It’s time to get creative and make your reception an affair to remember. Start here with some of the most luxurious ideas for wedding celebrations.
Styling by Noel Nassar Events
1. Location Location
You and your guests will spend the lion’s share of your time at the reception, so go to the effort to choose somewhere that’s elegant, timeless and reflects your personal style. Look for a clean, neutral colour palette, tastefully chosen details and space to employ your chosen styling. If you’re keen to decorate with wild abandon, then look for a space that’s simple and understated. You don’t want your décor and the venues’ wallpaper vying for people’s attention.
2. Good Taste
Find the very best culinary experience available for your budget, and get creative with the way you serve food. Degustation menus with between five and ten smaller courses are trending big time, as are cocktail canapés and food installations. “Incorporate a touch of theatre,” suggests Kathy Apostolidis at Nightingales Wedding Designers. “Live oyster shucking stands, giant paella stations, milkshake booths, create your own crêpe bars and the ever-popular dessert buffet are great choices!”
3. The Finer Things
The little things really do have a big impact, so it’s imperative to invest in quality. Details like luxe linen, thick textured stationery with letterpress printing or metallic foil, lavish charger plates, fine china and thoughtful bomboniere can make an enormous difference to the finished effect. They can take time to get right, but they’re worth it. Noel Nassar of Noel Nassar Events suggests getting creative with your favours, such as having leather luggage tags customised or creating your own signature aftershave and fragrance.
4. One Step Ahead
“Sometimes what happens before, in the middle and after the event can undermine the rest of it,” says Event Architect Philip Carr. Being one step ahead of your guests can really contribute to the sense of occasion and make your guests feel special. “Whether it’s a coffee cart or refreshments after the ceremony, offering transport to the reception or unexpected thoughtful touches like bottles of water as guests leave, all these things contribute to the event feeling like one whole world, rather than unlinked, disparate parts.”
5. Hello Blossom
Incorporate loads of fresh blooms on every available space to imbue your reception with a sense of romance and an undeniable touch of luxury. Choose fragrant herbs and flowers and you’ll be indulging your guests in a sensory experience as well. Think sweetpea, roses, lily of the valley, gardenias and lavender. “Flowers are a great way to create a distinctively deluxe space that represents who you are,” says Noel Nassar of Noel Nassar Events. “Get creative in your choices, incorporate fruit, herbs and foliage.”
6. Think in 3D
Immerse your guests by creating your celebration in full sensory surround. Consider music, food and scent as well as the visual elements and you’ll be indulging your guests in an unforgettable experience. Pay attention to spaces that aren’t ordinarily decorated, like walls and ceilings. Innovative uses of foliage, herbs, flowers and lighting such as suspended floral features, luxe chandeliers, succulent details or draped festoon lighting make for a magical atmosphere that will have your guests talking long after.
7. Pamper People
Indulge your guests in a little luxury. Provide products for them to freshen up in the bathrooms: breath mints, perfume and blotting sheets will all be welcome. Alternatively, you could go all out and offer spa-inspired stations: a blow-dry bar, makeup artist and manicure stand for the girls, a shave and haircut station for the boys and a masseuse for everyone’s tired dance floor feet.
8. Light of My Life
Lighting is a great way to create a magical, romantic ambience for your celebration. You’ll be surprised at the effect that fairy lights, festoon lanterns, chandeliers and candles can have. They add to the atmosphere, shedding gentle, flattering light that makes for a dreamy atmosphere and exquisite photographs. If you want to transport your guests to an enchanted environment, “consider extraordinary dramatic coloured lighting,” suggests Decinda MacDonald of Sugar & Spice Events. “Projections and colour changes throughout the night just add to the magic.”