One of the most important thoughts to bear in mind when you're styling your wedding is to spend money where it will have the most impact. And a floral wedding arch certainly creates the wow factor when your guests arrive at your wedding venue.
A bower of flowers is a good idea for plenty of reasons:
- It gives a sense of welcome at the entrance to your venue
- It provides a focal point for the area in which to say your vows or where you sign the register
- If you're having a Jewish wedding, then you'll want a floral huppah to be married underneath
- It's a great backdrop for photographs
- It can beautify a less than beautiful doorway
- Or create a doorway wherever you want one
- If you're marrying outside, you can set an arch up with spectacular scenery behind
- You can use flowers for the season and theme of your wedding day
- A flower curtain can disguise an indifferent area at your reception
- You can use a floral arch or arches to direct guests to where you want them to go. For example, if you want people to head to the bar while you're having your photographs taken, have an arch placed there that calls out 'this way to where the party starts'. If you're having a country-style wedding day in summer, think about old-fashioned flowers like roses and peonies.
- In the winter, think of holly, berrries, ivy.
- In fall, use trailing vines, mini squash and have an earthy palette.
- If you're having a Jewish wedding, then you'll want a floral huppah to be married underneath
- Floral arches are a great backdrop for photographs
- Fancy making one yourself? Here's a DIY guide to making a floral wedding arch.
- Talk to your florist and say that you're interested in having a decorated floral arch and see what is suggested for the time of year and your location.
- Maybe take some Pantone swatches if you're keen on matching up colors to flowers.
Think carefully about where your flower budget goes - after all, table decorations are all well and good but they don't feature big time in the wedding photos, do they? A floral wedding arch is a styling trick you really shouldn't miss.
(Image credits clockwise from top: Taryn Baxter, Wedding Chicks, Wedding Chicks.
Interior designers have long known that a ‘pop’ of color in a neutral room can add a fabulously vibrancy.
Which is exactly why you should consider colorful wedding bouquets and wedding flowers.
Because if you’re going down the traditional wedding dress route, then your bridal gown is likely to be white or ivory – neutral in fact. And an splash of carefully-considered color could give some serious styling to your big day.
(Image credit: Style Me Pretty)
Bright colors, blue skies
If you’re getting married under a tropical sun or somewhere hot, then bright colors work really well. Pastels can look a bit washed out under palm trees and on white sands – but brights really come into their own. Same applies with your bridemaid dresses. Under a cloudless blue sky think about dressing your maids in stand-out shades and jewel colors.
Think about the heat too – maybe it’s time for one-shouldered bridesmaid gowns like these.
(Image credit: Wedding Chicks)
On a beach, have a colorful wedding arch created from local flowers to give a focal point for saying your vows (and having your photograph taken).
(Image credit: Casaecozinha)
Think about how your flowers are presented too – we love the idea of using tropical fruit – like the pineapple above – as containers for your floral décor.
White dresses, colorful bouquets
A vibrantly colored wedding bouquet will look fabulous against the white of a wedding dress – like the bride shown. She’s cleverly chosen to echo the color of her bouquet in her bridesmaid gowns too (and better still, has given her maids different necklines so that they’re confident they’re wearing a dress that suits them perfectly).
(Image credit: Burnetts Boards)
Colored wedding flowers aren’t just for bouquets either – think about ways to use them to decorate your wedding cake, around doorways and on chairbacks (we’ve some great ideas for decorating wedding chairs here too). Enjoy!
(Image credit: Wedding Chicks)
One last word: Always talk to your florist about which flowers are in season for the area you are in. You'll be saving money and you'll also be doing your bit to help the environment, by not having expensive out-of-season blooms flown in from distant countries.
Image credit: Aisle Society)
(Image credit: Wedding Chicks)
(Image credit: Ruffled Blog)
Wedding cakes with flowers like the ones above are perfection if you're having a very romantic kind of a wedding theme.
Of course, your wedding cake is going to take center stage on your big day.
So you need to make sure it says just what you want to
And you have so many options. Deciding on the look of your wedding cake might be one of the more difficult decisions you make when planning the catering for your big day.
(Image credit: The Cake Parlour)
Here are a few wedding cake tips from us
- Have wedding cake tiers in different flavors - a chocolate sponge, a traditional fruit cake and a citrus flavored sponge.
- Offer a gluten free cake on the tier so all your friends can indulge
- Have a nude wedding cake - with minimal icing, like the one shown above.
- Don't forget the bridegroom. Surprise him with a groom's cake as your gift. Choose his favorite recipe. Prince William had a chocolate biscuit groom's cake when he married Duchess Kate.
- Don't want a traditional cake? You could go for a tower of cheeses if you prefer savoury to sweet. Or put one on your dessert table as another option for guests.
