Beautiful wedding stationery has shown us time and time again that paper can be anything you want it to be. Bright and vibrant, muted and elegant, tied to a theme or bursting with personality.
It’s a great canvas on which to build a signature look. And not just when it comes to invitations. In fact paper decorations are increasingly finding favour as a vibrant way to add personality to a shower, ceremony or reception.
It’s a trend welcomed by Kathryn Porritt, founder of online party supply store Pink Frosting and author of The Party Book.
“They can blend in with every mood, theme or colour scheme and are the ultimate way to add impact without breaking the bank,” says Kathryn, who is also an experienced party planner.
Here’s some pointers to what’s on trend with paper decorations, and how to use them.
Beautiful flower garlands can help to turn an otherwise ordinary piece of furniture or wall space into a dramatic showstopper. They look wonderful draped across the backs of chairs, running down the centre of tables in a lush-looking centrepiece or even dangling from the ceiling. Best of all, unlike some real flowers, a paper creation will look just as stunning at the end of the day as it does for the start. Use them in place of – or alongside – fabric or paper bunting for added visual effect. Other shapes of garland to consider include beautiful circles or tassels.
Idea with impact: Create a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor ceremony by stringing paper garlands between two vintage ladders.
Once the preserve of cheerleaders, pom poms – as well as paper honeycomb balls – are increasingly coming into their own, as designs both simple and intricate enhance a theme or style. With a host of modern hues available, the balls’ versatility is unmatched, from blush pink perfectly suited to a shabby chic celebration to stark black, white and red to enhance an art deco theme. You could create roof tableaus by hanging them from a ladder positioned above the head table, use them to decorate a candy bar or even string a selection at varying heights in a corner to create a stunning photo backdrop.
Idea with impact: Hang them on the outside of chairs at the ceremony to create a defined aisle marker.
Paper flowers are having a massive moment when it comes to wedding decorations, capitalising on their blend of the pretty and practical, the durable and stylish. Available in all shapes, sizes and colours – with oversized blooms being particularly popular – they’re perfect for ceremonies, pre-dinner drinks, receptions … even the wedding cars. You could fashion them into bridesmaids’ bouquets, use them to line the aisle, put them into service as placecard holders, showcase them in vases artfully positioned in every corner of the room or just scatter them here and there to add a wonderful touch of floral whimsy.
Idea with impact: Attach a paper flower to the top of a small box to create the perfect container for a wedding favour.
These are the ultimate showcase of divine double duty. Not only are they gorgeous looking, they’re also extremely practical. Firstly, they’re a great way to help your guests stay cool in a climate that can range from the humid to the hot in the space of an hour. Also, with careful design and editing, they can further serve as the ceremony program, covering everything from the order of service to the names of the attendants in an eye-catching style that will encourage friends and family to hold on to them as wonderful souvenirs.
Idea with impact: Distribute the fans in beautiful baskets set on either side of the entrance to the ceremony so they help define the doorway. Alternatively, you could make a younger relative feel special by charging them with the responsibility of handing them out as guests arrive.
Feathers are already known for bringing a bohemian note to such items as bridal hairpieces, buttonholes and bouquets. And when it comes to decorating, they offer an equally wonderful counterpoint and compliment to flowers, linens and more. With embossed and printed shapes, their usage is bound solely by imagination, so weave them into centrepieces, tie them together to create garlands for the backs of chairs or use them to add a little wow factor to a napkin ring.
Idea with impact: Use feathers, tiny pegs and a piece of twine to create a fresh and vibrant take on bunting.
The bride said let there be light. And so there was, with a gentle glow emanating from lanterns strewn inside and out to illuminate a wonderful celebration. With styles ranging from accordion and bubble to garland and strings, modern lanterns offer both polish and performance. They can be used to illuminate paths between different venues at a wedding reception, cast light over the first dance between the bride and groom, serve a purely functional purpose in an outdoor chill space or add interest when hung from the ceiling as part of a design aesthetic that adds beauty wherever guests look. Just note that these days, the lanterns use LED lights, solar power or electricity to shine, rather than actual candles.
Idea with impact: If you’re getting married outdoors, hang them from nearby trees, along with small bells on ribbons. Not only will they look and sound beautiful, they’ll also create a natural photo booth or meeting spot.
Other great ideas
Paper chains – bright and bold addition that would be perfect to help mark out a children’s area.
Plain paper fans – chic and stylish way to help beat the heat.
Paper parasols – great way to shield the sun, but also a wonderful photo prop, especially when held – or twirled – by members of the bridal party.
Paper wheel fans – designed to inject a pop of colour, whether positioned on a tree or wall, hanging alone or grouped together for an eye-catching display.
Kathryn, whose expert team undertakes scouting missions to Asia, Europe and the Americas several times a year, says on top of the above favourites, the most popular kinds of paper decorations at the moment are tassel garlands.
“They’re absolutely massive,” she says. And incredibly versatile to boot, with standard colour combinations ranging from ‘blushing’ and ‘poolside’ to ‘tropical rainbow’, covering the spectrum from pastels to neon brights.
“The ones coming out now with metallics are also particularly beautiful,” Kathryn says. “We’re talking gorgeous gilded tassels, soft pinks and rose gold .. simply stunning.”
This variety in hue and design helps to bring a real softness to a room, working to define anything from a cake table to the back of a chair or even the ceiling above a dancefloor.
It also showcases paper decorations as the ultimate compliment to a hands-on approach, with couples who are decorating venues themselves – or opting for a little DIY – able to execute their design vision without a celebrity budget and without having to undertake a massive craft campaign.
“You really can use paper decorations everywhere,” says Kathryn. Not only does the range and quality continue to evolve, they can also be transferred between the ceremony and reception – or even saved from the bridal shower to re-use. “They really do go with everything and are incredibly durable,” she says.
To meet demand, Pink Frosting will introduce a couple of Australian-exclusive ranges mid year. Kathryn can’t wait to introduce them to Aussie couples.
“There’s beautiful stuff for summer weddings, so stay tuned,” she says.
What’s available now is great and what’s still to come is even better.