Choosing the right wedding decorations

Couples are becoming ever more creative with their wedding decorations in order to create a wedding reception design that is personal, unique and memorable. Before you decide on the type of decorations you would like, you will need to determine a theme or colour scheme for your wedding.

Whether you have a beach wedding, a winter wonderland theme, a vintage style reception, or a pink polka scheme, there are bound to be decorations available to complement your choice.

The extent of your wedding decorations will depend largely on what you can afford. If you are on a tight budget, it might be wise to stick to one type of decoration, such as table centrepieces, and make sure these create an impact, rather than spending money on lots of smaller decorations that might get lost in your venue.

The style of your wedding venue will also influence your decorations. If you are hiring an elaborately decorated room, you should keep your decorations simple, but if you are using a plain marquee or function room, you can afford to go overboard on the decorations.

Here are some of the elements of your wedding to incorporate into your decorative scheme:

  • Wedding flowers
  • Table centrepieces
  • Bomboniere
  • Wedding cake
  • Table linen including napkins and rings
  • Chair covers and sashes
  • Place names and table plans

You can tie all these elements together by using a consistent colour scheme or material. A simple way to create a unified look is to use the same ribbon in all of these elements, as well as using it in the bridesmaids’ outfits and the bride’s bouquet. Beads and jewels such as crystals are becoming popular for wedding decorations, and these can also be added to table linen, bombonieres, place names and centrepieces.

Ways to use flowers

Ordering floral arrangements that you can use for the ceremony and then transfer to the reception to use as table centrepieces is a great way to use flowers, and is also cost effective.

However, there are many other ways to use flowers in your wedding decorations. Garlands of fresh flowers hanging from the ceiling, or wrapped around beams and pillars can be very dramatic, and flowered archways can add interest to your wedding venue. Try placing a fresh flower in each place setting, or scattering rose petals on the tables.

Other popular wedding decorations

Candles are a popular addition to wedding decorations, from simple tea lights to towering candelabras. They are available in a wide variety of colours and can add romantic lighting as well as subtle scents to your reception. Another way to create warm lighting is to use lanterns, either traditional metal or Chinese style paper lanterns.

Contemporary decorations include decorative birdcages, sparkling costume jewellery, metallic balloons, and bold coloured and patterned fabrics. Another trend in wedding decoration is to use topiary, or indoor trees decorated with lights or ornaments reflecting your wedding theme.

Some of the more unusual trends in wedding decoration to crop up in the last year include using outdoor furniture such as wrought iron tables and benches in an indoor venue, and having uniquely designed and frequently changing wallpaper projected onto plain walls or the inside of a marquee.

Wedding rose petals

Rose petals are becoming an increasingly popular wedding decoration, and with roses symbolising love, joy, and beauty, it is hardly surprising that brides want to include them in their weddings. There are plenty of companies that specialise in preserved or freeze dried rose petals that can be used on your big day without losing their colour or shape.

Here are the answers to four of the questions that are commonly asked about wedding rose petals:

What are rose petals used for?

Wedding rose petals have a wide variety of uses, but their main function is a natural alternative to paper confetti. Many venues no longer allow traditional rice or confetti, so brides are choosing rose petals instead, which are completely biodegradable. Petals can be placed in attractive envelopes, bags or cones, and handed out to guests as they arrive at the ceremony.

Another possible use for rose petals is to create a petal strewn aisle for your processional. The rose petals can be arranged in advance of the wedding, or a flower girl can be the first down the aisle with a basket of rose petals, scattering them as she goes.

Finally rose petals can be used to decorate the tables for the wedding reception. A sprinkling of rose petals on crisp white linen can create a romantic effect, especially when candle lit. Rose petals can also be used to create simple table centres. An oversized martini glass full of rose petals that are overflowing onto the table makes an elegant centrepiece.

How much will I need?

The volume of rose petals that you will need depends on how you are using them. One litre of rose petals will provide throwing confetti for around twenty guests. If you are creating a rose petal aisle, 2.5 litres will cover about 2 square metres of floor space. If you want to decorate your tables, 2.5 litres will provide a sprinkling for ten average sized tables.

