She knew that she wanted a 'Winter Wonderland' effect and their venue is The Great Tythe Barn in Tetbury and this is as far as she had got. After spending the first hour working through the budgets, we could then work through some design ideas.
The first thing was to find out what colours she would like to incorporate. Silver and white are perfect choices for a winter wonderland theme, but to stop it becoming too clinical, adding an accent colour brings a depth to the scheme. Blue is an obvious choice, but my bride liked the idea of using a dark purple. So the first area you can automatically incorporate purple is in the attendants dresses.
At first I proposed using silver willow for the centrepieces. The venue is able to accommodate taller centrepieces so using willow is a fairly cheap but effective way of doing this whilst also adding a wintery feel.
But it wasn't quite what she was looking for so I mentioned about using more traditional silver candelabras. I talked about incorporating purple flowers with silver twigs around the top of the candelabras and using tealights in frosted glass votives around the bottom which she really liked. However, this still wasn't screaming winter wonderland to me. So instead of using purple flowers,
I came up with the idea of using an icey twig or cystral wreath instead. This would give a better wintery effect. You could then add sprays of purple crystals or other decorations.
It was mentioned that they would like to cover the chairs with white covers. Personally I'm not keen on covers unless they are fitted to perfection and much prefer hiring chairs which are usually the same cost. I showed them two images so they could see the difference. They too decided that silver chairs were a lot more effective.
Although they have a good budget there are some areas that I think you should try and spend as little as possible allowing for the money to be used on things which are more important like a better menu or a live band.
One of these areas is favours. Invariably they are left behind which results in a big waste of money. When budget planning I try to spend no more than £2 per person. The bride mentioned she'd seen the idea of giving a bauble as a favour. This works really well as a placecard too, so teaming the two together will save yet more money. You could do this idea for less than £1 per person. Not only that, but we now have something to use as a theme to pull everything together. So for the placecards/favour, there are two options. 1) you choose a purpose made placecard holder 2) decorating the bauble and writing the name on it which people can take and put on their tree every year.
As in the picture of the twig wreath, smaller baubles could be placed into here.
Invitations can be easily designed using http://www.istock.com/, a website where you can purchase copyright free images to use to design stationery. Once you've chosen a design, you can then use the same image on everything from place name tags, menu cards, table numbers and invitations. I've mocked up a couple of examples which took literally minutes. You then simply get these printed and you have themed, well designed invites for less than £50.
Another way of incorporating the baubles into the rest of the wedding is to fill vases with purple and silver baubles and having them placed around the venue surrounded by tealights to make the baubles glow. You could go one step further and have vases on the edge of the aisle lining your walkway. If you are to do this, you need to tie a ribbon across the back of the top two chairs on the edge of the aisle so that guests can't access their seats via the aisle, they have to walk to the far end of the rows of chairs as to avoid them knocking them over .
I think it is safe to say that my client was very happy. She now not only has a firm budget but also a theme for her wedding and a list of my recommended suppliers for her to contact which will save her both time and money. Not only that she's booked me as her On The Day Co-ordinator, so she really does know now that she'll have an amazing wedding as I will be there to help create the Winter Wonderland she wants.