Oooh we’re finally getting into the fun stuff! Choosing your theme and decor is the planning part of planning your wedding. For some brides, colour, theme and decor are obvious, but for others, it can take a bit of work to nail down your vision into what is attainable for your big day. If you’ve hired a wedding coordinator, you can consult with them and ask them to help you bring your ideas to reality, but there’s a lot that you’ll need to decide for yourself.
Identify your style
Are you generally laid-back? Maybe a bit on the fancy side? Are you looking for a hella blinged-out affair or a more relaxed vibe? Think of who you and your fiancé© are and what you like to do and consider the venue that you’ve booked. It’s hard to make a barn look like a ballroom, but you can add some decor touches to a banquet hall to make it more romantic (the route I’m going). The point is that since this is your day, it should represent you as a couple and that includes your style. You want to be comfortable and happy so don’t push yourself to do something too traditional if you’re not or too relaxed if you’re more classic. Once you have your style, it’s easy to identify your theme: relaxed and laid-back can be turned into romantic or country-chic, whereas dramatic and fancy can be a sophisticated soiré©e. If there’s something that really relates to you and your betrothed as a couple, use that as the inspiration (for us: an Up-inspired evening without being too much like a carnival. Think big white balloons and pops of colour).
Pick your colours
Once you’ve identified your style and general theme, it’s onto choosing colours for bridesmaid dresses, accents, flowers and finishing touches. The best place to start is to look at colours that you like and you typically gravitate towards in your day-to-day life and go from there. Pastel shades often come off as a bit more relaxed, so if you’re having a big fancy affair, you’re better off choosing something that’s a bit more classic or a more vibrant palette (like a classic rose shade if you’re thinking light, or bright red if you want more of a pop). The same thing goes for the guys though: black suites or tuxes often look more dapper and sophisticated, so if you’re going the whimsical romantic route, consider grey or navy suits that make the overall feel a bit more casual and relaxed (which is what we’re doing, much to my future mother-in-law’s chagrin).
Do your research
Not that you need reminding, but in this case, Pinterest is your BFF. Even if you’re not going down that DIY path (a good choice if you’re having a large wedding), start there to get some ideas on the overall feel of your wedding. Another good idea is to look at pictures of real weddings in your area, which you can find on so many websites and in magazines like Wedding Bells or Style Me Pretty (which can both be refined by wedding style and location, too). The best part at looking at real weddings in your area is they usually have a list of vendors, so if you see something you like (like giant balloons!), you can likely reach out to the same company and get a quote. This is also a good opportunity to see if there’s anything you can do yourself or enlist a friend to help with. For instance, I found an alternative to a traditional guest book, but, sadly, it doesn’t ship to Canada, so I’m getting an artsy friend of mine to create one for me.
Include personal touches
As much as you want the wedding to be perfect, you need to remember it’s meant to be a celebration of two people coming together. And what better way to celebrate than with some personal touches? Whether you’re into games and cosplay or are both candy addicts, include touches and accents that represent who the two of you are. We both love the movie Up, which is how the whole thing got started (he even proposed with a ring box that was a mini version of the adventure book in the movie–I was a mess.). If you’re both into candy, do a midnight candy bar or go for a small bag of candy as a favour for your guests. For instance, my brother and sister-in-law are both into ’80s movies, so instead of traditional table numbers, each table had a movie poster, from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (it was actually a really fun idea).
The Wedding Planner is an ongoing series where we give you some real-life wedding planning advice, from finding the dress to dealing with that ever-growing guest list, over the next few months as we figure it out ourselves.