Expert advice about venue styling

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Kent Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to


Take a load off

Take a load off

Q. A lot of our guests won't have seen each other for ages, so we'd love to have a chill out zone for them to relax and catch up. What can you suggest?

A. Leah Stageman says: Outdoor lounge setups are the perfect place to kick off your heels and catch up with your nearest and dearest over a glass of gin or two. Boho seating areas create a relaxed space with free-spirited styling, layering Persian rugs, cosy blankets and embroidered cushions around a wooden pallet table. Decorate the table to suit your style, we suggest with a loosely laid runner to match your scheme, coloured candles and mismatched vases dressed in their macramé best, spilling with wildflowers. These can also be used for dining as a more relaxed and intimate wedding breakfast setting.

Our styling tip is to set these up under a beautiful tree, this will create a shaded chill out zone during the day, which is also perfect for the kids. Low hanging branches can be draped with twinkling fairy lights and romantic chandeliers, creating an enchanting glow as dusk falls.

To create levels and add character try adding a statement sofa or love seat, not only do these make fabulous photo props for capturing special moments, but they're also lovely for older relatives to take a peaceful moment away from the disco lights and dad dancing. Our peach 'Honey' vintage sofa is wonderful for sitting pretty with a glass of fizz and celebrating the forever kind of love.

Leah Stageman,Boho & bloom prop hire


Less is more

Less is more

Q. Pinterest has given us a whole heap of styling ideas, how can we enlist the help of a professional to help us pull it off, and what do we need to consider?

A. Laurie Edwards says: One of the most important considerations when planning your wedding overall is how much your wish list is going to cost, and your venue styling is no different. We recommend that you book in an initial consultation with your chosen stylist as soon as you've booked your venue and have a good idea of the direction you want your wedding's look to take.

It's a good idea to work with a stylist who really knows your venue so that they have a sound knowledge of what does and doesn't work in that specific space. Asking for the venue's recommended supplier list or researching prospective stylists online are good starting points.

Remember, styling is all about enhancing and working with your venue. It's not always about cramming in as many features and products as you can. A simple chair dressing, a change of tablecloth or napkin, the addition of a charger or twinkly backdrop may be all your venue needs. It's an old cliché, but so true – less is definitely more.

Laurie Edwards


Let is snow

Let is snow

Q. We're hoping to have a cosy Christmas wedding. What do you recommend we look for in a venue to make sure we can still enjoy our day to the fullest without the use of outside space?

A. Fleur Record-Smith says: You need to be particularly discerning when planning a Christmas wedding – I recommend that your tick list include a venue that seamlessly combines the old with the new. Somewhere that enables you to have cosy experiences, like a beautiful old house with roaring fires where guests can relax with a glass of mulled Kentish cider and a splash of brandy, which always goes down a treat here. Then the new element of the venue, like a bright orangery, should enable you to bring the outside in, with grounds full of romantic hot-spots beautifully illuminated with festoon lighting and fairylights to keep your photographer and videographer happy! In order to maximise the daylight it's important that you work with a dedicated wedding team that allows you to be flexible with your timings, as the best time to marry in the winter is at around 1pm, sitting down for dinner no later than 3.30pm – somewhat earlier than a summer wedding. Ideally you want a venue that enables you to achieve a romantic dinner illuminated by real candlelight to dazzle and inspire. This year, couples are working with their wedding stylists to create their own cosy winter wonderlands with a frosted sugar look that requires a white box background, and a sparkler send-off. We're so excited we can't wait to get festive!

Fleur Record-Smith


Festive boho

Festive boho

Q. What's hot in winter wedding styling this year?

A. Daniel J Kyte says: The boho theme has been at the forefront of many couples' minds this year and we've found this has gradually crept into winter wedding styling.

Couples are coming to us with Victorian styling ideas from ornate shabby-chic picture frames holding table numbers and menus, to wrought iron geometric frames bearing hanging foliage – there's much less bling overall.

Colour palettes have become darker and shades are toned down to the ever-so-traditional burgundy and racing green. Even the popular Christmas gold has been replaced by tones of copper. We're also starting to see the need to incorporate red and green tartans into designs, to accentuate a warming Christmas look.

Floristry has also followed this trend and we've noticed that the use of eucalyptus, ruscus and rosemary has not only flowed throughout last autumn and into this year; but is starting to etch itself into the winter setups of 2019. The most popular arrangements here at KC Weddings and Events are wreaths with lanterns, tall geometric frames with asymmetric foliage or tall cylindrical glass vases with candles on a bed of foliage. These arrangements are truly spectacular and look divine.

Daniel J Kyte


Gardener's world

Gardener's world

Q. We'd love to host our wedding in our back garden. What do we need to think about?

A. Simon Pollard says: When you're holding a wedding in your own outdoor space, it can add to your own garden's romance. Other than the obvious considerations, such as whether your garden is big enough to hold a marquee and whether there's adequate parking available, you should also give the following areas some thought…

- How does the sun travel through your garden? This may determine where your photographer will take your important photos.

- Is there adequate hardstanding for outdoor seating, the ceremony or arrival drinks?

- Are there shady areas, such as a pergolas, for a hot day?

- What walkways are there to direct guests to different places, such as the marquee or toilets.

- What flowers or shrubs will be in bloom? Will they need pruning or weeding?

- Which scenic backdrop will be used for photographs? Does it need any special preparation or additions?

- What's the condition of the lawn? Can this be used for entertainment?

- Ponds need to be covered or cordoned off.

- Does any additional planting need to be put in place or hired if you have a themed or coloured wedding?

- What preparations need to be made for any disabled guests – e.g., matting or ramps?

Simon Pollard


Al fresco styling

Al fresco styling

Q. How can we use styling to really bring our outdoor wedding to life?

A. Holly Dallison says: An outdoor wedding is not without its challenges! Having a stylist on board can help with many of the practicalities while helping to ensure your vision is bought to life. Here are a few tips…

- If you're thinking of a ceremony backdrop, it should frame the bride and groom and encourage the eye to travel through into the view beyond, complementing rather than distracting from the natural environment.

- We've noticed a steady rise in the popularity of relaxed catering, especially grazing tables. Look for tables and chairs that are attractive without tablecloths and can be arranged in any number of ways.

- Continue the outdoors theme through your table decorations. Remember to incorporate earthy tones or bright pops of colour, lots of texture, height variations and textiles. Think clay pots, bark-covered tea light holders, moss and lush greenery. Couple these with vintage objects to create both interest and functionality.

- Every outdoor wedding needs seating so guests can relax. Turn this necessity into a feature using vintage pieces that create an eclectic and relaxed style. Or how about a chill-out zone?

- Consider taking the inside out. Weather permitting, try lining your ceremony aisle with a selection of layered vintage rugs.

- Because of the temperamental British weather, it's always good to have areas of cover, and consider nominating someone to move hired items inside should it start to rain.

Holly Dallison

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