wedding reception

How To Create Ambience at Your Wedding Reception

No matter what venue you choose for your wedding reception, the key factor to making it look and feel special is to set the mood…

But what exactly does that mean?          

In reality, it’s all about creating an ambience by using simple additions and creative touches that can add so much depth of feeling to any space. No matter what size your venue is, lighting is key, so think of uplighters, fairylights and hanging tea lights, each of which will bring a different look and feel to the room without you having to go all out on a specific theme.

Candles are one of the simplest ways and there are plenty of ways to use them creatively.

But don’t forget additions like draping, which can completely transform the look of a room in an instant.

Here’s some ideas to get the creative juices going. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Up Lighting and Gobo

Up lighters will give you a really stunning effect of for your wedding venue. They can bathe your room in a host of beautiful colours, from purples, to pinks, to lilac, corals, blues and more. Gobo is another really useful and eye catching lighting option, where you can have anything from the couples initials to the wedding date projected onto the wall of the venue.

 

Candles, Tea lights and Lanterns

If you don’t want to go down the route of uplighters and gobo, then one of the simplest ways to achieve a real sense of romantic ambiance is with candles. There are so many ways to use candles; don’t just think of using one size or type. Think tea lights dotted along entrances, a mix of lanterns on the floor or on tables. Elegant candelabras, pillar candles of different sizes. Have fun and don’t feel you have to stick with one over the other. Also hanging tea lights make for the dreamiest affect when the sun goes down and can be hung from a range of locations.

 

Fairylights

When you think of a romantic wedding ambience you think of fairylights. They are the ultimate classic look for wedding receptions and just because something is a classic, that doesn’t mean it’s not still stunning, on trend and relevant. Fairylights can be used in a variety of ways, from backdrops, to over balconies, vertically on windows and much more.

 

Draping

Another really simple touch is soft draping. It can be used in a variety of ways from the ceilings, to balconies, to entrances, on backdrops and even on your reception chairs. Used in conjunction with lighting options such as candles and uplighters, it’s amazing how much draping can completely soften and transform the look of any size of venue.

 

 

How To Do A Vintage Wedding Theme

 

The vintage wedding theme is still one of the most popular choices for couples these days. Its popularity remains strong, thanks to its adaptability, budget friendly ways and because it is still one of the most beautiful wedding themes to bring to life.

There are so many ways to channel a vintage theme. So many decades to focus on, that it can appeal to different personalities and couples. You can have just a few small vintage touches or you can go all out with larger statements of retro.  That’s the beauty of this theme.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to interpreting the vintage theme. Raid attics, raid skips, to go auctions and embrace upcycling in a big way.

Here’s some ideas to get the creative juices going. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

 

Attire

One of the most stunning ways to set a vintage tone for your wedding day is with your attire. Brides are embracing retro and vintage styles of dresses, going for pretty detailing and classic cuts over more modern shapes. Don’t be afraid to bring it through to your bridesmaids too and let’s not forget the men! Retro and vintage suits are another big trend at the moment, so define the era you’re trying to emulate and stick with it. If you really want to make a splash, why not ask your guests to embrace the attire of your chosen era too, for extra fun.

 

Transport

One of the easiest ways to channel the vintage theme is with your wedding transport. Yes we’re talking about vintage cars. And you don’t necessarily have to go for the traditional types of cars either, such as a Rolls Royce. Why not have a little fun with VW Camper vans, mini coopers and even vintage motorbikes with side cars or push bikes?

 

On The Table

You can really go wild in terms of on the table vintage inspiration. Anything from stacks of old books, vintage birdcages filled with flowers, retro weighing scales topped with florals or candles, vintage cameras and old photos, retro style tins, pocket watches, old unusual bottles filled with candles, vintage sewing machines. The list is endless. Remember to dress them up with key florals and items made from burlap and lace are the ideal partners to reinforce that vintage look.

