An invitation printed as an open book, centerpieces styled in vases that are illustrated like 2-D drawings and a cake that’s imitating a cupcake—they’re all trompe l’oeil, or a trick of the eye. These visual illusions will not only captivate your guests, but have them excitedly anticipating what other tricks you have up your sleeve.
Playful First ImpressionsKat Teutsch
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the invitation design. If you’re having a playful wedding, make it known. “It’s the first thing guests see, so it should reflect the tone of your event,” says Annie Lee of
Daughter of Design. A flat invitation designed like a textured piece of parchment is the guests’ first clue as to what awaits them after the RSVP.
Swiss Cottage Designs invitations and ceremony program, SwissCottageDesigns.com
Surprising DetailsKat Teutsch
Delight guests with inventive takes on classic wedding elements, like a twist on the ring bearer pillow or unexpected additions to the table like salt and pepper shakers. Some of these additons can even be kept as keepsakes. A ring dish like this can be used long after the reception wraps up and serve as a helpful jewelry catcher on a newlywed nightstand.
Bernardaud L’Art de la Table Je Te Mangerais Dans La Main, $740 for 6, Bernardaud.com; Kate Spade New York for Lenox Daisy salt and pepper shakers, $30 for set, BedBathandBeyond.com
Marrying Fun and FashionKat Teutsch
Fashion lends itself to fun. “I have a three-shoe rule,” Lee says. “Brides need one pretty, new pair to be photographed and worn for the ceremony, a second pair of well-loved heels that are the same height your dress was hemmed for, and flats for when your feet have had it and you just want to dance.”
Stuart Weitzman Nouveau heel, $398, StuartWeitzman.com; Be&D Maison Dumain high-top, $50
Imaginative SettingKat Teutsch
You can have a lighthearted and polished wedding—really. Start with a unique element like a paper vase overlay, then infuse the celebration with bold colors. “If you want to retain a certain elegance in a fun table design, make sure your colors don’t get too crazy,” Lee says. “Try mixing deeper shades with lighter ones to give a little weight and a slightly more serious tone to the tablescape.”
Jade White of Tinsel & Twine wall design; Tinsel & Twine florals, Tinsel.nyc; La Vie en Blanc chair covers, VienBlanc.com
Paper Vases, Not PlatesKat Teutsch
Elevate the head table by setting it with your wedding registry items. “It’s such an important night—I feel like a couple should be drinking from their fine crystal, not rentals,” Lee says. Set out both dinnerware and drinkware, that way every time you use them for years to come you’ll always be reminded of your wedding.
Serax paper vases, Serax.com; Luxe Linen linens, LuxeLinen.org; Kate Spade New York Parker Place plate, Lenox.com; Hotel Collection flatware, $171 for 20-piece set, Macys.com; Swiss Cottage Designs menu, SwissCottageDesigns.com
Finishing TouchesKat Teutsch
“For anyone debating between serving cupcakes or having a wedding cake, you can have both in one,” Lee says. Your cake is the exclamation point of your reception and should reflect your personal style and tastes too, so feel free to have fun with its design. “Even if your wedding is more traditional, there are plenty of places to include a witty element,” Lee says.
Butterfly Bakeshop cake, ButterflyBakeshop.com
The Final FavorKat Teutsch
The favor is usually given at the end of the evening (you could even give it its own designated table), which makes it the perfect detail to push the envelope a little or deviate from your color scheme. Edible favors are rarely left behind—consider giving guests a sweet or savory treat as they leave the dance floor.
The Knot Shop vintage typewriter favor boxes, $9 for 10, TheKnotShop.com