10 top tips for styling an indoor wedding
There are a myriad of reasons to host your wedding indoors, from the season and climate to the types of venues available in your area. From country homes, hotels and restaurants, to ranches, barns and historical castles and palaces, there are so many gorgeous choices! Whatever you choose, how do you create a dreamy and cohesive look rather than a jumble of all those Pinterest boards? We asked Portland wedding florist and Fine Art Curation member, Caroline Reusen to share her 10 top tips for styling an indoor wedding.
Caroline is based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and sustainability and seasonality are at the core of her design ethic. She composts all floral waste and favours sustainable construction methods for the wonderful floral installation she creates and does not use toxic floral foam, which is neither biodegradable nor recyclable. Caroline's designs celebrate the seasonal beauty of the natural world so we're eager to hear her tips for dressing your indoor wedding venue in style. Read on...
1. Choose a light filled venue
Choosing your venue is possibly the most important decision you’ll make during the planning process because it will set the tone of your entire day. Whatever style of location you choose, I can't stress enough the importance of natural light, both for creating an airy feel and for getting gorgeous fine art photography on film. If there's light-coloured walls and large windows with daylight flooding in, your florist, planner and photographer will thank you!
2. Look for a blank canvas
Richly decorated venues can be beautiful of course, but they will restrict how creative you can be with your own decorations. For example, where there's patterned carpets, wallpaper or furniture, you'll need to coordinate your flowers and decor to avoid a clash and the look feeling too cluttered and busy. A blank canvas is a great way to go, whether that's the white walls of a hotel ballroom or exposed brickwork in a restored barn, you'll have much more freedom to decorate exactly how you wish to suit your wedding style.
3. Consult with your florist on color
Most brides present their florist with a clearly defined color palette, yet the magic often happens when you let us run with a rough guide instead, such as earth tones or jewel shades, which gives us more creative freedom to interpret your brief and incorporate the beautiful nuances of nature. After all, floral designers work with color every day and come across unique color combinations you may never have considered. If your florist isn't familiar with the venue, talk to them about arranging a visit so they can best advise on colors and floral designs to compliment the decor.
4. Consider the flow of the day
Talk to your wedding planner or venue coordinator about the schedule and general flow of the day to identify where guests will be at different times. We generally advise prioritising your flower budget towards decorating areas where guests are likely to linger for the longest, such as the wedding banquet tables and perhaps the bar. While the ceremony is relatively short, it is an important part of the day and heavily photographed so we recommend going for a really spectacular display here too. If your ceremony and reception are to be in different rooms, it makes sense to choose floral decorations that can be moved so you can continue to enjoy them throughout the day.
5. Create drama with a floral backdrop
If your ceremony is taking place indoors, it's important to create a central focus point, much like how an altar serves in a church. If your venue doesn't have an obvious place, such as a large fireplace, simply create your own with a beautiful backdrop of flowers. Your florist can advise on options to suit every budget, from dramatic floral arches to blossom trees, flower filled urns to willow arbors.
6. Don't be afraid of pattern
The beauty of choosing a blank canvas venue is that you can add your own style and personality with flowers and patterned accessories. Tablecloths, napkins, tableware or glassware... there are so many options to bring your tablescape alive with beautiful patterns to compliment your flowers.
7. Test run your tablescape
The beautiful tablescapes we see on Pinterest and Instagram are often styled for photos and might not be practical once your tables are filled with guests, food and drinks. If possible, visit the venue when tables are set up for a wedding or at least measure the tables so you can mock up a tablescape to strike the right match of inviting yet uncluttered. If your guests are eating family style, you'll need to go for simpler, smaller flower arrangements to ensure there is enough space for dishes in the centre of the tables, and rethink taper candles to avoid guests burning themselves as they pass platters to each other.
8. Create an experience for your guests
Think about the best restaurants you've been to and what made the experience special. You'll often notice that the feeling of an immersive experience is what makes an occasion memorable, so focus on creating this for your wedding. Celebrating the season is a simple and effective way to achieve this, for a May wedding for example, serving a fresh seasonal menu with complimentary drinks and decorating with spring flowers, foliage and colors will create a celebration that feels cohesive and just right for that moment in time. A great florist and stylist will help you achieve this!
9. Factor in the sunset
Identify when the sun will be setting on your wedding date and plan the day around it. For example, in the autumn and winter when the sun sets as early as 4pm, consider inviting your guests to sit down to dinner at this time in a gorgeous intimate setting with flickering candles and twinkling tealights on the tables creating a warm and cosy atmosphere.
10. Get outside if you can
Weather permitting, it's great to get outside with your photographer for some shots in a different setting with natural light. Take some time in advance of the weddings to scout nearby places around your venue, where you could go for a wander or pose for some lovely natural portraits.
Venue: Sentinel Hotel | Concept + Floral Design: Caroline Reusen Flowers | Photography: RTFaith Photography | Planning, Styling + Coordination: Alston Mayger Events | Dress: Madilane via Ania Bridal | Tux: The Black Tux | Accessories: All About Romance | Rings: Ringed | HMUA: The Wilde Flower | Rentals: Great Jones NW | Linens: Nuage Designs | Cake: Tres Belle Desserts | Invites, signage and paper goods: Letters and Dust | Videography Natalie Kysar Photography | Models: Stephanie via PDX Models and Isaiah via The Option Agency