Wedding help from IKEA? Why, yes!

I have to admit, leading up to the Royal Wedding I was pretty ho-hum about the whole affair. Waking up at 4:00 a.m. to watch it was not on my to-do list. In fact the morning of the wedding, as I was sound asleep around 6:00 a.m., Brian came into the bedroom and asked me if I wanted to wake up to watch Kate walk down the aisle. The answer was no.

But then as I began to watch the wedding recaps throughout the day, my tune changed. The tradition and formality and splendor that marked the occasion intrigued me. Kate looked so lovely and gracious and refined. She and William seemed genuinely happy and in love. It was quite magnificent.

I also found myself looking at the wedding from the point-of-view as a hopefully soon-to-be bride. I am pretty sure that I have Brian backed into a corner a proposal from Brian is on its way, and I have begun thinking about Our Wedding.

Maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself (there is no ring on my finger yet, after all), but I’ve always loved weddings and just naturally find myself thinking about wedding dresses and wedding colors and wedding locales and… well, you get the point. So I just go with it.

I have been married before, of course, and it was one of those $uper Big Wedding$. So I’m not expecting The Wedding of the Century this time around. It will, however, be Brian’s first wedding (to my knowledge!!). What does this mean? That a beautiful, elegant, tasteful celebration – without breaking the bank – would be ideal.

So when I was invited by IKEA to take part in an interactive online webinar focused on bridal design ideas and inspiration, I jumped at it. The webinar was called IKEA Takes a Walk Down the Aisle: Tips, tricks and trends for a beautiful, affordable wedding and beyond. Umm… yes, please!

Our experts were Janice Simonsen, an IKEA Design Spokesperson, and Laurie Satran, an IKEA employee and bride-to-be. They walked us through the bridal shower, wedding and nesting (or “after the honeymoon”) trends that are influencing current designs and I was on the edge of my seat. Because I will be a bride soon-ish (again, hopefully)!

(No pressure, Brian!)

Obviously the IKEA experts touched on the fact that the economy is affecting the way wedding plans are taking shape right now. As they said, it’s making people ask, “What’s really important to me?” when looking at their budgets. These days brides and grooms are paying approximately 40% of their wedding costs themselves. That can be a huge chuck o’ change. Also? About 40% of couples go over their anticipated budget. Yikes!

Typically the bride and groom don’t pay for the bridal shower, but like the wedding itself, the cost to put on a shower can creep up quickly. The IKEA experts had some awesome, money-saving ideas to create an affordable shower without sacrificing style.

How about an intimate, elegant shower at someone’s house, for example? You could incorporate the wedding colors in the shower setting to add a nice touch. And you can create an atmosphere that is personalized to the bride (and groom, if it’s a Jack and Jill shower) by including photos of the couple in the décor. Photo frames like these Finlir Frames could hold fun photos on tables or elsewhere at the shower.

IKEA Finlir Frame

And then there’s the wedding itself. The Main Event.

The IKEA experts emphasized the importance of making sure it’s your day… that it reflects your personalities and what you want it to say about you as a couple.

One particular trend they mentioned, and that I have seen implemented, is using cupcakes instead of big wedding cakes. It’s a way to keep things casual, personal and friendly… and it can keep costs down.

It is also possible to decorate the ceremony and reception beautifully and at great price. One suggestion the experts offered was the use of lanterns.

I love the look of lanterns, and as the experts pointed out, they range in styles to work with themes from casual to formal. As Janice said, light addds sparkle and elegance to any ceremony. They are also multi-functional, as they can be lined down the aisle at the ceremony, then used on the tables or hung in the trees at the reception.

Another lighting idea I loved was the use of solar powered lighting. Guess what? LED can be elegant! Check these out:

How lovely would these Solvinden lights look hanging from trees or a tent at the reception? What’s more, they charge in the sun and when the battery is fully charged, will give full light for approximately 12 hours.

But most importantly, the IKEA experts stressed, is to make your wedding special by making it yours.

Finally, the IKEA experts went into detail about “hiving,” or the trends surrounding nesting. People are making their homes the hub of their activity, opting, for example, to have dinner at home rather than dining out, or having a movie night in rather than spending money at the theater.

So the home is more important than ever. Brian and I are in the process of looking for a home right now, but in the meantime we are moving into an apartment June 1, as we want to be able to take the time to find exactly what we want in a house (or as close to it as possible).

In creating our home together, it will be important for us to each add our own personal touches, which, the experts say, can present a challenge. We will have to take a look at what we both have and figure out a way to unify and join everything.

One great tip they had is to purchase any new items (like furniture) in neutrals in order to work around the other items that each of us are bringing into the home. Then we can use the splashes of color to add impact and create a common ground. (By the way, the IKEA experts say that the hot colors this spring and summer are oranges, yellows, blues and purples.)

Another challenge will be sharing storage space, especially in our bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, as the apartment we’re moving into does not have large rooms. The experts suggests using as much vertical space as possible in the bathroom to create extra storage. IKEA’s RÖNNSKÄR series is perfect for this.

To maximize space in the kitchen, something portable and multi-functional is key. This FÖRHÖJA kitchen cart is definitely on my wish list.

I was really happy to get the inside scoop on the money-saving tips and trends from this webinar that I can actually use. It made me even more excited to start the wedding planning process (I know, I know… patience is not one of my virtues). I learned a lot and am excited to incorporate some of the tips into our future wedding plans and into our little nest!

Disclosure: I was not paid by IKEA for my participation in this webinar, though I will receive a IKEA BLOSSANDE Coffee accessory set as a token of appreciation.


About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 5.12.11
    Jillian said:

    I’m a HUGE fan of IKEA and I can totally see how they could make a wedding work! Love it

  2. 5.12.11
    admin said:

    Janie… I LOVE these ideas! As the mother-of-the-potential-bride (!!!!), I am beyond excited to go on this journey with you and wonderful, wonderful Brian as you plan your lives together. I LOVE IKEA too, and Dad and I actually (as you well know) have IKEA pieces as showcases in our home mixed in with our signature antiques. I love the ease and eclectic feel of IKEA… and I LOVE THIS POST! You are so fun and funny and easy and patient… wait, did I just write “patient”… HA! This is going to be FUN! Bring on the wedding and bring on IKEA! I love you, Honey! Mom

  3. 5.16.11
    Kim said:

    Wasn’t able to watch the video for some reason but, I LOVE, LOVE IKEA and think it is great that they are now in the area of wedding designs and ideas. I like the trend of using cupcakes instead of a wedding cake too and also, great idea to use those cute lanterns for decorating as well. So, just curious if Brian has read this post and has any comments 😉 HUGS!

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