Something Borrowed - Ten Tips for a Happy Celebration

Something Borrowed: Ten Tips for a Happy Celebration

This month, our ‘Something Borrowed’ is an article from The Lane, a beautifully curated, online wedding style guide for fashion forward brides.

Did you know that nearly 40% of all proposals occur over the festive season? With this in mind, we felt it timely to share with you some tips on wedding planning from The Lane.

Perhaps you are newly engaged and looking to kick start the planning process, or hoping for a little guidance in preparations you have already begun making. Wherever you are in your wedding planning journey, the tips below are sure to make the ride smoother. From negotiating guest lists to lighting your venue, ‘10 Tips for a Happy Celebration’ is full to the brim with useful wedding planning advice…

10 Tips for a Happy Celebration

Wedding Planning Tips

What often starts as a beautiful journey to plan an intimate exchange of vows and celebratory reception party with your closest friends can quickly turn into an overwhelmingly stressful experience if you don’t keep an honest check on how you truly envisaged your wedding day.

As you delve into your wedding plans, each item on your to do list presents myriad choices to consider from styling options, to guest list numbers, seating plans, food and beverages, photography packages, guest transport and accommodation. (And that’s barely skimming over the list). When you’re wrapped up in the excitement of wedding planning and styling it’s easy to become consumed by thoughts of wanting to create the most perfect event for your guests, not yourselves. And while of course your friends and family are a big priority, your biggest should be the commitment you are celebrating and holding a wedding day that looks, but most importantly feels, like the wedding day you dreamt of.

Our advice is to always think backwards. Picture the very last moment as you depart from your wedding reception, consider how you want to feel at that moment, what feelings & memories you want to look back on, and what plans you need to put in place to achieve this. Here are our top 10 tips to consider when thinking about how you want your wedding day to unfold for both yourselves, and your guests.

Laure de Sagazan - Something Borrowed - 10 tips

Verlaine by Laure de Sagazan

1. Our number one advice to any couple is to make sure your entire day is a true reflection of your relationship & personalities. Before you get carried away with details be sure to stop & think about how you want to feel on the day, what kind of celebration represents you as a couple & make sure each choice you make from your guest numbers, venue & décor, truly reflects this. The biggest mistake we see couples make is getting caught up in planning a party for their guests & forgetting about the real meaning behind the celebration. If the bride & groom are relaxed & having the time of their lives, their guests will too.

2. Keep your guest list tight. Every couple we know struggles with their guest list. And almost every bride complains that her mother in law wants to invite the groom’s second cousin’s friend’s uncle (who he hasn’t seen since he was 5). And 10 of her friends. My advice is always allocate a small number of invitations to your parents so that they can invite those important to them, but as a rule of thumb if you wouldn’t go out for dinner with the person you are inviting then they shouldn’t be invited to something as intimate as witnessing you exchanging vows. Keeping your guest list tight means you can completely relax and enjoy yourself with your closest friends and family, without having to worry about feeling uncomfortable or having to impress anyone.

3. If you can avoid it, opt for a gift registry over a cash wishing well. While weddings can be expensive for a young couple & asking for money is a personal choice, it does take away the personal gesture & tradition of finding the perfect gift for a couple. After the memories of your day become less vivid, gifts that have been thoughtfully chosen by your loved ones are beautiful reminders of your day and the people who have taken the time to choose something personal for you. If you don’t want to completely leave the gift choices up to your guests, there are some beautiful registries with creative gift options for your home that will still feel personal for your guests. Great alternatives to a wishing well that will still assist you with expenses are honeymoon or photography registries where guests can purchase travel experiences for you, or contribute towards a high quality photographer & a beautiful wedding album.

4. Always consider the weather & your comfort. No matter how amazing your catering or DJ are – you or your guests will not enjoy yourselves huddled up trying to stay warm at a winter wedding. Make sure your guests are well informed of the suggested dress code on your invitations. If you’re holding your wedding in the cooler months or on a hinterland property, make sure there are ample heaters, open fires or drape knitted throws over the back of chairs. If you’re holding a summer ceremony, offer iced refreshments, cocktails/mocktails or Pimms popsicles post-ceremony.

Rime Arodaky and Delphine Manivet - Something Borrowed - 10 tips

Left, ‘Jeisa’ by Rime Arodaky; Right, ‘Anatole’ by Delphine Manivet

5. If your wedding ceremony & reception are in a different location, organise a set place for guests to relax while you take time to revel in your “just married” status & have photos taken with your bridal party. Often there will be at least a two hour break where guests are left waiting. Ideally you want to organise a space where guests can mingle, enjoy post-ceremony cocktails, canapés and listen to music until the reception.

6. Lighting and ambience will have a big impact on the overall mood of your event. Too often, particularly at indoor venues, bright lights create an awkward dance floor space. Dim indoor lights, include plenty of flickering candles, fairy lights or beautifully draped festoon lights to create a romantic ambience.

7. Consider room dynamics if you’re planning a sit-down wedding. A U-shaped table set up visually looks stunning while creating a great vibe and atmosphere as everyone is seated together. If you’re struggling with the overwhelming challenge of creating a seating plan, consider forgoing it altogether and letting your guests choose. It will save a lot of time & energy and guests will naturally gravitate toward those they want to dine with while mingling during pre-dinner celebrations.

8. Make time for yourself as a couple. Ask any bride & they’ll tell you just how quickly your day will go by after months and months of meticulous planning. While it’s important to socialize with all of your guests, be sure to take time out on the night for you & your fiancé to soak everything in & enjoy the moment. If you’re planning a large wedding our best advice is to hold an engagement party beforehand. Engagement parties are the perfect opportunity for your families to meet if they haven’t already, catch up with old friends and get the general small talk out of the way so that you have more time to really let your hair down and enjoy the wedding night.

9. Cocktail food can often feel awkward for guests & inconsistently served, a much better option is to create a “grazing table” with an assortment of meats, cheeses, antipasto, breads & fruits so that guests can help themselves. Decadently styled grazing tables are a visual feast for the eyes that can add to the aesthetic of your wedding. Tables with an abundance of figs, grapes, cheese wheels, rustic loaves of sourdough and olives naturally lend well with a rustic or bohemian wedding. For a seated reception, we recommend positioning your grazing table outside or on the balcony of your venue. This will ensure guests mingle outside and enjoy the view before you are ready for them to move inside for the seated meal.

10. Pre-organise transport for your guests. 150 people at once trying to get taxis home on a Saturday night puts such a damper on an amazing celebration. Pre order taxis or organise buses for your guests.

Salie by Laura Folk - Something Borrowed - 10 tips

Salie, by Laura Folk

We thoroughly concur with the advice above! We would only add, remember to enjoy the planning process; as in marriage itself, challenges and frustrations are almost inevitable but the joy of creating your own homage to love is truly one of life’s great pleasures.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s ‘Something Borrowed’ (you can view the original article from The Lane here). All of the dresses pictured above are exclusively stocked by The Mews in the UK. Please do get in touch if you’d like to make an appointment:

From all of us here at The Mews, wishing you the best of luck in your wedding planning journey and a very wonderful 2016!

Lora Folk and Donatelle Godart - Something Borrowed - 10 tips

Above centre, ‘Salie’ by Lora Folk; bottom left – right,
‘A Glimpse’ and ‘Years of the Modern’ by Donatelle Godart