How should I store the rose petals?

Freeze dried or preserved rose petals will last longer than you think, and as long as they are stored properly, they can be kept for up to four months. Rose petals need to be stored at room temperature, in a dark place, away from any form of moisture. Your rose petals will be delivered in specialised containers, and it is best to leave it as late as possible to remove them from these and place them in bags and cones, or on tables.

What colour rose petals can I have?

If you want naturally coloured rose petals you may be limited to reds, yellows, pinks, and whites, and your supplier may not be able to guarantee the exact shade you will receive. However, preserved rose petals can also be colour enhanced, so you can choose almost any shade to complement your wedding colour scheme.

Don’t forget to think about the significance of your rose petal colours. White roses signify innocence, while ivory roses indicate fidelity. Bright red roses symbolise passion, while darker reds mean gratitude. Be careful with yellow roses which symbolise jealousy.

White themed weddings

As if to offset the growing trend for bright, bold wedding colour schemes, pure white weddings are big news this season. White is a great wedding theme at any time of year, and can create a fresh and classic overall look.

White outfits for the bridal party

Although tradition says that brides should marry in white, most actually wear a shade of ivory or cream on their wedding day. A pure white dress can be very striking, especially when accessorised with silver or black, but be careful if you want to wear pure white as it can be a little stark against some complexions. If your skin has cool undertones, meaning you generally look better in silver than gold, and you look great in colours like blue purple and hot pink, you should be able to pull off a pure white dress.

There are a number of ways your groom can dress in white. He could go the whole hog and hire a white morning suit, or wear a white tuxedo for ultimate sophistication. If you are looking for a more subtle outfit, a grey morning suit with white accessories and a white buttonhole is an elegant look.

It may not be conventional, but it’s fine for your bridesmaids to wear white dresses. Just make sure the skirts aren’t floor length to prevent them looking too bridal; white cocktail dresses are a great option. The current trend for metallic accessories works beautifully with white bridesmaid dresses.

Complete the look by hiring white vehicles to transport your bridal party. Whether you choose a white limousine, a classic white Bentley, or fairytale horse drawn carriage, your wedding car will be in a lot of your photos and should match your wedding theme.

Decorate your venue in white

White flowers are not hard to come by, and white roses, paperwhites, and gypsophilia make beautiful wedding arrangements. If you have a large budget for wedding flowers, orchids and calla lilies are fashionable options.

It may be hard to find a venue with predominantly white decor, but some modern restaurants are decorated in this way. Holding your reception in a marquee is perhaps the easiest way to achieve an overall white look, but whatever colour your venue is you can add white table cloths, chairs and candles. More unusual white accessories could include white birdcages, lanterns, or spray painted tree branches decorated with white ornaments.

If you are aiming for a totally white theme you may need to add interest by including a variety of textures such as glass, ribbon and feathers. Alternatively you could use an accent colour that won’t detract from the pure white look; silver is a good option.

Bring white into all elements of your wedding

With a little creativity you can use white for every aspect of your wedding day. You can liven up white invitations with engraved silver text, or laser cut lace edging, and you can create simple yet beautiful bomboniere with plain boxes of white sweets tied with silver ribbon. You could consider serving a milk-based signature cocktail, similar to a White Russian, or could only serve clear drinks such as Martini. Having a white theme to your wedding can provide a clean, refreshing atmosphere, perfect for any season.

Wedding table decorations

The dining tables are often the first place to start when you’re choosing your wedding decorations, and you want to make a spectacular impression on your guests as they arrive for the wedding reception. There are many individual elements that work together to make beautiful wedding table decorations and here are four of them

A dramatic centrepiece

If you have a traditional table layout, with multiple tables of eight to ten guests, each one should have some sort of focal point or centrepiece. For a contemporary look, many couples are choosing centrepieces that don’t all match, but that follow a similar theme. Perhaps they are all the same colour but made of different materials, or they are made from the same flowers but are of different heights.

