Veteran party thrower Elton John is never short of inspiration (his White Tie & Tiara Balls have featured everything from the glamour of Versailles to the glitz of Las Vegas). But not everyone has a six-figure budget and endless acres to stage a theatrical masterpiece. We have put together some themes to give you inspiration on your wedding day as sometimes even small, thoughtful touches can carry the day just as well.
1. Village fete
For outdoor, family-friendly fun
Think bunting and balloons, homespun fabric hearts, coconut shy and deck chairs.
Dress your tables with homemade fabric runners, jars of daisies, lavender or sunflowers, arts and crafts corners to keep the youngsters happy, a Ceilidh band and an outside bar.
2. Art deco
For painting the town and all that jazz
Think flapper girls, flowing beads and fascinators, bow ties, Mary-Janes and spats.
Go for glossy black vases on mirrored squares as centre pieces, calla lilies, peacock feathers and architectural cakes, Cupid’s bow lips, Clara bow bob and knee-knocking dance routines to Charleston tunes. You could personalise you tables after named stars, films or books from the Twenties.
3. Winter Wonderland
For Narnia magic any time of year
Think glitterballs and sprayed willow, white roses and mistletoe, flickering candles and a crackling fire.
Mulled wine and mince pies, faux fur wraps and diamante brooches, midnight-blue sahes and fairylights. Why not opt for a cake covered with white meringue icicles and have your tables scattered with paper snowflakes.
4. Rustic barn dance
For a folksy farmyard feel
Think hay bales on the lawn, barrels of real ale, a hoedown band and caller.
Look into having wellies, watering cans and wheelbarrows full of flowers, a festive hog roast, homemade twig hearts and centrepieces of colourful fruits. Have your very own heart-shaped blackboards where guests can scrawl messages, doodles and prose (great for the guest book).
For a day of theatrical flourishes
Think Marie Antoinette, gilt mirrors and chandeliers with table names in ornate frames.
Why not opt for lavender bags and pretty fans, silver flower bowls of lilac and violet, sherpherdess crooks wound with ribbons for flowergirls, bouffant hair with diamante pins, and dresses with big bustles. Personalise your day with antique ivory invitations decorated with a cameo brooch motif, and names written in elegant 18th-century-style calligraphy.
6. Indian summer
For a taste of the east
Think vibrant pink and ruby red with brocade, velvet and rich gold detailing, batik prints and incense sticks.
Lotus flowers are a must have with banquet seating and hanging tea lights. Fruit platters sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and a Bollywood dance routine for you and your bridesmaids.
Vibrant bangles for your bridesmaids and jewel-coloured parasols for the flower girls, all matching your bouquet or your man’s tie/cravat.
7. English country garden
For your midsummer night’s dream
Think Pimm’s on the lawn, a string quartet, elderflower wine and chocolate dipped strawberries.
Roses or peonies in classic vases, your flower girls with fairy wings and trees draped with pretty lanterns. Personalise with pots of fragrant lavender and herbs for favours, and raffia-tied napkins with sprigs of rosemary.
8. Around the world
For couples who love to travel
Think world music and steel drums, an international menu and a meaningful flag.
Airmail-style invitations, mini suitcases as centre piece containers, a kaleidoscope of coloured flowers, cake layers decorated like luggage and boarding-card place names.
Why not name your tables after cities or countries you both love, using a giant world map on an easel as a table plan and attaching a list of guests’ names to each location with pretty pins.
9. By the seaside
For chilled-out, sand-between-your-toes romance
Think his and hers flip-flops and multi-coloured pinwheels and pebbles as decoration. You could have orders of service printed on fans, piles of rustic daisies, driftwood table names, storm lanterns and jars of seashells.
To give that ultimate uniqueness you could have a unity sand ceremony. You and your groom each pour sand of a different colour into a single vase to symbolise your coming together as one.
10. Old Hollywood
For all-out glitz with a hint of nostalgia
Think classic starlet style such as Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, sophisticated up-dos, black-tie and floor-length bridesmaids’ dresses. Smoky eyes, white calla lilies, crystal candelabras, pearl-and-rhinestone hair combs, a lace-patterned cake, live music by a Big Band-style group and a vintage Rolls Royce.
Opt for a classic chic cocktail style bar where the staff shake up classic martinis, Manhattans, Whisky Sours and Sidecars.
11. Autumn romance
For a harvest vibe with a quirky Halloween twist
Think falling leaves, golden light, bowls of apples and burnt orange accents.
Have gingersnap biscuits as petite fours, a carrot wedding cake, carved pumpkin table centres with warm candlelight, toasted marshmallows and blankets for guests to wrap up warm in.
Personalise your day with a message tree. Instead of a guest book, have guests write well wishes on hand-crafted paper autumn leaves and tie them to the branches with bits of twine.
For the princess inside every bride
Think of satin ball gowns and elbow-length gloves, a horse and carriage for stunning pictures and a romantic arrangements of roses. Scroll invitations sealed with wax, a harpist for your ceremony playing vintage editions of fairytale classics. A tall glass vase filled with delicate gypsophila flowers and glass-slipper favour boxes.
Personalise with a wedding cake in the shape of a castle for a dreamy focal point during the reception.
Kara at Leez Priory