A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita shares their best tips to decorate your perfect wedding ceremony site.
One of the things that makes wedding planning difficult is it requires two very different skills in one couple: the ability to visualize the big picture, as well as execute the details. This is never more true than when you decide on the vision and atmosphere of your ceremony site.
Your ceremony site not only sets the tone for the rest of your wedding, but it’s also the reason you’re here, right? To get married by publicly declaring your love in front of your closest friends and family.
But where do you start?
That’s where the Santa Clarita Wedding & Event Professionals (SCWEP) come in. We spoke with longtime expert Rusty Parr, owner of A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita, and he gave us the top three questions you should ask when decorating your ceremony site. These questions address the big picture, so you can work with your vendors to handle the details.
1. Is your ceremony site indoor or outdoor?
This single factor, along with weather, is the biggest determinant in the look, feel and cost of your ceremony.
Indoor Ceremony Site
Indoor ceremony sites are generally easier to tackle because they control the most unpredictable variable: weather. Once that’s removed from the equation, all you’re really focusing on is: What do I want to hide, and what do I want to enhance?
“You don’t have to worry about weather because that’s taken care of, so now all your decor really just adds to the atmosphere,” says Parr, a member of SCWEP. “Consider decorating the ceremony site differently than the rest of the room or space, so there’s some separation and movement.”
Next you want to think about the layout. How do you want people to move from one “event” to the next? For example, do you want people to stay close to the dance floor for the majority of the reception? Put your bar and desserts within range.
Outdoor Ceremony Site
Outdoor ceremony sites have been popular in recent years, but they also add an element of risk and, often, additional cost. Why? Weather.
“You seriously have to consider the weather,” Parr says. “As best you can, research the expected temperature, chance of precipitation, and wind speed. More often, people will think about rain, and hopefully arrange a Plan B, but they usually forget about wind.”
Consider how the temperature changes throughout your ceremony and reception. In California, the temperature can change greatly in a matter of hours. And when it comes to wind, consider the temperature, strength and direction. Is it a hot breeze? That’s not likely going to cool your guests during the ceremony. Is it a strong, cold gust? That will make the temperature seem much colder.
“Whether it’s hot or cold, it’s always best to have a Plan A and a Plan B,” Parr says. “Pay for the optimum conditions, but arrange a backup plan for the worst case scenario. Make sure you reserve the equipment for your Plan B, in case your rental company runs out of the equipment closer to your date. A good company should keep you up-to-date on what’s available, so you know you’re prepared.”
2. What are your goals for the atmosphere of your ceremony?
Three main elements determine the atmosphere of an event: mood, comfort level and lighting.
To determine the mood, again consider the question: What do I want to hide, and what do I want to eliminate? Then it’s time to talk decor.
“Consider the level of formality and the vibe you want to deliver,” Rusty says. “For example, are you a flower child who wants to wear a light, flowing gown and walk barefoot down the aisle? Then maybe an arbor or archway would look great. Or, if you’re more traditional, you may want to opt for high-backed chairs and drapery. Then, of course, there’s the popular woodsy look, that brings in wine barrel decor and lots of greenery.”
Most couples naturally gravitate toward the mood-based decisions, focusing on aesthetic decor choices. Comfort, however, is way more important to your guests than what color linens you choose.
“Consider what time of day your ceremony falls in, and think about the direction of the sun,” Parr says. “If you’re going to have a 45-minute ceremony at 1 p.m. in August, you should look at your options for a canopy. If it’s a windy day, you may want to block out the wind, so guests can hear you. Brides often worry about hair and photogenic moments when it’s windy, as well.”
Also think about your older guests. Will they be comfortable on your chairs, or do you want to arrange a comfortable lounge area near the dance floor — so they can enjoy the festivities from a close distance?
Cost-cutting Tip: If weather is a big concern, set up your ceremony and reception at the same site, so you can provide maximum comfort without doubling the cost.
Time of day greatly affects lighting, as well as your desired mood.
“If any part of your wedding is held in the evening, then your lighting is purposeful — you need it for your guests to see,” Parr says. “If not, then your lighting is atmospheric and less necessary. Once you determine that, you’re really asking: What kind of lighting do I want, and how much?”
Atmospheric lighting can make a big difference if your budget allows. Add lighting around the perimeter to set the tone before your ceremony even begins, or uplight the background trees to give your venue some color and depth.
3. How do you want to execute your plan?
Consider your team, think about setup and tear-down, and plan your day-of mindset.
We highly recommend working with a rentals company that has specific experience with weddings and can work within your timeline. Wedding-based companies are accustomed to coordinating with the florist, checking in with the wedding planner and doing their best to accommodate last-minute or high-stress requests.
Don’t forget to coordinate the setup and tear-down of your event with your venue, and make sure you understand all their requirements to avoid being penalized or fined.
Are your family and friends doing this part? Make sure to clearly coordinate who will be doing what, and account for the possible “drunken uncle” who won’t be able to fulfill on his duties.
This is the most important factor of all — because it determines how you will feel about your big day. Before the day comes, resolve to stay focused on what matters: you and your love. Don’t peek at the setup, or worse go “help,” while you’re supposed to be enjoying time with your bridal parties and getting pampered. Instead, hire a team you trust, and then trust them.
“In most cases, micromanaging will ruin your night — not your guests’ night,” Parr says. “They only notice the big picture. That’s why you do the details, so they fill out and complete a big picture. Focus on that.”
For more information about A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita, please visit avparty.com or call 661-259-2151.
About A V Party Rentals in Santa Clarita
Quality and style you and your guests will appreciate long after your wedding is over. A V Party Rentals is Santa Clarita’s favorite wedding, party and event rental store! And you can put Santa Clarita’s best to work for you. We are a family-owned and -operated business, and have been serving Southern California for over 30 years, sharing our expertise in events with thousands of brides.
Whether you’re planning the party of the century, or just a small get-together, the staff at A V Party Rentals is ready to help you determine your needs. From tables and chairs to tents and canopies — and everything in between, including dance floors, china, flatware, linens, and bars — we’ve got it! Our party consultants are more than happy to help you plan your event, right down to the last detail. We will help you anticipate you and your guests’ needs, so you don’t have to.
Let A V Party Rentals make things easy. We have everything you need, all in one place. Please stop by and visit our showroom, where we have many displays and great ideas