you’re planning with a wedding vendor, they should be your most trusted person during the process. If there’s a direction you want to go in or something you want to change, you should feel free to explore all options with them, no matter how minor. A good wedding vendor will take all ideas into consideration, so don’t be afraid to ask. It’s your wedding after all.