Every now and then you are given an opportunity that stirs all those old adages – you know the ones: child (actually, me too!) in a sweet shop / pig in muck / having your cake and eating it. Well, about a year ago when I was invited to create wedding stationery and dress a weddding reception, I was probably all three at once.
As a nod to the groom’s fishing background, we opted for a nautical theme but, with a more feminine touch and silver sparkles as well. Not wanting to give away the colours, a subtle ivory and silver colour scheme was chosen, along with anchors which would become a recurring motif for the whole wedding.
While a square, opening invite was chosen was the day guests, a ‘post-card’ style adaptation was used for the evening, allowing a larger, similar idea for the order of service as well. Place settings for the tables and table names were kept very simple, incorporating the ivory, silver and anchor details.
To tie the wedding service in with the overall theme, pew ends were created using anchors and occasional jars of gyp and thistle – a combination that was also used on the tables at the reception. At the request of the bride, keeping the table decorations low meant guests would be able to communicate freely with those across their table, as well as beside them.
On arrival, guests had the opportunity to sign their names, leaving a little reminder to the bride and groom of who had been there on the day. Rather than a classic book, an anchor was used and an accompanying poem explained its purpose (not just to satisfy the theme-nut putting all the pieces together, honest ;o) ) Guests also had the opportunity, whilst enjoying the welcome reception, to examine a nautical chart to help them to navigate safely and easily to their berth for dinner (see what I did there?! ). The seating plan for the tables was mounted on a navigational chart of Carlingford Lough and each of the tables was named after a navigational point located in the lough. These names were replicated on the tables themselves so that guests could find their way to enjoy the fabulous meal.
Using the circular mirrors from the Burrendale itself, each table was decorated with a blue glass holder containing the gyp and thistles, the bottom of which had each been decorated with a thick natural twine, to give a more nautical feel. Little decorative clear gems were sprinkled around the mirror, in among battery fairy lights which were perfect for adding to the sparkle. The design was completed with the addition of the table names and three silver anchors, matching those used in the service, thereby tieing it all up together.
For the top table, tealights and flowers were alternated in silver jars, as well as an anchor for either side and, the same silver tealight jars were also used at the corners of the cake display. You may have noticed the tendancy (read: obsession) with sticking to a chosen theme and so, it was important that the cake would also fit in with all the other aspects of the day. While I would love to take credit for the amazing four-teired creation that was such a focal point within the room, it was in fact the work of Margaret Crozier – with cake that tasted amazing as well as looking absolutely stunning – no need for Paul Hollywood ‘style over substance’ comments here, it was just perfect! Having spoken to Margaret about the overall idea, armed with an invitaiton and her own creative genius, the beautiful cake was created and became a gorgeous feature, as well as being thoroughly enjoyed by the evening guests.
As there were a number of little guests, wee activity packs were created to keep them busy. These included a notebook and pencil, colouring pencils, a stick of glue, a finger puppet to colour, little buttons and pegs and an anchor to decorate and keep. In addition, there was a set of instructions to tell the little ones how to solve a puzzle contained on a number of anchors hidden throughout the room at floor level. Each of these had a little letter clue on the back and, when all were combined and organised (cue the help of grown ups!) words would be made which, (and yes, predictaibility is definitely a common thread here) matched the theme!
I had a lot of fun preparing all the bits and pieces and watching the ideas come together. It was an absolute pleasure to ‘navigate’ (too muc?!) this aspect of the wedding for the bride and groom and I trust and pray that as they set out on their married life, that they will know the blessing of a life together as Mr and Mrs, securely anchored in love.