Dear little Soon-to-be-weds of my heart,
You haven’t been able to resist the temptation to promise to love each other forever and ever in the most romantic day of the year, have you? And now you are looking far and wide for tips and creative ideas to transform Valentine’s Day into your own special and memorable day. Well, you happen to be in the right place because we ooze creativity and can’t wait to share some with you!
Yet before we start, there’s a very important recommendation we wish to make: whatever wedding design you have in mind – classic or extravagant – please remember that when you organise an event with so popular a theme you might run the risk of being too predictable and unimaginative. Then arm yourself with patience, look around, read a lot and be inspired by all things beautiful and simple: there’s no need to overdo. If this piece of advice is generally worth something, in this case it is even more! You don’t want your wedding to be all red hearts, roses and ribbons like a cheesy chocolate box, do you?
Well, since we all agree on this, let’s start from the beginning. And it usually begins with the location, the place that will host you and your guests for a whole day of joy and merriment! If you were lucky with the calendar and were able to secure February, 14th as the date of your wedding, then you have certainly considered the weather. February is cold and unpredictable, so it would be better to choose a location with comfortable indoor spaces large enough yet not too wide: the ideal would be a warm and cosy mountain lodge that reflects the intensity of your love. If, on the contrary, Valentine’s Day is just a theme, then your options are certainly broader. It is enough for you to choose a romantic location, possibly with links to your own love story, and an elegant and poised setting up will do the rest!
In this regard, let’s shift our focus on the colours. Of course, it’s impossible not to consider red as the dominant shade. However, it would be necessary to measure its presence with extreme care: red is very strong and the distance between “refined” and “tacky” might be short.
So how to play it safe? First of all, choose the right tone: in our humble opinion one of the most becoming is that which made famous the Italian fashion designer who bears the very name of the lovers’ celebration: Valentino. The Red Valentino represents a very balanced mixture of three reds: carmine, purple and cadmium. A bright and intense hue which symbolises the union between elegance and passion.
To create variation and diversity it is necessary to blend the dominant red with at least another couple of shades. The latest trends in colours advise not to match red against other strong tints, such as black. On the contrary, it is highly preferable to vary on the intensity of the main colour; so play freely with different tones of roses: from bright pink to pale and pastel. Then add a touch of white and the picture will be absolutely lovely!
As regards Wedding stationary, whereas the same piece of advice about colours applies, a few more words must be spent discussing design and style. You might decide to bet everything on the envelope: either choosing it red and with elaborated decorations – such as inlay works or monogram prints – or opt for a classic ivory/white one and focus your creativity on the invitation card, by playing with colours, graphic design and fonts. In this case, the golden rule tells us to mix and balance passion, playfulness and originality.
Yes to the typical heart shape and floral ornaments yet without soaking the cardboard with schmaltzy or redundant images.
But if you are looking for something completely different, why not try something very personal and creative as an heart made using paint and the spouses’ fingerprints? Chic, unique and infinitely sweet.
It’s time to finally talk about the bride’s look. Once again, the thought that first comes to mind is: “let’s choose a total red dress”! Well, not a bad idea at all, let’s just figure out how to wear such an audacious colour without jeopardising style and elegance on the very day when all eyes will be on you, my dear brides!
A very trendy solution is to choose 40’s celebrity style vintage dresses and favour textiles such as silk and satin. Soft, shiny and slinky, these fabrics will bestow class and sensuality on you either if you prefer a structured dress or if you fancy a more curvy, lingerie-style model.
And there’s good news also for those of you not willing to give up tradition. To the timeless white dress you can add red accessories such as a delicate bow belt, a pair of refined elbow length gloves, a soft shrug, a set of ruby earrings and necklace, some glossy lipstick or nail varnish, a pair of stylish décolleté shoes. Remember though that you are not a Christmas tree, so choose with extreme care that one accessory that will echoe the theme of the whole wedding!
You like all these proposals but don’t know which one to choose? No panic, help is on the way! A key element is your physical appearance, especially as regards skin complexion and hair colour. For example, a total red dress is really suitable if you have slightly pale skin, natural red hair ―like the gorgeous Julianne Moore ― or very dark (from brown to black) ― like sweet Snow White. While, on the contrary, if you have artificially tanned complexion and light blonde or platinum hair it is advisable to avoid intense colours ― because the outcome could be a bit vulgar and excessive ― and opt instead for a more ethereal and delicate nuance.
Well, at this point a mention to the groom’s look is rightfully due. Too often is he unfairly set aside when it comes to clothing and beauty; but he, too, is a protagonist of this wonderful party, isn’t he? Let’s make up for it, then. Well, for the male look options are slightly limited yet still very refined. Again, spotlights are on the accessories, which must be absolutely red: a fanciful boutonnière, a nice bow tie, a pair of extravagant cufflinks and, for the most audacious, why not a pair of elegant red socks?
Suggestions given so far perfectly suit also what concerns the floral design of the entire ceremony. There’s just one question you need to answer: what aspect of the Valentine’s Day theme do you want to emphasise? The passionate or the romantic? As always the solution lies in the middle; and nature, in this case, is extra help. In February, beautiful floral species blossom which may just do the job: the Amaryllis, the Anemone, the Freesia, different types of Orchids and delicate Buttercups. As for the colours, they vary from pale pink to dark scarlet; a touch of elegance is given by shades such as coral or peach rose.
But if you definitely feel passionate and sensual, and have a penchant for the more definite red&white combination, you could freshen things up by interspersing the classic white flower bouquet with the intense and bucolic nuances of berries and red fruits.
As regards the banquet arrangement our focus will be on textiles. In order to create a precious but sober atmosphere, a good idea is to combine simple and light fabrics, like muslin, gauze, and calico, with richer and more detailed materials such as brocade, damask or velvet. Again, seek for a balance in colours playing with reds and pinks to achieve an ethereal and warm ambiance.
To end on a sweet note, let’s spend a few words about the sweet table arrangement and the choice of the wedding cake. If you aim at tickling the palate of your guests, prepare a colourful and diversified sweet table: white, pink and red iced sugar cookies, cheerful cake pops, jelly candies, and fluffy cupcakes. And for a surprising creative touch opt for delicious red fruits tarts and pies: don’t be afraid to overflow the table with blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, black cherries, currants and strawberries, everybody will love them! For a more rustic look you can place wicker baskets containing a variety of apples as decorations: red delicious, honey crisps, fujis, galas, and pacific roses will give a sort of naturally tasty note to the table in addition to enhance the visual chromatic effect!
At last comes the cutting of the cake, when the newly-weds stand side by side and the photographer shoots wildly hither and thither. Do you wish to create the perfect picture for this magic moment? Well then, instead of the classic glossy ganache frosted cake, choose a fantastic naked cake! Basically an “undressed” wedding cake that will enchant you and your guests thanks to its amazing fusion of simplicity and sophistication.
Every remarkable ceremony ends with the delivery of wedding favours as long lasting symbols of joint participation and gratitude. The last trends suggests to go green about wedding gifts, so choose to homage your guests with handcrafted products such as home made jam jars, they might be even prepared by your grandma! It is widely known that in order to make a memory last in time it is essential to engage all senses, and these gifts, in addition to being really beautiful, will be a real treat for your family and friends.
Let’s bet, my dear Valentines, that after a wedding like this you will love each other even more?
Wendy for the Wedding Fairies