Meet the suppliers: Wedding decorations
In our series of suppliers’ blogs, we’ll be sharing the very best ideas, advice and inspiration from different wedding industry experts. This week we’ve been speaking to some of the UK’s top suppliers of wedding decorations. Read on for their thoughts on the results of our latest wedding survey, as well as how to choose your wedding decorations and all the latest trends…
Jo Winfield-O’Hare at Make It Special Events
“I’m the proud owner of Make It Special Events, a venue dressing company based in the Midlands,” says Jo. "We’re a small wedding decorations business armed with a large dose of creativity and passion, which we hope comes through in the service we give. We get huge pleasure from helping couples plan their special day and watching their ideas and visions come to life. If we can capture the moment on their faces as they first walk into the dressed room it really is something special. Through consultations, communication and friendly chats, we build trust. This is of the utmost importance when you’re trusted with one of the most important days of a couple’s life.”
“One of the most extravagant weddings we’ve decorated was our most recent. The couple had been living together for 18 years before getting married and they contacted us as soon as the venue was booked. They didn’t have a budget but just wanted ‘everything to be beautiful’, so we had lots of twinkling lights, an abundance of blossom and opulent candelabras. They also had 18 tables, which we joked was one for each year they’d waited to be married!”
Budget savvy and memorable
“We love very personal weddings when couples put a lot of themselves into the day, for example by making their own chutney or hand-carving items as favours. There were two memorable ones recently. At the first one, the groom was terminally ill and wanted to be married before he passed away. The couple had very little money but were members of a church and everyone had rallied around to make it a day to remember. We supplied trees and arches for them to feel special when they said their vows. Another was for a couple who were members of the Salvation Army. Their faith was very important to them and they had all their friends take part in the day, for example playing as they walked down the aisle. The wedding decorations were kept very simple, so as not to take away from the spirit and meaningfulness of their vows.”
Choosing your style
“We’ve had a mix of wedding themes recently, but rustic and vintage are still very popular, as your latest wedding survey found. This is mainly for barns and marquees while weddings at larger country houses tend to have more classic décor with touches of sparkle. Most couples are led by their venue when it comes to styling, although there’s always the couple who want something modern at an old venue and vice versa. During the consultation, we discuss being sympathetic to the venue. However, it’s the couple’s big day, so they should have what they have set their heart on. After all, the décor and day as a whole should reflect the personality of the couple.”
On-trend wedding decorations
“We’ve seen lots of foliage with industrial or boho accents this year. Candles are very on-trend, as are mismatched candlesticks and coloured glass. Coloured taper candles allow couples to bring colour into play and statement floral arrangements always have a strong impact.”
“Don’t be influenced by other people. While it’s good to seek guidance from other sources, you should go with something that will make you feel happy. After all, your day should reflect your personalities. You’ll also be the one looking at the photos for many years to come!”
Rebecca Lane at Love Lane Events
“I have a BA Hons in Event Management and have worked in the events industry for over 10 years, first at one of London’s best-known catering companies and then at a prestigious historic venue,” says Rebecca. “During my career, I’ve organised events for the likes of Tom Ford, Barack Obama, Alexander McQueen and FC Barcelona. From the smallest intimate events to the most prestigious, every successful event requires decor to give a sense of personality.”
Time to book
“The majority of our clients confirm their event about six months before their big day. Generally, couples sort their venue, dresses/suits, photographer and catering first and then décor will follow later, once they have colour schemes and guest numbers sorted. By then they’ll also have a more detailed idea of their budget. We play an important role in the day, however, couples need to book the big items first and then leave the theme to later, as it’s the part they can spend time on. The decor really is essential to any event. Even the grandest project depends on the success of the smallest components.”
My most extravagant wedding…
“I would have to say my own wedding in 2018. I used all our favourite items. However, I had all the headache of sorting it out and many late nights in the lead-up. I couldn’t let anyone else decorate my own wedding!”
Brilliant and budget-friendly
“We recently decorated a couple’s wedding in one of their parents’ back gardens. A family illness meant they had to have their reception there, instead of at the venue they'd originally planned. The garden, however, looked absolutely stunning and you could tell the couple went above and beyond on their styling to make sure it still had that wow factor. From the photos, it looked like a wedding at a beautiful, dedicated wedding venue.”