 

Around The Room

When it comes to placing vintage pieces around your wedding venue or ceremony, you can make a big impact for a small investment. Think about having stacks of retro suitcases, why not even use one for your guests to put their wedding cards? Vintage items like typewriters and gramophones make stunning focal points and again can cost next to nothing. You can make an even bigger impact with upcycled chests of drawers which you could use as your dessert or cake area too. And if you really want to go big and have the budget, why not seek out larger vintage pieces like a retro telephone box! It would look stunning in situ and can double as an ideal photobooth for your guests too.

 

 

 

 

Wedding Planner Myths Busted

When it comes to wedding planners, there’s plenty of myths out there, often propagated thanks to images of wedding planners in Hollywood movies or lavish reality TV shows.

Of course, there are wedding planners who work with celebrities and those with larger budgets, but that doesn’t mean couples with more modest budgets planning smaller weddings cannot avail of a wedding planners highly valued services too.

And yet, often couples have preconceived notions of what wedding planners can and can’t do and many times those assumptions are wrong.

So in an effort to set the record straight, we’re going to bust some of the biggest myths out there and show you that every couple, no matter what their budget or wedding size/style can avail of a wedding planners services.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

                                                           

 

Wedding Planners Take Over

If there is one of the biggest myths surrounding wedding planners we’d like to put to rest, it’s that we have a tendency to ‘take over,’ but that is absolutely not the case. Forget those images you may have seen in Hollywood movies of pushy wedding planners who disregard their couple’s wishes. In reality a good wedding planner is very much YOUR advocate. In essence, we’re here to bring your wedding vision to life, it’s always your day, not ours. Think of us as your fairy godmother, who will work every way we can to bring your ideal wedding plans to fruition, just as you envisioned it.

 

 

Wedding Planners Can’t Assist With Small Parts of the Wedding

Another falsity.  Most wedding planners will be happy to assist with any part of your wedding day. For example I offer full, partial or even on the day coordination. A good wedding planner is adept at handling big parts of the wedding planning, but they are also able to come in and offer targeted assistance with say one particular aspect of your planning that is proving either difficult to pull together, or it could be something you simply don’t have time to focus on yourself.

 

A Wedding Planner Will Blow My Budget

Another often perpetuated myth is that wedding planners are expensive. Again we may have films and TV to blame for this one, however often a good wedding planner will often times help you cut down on your costs as we have access to vendors and venues at much better rates. We pass these savings on to you, plus we are always cognisant of your budget and will be better able to stick within those limits. Often couples can see their budgets spiral out of control when planning by themselves.

 

 

My Venue Has A Wedding Coordinator Why Do Would I Need To Hire Someone Else?

While most venues these days do indeed have wedding co-ordinators, their main job is to oversee the wedding in terms of the venue. They generally don’t liaise with your vendors, or assist in terms of sourcing décor or hire items, beyond what might be offered by the venue. A wedding planner is your advocate and will be able to bring all aspects of your wedding day together from the ceremony to the reception, as well as all the lead up, logistics, décor and much, much more.

 

 

Wedding Planning Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

 

Planning your wedding day is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, for many busy couples the reality of trying to bring your wedding dreams to life can be a challenge.

Factors such as the budget, as well as just having enough time in your life to actually get through your list of wedding to-do’s can be a minefield.

It can be easy to get caught up and fall for some very simple mistakes that could end up costing you both financially and emotionally.

As an award winning wedding planner with years of experience at the top of the wedding industry, I know all the ways to avoid making those wedding planning mistakes.

Here’s some of my top tips.  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

                                                           

 

Don’t be Tempted to Go over Budget

Your budget is the key foundation of your wedding. While it can be tempting to say, book a lavish venue first, when you know it will eat up the majority of your budget, you’ve got to be realistic with yourself. There will always be last minute costs involved in your wedding planning and it’s key to factor these in. The best thing to do is get a full handle on the costs you’re looking at before going ahead and booking venues, vendors or even sending out invites. There’s plenty of ways to be savvy of course and still have the wedding of your dreams well within your budget and in fact working with a wedding planner like myself is a simple way to do this.