- Watching your budget but still want to have an impressive tier of cakes? They don't all have to be real you know. Just have one or two tiers that are cake and get your caterer to ice boxes for some tiers. Nobody will know the difference except you and the caterer. And you're not going to be saying anything, are you?
- A spectacular wedding cake could make a really good gift from somebody
- Give your caterer fabric swatches or Pantone refereces (Dessy makes it easy here) so that they can get colors EXACTLY as you want them. For things like ribbons and paste flowers.
- If you're marrying somewhere really hot, a citrus flavored cake could just hit the spot
- On a budget? Buy a good quality iced cake from a baker or supermarket and decorate it yourself with flowers. Here's a tutorial for doing just that.
- Finally, choose a cake that reflects your style of day. Your wedding dress. The venue. The time of year. If you're having a boho or rustic wedding, you probably won't want to opt for a formal tiered iced cake. Or if you're having a chic city wedding then you might find that decorating your cake with rustic flowers doesn't look quite right.
(Image credit above: Wedding Chicks )
Image credits above and below: Maisie Fantaisie
Image credit: Rosalind Miller Cakes
Should you invite children to your wedding day? Or should you make it a child-free event?
It can be a tricky one- particularly if a lot of your friends have had children already. Some people will say you're selfish not to invite kids. Others will breathe a sigh of relief.
A lot depends on your style of wedding day
Not all weddings are suitable for children. For example, if you're having a service in a chic city venue with a dance afterwards then young children aren't really going to add much to the occasion. They will also get very bored and probably make all the adults realise that in the loudest and most disruptive ways possible!
It's your big day and it should be done your way. So here are some thoughts about children and weddings to consider before you make any decisions.
- If you request some friends not to bring children but have other kids there (young nephews and nieces for example) it could look awkward. So explain beforehand what you're doing so there are no misunderstandings.
- Banning kids from the wedding will preclude some of your friends being able to come at all - they might have issues with childcare or young babies.
- Children can add a wonderful atmosphere to a wedding day and make for some fabulous photographs!
- If a friend is bringing a young child or baby to the ceremony, be prepared for a bit of noise. A polite parent will always take the child outside if the noise is intrusive.
- Have a children's table and think up some fabulous child-centred wedding favors. And make sure they are named - kids love arriving at a table to see a parcel with their name on it! Also don't plan on serving the same food that you're serving to adults (unless you're having a barbecue or similar). Kids find it hard to sit through a formal three piece meal - maybe serve party food in boxes for each child? This is also the time to seriously think about having a sweetie table or a dessert table.
- If you're marrying in winter a chill-out room for young kids - equipped with party games and a DVD is essential. In summer, think of outdoor games which you can hire - croquet, Jenga, badminton ... And a chill-out room is still a good idea - it might be rainy and kids do get tired.
- Teenagers over the age of 16 should really receive their own wedding invitation and certainly if they are over 18. Also, put teens on a table together - don't jumble them up with the young kids. They probably won't appreciate it. Don't serve them party food either - they should be served the same food as the adults.
- If you're having a disco, make sure they play a medley of tunes the children will enjoy. You could also have a dance competition to keep the youngsters entertained!
- Make sure you have a photograph taken of yourselves with your flowergirls and pageboys - early on whilst they are still clean and tidy!
- Children at weddings is an emotive subject and people have strong feelings. It really is up to you at the end of the day - be considerate and thoughtful and whatever you decide will run more smoothly!
Image credits clockwise from top: Bridal Musings, 100 Layer Cake, Maui Aloha Weddings, Etsy.
Don't fancy ivory or white for your wedding dress? Well blush is feminine, chic, sophisticated and timeless.
Celebs who have opted for blush on their big day include:
- Anne Hathaway
- Reese Witherspoon
- Jessica Biel
- Emily Deschanel
Blush for your bridesmaids
Both dark and fair skin tones suit blush. You may think pink and redheads is a no-no, but in fact, the combo can work beautifully.
You never really know what's going to suit until you put a color sample up against your face - and Dessy makes it easy for you to do this with its color swatches.
If you're getting married again and don't want to wear white or ivory, then a wedding gown in soft blush could be just perfect. It will look and feel suitably bridal but that little bit different as well.
Blush works beautifully with vintage style wedding dresses - maybe go for something cut in a 1920s style, a 1930's bias cut or a 1950's full tulle knee-length number.
Blush also goes superbly with metallics - so you could opt for gold or silver wedding shoes, or add a metallic detail to your gown.
Adding a hint of this delicate hue to your bridal ensemble is easy to do. Make a strong style statement in pale pink satin pumps. Go for a rosy glow with delicate rose quartz earrings or a semi-precious stone ring. Finally, add a dramatic touch of blush to your bridal ensemble with a luscious bouquet done in pale pink peonies or voluminous ranunculus flowers.
