A bride needn’t break the bank when adding glamorous flair to her wedding day.
Inexpensive, do-it-yourself types of things – like tying vintage brooches to bridal bouquets or adding them to place settings – can pack a powerful, yet subtle and classic, punch.
“Today, adding old things to new things is considered glamorous. It’s the sign of the times. We like to mix and match things like that. What might have been considered unstylish or tacky before can be reborn into something fresh and new,” says Dallas-based wedding planner extraordinaire Donnie Brown.
“Twenty years ago, if you told a bride to use an old brooch or hang twinkle lights, she’d have said, ‘What? Are you out of your mind?’ But actually seeing the way it can be done now makes all the difference.”
Brown suggests taking a focal point, such as the head table or entertainment stage, and hanging sheer white drapery behind it. From the poles where they hang, fix white-corded twinkle lights from the top and run them straight down in strips.
“What this does is give off a soft, ethereal glow through the drapes. It’s really pretty. I always tell people that they want to take care of their guest’s senses. You want to pay close attention to anything they can see, taste, hear and touch,” he says.
For even more visual stimulation, the use of metallics – or anything sparkly – in centerpieces reflects light and shows new dimensions to décor, while a timeline of photographs of the bride and groom at each table can add a personal touch.
Spending a little less on the venue and a bit more on décor can also go a long way – but, Brown adds, just make sure you are at a venue where the food and beverage is good.
“You can go to a venue that’s not quite as nice as another venue and drape the walls and light the room to make it look just as nice as if you went to a Ritz Carlton or a Four Seasons,” he says. “Décor has become so much more complex than it used to be, but you can cut back on a lot of that stuff by focusing on small details.”
Brown prefers the look of set tables at a seated dinner to a buffet style set-up, but advises the compromise of a set table with a plated salad followed by a buffet dinner.
“The first impression you get of a wedding reception is when you walk in and take in how everything is set up, including all of the details that go along with it,” he says. “You need to really read between the fine lines when looking at catering packages. Often it seems like a seated dinner is more expensive, but it really isn’t.”
For more inside tips, check out Donnie Brown Weddings: From the Couture to the Cake, which includes a list of the industry’s top 10 most hidden wedding costs.