I love Chinese lanterns. They come in so many beautiful colors and sizes, and can really perk-up a reception space without spending a bundle. An accessory that used to be limited to Asian-themed décor, the Chinese lantern can be found adding pops of color at many weddings today.
However, because they are most often lined-up along the roofline of a tent interior or hung from tree branches, the look has lost a bit of its impact and flair. I still think they are fun, though, and just need a little more creativity in their use.
Here are five ideas to use lanterns in unexpected ways:
1. Ceremony Backdrop: This is a simple installation, but with great impact. Choose white or a soft color for a subtle effect, or one bright shade for real pizzazz. Watch that the lanterns don’t outshine the real stars of the day, though!
This would be perfect for a ceremony under a tent. Use the largest diameter lanterns you can find, and hang them in pairs above your aisle. Go monochromatic, or embrace the ombré
effect by using colors that shade from dark to light.
3. Pom-Pom Tent Fringe: Instead of scattering the lanterns throughout your tent, concentrate them around the perimeter, creating a fun fringe of ‘pom-poms’. A mix of sizes and colors (within your wedding palette, of course) would create a whimsical effect.
4. Head Table Highlight: Group your lantern display above the head table, adding color and glow to you and your honor party. This look could work equally well with mixed colors and sizes as something more ‘regular.’
5. Cake Table Chihuly:
If you are at all familiar with the work of famous glass artist Dale Chihuly
, you’ll immediately see where I’m going here. A densely-grouped reverse pyramid of lanterns installed directly above your cake will truly make a statement. While a variety of sizes would help this work best, you can decide if you want the statement to be bold or less-so through your color choices.
However you choose to use them, make sure to have enough. Part of what makes all these ideas work is the sheer quantity of lanterns in the design. Don’t skimp, and the impact will be sublime!
Heather, The Events Conciergetm
With the multitude of wedding magazines, websites, blogs, television and more out there today, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the choices available to you. My suggestion? Before you look at the first wedding anything, look around your home. What magazines and books do you already own? What draws you to them? What colors are on your walls, your furniture, your accessories? What kind of style - contemporary, country, classic...? Whether you have a passion for fashion, gardening, home decor, or something completely different, think about how these natural "likes" could be reflected in your wedding.
It's easy to flip through a wedding magazine, and find many, many beautiful things that you love - and you will love them - but if you haven't already determined what you love outside of wedding design, you could very easily end up with either: A) a wedding that does not reflect your genuine style, or B) a hodgepodge of ideas that get tossed together, regardless of how they coordinate.
Finally, check in with your other half. Each of you should make a list of two-three favorite colors, plus activities and hobbies. Think of things you share - perhaps you have a sport you enjoy together, a favorite shared hobby, or perhaps a special vacation spot? What is it you each adore about the other? What makes your bond unique? Answering these questions can create a firm foundation on which to create your signature wedding look. (This isn't to say you should use everything on your lists - edit accordingly. However, you just might learn that your second favorite color is the same on both your lists - an obvious place to begin a wedding palette.)
Just remember to start with who you truly are first, then layer the wedding look on top of that. You'll be thrilled with the end result!
The Event Concierge
These days couples are looking just about anywhere for neat and innovative décor ideas. Although some couples opt for a more traditional or contemporary theme, many couples are choosing to go with a “playful” approach when decorating.
A trend I am currently loving are all the DIY signs, displays and chalkboards creatively spelling out the bride and groom's names, information or locations. These are not only fun to create with your future spouse, but can look really neat after they are completed. Although many brides have a specific idea on how they want to decorate their designated area, these signs, displays and chalkboards can fit in with just about any theme.
Having a rustic, flirty, partially outdoor wedding? How about beautifully written fonts on multiple sized arrows leading guests toward designated locations. These are fun and easy to create, not to mention easy to follow!
Maybe you have a tight budget and don’t want to print up menu cards? Or you want to tell all your guests something else specific - spell it out in chalk! Chalkboards are a great way to not only save a little money, but add a bit of personality to your wedding.
However you choose to decorate your wedding, these fun and creative signs and displays will surely be a topic of discussion! Materials to complete your creations can be found in a variety of places: craft stores, specialty shops, and even antique stores! Don’t forget to get your future spouse or a few of your girlfriends to join in on the fun!
Martha said it best: “playful yet subtle, highly personalized, yet totally affordable.” Monograms are appearing on everything in weddings these days. From monogrammed invitations, stemware, and cake tiers, this craze continues to fill our hearts and make us smile, right down to the last initial.
Although monogramming has been around for years, it seems to be in places we never thought possible. One idea that has been on the rise is monogrammed cufflinks for him. Not only is it pretty easy for you to create your own cufflinks, but also have the option to have them professionally engraved in a variety of sizes and fonts.
Something for the bride perhaps? The stitching of initials on or inside of the bridal gown is a sweet and simple idea that adds a personal touch to the bridal gown.
Another lovely item that has been around for decades is a monogrammed handkerchief. These are a charming way to catch tears of joy and offer as keepsakes for family members.
Consider adding your monogram to customized labels and add them to specific pieces like neck ties, shawls, or evening gloves.
Not into these ideas? You can still make an impression on your guests by adding personalizing details to wedding treats like cookies and cupcakes. Whatever your style or theme is for the big day, adding the personal touch of monogramming is a perfect way to capture the eyes of each and every one of your guests.
Here’s a neat new idea for weddings to involve your guests: a spotlight dance with keychain flashlights.
For your first dance, ask your venue to dim the lights and have all of your guests shine the flashlights on the two of you. It’s a spotlight dance that keeps the guests involved with your wedding and a unique idea for a favor!
Buying keychain flashlights that fit your wedding colors make a great souvenir gift to give your guests as favors! You will probably need the power of an LED flashlight so that you have enough strong, clean light beam spotlights to fully illuminate your dance.
There are plenty of options with color, shape, style, and design to find one that fits your wedding and budget. Check out the possibility of getting these imprinted with your names and wedding date as part of the package if you’re willing to order and purchase from a vendor in a bulk quantity. If you can’t fit it in your budget, guests will still be able to appreciate the practicality of the gift, and you will appreciate the memories you’ve created together with your partner, your guests, and your creativity!
The utility of a flashlight will always be something people of all ages can find uses for: in a theater to find your 3D glasses when they end up on the floor, at your front door or car door in the dark to avoid scratching up surfaces with the wrong key, or even to help someone else out when they can’t find something! There are just too many situations when a reliable source of light is a must.
So, be the bride that will continue to get phone calls and thank-you’s for giving your guests the best favor they’ll understand and value!