Expert Advice on Dressing Your Wedding Venue

Industry experts offer their top tips for making your sure wedding venue is dressed to perfection


You’ve chosen your venue, the perfect dress is picked and you’ve sampled plenty of cake — but the décor for your venue is another crucial aspect of your big day.

For a ceremony that’s perfectly on trend, we asked some of the UK’s leading experts to reveal the hottest styles, from trendy tables and chair covers to fabulous contemporary flowers.

Lavish Style

Fabulous flowers

After a year of simple, restrained receptions, it’s time for lavish weddings to make a comeback says floral and venue stylist Paula Rooney, whose impressive client list includes Queen Elizabeth II.

“The retro weddings of 2011 were great fun, but we’ll see bunting and suitcases taking a back seat as couples really indulge in the luxurious trends we’re seeing in the fashion world right now,” Paula says.

“A recent Chanel fashion show saw Karl Lagerfeld introduce metallics, crystal chandeliers and jewels to the runway. This is something that’s filtering into the wedding world too, with stylists experimenting with layered fabric dressings and cascading jewel centrepieces.

“I’m really excited about 2012 trends; they are all about bringing together every minute styling detail in a way that creates an overwhelming and wonderful sensory experience.”

Catwalk Contrast

Show-stopping shoes

According to Emma Douglas, owner and wedding planner at Timeless White, the catwalks are also influencing reception décor.

“Pastel and watercolour tones are appearing throughout flower schemes, cakes, linens, glassware and even cocktails,” she says. “The hottest colour of 2012 is dusky pink, especially when it is paired with gold, silver or pewter. It has appeared everywhere from hairpieces to ribbon-tied napkins.”

But if you’re looking for a more dramatic impact, there’s an eye-catching alternative, adds Paula Rooney. “2012 is the year for statements, and we’re definitely going to see Pantone’s colour of the year, Tangerine Tango, making its way into floral arrangements and overall styling, positioned next to softer creams.”

Fabulous Floral Displays

Dazzling decor

If you’ve got your heart set on a vintage-inspired day, it’s all about which era you choose. Paula predicts that couples will be emulating the “roaring ‘20s”, rather than the “rustic boho” we’ve seen in recent years, right through to the bouquets.

“Art deco-style weddings will become bigger, with calla lilies and orchids featuring heavily. Metallic touches, such as gold edged flowers, feathers in bouquets and buttonholes will also be popular, with subtle jewel details being incorporated into venue décor.

floral table display

“Another trend will be large, scented, Norma Jean roses to create a romantic 1920s look and feel. Scents will be very important in 2012 as couples will look to create an event to trigger every sense.

“The Kate Middleton effect will also carry through from 2011, with brides opting for more delicate and compact wired bouquets with elaborate detail.”

Coordinated Tables

Heavenly headwear

The table colour scheme can transform an already elegant wedding into a totally on-trend affair. There are three key colour trends for table décor that you could adopt, says Kathryn King of Ambience Venue Styling.

Tying in with ‘20s styling, monochrome is one of the hottest looks. “Go for black chair covers and table linen with a white taffeta sash. Table centres have to be tall black lily vases with beautiful calla lilies for a look that’s sophisticated and chic.”

For a more opulent finish, Kathryn suggests you choose “Cadbury” purple. “Plush purple taffeta is still as popular as ever and it’s easy to see why. Really commit to the theme, with crisp white linen and chair covers mixed with rich purple taffeta sashes, table runners, top and cake table swags — you could even swag the windows and pillars.”

If both these schemes are too dramatic for your wedding vision, there’s a softer option too: “Ice cream colours mixed with vintage china and beautiful flowers creates a relaxed feel,” Kathryn says.

Chic Chairs

Cake couture

Chair covers are always essential if you want your wedding to have an utterly elegant finishing touch.

“Chair trends are heading towards pastel colours, for the vintage look, and we’ve already started to order in lace sashes so they can be tied together with other coloured sashes,” says Paul Barnes, event manager at Celebration Chaircovers.

“But some couples are becoming even more daring, trying out really bright colours such as oranges and fuchsia pink,” Paul adds.


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