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Q. We adore Somerset and would like to have our wedding showcase the best of the region. How can we reflect this in our styling?
A. Holly Allman-Lopez says: With stunning countryside, characterful venues and a relaxed, welcoming feel, Somerset is an ideal place to get married. A great way to celebrate this in your wedding styling is to incorporate some of the produce and rich history offered by the region. For example, how about thinking local when it comes to your flowers? Somerset is becoming a major hub for British flower growers, with many small farms dotted throughout the region. These local growers offer a wide range of gorgeous seasonal blooms and foliage that are freshly cut and sustainable. One of the most famous products of Somerset is cider. As a nod to this, why not consider including apples as part of a fruity, rustic tablescape or as part of a bespoke cocktail starring local Somerset cider brandy? Or perhaps consider barrels instead of cocktail tables, or as a statement cake table. Aside from its obvious rural charms, Somerset is also home to some of the most impressive Regency architecture in Britain, so why not channel your inner Duke and Duchess and feature some Bridgerton vibes. Consider opulently draped fabrics, vibrant Regency colours, trailing floral displays and dramatic tapered candles for a contemporary twist on this period look.
Holly Allman-Lopez, Ambience Venue Styling
Deck the halls
Q. We're really excited about our winter wedding and would love to incorporate the season into our venue styling. What would you suggest?
A. Holly Allman-Lopez says: Venue styling during the festive season is all about exciting the senses, so consider colour, ambient candlelight, interesting textures and scents. A festive colour scheme is a great way to channel the season. Whilst rich burgundy and forest green are obvious classics, other bold jewel tones, such as deep purple and navy also work beautifully. If strong colours aren't your style however, a more subtle, sparkling theme might be the better option. A palette of natural hues or even all white, set against a dazzling mix of metallics can look breathtaking, creating a sparkling, winter-wonderland feel that's elegant and timeless.
Nature also offers up an abundance of styling inspiration at this time of year. Seasonal greenery, such as evergreen pine, fir branches or holly look amazing incorporated into mantelpiece and staircase displays, or as table garlands. However, be sure to steer clear of mistletoe for table décor as it's poisonous! Pinecones and nuts add beautiful texture when nestled amongst a carefully curated tablescape. As for place settings – cinnamon sticks, star anise or dried fruit slices not only look striking, they add a gorgeous scent too.
Don't forget the candlelight! Embrace the darker evenings with flickering candles (we love to use a mixture of pillar and floating candles) or a roaring open fire to welcome your guests in from the cold.
Holly Allman-Lopez, Ambience Venue Styling
Q. We're tying the knot in October and want to celebrate the season in our venue styling. What advice can you offer us?
A. Holly Allman-Lopez says: One option is to incorporate autumnal tones into your colour palette. Burnt orange, terracotta and rust tones are on trend at the moment and are perfect for an October celebration. Consider pops of these rich, warm hues (perhaps in a table runner, stationery or in the flowers) set against a neutral base. Deep burgundy and dusky pink can also add depth and drama, giving a beautifully rich seasonal feel. If you're not into bold colours, why not consider a gentler scheme of warm neutrals with accents of peach and wheat tones. Touches of gold also work well for an edge of luxury and sparkle.
Textures are also a great way of evoking the season. Dried flowers and grasses continue to be extremely popular and there's a wide range of colours and shapes available from fluffy bunny tails to dramatic pampas stems. Why not incorporate some into your table design in bud vases, or add them to place settings or chair décor. Pinecones, dried fruit slices or even ornamental gourds and pumpkins are also fab elements to bring to a tablescape.
Finally of course, candlelight! Make the most of those darker evenings with plenty of flickering candles to create a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Holly Allman-Lopez, Ambience Venue Styling Bath
Add a little sparkle
Q. We're having a traditional marquee wedding. How do we turn this blank canvas space into a wow-factor venue?
A. Simon Gerrard says: Chandelier lighting has given majesty, elegance and beauty to interiors for hundreds of years. In ballrooms and galleries their dazzling rays of light have long created an atmosphere of romance and wonder, and you can achieve this look for your wedding too.
Chandeliers have always been a part of the visual imagery of fairytales, taking us out of the everyday and into a magical world. In a marquee, which is a temporary structure, these beautiful light fixtures can give the space a sense of permanence and grandeur. Not only a source of light, they're a spectacular centrepiece and photo opportunity for your big day.
Simon Gerrard, Crescent Moon
A very big house in the country
Q. How do we dress our country manor venue without overpowering it?
A. Holly Allman-Lopez says: Here are our top tips for dressing this type of venue…
Consider your palette carefully so that it doesn't clash with the existing decor. Georgian and Palladian interiors work well with pastel tones, while Tudor or Victorian styles suit richer, darker hues. If in doubt, going neutral is a safe bet for a timeless look. White, ivory and cream work well in any setting and can complement or tone down a dramatic interior.
Think about your accent colours and metallics. If the room has gold chandeliers and elaborate Rococo mirrors, then golds would work best in your styling. If your room houses an amazing silver collection, then take your cue from that.
As country house interiors are often opulent, with portraits, mirrors and decorative objects, consider simple styling that will enhance this. Perhaps draw focus to an incredible feature fireplace with a foliage or floral display as well as flickering candles in the hearth.
This style of venue is all about luxury, so consider draped chiffon chair sashes, full tablescapes and glass charger plates to enhance the sense of grandeur and elegance.
Holly Allman-Lopez, Ambience Venue Styling Bath
Q. How can we bring a rustic vibe to our blank-canvas barn venue?
A. Lynne Panes says: A barn venue is the perfect setting for your theme and is ideal for putting your own stamp on the day. I love to repurpose vintage props and decor and use them to style distinct areas. You could have a welcome area for your guests to get a taste of your day as they arrive, as well as displays around your table plan and cake table. I always arrange props in groups of three: a tall, mid-level and low-height element to add interest. I'll then weave in foliage, florals for texture and flickering candlelight to add to the atmosphere. This will give a rustic-chic look that you'll love.
Lynne Panes, Rustic Rentals
Light it up
Q. What props will give our micro-wedding the wow factor?
A. Lauren Hayman says: To make your day stand out, we have a variety of eye-catching neon signs that can be hung from one of our gorgeous flower walls or frames. To really make an impact, why not let us create a bespoke neon sign to really personalise your day? There's no limit to what we can offer as the signs are all made by us in-house – so we can create the perfect piece, no matter what your theme. The best part is, we can deliver to local venues and the products are low-voltage so you just plug in for instant wow factor.
Lauren Hayman, Kings Plastics
Go al fresco
Q. What styling will suit our classic marquee wedding?
A. Alison Hieron says: A marquee provides a blank canvas that you can fill with your ideas. Start by welcoming your loved ones with flowers or a floral arch at the entrance, along with lanterns and a welcome sign to really draw the eye in. For the wedding breakfast, you could choose either long or round tables and make them look spectacular with garlands of foliage and flowers in the centre. Try adding a mix of candles for some romantic lighting; you may also want to add some taller decor like candelabras or geometric flower stands. Add drapes or pearl strands to your chairs for a stylish look.
You can hang florals or greenery from the ceiling of the marquee along with hanging glass tea-light baubles and chandeliers to really add impact. Another great addition would be strings of fairylights draped from the ceiling – these will come into their own in the evening. Flower walls work brilliantly in marquees and provide a great backdrop for photos. Add a few neon lights to give the party vibe later on. Outside, bales of hay make great seating and a few garden games for entertaining your guests is always a winner.
Alison Hieron, Creative Collections