Over the years we have seen a shift in the choice of wedding venues and styling – it’s moved away from the classic elegance of a ballroom with red roses and candles, to a more unique setting in a rustic barn with flower-filled jars and bunting. The former had a focus on making a bold and beautiful statement, the latter has couples personalising their day with a pretty monogrammed details.
In both of these cases, the emphasis is on the ‘theme’ of the wedding. What greeted guests at the entryway, what went on the tables, what hung overhead. And whilst this emphasis certainly makes for a great first impression, I would beg to argue that it was not the most memorable part of the day.
Looking back over the weddings I’ve been to and the countless number I have coordinated, the most memorable part was the couple themselves. How he looked when he first saw her walking down the aisle. How she broke into a massive smile whenever he was around. How they laughed together and shared a kiss. After all, shouldn’t that be what the day is about? Celebrating a couple in love? Could it be that we have taken it too far in terms of perfecting the wedding ‘theme’ at the expense of the main thing?
With that in mind, I think we’re going to start seeing more of a minimal yet effective choice in venue and styling – where it’s not actually about the location or the details themselves, but more about how they reflect the couple and enhance their day. Below are my two tips when trying to keep ‘the main thing’ the main thing:
Choose a simple venue that has just one or two ‘features’. It may be a scenic view, a natural setting, or a sole focal point. Laura and Daniel, whose pictures I have included today, were married in an intimate chapel with a feature timber ceiling which ‘framed’ their vows. Their couple photographs were just the two of them in a boat on a lake. Their reception venue had floor to ceiling glass and an epic view. Simple, but breathtakingly beautiful.
Hannah McCawley from Lost in Wishful Thinking, photographer of Laura and Daniel’s wedding, suggests considering “a beautiful location with surrounding areas for photography… it will be a bonus and save on time in the long run – especially for a couple that are keen to get back to their guests.”
Once your location and venue are chosen, it’s time to style and thoughtfully consider every detail. Do your choices enhance your wedding in a subtle way or are they over the top? Do they fit with the surrounds? Do they detract from you as a couple? Beautiful styling should be well thought out and used to frame the couple, serving as a beautiful feature rather than pretty clutter.
Hannah also agrees with this ‘less is more’ approach to styling which doesn’t detract from the main thing. She suggests one way to thoughtfully style a ceremony is to use “a dramatic floral arch which brings focus to the front where the couple is standing”. Styling can still be on trend and appreciated, it just needs to not be every which way you look crowding out the most important people… the two of you.
So what are your thoughts? Have you chosen a simplistically stunning venue? Perhaps you’ve incorporated beautiful styling in a subtle and enhancing way? We’d love to know what tips you may have in keeping the main thing the main thing. Comment below and let us know!
First published on Polka Dot Bride