6 things to consider in order to create a beautiful & cohesive wedding day
Helping our couples think through the details...
The average bride has at least 4 Pinterest boards dedicated to specific aspects of the wedding planning. Ok, I just made that up, BUT, I’m betting that if you’re anywhere in the wedding planning process, you’ve come to the realization that there are countless components, ideas, and decisions that go into executing your big day. And the sources of inspiration are endless, thanks to search engines like Pinterest, online shops such as Etsy, plus the gorgeous pictures and helpful articles featured in wedding blogs and magazines. Before long, you’ve pinned, clipped, tagged, and saved twenty different invitation examples, forty fragrant bouquets, and don’t-even-ask-how-many adorable DIY decorations.
So how do you go about planning a wedding that looks and feels cohesive rather than having guests walk into a chaotic-looking Pinterest-themed party??
If the idea of focusing on wedding details has you googling “how to tell my family I’m eloping,” don’t worry. Take a deep breath and focus on the cornerstones of your wedding day, you & your fiance and the heirlooms you are creating!
- Are you tying the knot in January or June? Your color palette and the overall “feel” will be very different depending on the date.
- The same goes for your venue(s): a traditional church wedding followed by a country club reception will look very different from a barefoot beach ceremony or snowy mountain villa destination weekend.
Once you’ve thought about how you want your day to feel and look, you’ll be able to make decisions and get excited about the details that will delight your guests and make lasting memories of your day!
I LOVE receiving wedding invitations in the mail. I get a giddy kind of excitement when opening the envelope(s); my excitement builds as I get the first glimpse of what kind of event I’ll be attending. Heavy, creamy cardstock and formal black script tells me that I’m attending a more formal, classic wedding, while colorful wildflowers or nautical insignia give clues to an alternative setting. I once attending a wedding inside the hangar of World War II museum; the invitations featured art deco-inspired airplanes.
FYI, Most brides sent invitations 45-60 days before the wedding date, though invites can be sent even earlier for destination weddings.
Once you’ve nailed down the date, venue, and theme (let’s just call it “the feel”) of your wedding, bridal party accessories are the next place to create cohesion. A black tux will look out of place at an afternoon garden wedding, just like cowboy boots will clash with the modern elegance of an art museum reception. However, those same cowboy boots would be perfectly placed at a rustic venue like a restored barnyard or plantation grounds. I love an unexpected pop of color on the bride’s or bridesmaids’ shoes, though it’s important to match your color palette.
Bouquets and boutonnieres provide another way to showcase your wedding colors while staying true to the personality of your wedding. An autumn outdoor wedding might feature bold flowers and loose bouquets with trailing vines. Sleek lilies look elegant and chic in modern venues. Incorporating the same flowers (or even the bouquets themselves!) in your reception decor maintains consistency between “I do” and “Let’s dance!”
I am a huge proponet of professional florists. Creating floral pieces is truly an art. A homemade boutonniere can be spotted a mile away, that bunch of farmers market flowers you wrapped up in floral tape and call a bouquet...your florist can turn that into artwork! Curious about what goes into making all those beautiful things?! Ask your florist if you can come watch her prep for a wedding...she'll put you to work, and it is WORK.
LINENS and TABLE SETTINGS
Satin, lace, burlap (ew!!!), organza, rosette, sequin….. Let’s not even start with overlays, runners, sashes, and napkins! Linens and table settings are often left to the last minute, as they seem so simple. However, a starched white linen tablecloth, a shiny silver satin overlay, and a rustic burlap runner all give off different vibes.
Choose table and chair coverings that match the mood of your venue.
If you can’t decide, ask an event planner if you can hire them for a consultation to help you finalize the choices. Vases, plates, silverware, and glasses can all be dressed up or down to create a seamless feel.
Many brides stick with the traditional tiered wedding cake, though more and more couples are using dessert as a way to display their personalities or carry out a theme.
Pies, doughnuts, or mini-cobbler may be more fitting for your shabby-chic wedding than lacy layers of icing. Regional or ethnic desserts can pay homage to one’s hometown or family, while fresh flowers, shells, and monograms ensure even the cake matches the invitations.
If you absolutely can’t decide between the perfectly color-coordinated fondant or the cute cake that just screams “us,” the southern tradition of a groom’s cake is another way for couples to showcase a profession, hobby, college, or favorite sports team.
There are moments during wedding planning when you will feel overwhelmed and decision-making seems impossible. In those moments, remember that ultimately your wedding is a celebration of you and the love of your life.
If incorporating something quirky or leaving out a traditional element feels right for you, go for it! And, once you’ve made a decision, commit. There are more ideas and sources of inspiration than one person can peruse in a lifetime - your wedding will be absolutely beautiful simply because YOU are there!