The most popular form of centrepiece is a flower arrangement, either fresh or artificial, but there are plenty of other options to consider. Candles make superb table centres, especially when you group a few of different heights, or float some in a bowl of water. A group of helium balloons, a decorative stand of cupcakes, a lamp to match your theme, or a miniature tree adorned with ornaments are all good choices.

Luxurious table linen

Traditionally wedding table linen is simple white or ivory to provide a contrast to the colourful flowers and decorations. However, highly patterned table linen in bold colours is becoming more common, with simple accessories placed on top.

If you have several tables, try to find different coloured table cloths in various shades of your wedding colour for a warmer effect than pure white. If an entire table of colour is too much for you, look for table runners in you wedding colour, or make them out of the same material as your bridesmaids’ dresses.

Shimmering table confetti

Using confetti to finish off your decorations adds a touch of magic to your tables. You can use traditional paper confetti, but this can get messy if drinks are spilt. Try metallic confetti instead, with horse shoes, stars and hearts to make your tables shimmer.

There is a current trend for using crystals in every aspect of your wedding, and sprinkling a few crystals on each table will really add sparkle to your wedding breakfast. A more romantic option is to scatter freeze dried rose petals on the tables to complement your wedding flowers and colour scheme.

Personal place settings

There are various elements that can be combined to create a decorative place setting and these include place names, bomboniere, disposable cameras, serviette rings, and unusual glassware. Think about the style, colours, and overall effect that you want to create with your place settings before you start to order them.

Would you like a motif, such as a particular flower or symbol, or your initials, to run through the place setting? Do you want the setting to have a modern or vintage feel? Do you want to totally personalise the setting using photos of your guests on place names and bombonieres or do you want all the place settings to look the same?

Wedding centrepiece trends

Assuming you are having a sit down wedding breakfast, your guests will spend at least a couple of hours at the table, so why not give them something unusual to look at? Modern table centrepieces have moved on from simple flower arrangements, and are designed to truly reflect the style and tastes of the newly married couple.

Individual wedding cakes

Rather than having a single, multi-tiered wedding cake displayed on its own table, many couples are choosing to have a number of smaller cakes made, and to place one on each table as a centrepiece. The cakes might all be the same, but this trend is usually most effective when the either the colour or the design is varied, and the other element remains the same.

Making a feature of the table number

Creating a decorative 3D table number and standing it in a simple flower arrangement is a very fashionable table centre option. Brides are making table numbers out of a range of materials from twisted wire and beads to painted foam. Making your table numbers clear and easy to read will help guests find their seats as well as looking great.

Choosing quirky containers

While flowers are still the main feature of most table centrepieces, the container that they are placed in is gaining importance. Couples are looking for quirky containers for their flowers, such as white roses placed in a giant pink tea cup, or flowers and vines twisted around a vintage musical instrument like a French horn.

Personalised for your guests

Designing the table centres after you have finalised your seating plan allows you to personalise your centrepiece to the guests at each table. Try creating a black and white photo strip featuring all the guests on one table, and use it to create a simple shade to place on a lamp at the centre of the table

Adding movement to your centrepieces

Static formal centrepieces are being replaced by arrangements with flow and movement. Floral centrepieces are being designed to cascade across the table, and down onto the floor, and tall arrangements are constructed to allow the tallest parts to sway if there is a breeze. Asymmetric centrepieces are currently very popular.

Maintaining sight lines

‘Sight lines’ is currently a buzz word in the world of wedding design, meaning that centrepieces are arranged so guests can still see and speak to each other across the table. This can mean choosing low arrangements, or very tall ones with narrow vases. Transparent containers are used to allow light to pass through, and some brides choose to suspend arrangements from the ceiling to allow the conversation to carry on underneath.

Replacing centrepieces with food

With wedding catering becoming more sociable, and banquet style wedding breakfasts coming back into fashion, many couples are choosing to forego centrepieces altogether to make room for food. Platters, sharing plates, and containers for dips and sauces all need to be placed in the centre of the table. For those that still want a table centre, a tower of cup cakes, a mountain of cookies, or a bowl of chocolates can all make great centrepieces.