“With the growing influence of social media wedding décor is taking more of an important role with our younger brides. It's very popular for brides who are in their 30s or below to hire our flower walls, for example. Kim Kardashian had one at her wedding and they're great for the ceremony, as well as making a great backdrop for selfies in the evening too. A lot of our products are perfect for Instagram, which is important in today’s market.”
“I would say rustic is still popular, however with a touch of modern. For example, our copper frame with a welcome sign or table plan hanging from it is bang on trend for rustic weddings. However, we’re also seeing more clients hiring this but adding a modern twist by having the sign made of clear, crisp acrylic, another big trend. We offer acrylic table plans, table numbers, place names, welcome signs and order of the days. These can be ordered in nearly any colour or any font. Our acrylic table plans are so popular we’ve done seven alone this week! This year we’ve also had lots of requests for ‘Order of the Day’ stationery or signs too.”
“Set up a Pinterest account straight away and then make a mood board. Then six months before your big day print this out and constantly go back to it. This will ensure the products you are buying or hiring are still in keeping with your ideas. We love it when our clients come to us with nothing more than a couple of images of a wedding they’ve been to or seen on social media and ask us to recreate the décor. It’s a real challenge that allows us to get our creativity hat on. Also, follow your venue on social media. Then you can see things previous brides have done, which will give you new ideas.”
Rachel Pertee at Love By Design Weddings and Events
“I’m the founder, owner and head of styling at Love By Design Weddings,” says Rachel. “We provide bespoke wedding styling for couples in Dorset and parts of Hampshire. We were established in 2017 and are proud to be the recommended supplier to several beautiful wedding venues in the area.”
“Our objective is to take away the stress of decorating a wedding venue, to guide couples through décor choices, schemes and themes, and to provide wedding decorations from my extensive stock. I offer three different services; DIY styling for couples who provide all their own wedding decorations; mix and match styling, where I use the couples’ own decorations alongside those they hire from me, and full venue styling, where I supply everything from place name cards to fairy light backdrops.”
“Couples often book me around a year before the big day, although sometimes it's only a matter of weeks before. However, I would advise booking as soon as you’ve booked your venue, as we only style one wedding a day and get booked up extremely quickly. I already have several 2021 weddings in my diary!”
A tropical extravaganza
“One of the most extravagant weddings we’ve decorated was a tropical-themed event. We filled the hotel ceilings with paper lanterns in bright pink, orange, yellow, green and white and created ribbon backdrops in the same colours over the entrances. Place names were mango leaves written on in gold pen. We also decorated a homemade tiki bar and created a photo booth from a ribbon backdrop with bright paper fans. There was even an inflatable monkey! Deckchairs, flamingos, ice sculptures and a steel band all added to the tropical feel.”
“Lots of our budget savvy weddings have included great ideas. For example, one couple asked all their friends to collect interesting bottles, which they then used for the flowers on the tables. Another asked their friends to bake brownies, which I then sliced up and made into a brownie tower decorated with fresh fruit and fairy lights, instead of a wedding cake.”
Spend or splurge
“Everyone has a different budget to spend on their wedding decorations but I’ve found that my older couples are willing to spend more. I find younger couples often want an extravagant Pinterest wedding but can’t truly afford it. So instead we pick out the key elements they love and work around those."
Top trends and themes
“I’d agree with your latest wedding survey that rustic-themed weddings are still the most popular, as this is the style I'm asked to recreate the most often. However, I'm seeing a lot of couples asking for clear glass, foliage and grey tones too. In the last year, copper décor and geometric shapes have been huge. Acrylic is becoming extremely popular too.”
- Less is most definitely more.
- Hire, don’t buy – it will work out so much cheaper!
- Delegate the job of styling, room turnaround and takedown to a professional venue stylist. Then you can enjoy every moment of your day.
- Work with the style of your venue, not against it.
- Use Pinterest as a resource but be prepared to be flexible if it isn’t achievable within your budget.
- Don’t scrimp on your wedding décor budget. Your choice of decor will appear in lots of your wedding photos, so it needs to look absolutely perfect.
Click here to find wedding decorations near you or visit our Wedding Suppliers page to find the very best suppliers in your area. Finally, for more big day inspiration and to find your dream dress, head over to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter