I recently had the pleasure of contributing to an article on Rock n Roll Bride which explored the meaning of luxury, and how to attain it in a way that is low key, bespoke, and mindful of budget.
“Luxe doesn’t mean everything is ostentatiously expensive – it means the elements you’ve chosen to include are high quality and personal to you. It’s walking into a room and feeling the details, without even realising you’re noticing them.”
I thought it might be useful to delve into this a little bit deeper, and reflect on the practical implementation of this concept. For me, one of the keys of pared-back minimalism is being intentional about things that are meaningful, and removing elements that are a distraction from that. In that sense, “low key” can definitely also be “luxe”, and in fact it’s sometimes more impactful to opt for design where those extra-special details have space to breathe and to be admired, rather than being lost within a too-busy context. Of course this will depend on the couple’s personality, but for me luxury is all about creating an immersive experience that feels both effortless and considered – it’s about thoughtfully spending time and money on the little things that will make guests feel welcome and looked after. I always encourage my couples to look at their budget allocation very honestly, to highlight the things that they care most about, and make note of where they’re happy to invest a little less.
For a moment, let go of expectations and preconceptions about what you think you “should” do.
Luxury to you might be treating yourself and your guests to that rare wine you and your partner had that one time in France – or maybe it’s gold foiled custom illustrations of the venue where you got engaged that sparkle in the candlelight. Think about how you can unlock and tie the narrative together so that the wedding experience feels unified: it could be a motif on your stationery, a floral installation which is then echoed on the tables, the colour and texture palette of your decor, a menu or cake that explores a particular taste that reminds you of your first date, or even choosing a subtle scent for the whole event (I love this one – all you need is a little spray on some of the elements, like paper and fabrics, for this to be really effective!). If your venue isn’t as refined as you might have liked it to be, that doesn’t mean your wedding need feel any less extraordinary: dim the lights, welcome the guests to bespoke cocktails, and celebrate the fact that sight is only one of our senses.
It really doesn’t need to be all about how the wedding looks, but rather think in terms of how the wedding “feels”.
For example, at first glance (on Pinterest) you may be made to feel that unless you have floral displays akin to that of a royal wedding, your own celebration can never attain luxury. Now, please don’t take this to mean that I advocate compromising on flowers – I absolutely adore them, and I confess it’s one of my favourite elements of wedding design. If you love flowers, and have the budget to do this passion justice, then absolutely do, as it will reward you tenfold. If however florals are a row of your budget spreadsheet that you feel little connection with, that doesn’t mean resigning yourself to empty tablescapes or plain rooms. One of the great powers of flowers is the way they complement other things, and that’s something not to be underestimated when coming up with your design concept. Thoughtful arrangements of just a handful of blooms, paired with characterful walls, candles with a gentle tint, a textured choice of linen or runner, and unusual tableware, can make a tablescape just as heartfelt and striking for your guests to be welcomed to. Combining flowers with materials like metal, glass, or fabric, weaving them through fairylights or balloons, or framing them around a statement piece like a neon or acrylic sign, can leverage creativity to wow your guests when they least expect it.
Negative space is, in itself, a luxury.
That’s just an example of how to approach thinking about your floral design, and of course entirely depends on your own personal taste and budget. So I thought I’d list some questions that could be useful when brainstorming YOUR style of luxury, and what it means to you:
- When do you feel most yourself? What surroundings take you to a place of happiness and peace?
- Is there a colour, taste, or scent that reminds you of one another?
- How would you like your guests to feel after having joined you at your wedding? What would you like them to remember most fondly?
- What do you treat yourself to, when you can?
- What is your favourite time of day, and why?
- What brings you together with people? Is there a shared passion that unifies your friendship groups?
- What kind of accomplishments make you feel proud, grateful, or fulfilled?
- What is your favourite childhood memory?
- What is the heritage you want to leave to loved ones, as an individual and as a couple?
- If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
- How do you spend your free time in the most truly carefree way?
- What is your favourite genre of art? What do you love getting lost in?
When it comes to creatively and effectively implementing these kinds of personal touches, do consider investing in the expertise of a wedding planner. We’re here to help you find ways to tell YOUR story in a way that feels most exciting and authentic to you, and nothing makes us happier than giving you the time and peace of mind to be more mindful throughout your planning journey. Many of us offer different levels of support: all the way from 18 months to just one day. There are planners out there for every style, personality, and budget, so do have a look around to see if this might be an option for you.
I hope these ideas have helped you brainstorm on how to embrace uncompromised, authentic luxury throughout your wedding. If you’d like to have a chat, or would like some help with planning your wedding, don’t hesitate to get in touch!