 

Invite The People You Want At Your Wedding, Not The People You Think Should Invite

Sometimes, this can be easier said than done. Family politics can play a huge role in your invite list and indeed if the couple’s parents are assisting with the costs, then they may feel they are entitled to some say in who attends. However, your wedding day is YOUR wedding day and as much as possible that means you want people there who you love and enjoy spending time with. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t invite someone who lives abroad or you haven’t seen in a while. Fundamentally it’s about gathering your loved ones together to celebrate this special day with you and not feeling obliged to invite people based on anything else.

 

Don’t Get Stressed

Planning a wedding should be a wonderful and exciting experience. However, it also has the potential to be a stressful endeavour. Spiralling budgets, a lack of time and a feeling of plans going out of control can all add to couples feeling stressed. This is completely the opposite of how you should feel in the run up to your wedding day, it’ supposed to be fun. If you do find yourself getting stressed, it’s important to pause, take a breath and revaluate things.

One of the best things you can do is to seek help from a professional wedding planner, such as myself. I can help with as much or as little of your plans as you need. So if for example, there is one area of your planning making your stressed, then I can take that off your shoulders and allow you to concentrate on other aspects of the planning, or indeed I can also provide assistance on multiple parts of your wedding day too.

 

 

Remember It Is YOUR Day  

In all the hectic planning and family politics of wedding planning it can be easy to forget that your wedding is YOUR day. It is a most special day where you get to celebrate your love for your partner with your family and friends. It should be the day you’ve dreamt of and it should look and feel the way YOU want it to feel. If you find yourself changing plans to suit other people, then you need to take a step back and remember why you’re doing it.

You’ll hopefully only have one wedding day, so it should be a happy, special day that unfolds how you want it to. The last thing you want is to look back and regret changing aspects of the day or compromising on elements you didn’t feel you had to.

Spring Fling – Wedding Colours

Spring is all about the return of colour. In nature, the buds return to the trees, we start to get daffodils and tulips peeing through, cherry blossoms, the grass gets that touch greener and it’s all about a sense of freshness.

It’s a beautiful time of the year to tie the knot. And if you’re planning a spring wedding and you want to tie in with the seasonal colours and themes, then think colour and fresh greenery.

Often, spring evokes those ice cream dream pastel colours of blush pink, baby blue, canary yellow and mint green. All of which will look absolutely stunning and are easy to work with.

However, don’t discount going bolder with colour, either all round through your decor and flowers, or just with a few pops to offset the pastels. And of course a refreshing touch of crisp white and vivid greenery is always a classic look too.

Here’s some ideas to get your thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

                                                           

Ceremony

Whether you’re saying ‘I do’ indoors or outdoors, flowers are key to channelling spring. Don’t be afraid to add some bright colours to your bridal bouquets, but equally don’t fear going for the more traditional blush pinks or soft peaches either. If you want to make a really stunning statement of spring, why not have a floral wall as your ceremony backdrop? Add colourful confetti for your church departure and why not consider having blossom trees line your aisle in the ultimate tribute to the spring?

 

On the Table

A heady mix of burlap, wooden slices, vases and pops of spring colour will look stunning for your table décor. If your budget is tight, why not go for a mix of paper pom poms in a range of colours, against some beautiful baby’s breath? Add in lanterns and candles for the perfect mix to bring your table to life

 

 

Around the Room

While flowers play a key role, lighting will also be a big factor in how your room looks and feels. Intersperse fairy lights with up-lighters and candles for the right mix of spring garden. Chinese style lanterns hung from the ceiling or over the dancefloor in a variety of pastels will look amazing during the day and even more romantic as the sun goes down. Don’t forget to dress focal points like staircases, fireplaces and consider having a flower wall for guests to take selfies at during the evening.