Wedding theme ideas

You know you want your wedding reception to be truly unique, personal, and memorable, but you just don’t know where to start. You have so many ideas running around your head, but none of them seem to work together. Finding a starting point for your wedding decorations is often all you need to do for all your wedding theme ideas to fall neatly into place.

Your wedding season

The time of year you have chosen for your wedding can have a big impact on your decorations, especially the colour. Spring weddings tend to feature pastel colours and light unstructured flower arrangements, while summer weddings work well with brighter, more tropical colours and a fruity theme. Autumn wedding are a perfect time for rich oranges, yellows and bronzes, as well as velvety fabrics and harvest styles, while winter weddings are a great time for gold, silver, and deep red, and heavier, cosier decorations.

Your wedding venue

Basing your wedding decorations around the style of your venue is guaranteed to create a seamless effect. An outdoor garden wedding requires minimal decoration, but unstructured flower arrangements and rustic objects such as metal watering cans can work a treat. A historic house will require classical or vintage decorations, while a minimalist modern hotel or gallery provides a blank canvas for a funky contemporary scheme.

Check out the interior of your wedding venue before you decide on your colour scheme. If there are elements you can’t change such as paint, wallpaper, or carpet, you will have to work with these and find wedding colours that complement them. If you are getting married outside, find out which plants and flowers will be in bloom on your wedding date and build your colour scheme around those.

The formality of your wedding

Before you determine your wedding decorations, think about how formal you want your wedding to be. For a very formal event, only floral table centres will do. If you are having a casual affair, on the other hand, a mini cup cake tower or a bowl of floating candles can make a perfect centrepiece.

The same goes for your table stationery. If you are having a formal wedding, traditional escort cards, a printed seating plan, and neat place names are all necessary, but if you are having an informal wedding you can peg escort cards to a clothes line, telling your guests which table they are on, and let them decide for themselves where to sit.

A single wedding object

Often it only takes one object to inspire your entire wedding decoration theme. Try shopping for your bridal gown and then using its colour, decorative features, and style to determine your wedding decorations. Alternatively have a look at wedding cakes, wedding flowers, or even wedding rings, and take inspiration from one of these.

Your personal style

Nothing makes a wedding memorable like adding your own personality to it, so sit down and brainstorm the things you like to see if they could be used in your wedding decorations. Do you love a certain country, or a type of animal? Do you have an obsession the music, fashion, or movies of a particular decade? Even a favourite colour can be the inspiration you need for your wedding decorations.

Once you have found a starting point for your wedding decorations, make a scrapbook or a mood board and collect anything you come across that reflects that theme. Wedding magazines are a good place to start, but home and fashion magazines can be just as effective. Look for fabric samples and types of flowers that work well with the idea you have chosen.

Considering a wedding ice sculpture

So, you’ve decided on your wedding venue, theme, and decorations, but somehow you think your reception might be missing a little pizazz! Ice sculptures add an element of drama – and fun – to your wedding reception, and here are some great reasons to consider one:

They create a talking point

Wedding ice sculptures are special and intriguing and, as such, they can create a real talking point at your reception. Guests are always curious about ice sculptures and, generally, want to know everything about them, from how they were made to how long they might last.

Ice sculptures are guaranteed to be a big topic of conversation on your big day

A wedding cake sculpted out of ice. Image: IceWork.co.uk

They make for stunning centrepieces

Ice sculptures are superb focal points at receptions and, for that reason, are perfect for couples choosing not to have a traditional wedding cake. They make for perfect features on a buffet table or you could consider mini ice sculptures, one in the centre of each table. Ice sculptures can be made with clear or coloured ice to match your wedding theme and can even be specially lit to create extra impact.

They can provide entertainment

If you want to keep your guests amused while you are having your photos taken, see if you can have your ice sculpture carved on site while they sip their champagne. While this can be fun, bear in mind that sculptures will last longer if they are made in advance and hardened in the freezer but you’d be surprised at how mesmerising watching a block of ice turned into wedding rings or swans or an ice wedding cake can me.

