Get their attention
A marquee can be so much more than a simple white space; there is a huge choice of designs available. Amy Collins from World Inspired Tents has seen the popularity of the company’s eight metre "Giant Hat" tipis grow every year. "More and more people want to get married in our beautiful, flexible and highly impressive structures," Amy says.
As for trends inside the tipi walls, Amy says it is all about delicate birdcages and coloured paper lanterns. "Our festoon lights [light bulbs on strings] are hugely popular. We hang them from the top of each towering tipi and fasten them to the ground to create a beautifully-illuminated venue."
And if you thought marquees were only a summer option, remember that tipis are also great for the colder months. "Having a real, open log fire inside is unique and magical," Amy reveals. “Once lit, smoke from the fire gently wafts upwards, creating a wonderful, spine-tingling atmosphere.”
The dramatic dress
Few designers know as much about wowing a crowd as Stewart Parvin, who created Zara Philips’ gorgeous gown earlier this year.
For the biggest "wow wedding" dress trends, Stewart says it’s all about a splash of colour. "One of our best-selling dresses had a dramatic black band and a large bow at the back,” he says. “This season we’ve done a dark, chartreuse satin ribbon on a beautiful guipure lace and organza gown; unusual colours for brides are starting to filter through, and this is a fantastic way of adding impact to a beautiful gown."
Finally, Stewart advises brides to add extra wow-factor with their accessories: "A simple gown can be transformed in a huge variety of ways by adding different belts, sashes, jackets and veils. It all depends how the bride wants to look and feel on her big day. A sassy black belt on a simple fishtail gown with a birdcage veil gives a different vibe to the same dress with an ivory ribbon and lace jacket. It’s all down to what suits each individual bride the best, and what makes her look most radiant on the day."
The latest "wow cake trends", says Mich Turner from the Little Venice Cake Company, include decadent embellishments of pearls and crystals - and thinking British. "The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is in 2012 and celebrations will be taking inspiration from very traditional, British designs; lace-inspired decoration, deep tiers and ornate icing. Think of it as a modern twist on the classic designs of the last sixty years."
Katie Watts from Couture Cakes has some suggestions for the "wow presentation" of your cake. "Set the cake off with a beautiful bed of flowers, or surround it with other treats, like cupcakes, miniature cakes and desserts,” she says. Displaying your cake at the centre of the dance floor is another powerful option. "The cake becomes the focal point of the room, rather than hiding away in a corner," Katie adds.
As for when and how you should cut your cake, to make the most of the moment, Neil Thornton from Le Papillon Patisserie says special lighting adds lots of drama. “Another way to make your cake perfect is to personalise it,” Neil says. “There is no reason why your cake cannot be unique to you and your wedding. You’ll probably never spend this much on a cake again, so why not make it extra special?"
Wow finishing touches
Make the most of your ceremony room, says Shanine Jajh from Bridal Concierge, by paying attention to every detail. "Put a different romantic poem on each seat,” she suggests. “You could also consider creating a fantastic focal point. For example, if there’s a structure you can hang objects from, suspend lots of tea lights above your heads so it looks like you're getting married under the stars."
And for wow floral trends, Hannah Martin, Events Manager at McQueens recommends using amazing and unique containers and filling them with scented English flowers such as stocks, freesias and peonies. “Old fashioned wiring techniques are also making a comeback with trailing teardrop bouquets and delicate corsages appearing,” Jean says. “For added wow factor, concentrate on large focal pieces such as archways, large tumbling urn arrangements and abundant table centrepieces. They make so much more impact than small dotted arrangements around a venue - and often at the same cost."