 

The Cake

When it comes to the cake, you can really have a lot of fun with a spring colour palette. But if you want to try something more unique, why not go for a naked style cake but with a different colour for each tier, for an almost pastel rainbow effect? Add flowers to your tiers and play around with buttercream and fondant finishes for that really stunning effect. And why not have fun adding additions like cake pops, donuts or mini cakes too in a variety of spring colours.

Six Wedding Trends for 2019

Another year sits before us and that means it’s time to look to all the new and exciting trends that are going to feature in terms of wedding décor this year.

There’s very much return to opulence, with wedding cakes getting bigger and bolder. Expect to see flecks of velvet appear throughout the wedding day, as well as a sense of wanting to bring the outdoors in.

Wedding dresses will see a shift toward more simple lines, thanks to Meghan Markel’s choice of gown last year. And separates will continue to feature.

In terms of colour, there will be a delicious contrast to the dark elements of velvet, against the pantone colour of the year – Living Coral, full of vibrancy and vividness. 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Coral

It’s been a colour that’s remained popular, popping up in bridal florals, bridesmaids gowns and décor, but expect to see a lot more of this vibrant, lush colour as Pantone have announced ‘Living Coral’ as the colour of the year! According to the colour giant it’s; ‘an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.’

 

Bring The Outdoors In

This is a really show stopping trend and one that’s really versatile. Think blossom trees for pew ends, foliage and branches on tables, lush greens and crisp white in trees and leaves interspersed around the venue and ceremony to give that unmistakable, whimsical feeling of a secret garden indoors.

 

Dried Flowers

As almost a counterpoint to the idea of the living, vibrant trees and foliage, dried flowers are a unique element that is set to have a renaissance this year. While brides might baulk at the idea of walking down the aisle with a dried bouquet, the trend is more about incorporating elements of dried flowers in with the vibrancy of fresh flowers for a stunning contrast. Dried flowers will also work really well for vintage style themes.

Rainbow Confetti

Thanks to the rise of the Instagram generation, rainbow confetti is going to be big this year. Think every vivid colour you can imagine, hoisted up into the air for that perfect picture. Think traditional size and shape to the more creative. The key here is big and bold and a camera at the ready to capture the moment.

 

Velvet

Lush and opulent, velvet has always evoked that luxury feeling. It’s set to become a popular choice this year, so don’t be surprised to see it popping up everywhere, from bow ties, to shoes, to napkins, table runners, ribbon, cake accents and more.

 

Floral Installations

The two royal weddings last year featured some very impressive floral arches and walls. So this year expect to see this in microcosm, with floral arches, floral moon gates, flower walls and hanging floral installations to add drama to the proceedings

 

 

Top Reasons to Hire A Wedding Planner

I’ve had the pleasure of being a wedding planner for over 15 years. I adore what I do and have been lucky enough to work the so many truly wonderful couples over the years as well as picking up some really special awards for my work along the way.

But no matter who I’ve worked with, be it an international couple wanting to get married in Ireland, to a big traditional family wedding in a country house, to a special blessing on a cliff top, to celebrities like Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman, the one thing they all share is love and wanting to have their big day to be just as they dreamt it to be.

And that’s where a wedding planner like me comes in!

Think of me as a fairy godmother, who flies in and waves her magic wand to make your dreams come true. A good wedding planner can assist with as much or as little of your day as you wish and simply take all the stress out of your planning, leaving you to just show up and enjoy the best day of your life.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor, but for now here’s four top reasons why you should hire a wedding planner.

 

Less Stress More Fun

Planning your wedding, should not be stressful!  It should be full of excitement and be enjoyable. However, it is common for couples to get overwhelmed during their wedding planning and it’s not hard to understand why. A wedding is a huge event in their lives, it’s going to be something they will have dreamt about for ages, so naturally they’ll want it to go off without a hitch. That said, most couples have full time jobs and busy lives and wedding planning can be something they just do not have time for, or they feel it’s getting too much to take on themselves. If that happens, my advice is to stop. Take a breath, call me and let me take care of all the stressful parts of the planning so you can concentrate on enjoying the run up to the day

 

 

Brainstorming

Another really important aspect of talking with a wedding planner is for ideas! We’re busting with inspiration! We’re fonts of creativity and are packed with helpful ideas. We know all the latest wedding trends that are in vogue and how to bring them to life. We’ve got years of hands on experience and can help you come up with some superb suggestions you hadn’t even considered, to make your wedding day look stunning.

