Wedding Coordination for Bucks County, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, & Pocono areas|danielle@dpnak.com

How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact

As a wedding planner, I believe there are ways to incorporate details into your day that will make a big impact with your guests and add to the overall experience of your event. Some are small and inexpensive and others are a bit bigger, but all of these items can be done to some capacity on most wedding budgets.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Photo by Alexandra Whitney Photography

To keep things simple and since we all know how much I love lists, here are five areas that I recommend giving some thought and seeing how it fits with your wedding or event.

1. Linens

Through most venues or caterers, you usually have the standard option of white or ivory linens for your tables. Or, you may be tasked with choosing and renting them from a separate rental company.

Either way, you can seriously elevate the feel of a table (and the entire room, for that matter) by upgrading your linen with something that has some color and/or an interesting texture.

You can opt to dress all of your tables in a colorful and/or uniquely textured linen. This would include your guest tables, sweetheart or head table, food and beverage tables, hi-top and cocktail tables, place card and gift tables, etc.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Gorgeous black sateen linens from Anjali and Christophe’s wedding at Vie
Photo by Pat Robinson Photography

For a more economical option, or a “happy medium”, just pick a few tables to have a specialty linen. I usually recommend the sweetheart or head table, cake table and the place card table. The first two tables will be photographed most often and the place card table is often one of the first impressions your guests receive as they arrive. Whatever you choose, make sure to use the same linen/color in at least two spots to keep the look cohesive.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Confetti Natural sequin sweetheart table linen for Taylor and Chris’s wedding at Hotel Bethlehem
Photo by Alison Conklin | Florals by Allium Floral Design

As an alternative, you can also opt for just a table runner or overlay. Both of these options are placed on top of a standard linen and come in many options.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Loved these DIY striped runners from Lane and Jamie’s Pocono Lake Preserve wedding
Photo by Graham Terhune Photography | Florals by Rebecca Redpath Designs

2. Signage

Visually, signage can add a great impact to your event. But, signage can also be insanely helpful in giving guests information that they need at the time.

Welcome signs let guests know they are in the right place and truly “welcome” them to what’s about to happen.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

DIY Chalkboard Welcome sign from Samantha and Chuck’s Bethlehem wedding that also held their ceremony programs
Photo by Tami and Ryan Photography

Bar signs will let your guests know what your Signature Drink options are, but they can also speed up your bar line significantly by letting your guests know what their options are as they wait in line. (Also, a great spot to share your #weddinghashtag)

Other signage like bathroom signs and directional signs will help let them know where they should be and direct them to what they may be looking for.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Bar sign from Samantha and Chuck’s Bethlehem wedding
Photo by Tami and Ryan Photography

3. Place Cards

If you’re assigning tables to your guests (which I DO hope you are), you’ll need to create place cards to tell your guests which table number they’ll be sitting at. There are roughly four million options here, but the most common you’ll see is a standard, tented place card that the guest will use to find their seat and then throw away.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with this and it can be done very beautifully, but I challenge you to find a way to give this item more life for your guests.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Lovely succulent favor that could easily double as a place card from Courtney and Dan’s backyard wedding
Photo by Alexandra Whitney Photography | Florals by Allium Floral Design

Since I realize that this will add to your budget, look at your place card as being double-duty for your favor. Kill two birds with one stone here. And speaking of favors, try not to plaster your names and wedding dates all over them. They’ll still remember where they got it without it and they’ll use it much, much more.

Or, you can also incorporate your place card with something they can eat or drink, like these homemade salsa jars.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Homemade salsa jars for place cards and favors for guests
Photo by Alyssa Andrew Photography

4. Lighting

Lighting is very quickly becoming one of my favorite elements to incorporate into events. When lighting is done well and by professionals, it can transform the entire vibe of the room creating an energy that your guests are not only going to see, but feel.

There are a few different options for adding lighting and I’m not even going to try to cover them all. I will cover some of my favorites along with why they have such a “wow” effect.

First, uplighting. In non-technical terms, uplighting is lighting placed at the base of your wall designed to shine upwards towards the ceiling and cascade light onto the wall itself. It’s often a strong color like purple, blue, or amber, but many couples opt for a soft candlelight color to give a nice glow to the whole room. As the night goes on and your dancing amps up, this lighting can often change and even beat to the music, which is awesome. (This is something many DJ’s can also provide, though some do a much better job than others)

Uplighting instantly takes an otherwise “plain, vanilla” room and turns it into a space with energy and personality.

