If you’ve planned or are planning a wedding, then you know there are about a million and one things to consider before you actually walk down that aisle with your loved one. From the dress and the flowers to the first dance and the food, getting ready for the big day comes with a lot of planning and preparation.
Of course the biggest thing any couple has to ask themselves before they get hitched is Where To I Do? That’s a question designer Tommy Smythe is happy to help couples answer on his new series of that same name (stream full episodes on CTV.ca starting December 8). In each episode, he takes soon-to-be-married duos and helps them find the perfect spot to tie the knot, getting to know the couples along the way.
So who better to ask about taking an otherwise basic space and elevating it into dream wedding quality? Here are some of Tommy’s best tips when it comes to invoking a little Pinterest on your big day.
Look at the big picture
Pinterest is all about the finer details, but when guests enter your wedding they’re going to be hit by everything all at once. So you want to make sure that wherever you decide to get hitched, the space actually suits your personality. That means staying away from a beach if you’re more into technology and art, or industrial-looking spaces if you’re more Boho chic.
“The best advice from a design perspective is always get as much you into your wedding as possible,” Smythe says. “There are so many professionals out there who are really, really good at helping you to zero in on who you are. The wedding venues we show couples on the show are directly informed by our initial meeting, where we go through all their likes and dislikes and understand who these people really are, because the location for their wedding should be reflective of that.”
Let the professionals do their thing
While it’s great to want to do a bunch of DIY projects for your big day, consider how much stress, time and overall pressure that will put on you. If you’re not a particularly crafty person to start with, do you really want to be gluing 100 centerpieces the week leading up to your wedding? If you’re able to incorporate those things into the venue cost when you select it, you may find it’s worth the money in the long run.
“It’s very easy for any wedding to become a runaway train,” Smythe says. “If it’s a house renovation the kitchen is the thing you spend the most on. Well in planning a wedding it’s really the venue you spend the most on.” As such, make sure you get the most bang for your buck and ask the planners what’s possible in terms of décor.
Pick the right backdrop
Sometimes if you’re on a budget you just aren’t able to let the pros do their thing, and that’s okay too. That doesn’t mean you won’t have the beautiful wedding of your dreams, it just means you’re going to have more of those DIY elements. If that sounds like you, Smythe advises you pick the ideal space to match your rustic vibe.
“If you’re doing a budget wedding and there are a lot of DIY elements, like DIY flowers and maybe you’re relying upon two aunts and your mom to host the food or to make the cake or whatever, a rural sort of casual country wedding suits that format and that agenda and price point best,” he says.
Rely on nature
Speaking of picking a location that suits the format, it’s always a great idea to let nature do the heavy lifting wherever possible. A beautiful sunset across a lake, a field of wild flowers or even a barn with cows and horses can be gorgeous if you let the elements speak for themselves. And sometimes it’s the simplest backdrops that make for the most beautiful, Pinterest-worthy photos.
“You can be outside and rely on nature’s beauty for your backdrop and architecture without having to be in a fancy hotel or on the rooftop of a beautiful boutique hotel,” Smythe adds.
Opt for wild flowers
While we’re on the subject of using nature, remember that inexpensive wild flowers can go a long way. If you have a green thumb you can grow them ahead of time, or pick some to use as centerpieces and bouquets to really elevate the space.
“For flowers if you’re going to do something casual, really beautiful wild flowers with some greens that you might pick in the ravine behind your house and then put in a mason jar can be utterly charming and beautiful for a country wedding,” Smythe suggests.
Find your rainbow
Weddings come in all shapes, sizes and colours… lots and lots of colours. Most venues will offer all of them, but Smythe advises that when it comes to picking your palette, simpler is sometimes best.
“The sky is the limit. There is every colour of flower and tablecloth fabric that you can do,” he says, noting that selecting one or two, and going with some neturals to balance it all out with is usually a good strategy.
Lighting is key
Last but not least, a little mood lighting always goes a long way. Dimmed lights, a natural sunset, string lights and candles are all great strategies when it comes to adding a little ambiance to your day. “Sure there are categories of weddings that suit the budget-conscious bride and groom better than others,” Smythe wraps. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find one that perfectly suits you and your Pinterest dreams.
Stream full episodes of Where to I Do? on CTV.ca starting December 8.