 

Budget and Logistics

A wedding planner can both help you keep to your budget and can bring ideas to life! It can be all very well to have lofty ideas for how you want your wedding to look, but it can be hard to make it happen. A good wedding planner has the logistical knowhow and contacts to make your wish list a reality, while at the same time negotiating better rates with suppliers without a ballooning budget.

 

Totally Customisable

There are plenty of myths floating around about wedding planners. One of them is that couples can lose control or have to hand over every aspect to a wedding planner. Not true. In fact, my services are completely customisable. I can assist with as much or as little of your wedding plans as you wish. I can even help with on-the-day co-ordination too. The bottom line is, it’s always your day and I’m here to help bring your vision to life.

 

 

Your Guide To Wedding Chairs

When it comes to your wedding day décor, chairs might not be the first thing that pop into your mind for a number of reasons. First if you’re trying the knot in a traditional church setting you don’t need to think about chairs at all. Second, your chosen venue will already have a particular type of chair option included in their packages and you might at first glance assume you have to go with those.
So you might forget about chairs all together and move on to something else on your list.

But you’d be wrong.

In fact, chairs can make a huge difference to the overall look of your wedding day and they need lots of consideration.

If you are saying your vows outside of a traditional church set up, then you’ve got huge scope to have some fun with seating.

But regardless of your ceremony, when it comes to your reception, don’t feel you have to go with the chairs on offer by your venue. There are lots of different styles of chairs and indeed ways to dress those chairs which you should consider before making any decision.

With all of that in mind, here’s some visual inspiration for you on the top three most popular chair styles I encounter, to get the ideas flowing. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

Chiavari Chairs
One of the most popular chairs of recent times, the Chiavari Chair actually dates back to 1807. It was created by Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi from Chiavari on the north-western Italian coast and has been a firm hit in gatherings ever since. This style of chair works well with a whole host of wedding styles and themes, from elegant, to modern, vintage and marquee. While the beauty of these chairs mean they don’t need any dressing up, they can look even more stunning with light draping.

Ghost Chairs
The transparent theme has been one of the biggest wedding trends in the last year and continues to be popular for 2019. Ghost chairs are the perfect way to bring the theme into your wedding day. These chairs don’t need much adornments, as the whole idea is the transparent effect they bring to the room. Keep them simple and only add the bare minimum for that on trend transparent look.

 

Hannah Jane Chairs
The Hannah Jane style of chair gives a nod to the beauty of the grace of the 17th Century. Again, these are chairs that don’t need much dressing up. Their design speaks for themselves and evokes a look all its own. Hannah Jane chairs work really well for that elegant or formal style of wedding.

Covers and Draping
Chairs are going to be one of the most noticeable things in your wedding venue or ceremony set up. So give some thought to how you want them to look. If you’re going for chairs and sashes, consider the colours of the sashes and remember you can go for mismatched sashes or alternative sashes too.

Even if you go for one of the design led chairs mentioned above, such as Chiavari, that doesn’t mean that you cannot add some embellishments or adornments to them. Chiavari Chairs look well with an element of draping, and adding florals or pom poms to the back of Hannah Jane chairs can look really stunning. But don’t rule out ribbons or streamers or even signage and the concept of having mismatched chairs too.

Wedding Decor – The New Neutrals

When you think of neutrals your mind generally goes immediately to a series of creams and whites. But today, the new neutrals have a much more subtle variety to them, all of which lend themselves extremely well to wedding décor.

