Grand Designs


The best wedding décor takes a beautiful colour palette, adds a winning theme – which these days can be literally anything: enchanted forest, vintage tea party or sophisticated glitz and glamour – and combines these broad brush strokes with personal details which express the unique personalities of the bride and groom. So by all means look to Pinterest for current trends and colour schemes, but also make sure to add those aspects that speak exclusively to you.

Distinctive elements that reflect that two of you and your relationship could include a particular trip that you took together, a favourite animal, or any item that has a special meaning. Think about weaving a few of these elements into your décor theme, as well as aspects such as the menu, the stationery, or even your groom’s boutonniere! Branding is an understated yet elegant way to put an individual stamp on your wedding, and might consist of custom-designed monograms or duograms on the tableware and stationery.

In 2017 and going into 2018, the idea of mixing two very different looks – urban and vintage – is gaining traction. The idea here is to juxtapose the delicacy and softness of the vintage theme (florals and hand-painted details, textures like lace and velvet, antique glassware and crockery, embossed stationery) with the clean lines of urban industrialism, including geometric and graphic shapes and patterns, illustrated in angular table plans, tableware and vases. This could manifest in a warehouse setting of high ceilings, bare walls and floors, done up with rich swathes of draped fabrics, dainty crockery, gleaming candelabra and romantic blooms. Alternatively, choose a garden setting or country venue and decorate with sleek, minimalist furniture, bright colours, modern table settings and lots of metallic details.

Colour schemes

While the ever-classy metallic shades of as copper, pewter and rose gold are very much in evidence for the remainder of 2017 as well as 2018, pastel shades are set to give way to bolder and more intense colours. This will see décor themes enlivened with brightly-hued table linens and drapery, as well as vividly-coloured flowers and even menu items.

The warm glow of rose gold or copper is particularly suited to spring and summer celebrations. The combination of blush and gold is romantic, with shades of pale pink – which can be highlighted with a bolder pink for contrast – teamed with glamorous elements of rose gold. While metallics are very fashionable, be careful not to overdo them! For example, instead of using as a base colour, rather introduce as an accent to enhance your colour palette.

The ever-popular blush goes beautifully with the fresh shade of mint or with ‘Greenery’, Pantone’s colour of the year. Spring and summer weddings look smart and chic in combinations of pastel yellow and grey, as well as Niagra blue, which is one of the ‘new neutrals’ and Pantone’s colour for spring 2017. Autumn colour pairings include purple and lime, and turquoise and chocolate brown. Coral is also extremely on-trend, and can be combined with mint, teal, turquoise or aqua. For something a little different, consider shades of purple with black accents at a winter wedding. Scottish brides and grooms could go with a tartan-hued palette in red, forest green, grey and black.

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The 2018 forecast released by the Pantone Colour Institute highlights the following eight palettes. Resourceful pairs complementary blues and oranges for a visually appealing mix of warm and cool tones, while Verdure comprises the botanicals of delicate celery green, eggshell blue and berry-infused purples, and Playful’s vivid colours mix bright lime, blue, green and yellow. Discretion emphasises more subtle hues, but there’s nothing wishy-washy about the quiet strength of shades such as Elderberry and Hawthorne Rose; and neutral metallics shine in Intricacy, with dramatic touches of Holly Berry Red and Sulfur Yellow. Far-fetched embraces the earthy warmth of Cornsilk Yellow mixed with rose-infused tones, while the powerful Intensity palette balances strong colours with black and gold, and the shimmering glow of TECH-nique incorporates forward-looking shades of pink, purple and turquoise against a backdrop of Frosted Almond and Brilliant White.

Wedding favours

An attractively packaged wedding favour is both a key element in the reception décor and a charming way to thank your guests for sharing this special day with you. From edible gifts such as truffles, cookies and liqueurs to potted succulents and scented potpourris, this is a great method of introducing a personal touch. The trend these days is for practical rather than purely ornamental favours. Food related choices include speciality teas and coffees, homemade jams, oils and vinegars, spices and herbs. Scented candles, soaps, lip balms, flip-flops or a tote bag will also hit the spot. Alternatively, make a donation to a favourite charity in your guest’s name, and place a card at the table explaining why this particular cause is significant to you.