As always, I hope that you, your friends, your family and your loved ones are ok and that you’re embracing your future wedding plans (in whatever shape, form or route they may have taken) with joy and excitement.
Before I kick start today’s feature (the latest in my planning series) I first and foremost wanted to acknowledge, congratulate and celebrate the hard work of my dear friend Emma (aka Coco Wedding Venues!) and her husband Mark. As you will no doubt have noticed, Coco Wedding Venues has had a pretty dramatic makeover (from both a visual and tech perspective), and you can read all about it here.
Emma, I am in awe of you and all that you have curated. Your original style-focused, editorial wedding venue directory is without a shadow of a doubt an invaluable and aspirational asset to the wedding industry thanks to you vision, determination, drive and desire to lead from the front. Bravo my dear, BRAVO.
Right, gushy ode to Emma done… now back to the planning!
For anyone that’s been a regular reader of my wedding planning features, you may have noticed a common thread (especially this year) specifically discussing originality, individuality, personal touches and unique, meaningful and memorable experiences. It is this desire and notion of being true to you, and weaving this into the very fabric of your wedding, that forms the basis for today’s feature, a feature that I believe is especially relevant in today’s Coronavirus Era.
If you too share this desire and want your wedding to be unique, personal and a true reflection of you, as a couple, then read on…
Start with the two of you
I’m kickstarting the tips with one that I’ve pinched (because it sums everything up so perfectly!) from Liz Linkleter (and our feature, Wedding Planning Tips – A Q&A With Wedding Planners – also linking back to what I said above about the common thread this year!):
“Explore your personal tastes and styles and what represents the two of you as a couple. Don’t copy something just for the sake of it; it has to be there for a reason. Originality is a trend in weddings that isn’t going anywhere – no-one wants their day to look or feel like someone else’s and the best way to avoid this is by starting with the two of you.”
If you truly want your wedding to be unique and a personal reflection, then to achieve this you have to take the time (ideally at the start of your planning journey) to really think about who you are as a couple and what make you so wonderfully unique.
Just some of the questions you may want to ask yourselves…
Ask Questions, lots of questions!
How did you meet? What do you love doing? With whom? How would your friends and family describe you? What’s most important to you? What are your priorities?
And once you know the answers to these questions, then look up and…
Look around you
Don’t immediately hit Pinterest (and get a carbon copy of someone else’s wedding) – instead, get off your phone, look around you and find inspiration elsewhere in your life.
Where do you spend your free time? What does your house look like? Where did you grow up? Do you have a favourite bar or restaurant, and why? Where do you go holiday?
Think galleries, films, photography, theatre, interior design… you get the drift!
I know I’m asking EVEN MORE (!) questions but believe me, if you take the time to really think about the above, you’ll start to get a better understanding of who you are as a couple and in turn the elements that you can thread throughout your day.
From my perspective for example, my husband and I live in a 17th century cottage which oozes charm and character. Our weekends are spent in the countryside socialising with friends over a bottle of wine, but we equally cherish our time in London, whilst our holidays are predominately spent exploring cities and staying in boutique hotels with our Victorian Bulldog Betty in tow. A picture of us as a couple is starting to emerge, right?! And also how this might be translated into our unique and personal wedding… I’m thinking autumnal, intimate, hearty food (preferably pie!), good wine, sumptuous florals, refined modern touches + a Victorian Bulldog Maid of Honour?!
Work alongside your suppliers
When it comes to translating and interpreting who you are as a couple, your tastes and preferences, then you’ll need to work alongside your suppliers.
Get to know them (and they in turn will then get to know you too), share your thoughts, insights and ideas, ask for their advice and guidance, and listen to their expertise.
For example, how can your caterer interpret or put a twist on your favourite dishes? Your celebrant tell your unique story in your own words? Your florist thread your favourite scent or blooms throughout your tablescape? Your planner infuse your personalities, culture, heritage and traditions throughout your design?
Your suppliers are key, so you’ll need to work side by side to explore the possibilities and practicalities.
Don’t let other peoples outlooks and opinions constrain or influences yours
Now this is a biggie, especially when it comes to the personal part.
When you get engaged everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has an opinion. From who you should invite, to what you should wear, to how much you should or shouldn’t spend. And if you want a wedding that is a true personal reflection of you, as a couple, then you’re going to HAVE TO put yourselves first, rather than giving everyone else their version of your day.
Stray a little from tradition
Nothing says personalisation quite like ignoring the traditional etiquette rule book!
If top tables aren’t your thing and don’t reflect you as a couple, then don’t have one! If you want your male friends as Bridesmaids, then have them!
From a traditions/etiquette perspective, just remember that there’s absolutely nothing that you have to include. Keep those elements that work, don’t ever feel obliged to incorporate those that don’t and forge your own new traditions to suit. The joy of weddings today is that they can be whatever you want them to be so before you agree to a formal cake cutting, a first dance, or even speeches and group photos, be sure that you really want them and that they’re a personal and meaningful reflection.
It’s all about the details and décor
One way to really create a unique and distinctive wedding is to think about and find those details and elements of décor that speak true to your vision and personalities… from textures, colour palettes, linens and scents, to décor that reflects your culture, heritage and backgrounds.
Whilst you’re at it, don’t be afraid to play and have some styling fun! Get creative, think beyond the go-to elements of décor and hone in on those thoughtful personal touches that you can infuse throughout your day to make it truly and visually unique.
And whilst we’re on the subject of details and décor, let’s talk about customisation…
Customisation has been a long standing and recurring (+ personal fave) entry on our Coco & Kat trend reports. Why? Well, not only can customisation be impactful, stylish and uniquely inspiring, it can also be an immensely personal addition to any wedding or celebration.
Think custom illustrations, bespoke prints and fabrics, handcrafted unique garments and accessories, personalised embroidered napkins… and so much more!
Customisation really is a wonderful way to get creative, to reflect who you are, and to tell your unique story.
And last but by no means least, invest in the areas and elements that mean the most to you as a couple.
If you need to cut your budget, then try to avoid taking it from those areas that are most important to you. And on the flip side if you have more to spend then invest in those areas that are totally and utterly you… whether that’s the food, the décor, the bespoke cocktails or the blooms (always the blooms!).
Venue High Billinghurst Farm
Photography Amy O’Boyle Photography
Wedding Planner Katrina Otter Weddings
Flowers JenniBloom Floral Design
Furniture Wedhead London
Bespoke Bar + Signage Made by Wood & Wood
Catering Caper & Berry
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