- Lesley - Head Stylist
6 Key Areas to Style at Your Wedding Venue
So you've booked your gorgeous rustic wedding venue and you now need to think about how you're going to personalise the space and make it pretty.
BUT WHAT AREAS SHOULD YOU DECORATE?
Here at The Rustic Wedding Company we know that no two wedding venues are the same and will all present different opportunities for styling and decoration.
There'll be different sized rooms, a variety of chairs & table shapes, some venues will have grand staircases and some will have vast outdoor spaces so there really is no "one size fits all" rule when it comes to deciding where is best to decorate.
However, although they might look different on the surface, the thing that they all have in common in terms of design are the "essential key areas" around the venue that you and your guests will be using throughout your wedding day. We highly recommend making your styling as concentrated as possible in these particular key areas so that you can make the most out of not only your budget, but also your time and make the biggest impact.
We know it can take many hours to decide on what you're going to do and where you are going to put everything so we've pulled together a check list for you to save time...
ESSENTIAL KEY AREAS TO STYLE
1: A WELCOME AREA
I always recommend creating a little welcome area at the entrance to your wedding venue. Not only does it allow your guests to know that they are at the right place (especially important for church weddings!) but it also makes your day a little bit more personalised. You can add lanterns, wooden crates, logs, flowers, candles & professional signage to make it extra special.
2: THE CEREMONY FOCAL POINT
From a professional stylist's perspective, it always looks better to concentrate your attention to a smaller space and make it an absolutely "wow" area rather than spreading your decor out too thinly and making the entire room look bland and washed out.
Think about the particular area that your guests (and your photographer) will be looking at whilst you tie the knot - i.e. the very front of the room. Add a dramatic floral backdrop or archway to stand in front of and add an abundance of lanterns at it's base to turn it in to a real feature.
If you have some of your budget left over you could also add a gorgeous floral arrangement to the altar table which you sign your register at and move it to the side of the focal point backdrop to make it even more eye catching.
3: THE TOP TABLE
This is the table that the most important people of the day will be spending a lot of their time at, so it is really crucial to make it a jaw-dropping display.
The decor itself doesn't need to be the same as the rest of the tables either and you really can go over the top on some elements of it to make it extra special.
Add more extravagant chair decor, personalised place settings and even add a backdrop behind the table - or just repurpose your ceremony backdrop if there is someone to move it on the day.
TOP TIP - Plough your floral budget into getting a large, breathtaking arrangement on the front of the top table and the guest table arrangements will not need to be as big and dramatic! (and considering there's more of them, you could save yourself some serious money by doing this!)
4: THE GUEST TABLES
I highly recommend creating centrepiece arrangements that really complement the dramatic top table without looking too over-crowed or even worse - bare. Getting the balance right here can be tricky but as long as you fill the white space on the table with gorgeous place settings then you need not have such a huge, expensive centrepiece.
Add metallic charger plates, coloured napkins and a little sprig of greenery to guest's place settings to match the top table but there's no need to go overboard and put lots of things on the tables which will make it look messy and uncoordinated.
TOP TIP - Why not add a couple of personal touches on your guest tables if you are able to? If there is a guest with a nut allergy or who is vegan, print their name on a special menu for them and put it on their place setting so that they feel special and know you've not forgotten about their needs.
5: THE CAKE DISPLAY
So many times we go to wedding venues to set up our styling and the wedding cake is put on the same table as every other wedding that we've been to at that venue... you know the table I'm talking about... the little round one in the corner with a white cloth.
There is absolutely no need to do this.
Make your cake table a real show stopper!
Professionally baked wedding cakes are quite expensive and take a lot of love to create, so why not give it the recognition it deserves?
TOP TIP - Also if you do create a beautiful display for the cake then you might be able to get away with a less extravagant cake. I know that semi-naked cakes and simple white cakes are super popular at the moment but they really don't have to be huge to look great. Just check out this simple 2 tier cake below!
6: A CARDS & GUESTBOOK AREA
Believe it or not, this is also an essential area of the wedding. Your guests will actively look for the guestbook and if they've bought you a card or gift they'll want to drop it off as soon as they arrive to your venue so I always recommend trying to make it a feature area. Use the same flowers and candles as your table decor, add a bit of greenery and tie this area in with the rest of the styling.
Now more than ever we have such easy access to the internet and to inspirational ideas on Pinterest and Instagram that it is really easy to get carried away with your design and want to include every idea that you see online which really is impossible sometimes.
Focus on these Essential Key Areas first before you start to plan the decor of any non-essential secondary areas with exciting ideas that you've seen online because these six are absolutely fundamental to the whole design and overall feel of your day.
If you have absolutely nailed the key areas and you have a bit of your styling budget left then that is when we recommend starting to think about the decoration of the following secondary areas which will compliment the key areas and add extra detail & depth.
BONUS SECONDARY AREAS TO STYLE
BONUS 1: THE CEREMONY AISLE
Make the aisle itself a feature as well as the focal point. Use a variety of lanterns, greenery, rose petals etc to make a statement walkway.
-Just remember to make sure you're not creating a trip hazard for your guests so allow gaps in-between to walk safely.
BONUS 2: THE CEREMONY END CHAIRS
As well as the aisle floor decorations or even instead of...
TOP TIP - Little bunches of flowers that get moved to the top table chairs afterwards is a really great money saving idea!
BONUS 3: THE CEILING UP ABOVE YOU
To make a real statement don't forget to look up and see what you can do with the space there. Could you hang something large? Can you have fairy light strings sweeping side to side? Are there hooks already in place? - it's worth thinking about and taking a look.
BONUS 4: THE OUTDOOR SPACE
Choose an area of the outdoor space to use as a focal point and make the most of it!
Are there tables that could do with a simple lantern in the centre or a really nice archway that could do with a little jazzing up?
BONUS 5: THE BAR AREA
You don't have to go mad in this area decoration wise and you'll need to keep it practical as people will lean on the bar, crowd around it and need access all day to a clear worktop to put their drinks down upon.
Think about the possibility of putting lanterns at the sides or hanging a garland from the front.
You might also like to think about having other little Styled Stations around the venue, such as a Photo Booth Area, a Chill Out Zone, an Edible Wedding Favour display, a Drinks Station or Sparklers Station but we'll leave those stations for another time & another blog post.
There's some pretty cool ideas over on our Pinterest if you want to go and take a look.
If all of this sounds really daunting and scary to you then why not chat to our styling team about putting together a Styling Plan for you - we'd be more than happy to help.