9 Small Details That Make A Big Impact On Your Wedding Day
Everybody knows big things come in small packages (remember your engagement ring?).
Believe it or not, the same goes for wedding details, too: Sometimes it’s the little things that can have the biggest impact. Simple tricks of the trade, from careful lighting to aisle markers, can take your big day to the next level, adding plenty of flair and a touch of your own personal style. And while these small details won’t leave a large hole in your budget, they will leave a lasting impression on your guests.
Dressing up your ceremony space can sometimes be a challenge—especially if you are getting married in a traditional church setting. For an easy yet impactful solution, tie pretty accents to the ends of each aisle. Voluminous bows and elegant satin ribbons can liven up heavy wooden pews or rental chairs. Outdoor weddings can get even more creative: Everything from pinwheels to romantic lanterns can infuse your personal style into the setting. Best of all, these solutions are easy to execute and totally DIY, so anyone can pull them off with aplomb.
Even if you’ve booked a beautiful estate or picture-perfect barn for your venue, incorporating small décor elements in the entryway to your reception and ceremony space is an easy way to set the tone for your big day right from the get-go. Framing external doorways with a string or two of tea lights or leafy garlands is an easy—and relatively low-cost—way to bring your own personal touch to the space. Or spruce up the entryway of your reception venue by swapping out the traditional escort-card table for something more creative: Hang table assignments on an oversize bulletin board with pretty metallic tacks, or pin them to a decorative clothesline mixed with photos of you and your partner. For something more sophisticated, consider hanging the cards in elegant frames.
Giving your guests something to do besides enjoying your well-stocked bar during cocktail hour is a small detail that won’t go unnoticed. Set out disposable cameras and ask your guests to snap away. (If you want to shell out a bit more cash, a Polaroid station or DIY photo booth equipped with fun costumes and accessories is sure to be a big hit as well.) Or ask your guests to help you create a work of art to commemorate your special day: Give each guest a square patch to decorate with his or her well wishes or drawings, and turn them into a one-of-a-kind quilt. Or set out icebreaker cards with prompts like “I hope you—” and “Always remember that—.” At the end of the evening, collect the cards to be placed in a scrapbook.
Simple swaps can make your reception sing. For an easy—and wallet-friendly —way to make your table settings pop, trade up standard rental linens for vibrant napkins, and accent tables with runners in the same shade as your invitations. Add more personal style to the meal by replacing generic glassware with colored water glasses or Champagne flutes (go for something sheer in an unexpected hue that matches your theme). The addition of color will go a long way, not only in impressing your guests, but also in providing a vibrant backdrop for photos.
Whether your colors are vivid and vibrant or subtle and sophisticated, adding contrasting textures to your wedding repertoire is an easy way to make a big impact. Rental furniture can be dressed up with plush cushions, chair backs become more interesting with a bit of burlap or tulle, and ho-hum tabletops become picture-perfect with the addition of an elaborate lace tablecloth. The trick works for virtually every theme, too: Go for luxe fabrics like satin in more traditional weddings, or work in thick canvas or faux suede for outdoor events.
The right lighting can turn almost any space into a dramatic locale. Get the biggest bang for your floral buck by making sure that centerpieces are well-lit with strategically placed pin spotlights. Create more mood lighting with hurricane candles, which can add romance to the setting without adding big figures to your budget. Large creamy white candles go with virtually every theme and color scheme, and they’re super versatile, too: Place them in glass vessels for a refined look or let them burn on their own for a more organic feel. And since they come in many different sizes, you can use them to light up almost any part of your ceremony or reception space.
No need to go overboard with the table decorations: Taking advantage of your venue’s vertical space can make a big statement with relatively little effort. Drape elegant swaths of fabric down vaulted ceilings, string paper lanterns from beams, or hang florals above doorways and other key areas to create an intimate feeling in virtually any reception space. An even simpler option is to place clusters of balloons throughout the room—it draws guests’ eyes up, creating the sense of a more dramatic backdrop.
It's tempting to add more and more florals to your venue-but every petal adds up, and big arrangements can be a big drain on your budget. Get the same effect for half the cost by bulking up your bouquets and centerpieces with leafy greens. Often less expensive than their flowering counterparts, verdant accents are an easy way to make a big visual impact. Adding a touch of a greenery to small centerpieces can magically make them look bigger. And popping foliage in unexpected places like on the bar or down the aisle is another simple way to incorporate a big dose of décor—without the bank.
Treat your guests (literally) with a party favor. Sending guests home with a small present is a thoughtful way to thank them for being a part of your big day. And luckily, the gifts that are sure to please everyone-that is, sweets-are also among the most affordable. Treats like mini jars of honey or small bags of candy curated to match your wedding colors become easier on the wallet when purchased in bulk. These tasty souvenirs can also do double duty on your wedding day: Use them as unconventional escort cards to sweeten the experience for guests before they even sit down.