Expert advice about venue styling

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Bristol and Somerset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourbristolsomerset.wedding

 

A very big house in the country

A very big house in the country

Q. We're overwhelmed by the thought of styling our manor house venue. What are your top tips for dressing our day without breaking the bank?

A. Alison Hieron says: This setting is perfect for a quintessentially English celebration. Start by deciding on a colour scheme and create your vision from this. Flowers are a must in this type of venue, and candles – where possible – make the perfect accessory.

Look around the house to see what features you can enhance, like a fireplace, mantelpiece or staircase. Use framed mirrors on easels dressed with blooms for seating plans and signage. For a personal, cost-effective touch, put out family photos in classic-style frames nestled in soft fabrics on a sideboard.

Line a sweeping staircase with candles and petals, and add a big arrangement at the foot of the stairs. To save the pennies, consider hiring artificial floral arrangements.

Table centrepieces can be created in many different ways. Candelabra wrapped with green leafy hedgerow garlands look stunning. Glass vases filled with seasonal flowers are another way to add nature's colours into your English country wedding. Don't try to fill every little space – just focus in and showcase certain details. Wooden signage and floral backdrops make great focal points, and bunting is another pretty yet inexpensive option.

Just remember, you chose the country house because it's already beautiful; you just want to enhance what's there.

Alison Hieron
www.creativecollections.uk

 

Winter warmer

Winter warmer

Q. We're getting married in February. What touches can we add to our venue to make it feel more cosy and inviting?

A. Charlotte Martin says: For a winter wedding, I don't think you can beat wraps or blankets made from gorgeous natural wool fibres draped over the back of your chairs. Not only does this add warmth and comfort to your venue, but it's also a stylish and quirky alternative to standard chair covers. For added luxury, try layering it over fabulous faux fur.

Having wonderful fabrics around your venue means you and your loved ones can wrap up in them if you get chilly in the evening. The other advantage is that they make great keepsakes and can be used around your home or in your wardrobe for years to come.

Can't find fabrics in your colour scheme? You can even have pieces made to order for a personal touch.

Charlotte Martin
www.fruitbattextiles.co.uk

 

The finishing touch

The finishing touch

Q. What items can we use to dress our rustic barn for a traditional Christmas feel?

A. Catherine Cooke says: There's nothing more romantic than a December wedding. However, doing justice to a rustic barn venue at this time of year can be challenging. First and foremost, pick your colour scheme. Once you've established this, you can then start making plans for how to make the space inviting and celebratory. Using ribbon is a cost-effective and fun choice. You can use it to liven up beams, chairs, table legs and supporting posts.

The obvious palette choice for the season would be green and red, but for a fresh take, why not opt for bright red and grass green to add a vibrant pop of colour to what can be a dull barn interior? Don't forget all those little touches like table decorations, seating plan and menus – they can all be embellished with a touch of colour.

Catherine Cooke
www.bertiesbows.co.uk

 

Fabulously festive

Fabulously festive

Q. We're planning a Christmas wedding in a stately home. Where do we turn to for help in creating this look?

A. Becky Storey and Emma Chapman-Burnett says: Winter weddings are a magical occasion, and what better place to celebrate than in a beautiful grand home? With their high ceilings and traditional interiors, settings like this have stunning features that can be wonderfully enhanced.

Choosing a theme, creating a moodboard and collecting images of your favourite styles is a great starting point, and it means sourcing décor to match is much easier. If you're stuck, we recommend asking to see photographs of previous weddings at the venue and also checking out photographers' Instagram accounts.

To achieve a sophisticated and timeless look, we suggest working with a local florist who knows their seasonal blooms. Creating overhead floral installations intertwined with subtle lighting creates an intimate look in larger spaces, while dramatic floral garlands over fireplaces outline the beauty of traditional features.

Different textures such as linen cloths or effortlessly displayed napkins give a soft look and add personality. Styling doesn't need to be pristine to be elegant, and this goes for crockery too. There are many companies offering fabulous alternatives to white plates that give a personal touch. Finally, keep it simple. And don't overlook the details you love.

Becky Storey and Emma Chapman-Burnett
www.yonderevents.co

 

Tipi, or not tipi

Tipi, or not tipi

Q. We're having a tipi wedding in spring but don't know where to start with the styling. What do you suggest?

A. Lynne Panes says: Firstly, decide on the theme of your wedding – do you want a minimalist or elaborate style? Do you favour a festival vibe, boho look or rustic theme? Next, think about each section of your venue and how you want it to look. Here are some ideas…

- The entrance. This is the first thing your loved ones will see so try to create some impact. Think signage, stepladders, wheelbarrows, tin baths and milk churns to set the scene.

- The walkway. Use shepherd's crooks with festoon lighting, dream catchers and bunting. Alternatively, a tall birch stake canopy hung with fairylights and pom poms would look gorgeous.

- Tables. Pillar candles, vases and tea lights look amazing on a fabric table runner with greenery. Add small log slices or sparkly accessories for added wow factor.

- Table plan. Pallets, wheelbarrows, window frames and shutters can all be upcycled to create a fabulous display. Finish off with pretty flower pots.

- Hanging décor. Greenery garlands and floral hoops are very much en vogue. Paper lanterns, origami and lanterns can be used to make a real feature of the tipi's apex.

- Bar and cake table. Individuality is key when styling your big day so why not opt for something a bit quirky, like an Indian tuk tuk as your bar? Trestle tables also work brilliantly decorated with vintage props. A gin or prosecco bar would go down a storm!

- Dancefloor. Use a different canopy drape to highlight this area and separate it from the rest of the space.

- Chill-out area. Use one of the tipi hats for relaxation with rugs, sofas, giant cushions, low tables and plants.

Lynne Panes
www.rusticrentals.co.uk

Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre
University of Bristol
Light Fantastic
Elizabeth Weddings