Props are getting bigger and better in your wedding styling by the day! And why are they so popular? Well it’s a bit like decorating your home, you want it to look good but you also want it to “feel” right too, to create an atmosphere for both yourself and your guests. And what better way than to include some props! We’re going to take a look at 3 different ways to include props in your wedding – creating a lounge area, creating a vignette, & creating an interactive guest area.
So what is a prop? Think of your wedding venue like a theatre stage – its starts like a blank canvas and then adds layers of details (in your case decorations) to tell a story. So anything that you add to your wedding venue that is an object that is normally not there is a “prop”. This could be a large as a 10ft live tree, furniture, unusual feature items such as a gramophone or bicycle, or as small as travel trunks or cases, statues, ornaments or trinkets. But props are everywhere this season in weddings and they can really add to your style.
Lounge props are possibly the most common. Add some feature chairs or loungers for your guests to chill, maybe add some funky lighting and for an even more casual feel some framed photos of your lives together, past family weddings, or even your guests!
The lounge area can be modern, vintage, or even rustic with bales of hay to sit on. The extra details of cushions with your initials, or framed love quotes. A perfect area to have some old school board games or garden games if you are outside.
Why have a lounge? Not all your guests will have energy 24/7 and some will want to get away from the late night partying! It creates a great gathering spot for guests to mingle, and because it’s a bit different some great photo opportunities too!
Vignette : The word vignette has its origin in the 18th century where the French added a decorative design around the border of the pages of a book at the beginning of a book or the start of a chapter. The term is used today in wedding design and styling to describe a group of props that are placed together to tell a story generally about the life or love of the happy couple. If you have ever read a wedding blog you will recognise these as those awesome little pictures that have a group of items that appear really random but then when they are all put together make you think – “aww, that’s so cute.”
Common items at the moment in wedding vignettes are bicycles with baskets, dressers, vintage chairs, crates, sequin table cloths, floral arrangements, chalk board signs, empty picture frames, chandeliers, windows, doors and so much more. If you search for “wedding vignette” online you will find tons of images of what we are talking about.
Again the use of a wedding vignette is to provide a visual or even an interactive feature for your guests. The best vignettes are those that relate to your story. So if you are both passionate about travel and are avid book worms then something as simple at the photograph below, might be one way of telling your story. They are just a fun grouping of objects that have some meaning to you, and a great way to add your personal stamp to your wedding design.
Interactive Guest Area
The third way to use props is to create an interactive guest area. A wedding day can be a long one for guests so having an area prepared where they have an activity or even just something to look at can be a great idea. I really like the idea of a memory making station. Somewhere that guests can interact with you and leave you messages for your future together. Now I know there are lots of ways of doing this whether it is a traditional guest book, leaving a message in a bottle to be opened on a certain wedding anniversary, creating a time capsule to open in 5 years time, signing a photograph / jigsaw piece / leaving your thumbprint. The ideas are endless! But why not create a space around this that reflect your style and story. Here are some ideas – have a table area with somewhere to sit down. If a guest can sit before they think and write then you might get more interesting memories. Leave them some clues if you are asking for advice or well wishes – “you knew we were perfect together when…” “The key to a happy marriage is …” “love is…” Have these printed out nicely in frames or on the front of postcards on which they can add their message and then have a display are that they can leave them on show for others to read them too.
You are always likely to have guests bring a wedding card so this is also a great place to have something in which to collect the cards. Make it beautiful, make it part of a collection of objects – add photos, ribbons, flowers.
Of course another way to have the guests interact is to have a heap of props for them to use to take some fun photographs and share them with your own personal hashtag!
So how do I get wedding props?
Well there are businesses out there and all they do is provide props. For classic items like furniture, tables , dressing tables, bureau, and the bigger items you might want to try them first. To find local prop hire to you try some of these search terms “wedding styling” “wedding venue decorations” “wedding prop hire” “prop hire”. Another place to look is marquee companies who often have a wide selection of items in stock.
But to be honest so many couples are hitting their local charity shops, flea markets, car boot sales, garage sales and even looking in skips and dumpsters for decorative items that can be upcycled. That can work out much cheaper.
And of course my personal favourite is to go searching in your own home or parents & grandparents home. You would be amazed what they might have in their attic space, shed or garage that might be exactly what you are looking for! So get hunting and get creative.
Do you know of a local picture framing business? Somewhere that an artist can bring a canvas to be professionally framed or people can bring their pictures to be reframed? Well these shops will always have a stock of frames that have been taken off pictures that their owners may not consider to be “stylish” any more, or if they change their décor the frame no longer works with the new style, and often the old frames are just being thrown out unless you go and ask for them!! You can pick up a free frame that would be perfect for a DIY photo booth, a classy and elegant table plan, or just to use as part of a vignette!
Happy Planning! Dee