They look expensive but they don’t have to be…

Because so few people opt for ice sculptures at their weddings, they have the aura of something rare and exclusive and can be seen as an expensive luxury item. This isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t mean they come with the expensive price tag. Actually, when you start to look into the costs of ice sculptures, you’ll likely find they aren’t nearly as expensive as you first imagined.

They will last longer than you think

Many couples rule out ice sculptures because they are worried they will melt after an hour or two and they will be left with a pricey wet floor. Actually, most ice sculptures will last for around eight hours if they are placed indoors, although they are likely to melt after three hours if they are displayed outside. All sculptures should have a built in drip tray and drainage system so you won’t get puddles on the floor

They can be personalised for your wedding

Popular shapes for wedding ice sculptures include a pair of kissing doves, a cupid, and a bride and groom figure, but you can have any shape you like and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination – and your sculptor’s skill!

They can incorporate significant objects

If you think an ice sculpture would be too stark and cold, don’t forget that the sculptor can incorporate other objects and decorations such as your wedding flowers, balloons, a cupids bow and arrow, some antique jewellery, or other objects with special significance to your wedding.

French themed wedding ideas

A French themed wedding is a popular choice for couples looking to add a touch of classical romance to their big day. French theme wedding French cuisine is superb and adding chic French touches to your wedding outfits will create a stylish effect. –

Marie Antoinette theme

A Marie Antoinette themed wedding is all about luxurious surroundings, sumptuous fabrics, and decadent delicacies. For this theme to work you should look for a light, bright, traditional venue decorated in neutral or pale colours; the theme will be hard to pull off in a dark or overly modern venue. Extras to look out for are elaborate chandeliers, satin drapes, and over the top mouldings.

The colours to aim for with a Marie Antoinette theme are pastel pinks, peaches and blues, along with darker shades such as dusky rose. Vintage gold should also feature strongly in your wedding palette. Make use of a variety of textures including silk, lace, satin, and damask, and use layered table clothes, large feathers, and satin ruffles to create a dramatic impact.

Use food to make to a decorative display, and add decadence with a chocolate or champagne fountain. Your wedding cake should be a towering pastel creation accompanies by huge piles of macaroons and other sweet treats could be arranged on vintage cake stands of different heights to create a colourful display.

Cafe de Paris

This is a cute and colourful theme that works well for a less formal wedding. Try to recreate Montmartre, the last village of Paris, with its red striped canopies, bright coloured flowers and potted plants, vintage posters, and wrought iron furniture.

Hire a caricaturist to draw pictures of you and your guests, and have small cafe style tables lit with candles in French wine bottles. Make sure you have baskets of French bread on the tables and a live accordion player performing as you eat.

Rustic France

If you are looking for a warm and welcoming feel for your wedding, rustic France might be the inspiration you need. The principles behind rustic French decor are to create a relaxing comfortable place where friends can gather together, and to find classic dark furniture and fittings that are of a high quality but have aged gradually over time.

The main two colours to look for if you want a rustic French theme are red and yellow. Reds can range from tomato to burgundy and yellows from butter to golden mustard, but any combination that works well together will help to create a rustic French feel. Look for gold or cream textured fabrics with a rich floral pattern in red, yellow, and green. Add plenty of ceramics; large pots of flowers make great decorations but don’t use them as centrepieces as your guests won’t be able to see around them. Red and gold goblets are an ideal alternative to champagne glasses.

Ideally your venue should have neutral decor, with textured walls where possible. If your venue is minimalist, try installing some dark wood open shelved cabinets and upholstered chairs. Look out for heavy ornamental ironwork, basketwork, and ceramic jugs filled with lavender to complete the look.

Rustic weddings 101

Rustic weddings are always popular wedding theme choice, especially among couples who want a cool, relaxed vibe on their big day.

But what is a rustic wedding? We explain below – and show you how pull off a brilliant one!

What is a rustic wedding?