Blush with Dessy
If you've decided that blush is the way ahead for your wedding day, then you'll be delighted with the choice of bridesmaid gowns that Dessy offers in this shade. Cocktail and full length designs, strapless, with sleeves, halter neck - there are styles to suit every girl. You might also like to check out our rose gold bridesmaid dresses.
If you're an Italian then you'll know what we're talking about when we say 'Venetian Hour'.
But if you're not, then we think it's a fabulous tradition that you really should know about.
A customary part of an Italian wedding day
The first thing you should know, is that a Venetian hour is a delicious - and filling - Italian wedding tradition
- It is held towards the end of an Italian wedding
- A large buffet of pastries, cakes, fruits, liqueurs and coffee are served along with the wedding cake
- An Italian hour usually has a room to itself in its honor
- It makes a great chill-out room away from the wedding music
Would it fit into your wedding budget?
A Venetian hour is designed to be lavish and it's not something you can skimp on. Although it's a lovely idea, many brides dismiss it as it's a) an extra expense b) guests will probably not be feeling particularly hungry by this point.
How much does it cost? While the price varies for each reception hall, it could cost the bride and groom an extra $1,000 from the overall cost of the wedding. If you are a couple that wants to have this as part of your wedding, check to see if it is included in the overall cost of the wedding.
An alternative to Venetian hour
If you aren't holding your wedding in a traditional reception hall, you could create a simple dessert table that may not cost nearly as much as it would if you were to do a lavish Venetian hour.
Traditionally at a Venetian table (or tables for that matter), you can find such desserts like Napoleans, cannoli, cheesecake, Tiramisu, chocolate fountains, ice cream sundaes, after dinner liquors and maybe even a cigar table for the men. Some go so far to create stations of different desserts and treats.
Cakes, cupcakes and cookies galore! This is a Venetian hour you would definitely want to attend! Images featured on GreenWeddingShoes.com.
Some brides will opt out of a Venetian hour and just have a platter of cookies at each table alongside the wedding cake. At some Italian weddings, family members will bake cookies in order to cut this cost. At many Italian weddings today, you can find that couples are stepping away from the traditional "Venetian hour" fare, and making it fun with candy tables, popcorn or even after dinner snacks.
It's your Big Day and everyone is looking at you girl. Your wedding dress is beautiful, your hair perfect and the man of your dreams is waiting for you at the end of the aisle. But ... a key bit of advice for the bride here.
You need to be gliding down that aisle elegantly - like a Princess. It's said that the Duchess of Cambridge took deportment lessons before she walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey in London to marry Prince William, with the eyes of The World upon her. (And who can blame her?)
You don't want to walk like a pudding
Don't march down the aisle, head down, shoulders hunched, as though you're on your way to work on a dreary Monday morning in the rain.
(Check here for musical inspiration to walk down the aisle.)
What's the point of wearing a beautiful dress, gorgeous shoes and having all that preparation if you're going to ruin it with your posture?
Learn to walk tall. We asked for some tips and advice from a model who walks regularly for some top designers. She said:
- It is hard to be elegant if you're not comfortable. Give some thought to how your dress and wedding shoes will feel - not only on the walk from the car and up the aisle, but also how you're going to manage standing, meeting and greeting your guests and the other activities your big day will demand.
- Grace and poise will not be achieved if you are a bundle of tension! Before your hair is done, take 10 minutes in a quiet room to lie on your back with your knees bent and give yourself some space. Support your head on a couple of paperback books. Let your mind clear, and your thoughts come back to yourself. It is the last chance you will have to do this in the whole day - it is SO important!
- Allow any tightness to dissipate from your neck, head and shoulders, and notice if you are 'pulling in' or tensing around your hip area. Be aware of your breath filling your lungs to their full capacity, and exhale freely.
- As you step into the limelight, hold onto this calm and peace you have found. Think of your neck as free of tension, and your head elegantly and lightly poised. Be aware of length in your spine and allow your knees to move freely forward from your hips. Remember not to grip anything you are holding, but to have as light a touch as is needed, so that your arms are not bunched into your shoulders.
- You might like to start taking a Pilates class before your wedding day. It's a good way to destress, will stretch out your limbs and also you'll become more aware of your posture, pulling in your core and standing with your shoulders back.
Photo credit: Ryan Flynn photography via The Wedding Chicks
(Photography credit TaraLynn Lawton via Wedding Chicks)
"The best ever? Of course my wedding day is going to be a fabulous success for my guests," you say.
It's all about the guests
Obviously you and your other half are the centerpiece of the day. You're the ones getting married, after all.
But remember you've asked a lot of a whole group of people
- They may have travelled a long way
- Taken time off work
- Had expensive air fares
- Invested in new clothes
- Splashed out on accommodation
- Bought you a lovely gift
- Organised childcare (and pet care)
So to make sure they have a fabulous time at your wedding, it's worth remembering some (if not all) of the following tips.