Also, if your venue doesn’t have dimmable lighting, this is a great solution to ensure your guests get out on the dance floor as the evening goes on. The darker the room (without being too dark for your photographer), the more your guests will feel comfortable to get out on your dance floor.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Amber uplighting at Vicki and Dave’s Allentown Brew Works wedding
Photo by Daniel Moyer Photography

Second, pinspotting. Pinspotting is focused beams of light placed onto certain objects throughout your space. This is most commonly done on centerpieces, cake tables and even Sweetheart tables. I usually say that pinspotting makes your $200 floral centerpiece look like a $1000 centerpiece.

Both uplighting and pinspotting are becoming more popular with events making it for affordable and easier to attain than ever.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Pinspotting by Omnivent on a beautiful wedding cake at Hotel Bethlehem
Photo by Alison Conklin Photography | Cake by Piece a’ Cake

The third and most economical option, which can be done on it’s own or in conjunction with many other lighting options, are wedding votives. Votives are small candles, placed throughout the space, and add a nice, warm glow to the decor.

I included a link for the best spot on Amazon to purchase the votives, but if you purchase them from some place else, there are some things to keep in mind. First, make sure their burn time is at least 8-10 hours. Standard four-hour tea-lights will NOT burn for longer than 2-3 hours consecutively. Second, make sure they aren’t scented. No one wants to be smelling vanilla or cinnamon or peaches while they’re trying to eat their dinner. Third, make sure you purchase something for the candles to burn in if you are JUST purchasing the wax votive. The votive itself needs a glass container to sit in.

If your venue doesn’t allow flames, there are also a ton of believable battery-operated votives that make a great alternative.

5. Repurposing

One of my favorite ways to get more life out of your decor is to find ways to repurpose it throughout the event.

As guests transition from one space to the next, as long as they won’t be returning to the space, you can easily assign someone to move your decor around.

A great example is repurposing your ceremony decor. Say you plan on having jars of flowers down each side of your aisle. Those jars can easily turn into extra decor on your cocktail hour tables, gift tables, dessert tables, etc.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Beautiful ceremony decor from Courtney and Dan’s backyard wedding that later became part of the reception decor
Photo by Alexandra Whitney Photography | Florals by Allium Floral Design

Another example is your bridesmaids’ bouquets. So often, they end up sitting on a random table or chair completely forgotton about once photos are over. You can ask your florist to provide a clear vase for the bouquets to sit in (with a bit of water to keep them looking fresh) and incorporate them into your centerpieces, bathroom decor, bar decor or any place else that can use some floral-love.

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Beautiful bridesmaids bouquets from Courtney and Dan’s backyard wedding that later became part of the table centerpieces
Photo by Alexandra Whitney Photography | Florals by Allium Floral Design

Wedding Planning Advice | How To: 5 Event Details That Will Make A Big Impact | from DPNAK Weddings

Centerpieces from Courtney and Dan’s backyard wedding that were formerly the bouquets the bridesmaids held
Photo by Alexandra Whitney Photography | Florals by Allium Floral Design

A few things to keep in mind when planning to re-purpose your decor:

First, make sure the item can be moved relatively quickly and easily. If it can’t transition in a few minutes, it might be too cumbersome to move. (i.e. Don’t try to move your entire altar. But, do try to remove the floral garland from it and place it somewhere else, like your sweetheart table.)

Second, make sure you have people who can do this for you. Many coordinators will tackle this job for you, but be sure to ask before assuming. You can also often pay florists a bit extra to stay and help move things for you. Same goes for your venue coordinator or caterer.

Third, try not to repurpose items to areas that guests will immediately be transitioning to. Ultimately, you don’t want guests to realize that you’re extending the life of your decor a bit so it’s best that they don’t see it happening. (#MAGIC) If you’re repurposing your ceremony items to the reception space (with Cocktail Hour in a separate area), it should work out well. If you’re planning on placing your bridesmaids bouquets on your Cocktail Hour tables, but the bridesmaids will be spending the first half of Cocktail Hour taking photos, this isn’t the best plan.

Ok, folks. Those are five ways you can make a BIG impact on your wedding or event and truly “wow” your guests. If you have questions on any of these or plan on incorporating some into your wedding, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below, connecting with me on social, or by emailing danielle@dpnak.com.

 

2018-03-22T13:56:57+00:00
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