Though the idea of a rustic wedding has been of particular interest over the past few years, the fact is, it’s a timeless wedding theme that has been around for, well, ages. Rustic weddings have a strong country, garden or farm-like influence and they tend to feature lots of natural textures such as bark, and various organic materials and fibres.
Rustic weddings are somewhat casual and are often held in venues such as barns, farms, mountain lodges or ranches. In fact, anywhere that incorporates the great outdoors or the countryside is a perfect fit for a rustic theme.

The décor tends to incorporate lots of natural elements including wood, burlap, wild flowers, fruits and the like. It can be a little bit shabby and using a lot of mismatched elements is not just acceptable, but expected at a rustic wedding.

You don’t need to have all of these elements to have a rustic wedding, for example, you could be getting married in a hotel ballroom but you could be using rustic décor and wild flowers. It’s more about the overall vibe than the individual details.

Rustic weddings should be relaxed, romantic and natural.

They’re not about being trendy (though they can be pretty trendy) and, though earthy and simple items such as mason jars and a hotch-potch of misimatched vases, glasses and plateware are commonly found at a rustic-themed wedding, the possibilities are endless and the only thing they have in common is that they are about simplicity, nature and character… lots of character!

How does a rustic wedding differ from a vintage wedding?

Rustic weddings are often confused with vintage weddings, but they are actually quite different.

While the rustic theme focuses more on the natural elements and the great outdoors, a vintage wedding draws its inspiration from times gone by. Vintage weddings often have an antique Victorian flavour to them. Where rustic weddings feature mason jars full of wild flowers and burlap table runners, vintage weddings are more likely to have vintage vases, antique crockery and lace tablecloths.

How to plan a rustic wedding

There are no hard and fast rules around pulling off the perfect rustic wedding, but the ideas below will definitely help:

Choose a great venue

The easiest way to get your rustic wedding off to an amazing start is to pick a suitable venue.

Though, technically, most any venue can be given some pretty convincing rustic treatment by a clever wedding stylist, obviously, a real barn venue or loft-like venue or garden venue will evoke nature and outdoors with more authenticity than one that is dressed to look rustic.

Some of the types of places you may wish to consider are barns, farmhouses, breweries and garden, mountain or lakeside venues which abound all over Australia.

However, if you simply cannot find a venue like that, then you can always book a standard hotel ballroom and use decor to bring the rustic element into your wedding.

Use suitable decor

The great thing about a rustic wedding is that you can be quite eclectic when it comes to décor.

You will want to focus on natural items, so think about using seasonal fruits and wild-flowers, wood, burlap, twine and moss to create beautiful décor.

You can also bring in country and shabby chic elements including mason jars, lace, hay-bales and gingham fabrics. There are lots of beautiful things that can be done with these items which will really bring your venue to life!

Serve up a little home-style cooking

If you are going to have a rustic wedding, then you want food that matches the theme!

While a lovely three-course meal is always a bonus, think about serving some good old home-style cooking. Look for caterers who can cook up some lovely, simple, traditional fare that will be in keeping with your rustic theme. Most caterers will happily – and enthusiastically – rise to the challenge.

Think comfort food like mac and cheese, roast chicken and pasta salads served up with a selection of freshly baked breads.

If you really want to keep with the rustic theme then you could also tailor your drinks to match by offering lemonade, moonshine and strawberry wine.

Go for a relaxed dress code

Rustic weddings are more relaxed and casual affairs and your attire should reflect the overall theme.

Grooms look great in tweed suits and could even lose the blazer in favour of a waistcoat or suspenders.

Meanwhile, the bride can opt for a soft, romantic gown complimented by a rustic bouquet of seasonal wild flowers.

Some couples even choose to add some quirky touches like cowboy boots and a hat to their attire.

Don’t be afraid of a little DIY

A rustic wedding is one which really lends itself to DIY elements. So, if you’re particularly handy with DIY projects, now’s the time to get stitching, gluing and tying!

It will help you add a touch of your own own personality to your big day, but don’t take on too much otherwise you may become overwhelmed – and, frankly, you will have so much more to worry about and, if you do want DIY, but don’t have the time (or craftiness), there are plenty of  professional stylists and wedding decoration stylists who can help out!