While we were extremely excited to find out that another royal wedding is on the horizon—that of Princess Eugenie, who announced her engagement this week—another detail about her big day caught our attention too: She has booked the same chapel as her cousin, Prince Harry. And the two high-profile weddings are to take place only several months apart.
It is somewhat strangely comforting to know that even royals are not immune to the same problems us commoners have to deal with, like, how do you make sure your wedding looks totally different from your friend's/relative's/royal cousin-in-law's when they're both taking place at the same venue?
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"First impressions are everything, so make sure there is a serious floral statement for guests to see upon entering," says Danielle Gonzalez of Blooms by the Box. "Consider placing two large centerpieces on either side of the entrance or having a floral focal point in the form of a lush photo backdrop or bridal table. This will ensure that you’re guiding [your guests] through a different experience from the moment the wedding begins."
She also suggests opting out of the regular table centerpieces and, instead, going for hanging ones. They not only make for absolutely breathtaking decor elements but are also quite practical since they will not take up any of your table space.
Another way to completely transform your venue is to play with its format. "Move the dance floor if you're able, or put the bars in another area. Adjust the seating from all round tables to a combination of rounds and squares. A few adjustments will make all the difference," says Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards.
You can also make the switch from indoor to outdoor (or vice versa) between the ceremony and reception. And if you are restricted to only one area, Jones suggests asking the on-site contact if you can face the decor and ceremony a different direction.
Dramatic lighting is one of the best ways to have your guests feel like they have never been in the same event space before. "Start with uplighting on the walls to introduce a fresh color palette, and then move onto pin spots to highlight your custom details. Gobo washes on the walls will bring in an entirely new layer of design as well," adds Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services.
And speaking of your color palette, consider a completely different set of shades for your wedding decor. It will be extremely hard to tell two events apart if they share the same color palette, even if the decor is different. You may want to discuss this with the other bride ahead of time. Cavin Elizabeth Urquhart, photographer and author of A Bride’s Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding, says that if your flowers, bridesmaids dresses, invitations, and other decor elements are in a different color palette, this will give the venue a distinct and unique look for your wedding.
Most importantly, don't forget to make sure your most special day reflects who you and your fiance are as a couple, down to the smallest details (food, drinks, wedding favors)—this is the easiest and most certain way for your wedding to stand out.