Absolutely Weddings’ experts answer your wedding questions. Here, Simon Clark, director of leading international events organiser Lillingston, discusses how to get the right balance between tradition and originality at your themed wedding party
Q: We want to create a themed wedding party that strikes the right balance between originality and formality as we have older guests in the mix who need to feel comfortable. What would you advise?
A: Weddings have become more and more elaborate over the years and there is a greater emphasis on the party, so most guests will be familiar and comfortable with a theme.
The theme can be as developed as you like, but the best way to ensure it works is to focus it around the essential elements – the look of the bar, style of seating areas, food ingredients, and so on. It is easy to get carried away introducing props and extras that don’t have a clear purpose, forgetting the key items that make the day run smoothly. Make the theme something that expresses your personality – it’s your day and will be most memorable if it ties in with what people associate with your style.
In our experience, whatever the theme, it works well to keep the format of the day traditional – by that I mean reception drinks, followed by dinner, then dancing. It means that guests know what to expect next and that helps everyone feel at ease. Each section can then be made as personal as possible.
It is also a good idea to ensure you cover the five senses for each stage – visual and fragrant elements such as scented candles and flowers, sound with good music, taste with delicious food and drink, and tactile features such as comfortable seating and good quality linen.
Everyone will welcome surprise elements if the main component parts of the day are familiar. Ensuring special consideration towards the comfort of the oldest and youngest guests means that everyone else can relax and enjoy the party.