The thing about neutrals is, they are a universal. They go with most themes, venues and seasons. You’ll also likely find an array of items more easily in neutral colours, than say if you were tracking down a more specific shade. But just because something is a classic, doesn’t mean it cannot be reinvented.

So for the new neutrals think a little wider with subtle hints of greys, taupe’s, dusty rose and accents of metallics. It’s still very much based around the tennets of creams and whites, but now there’s more inflection and depth in those creams.

With all of that in mind, here’s some visual inspiration for you to get the ideas flowing. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Ceremony

Flowers will play a big role in the overall look of your ceremony be it in a church or another venue. But there are others ways to make a big impact with neutrals. Why not have white or cream blossom trees lining the aisle? Have a neutral aisle runner and don’t be afraid to use some draping in key places.

 

Table

Your wedding table centrepieces and overall décor will really set the tone of your reception and when it comes to making impact with the new neutrals, it’s all about subtle pops of colour. Think accents of pinks, greys, burlap and taupe with flashes of metallics. Be creative with it and use a range of pillar style candles in differing sizes on metallic stands, small lanterns, wooden slices, pink paper pom poms, gold cutlery or wine goblets. White table clothes with grey or taupe runners and sprinkling of glitter.

 

Room

Draping is one of your best allies when it comes to room décor. Draping interspersed with fairy lights in key locations, such as backdrops or on doorways will add a major wow factor. But think about placing other elements in the key colours, be it lanterns, vintage luggage or antique finds. Uplighters can work really well to set the tone as can hanging tea lights and Chinese lanterns or pom poms again in the key colour palettes.

 

Cake

Go for ‘naked cakes’ with a cascade of blush, cream and tope roses down the side. Or go for buttercream finished in an ombre effect with the same colour palette. Use little touches like blush or metallic macaroons or cakepops scattered with glitter for that extras bit of sparkle.

Wedding Llamas & Alpacas

So many of us are complete animal lovers and would just adore to have our furry friends in our wedding day. But beyond our closet pets, there’s also an increasingly popular trend to have more exotic animals in the wedding reception/photos and Llamas and Alpacas are the incredibly popular choice at the moment!

It all started on the other side of the pond, when these beautiful creatures began appearing in wedding snaps on Instagram, often dressed up in some kind of wedding attire…

It might not be to everyone’s tastes, and there are of course animal welfare issues to be considered, however the trend looks like it’s nowhere near petering out.

If you’re considering it, here’s some things to keep in mind. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

 

The Llama Factor

Llamas in weddings are a huge trend at the moment. You cannot go onto Instagram without spotting these stunning creatures in a myriad of wedding shots. While it’s a trend that started in the USA, it has, like most trends made its way over to this side of the Atlantic too. There are now several suppliers who can now arrange to have a pair of alpacas for your wedding photos and/or drinks receptions.

 

Dublin Zoo

If you and your partner are total animal nuts, then consider having your wedding ceremony on an animal location. Dublin Zoo for example has specific packages for wedding ceremonies! But if hippos and giraffes aren’t your sort of thing, then consider other locations such as petting farms and open farms, where you can get up close and personal with more familiar animals like pigs, sheep, cows, rabbits, horses etc. Also keep in mind that your venue might indeed have some kind of animals on the premises. For example many country house hotels have chickens, or ducks, or pigs and it’s worth asking if you can have access to them for your pictures.

 DUBLIN ZOO©Fran Veale

 

Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is a huge issue to keep in mind when hiring a company who will bring along animals to your wedding reception. Most of these suppliers are consummate professionals and look after the animals well, ensuring they are never overwhelmed, etc. Just ensure you choose a reputable company who meets animal welfare standards before going ahead.

 

Pets

Of course, the easiest way to include animals in your big day, is to get your own family pet or pet’s involved. So whether that means having your dog as a ring bearer, or arriving at the church riding your horse or grabbing your moggy for a few snaps, it’s a simple way to get animals into the picture.

 

Images via pinterest