- Don't bore your guests whilst your photographs are being taken. Although it's a special time for you, try not to leave your guests standing outside, hungry and thirsty, whilst the photographer snaps away. Have a glass of Champagne waiting for them and a few canapes.
- Standing around in the cold or wet for 30 minutes or so outside the church or venue (or in blazing sun), waiting for transport to the reception, isn't that much fun. It also sets a tone and not the tone you want either.
- Going to a wedding alone and being a bit of a Bridget Jones can be very daunting, especially if you don't know anyone and have to face constant statements like: "Don't worry, it'll be your turn next." One way around this is to have a reception the night before to make introductions.
- If you're not going to have a load of singles at your wedding, then it's thoughtful to offer a plus one on the invitation.
- On the other hand, a singles table or two could be a massive success. Singles tend not to want to sit amongst married couples. And you never know who will hit it off with whom!
- Send your thank-you letters out promptly. It costs quite a bit of money to be a wedding guest nowaways, what with the travel to the venue, probably an overnight stay, an outfit, the bachelorette party and of the course, the wedding gift.
- Don't let the speeches go on and on. You may think it's absolutely hilarious for your father to regale your guests with stories of what you did as a child and the best man to relive his experiences with the bridegroom but you may see your guests getting restive. Short, sweet and entertaining is the best way.
- Don't hold back on food and wine. If you're getting married at midday and the event is going on until the small hours, you're going to have to feed your guests properly. That means a drinks reception, lunch, tea and dinner and that's obviously not going to come cheap.
- If you're having an evening wedding and want your guests to stay over, try and consider accommodation options to suit all budgets.
- Think about how your guests will get to the reception, especially if you're getting married in a city centre church where there is no (or very expensive) parking nearby. A popular option is to lay on a bus from the venue to the church and then back again afterwards, so that guests can leave their cars at the reception and not have to worry.
- Although theme weddings are all the rage, asking your guests to dress in fancy dress is asking a lot. If you are having a color theme, then however you could ask guests to give a nod to it by dressing using a particular color on an accessory, like a tie, scarf or shoes.
- Having a chill-out zone is always a good plan. If you're having dancing, some people may want to catch up and chat somewhere a bit quieter. So lay tea and coffee on somewhere (with wedding cake) that's away from the dance floor.
With just days before your wedding, you'll be thinking about the big details. However, if you're super organised you won't forget the little details either - so here's our handy list to tick off.
Buying a card for your fiancé and the parents : Write a thoughtful card for your fiancé and both sets of parents which you can present at the rehearsal dinner or on your wedding day.
Wrapping and buying the gifts for your bridesmaids, your parents and fiancé Buy these well in advance, wrap and keep in a safe and secret place. Job done.
Scuffing up the soles of your shoes: GeMake sure you don't slip and slide down the aisle or on the dance floor. Scratch the soles of your shoes ahead of time. You should also walk around in your shoes indoors so that you wear your shoes in a little. That way they'll be comfortable on your big day.
Getting a manicure and pedicure: This is a great thing to do with bridesmaids a day or so before the wedding. It will be too busy on your wedding day.
Ordering food for the morning of the wedding for your bridesmaids and groomsmen: Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will want to be well fed before the wedding. A good breakfast or brunch will take care of this.
Confirming the itinerary with your bridesmaids for the wedding day: Keep on top of your bridesmaids and make sure all of their appointments for the wedding day are organised and that they know where they need to be at specific times before the wedding.
Write your wedding vows, if you are: Whether you write your vows days before the wedding or on the morning of, it's best to do this as ahead of time as possible.
Packing for your honeymoon: Before you know it, you will need to pack for your honeymoon. Make sure you have gone shopping for any clothing pieces and necessary vacation items you know you will need.
Taking care of all necessary vaccinations for your honeymoon: Make sure both you and your fiancé make necessary doctor appointments for vaccinations. Some immunisations can make you feel a little under the weather and need to be done a few weeks before you fly off. You might need to start a course of anti-malarials too.
Deciding where to take the pictures on your wedding day: Talk to your wedding photographer and scout the best locations for wedding pictures
Figuring out the transportation on the wedding day: Are you having special transportation on your wedding day like a limo or something like it? Confirm with the car service where they will pick up you, your parents, your bridesmaids and your groomsmen the day of the wedding.
Calling to confirm appointments for hair and makeup: Make sure your hair appointment and makeup appointments are confirmed for the day of your wedding.
Making sure you and your fiancé both have valid passports for your honeymoon Double check well in advance whether your passports are still valid or close to expiring and whether you need to have visas for your destination.
Image credits clockwise from top left: Dessy Facebook page, Wedding Chicks, Dessy Facebook page, NailArtsPro via Wedding Chicks