Hello beautiful brides-to-be, it’s me - your gloriously helpful (and teeny bit bossy) Undercover Bridesmaid. I’m back again to hold your hand and help you plan your perfect wedding day. Being newly engaged is such an exciting time in your life, with so much love and attention flowing your way.
And you are very busy being deliriously distracted by that sparkling rock on your left hand. We know, we see you! Vacuuming the same spot over and over because you love watching how your ring sparkles in the sunlight; putting on mascara and poking yourself in the eye because you’re too distracted; using your hands dramatically when paying for your groceries so the checkout chick can also appreciate your ring in all her shining glory – we get it and we’ve done it! But soon you’ll be less side-tracked by your ring and will start to realise it’s time to get serious about this planning business.
While terribly exciting, planning a wedding can certainly get your knickers in a knot. Your head will start swirling with everything you’ve got to choose, plan, book, make, taste, try, buy… phew, it’s exhausting. You may feel like you are drowning in a pile of wedding magazines, fabric swatches and handwritten lists, but girl, calm yourself. I’ve got you. We’re in this together.
Last month we covered the date, setting a budget and choosing the perfect venue. This month we are talking wedding themes. I know you’ve probably got endless ideas for table settings, bridesmaid gifts, colours, music and flowers but how do you lock in a clear and strong theme? Once you’ve chosen your venue and selected the date, you know the location and what season you’re working with. These decisions will also help you lock down your theme vision. If you’ve picked a beachside location in Summer, then your theme is beginning to shape itself. Maybe you’re vibing a nautical, or tropical or even a casual beach barbeque event. However, if you’ve booked a venue that offers a beautiful blank canvas, then you can let your imagination and creativity really run wild.
As someone who has attended many weddings in her time, the most memorable and special events are not the cookie-cutter affairs that mirror the most pinned pictures on Pinterest. The best weddings are the ones that capture the personality of the couple – their favourite things, places and individual personalities. In saying that, it’s a good idea to start with a base theme as this will help you pull together the more personal parts of your big day. What types of wedding themes speak to your heart? Romantic vintage? Preppy modern? Rustic country? Bohemian garden party? Traditional black tie? The ideas and elements are positively endless, and this is where it becomes extra tricky. Too much choice leads to mass confusion – so I’ve got some activities for you to help nut out what direction you want to go in.
The first thing you need to do is sit down with your hubby or bride-to-be with a bottle of bubbles, some cheese and crackers, maybe a few olives (yum) – and close your eyes. No peeking. Don’t fret, I’m not doing some hippy dippy mind voodoo with you. I just want you visualise your wedding day. From arriving at the venue, to walking down the isle – what do you see? What should your guests see, smell and taste at the ceremony and then at the reception space? Once you’re starting to get a clear vision, share with your other half what you see and start writing down your collective ideas. Then it’s time to ask yourselves some more questions, to get even more personal with your planning.
1. Where did you and your partner first meet? Or where did they/or you propose? If you met ordering beers at a dingy pub, with sticky floors and a dodgy band, you probably want to keep brainstorming, but if you met at an art gallery or at the beach, these can easily translate into stunning personalised themes. If the proposal happened on a romantic picnic, you could even consider introducing elements of a country-side picnic into your wedding theming.
2. Have you travelled together? Do you have any countries, cities or places that hold a special place in your heart as a couple? Perhaps you had a delightful holiday in Europe and remember a magical day of eating gelato and slurping spaghetti - Lady-and the-Tramp style - in Rome. Introducing elements of your memorable day could translate into a wonderfully original and special theme and could even influence the menu and the bonbonniere - homemade biscotti anyone?
3. What’s your favourite activity to do as a couple? Do you like marathons – the Netflix kind, or actual sweaty huffy-puffy races? Do you like playing poker together (straight or strip, no judgement here!) or do you revel in the fine-dining atmosphere and love to frock up? And speaking of frocks, maybe you and your significant other are ballroom dancing buffs or perhaps screaming from the grandstand at the footy is more your scene. Brainstorm what activities unite you as a couple to discover if any of these hobbies or past times might uncover the perfect way to add something special to your big day.
4. Swing open the doors of your wardrobe and look at your fashion style. Are you sporty, romantic, understated or a bit extra with ALL the sequins? This should also tell you what kind of attire would best reflect you and your partner’s personal style, which will also influence your theme options.
5. Do you have a favourite flower that was significant in your story as a couple? On your first date, did he pick you a Frangipani that you wore behind your ear? Or maybe you received a bunch of bright orange poppies for your first birthday as a couple. You could incorporate the flower into your theme, or maybe even just the colour of the flower, to help make your day special. You don’t have to be obvious with your theming influences, even subtle touches make a big impact.
Once you’ve done your theme team homework, it should be a lot clearer what direction you want to head in for your wedding day. You might have to shortlist a few options, but once you’ve locked in your theme it becomes a lot easier to make all the other decisions. Winning!
Next month, we’re going to cover the super tricky and sometimes icky landmine of guest lists and sending your Save the Dates. Eek, prepare yourself, it’s going to be a corker. Until next time.