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How To Organise A Show-Stopper Wedding Worthy Of The Big Screen

Weddings have a unique ability to capture audiences and provoke emotional responses.

From intimate, romantic elopements to huge, lavish ceremonies and decadent parties, movie and TV wedding scenes have inspired many of us when it comes to making our own wedding plans.

If you’re tying the knot, and you want to organise a show-stopping event worthy of the big (or small) screen, here are some tips to add a touch of drama to your big day.

Choosing a venue

No Hollywood or blockbuster box set series wedding would be complete without a stunning venue. For many couples, finding a location is the most exciting element of wedding planning. If you’re going down the TV and film route, you can take inspiration from hit series or impossibly romantic movie backdrops, or go the whole hog and book a venue that has featured on the silver screen. Think Central Park, The Plaza Hotel or the New York Public Library for a Big Apple extravaganza or the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden for an al fresco ceremony in the Golden State. If sweeping soundtracks and country estates are more your vibe, why not take inspiration from period dramas like Pride and Prejudice and Bridgerton? Star-studded venues include Castle Howard, Blenheim Palace, Painshill Park, Rangers House, Leeds Castle, Chatsworth House and Kenwood House. These UK gems are the ideal base for traditional weddings. 

When viewing venues, it’s always wise to think about the type of event you want to plan, your preferences in terms of dates and days and the size of your party. Some venues have relatively small capacities and the demand is likely to be high after hundreds of cancellations during the pandemic. To save money and take advantage of better availability, you could consider getting married on a weekday or choosing less popular months, such as January, February and November. 

Celebrating a theme

Choosing a theme for a wedding is an excellent way to make planning easier and create a more cohesive vision for your event. You can be fairly relaxed and go for a general theme, such as classic and timeless, pastels, vintage or bohemian, or adopt a more specific theme. Perhaps you absolutely adore a TV show or movie, you want to use certain colours or you’re celebrating a passion for travel or music, for example. If you do decide to go with a theme, don’t be afraid to run with it. From Star Wars to boho festivals, there’s scope to put your stamp on your event and create something memorable and unique. 

If you are a film buff, or you’ve binged every box set imaginable, there are some fabulous ideas to inspire show-stopper weddings. Themes you may want to explore include ‘Bridgerton’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘Harry Potter’, Disney and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 

Going all-out on entertainment

Have you ever noticed that big screen weddings are all about the entertainment? You won’t find budget-friendly magicians or local DJs in movie wedding scenes. For many couples, the reception is an opportunity to let loose, have fun with family and friends and make memories to last a lifetime. From the post-ceremony mingle to the dying embers of the dancefloor party as the clock strikes midnight, there is scope to dazzle your guests and make your wedding the spectacle of the year. Look into photo booth hire and capture fun snaps, book a brilliant DJ, find an amazing band, get your guests involved in interactive activities like making cocktails, or adorn your venue with dancers, ice sculptures, string quartets or circus performers. Plan your entertainment around the theme and the atmosphere you want to create. For festivals, for example, you could go for a dance tent or a silent disco in the early hours. To round the night off in style, why not take inspiration from the classic 90s film, Meet Joe Black, and go big with the fireworks?

Credit: Pexels

Planning an A-list menu

No matter how breathtaking the dress or incredible the venue, people will always talk about the food at a wedding. If you’re tying the knot, and you want your guests to rave about the food and drink, there’s a whole host of options to explore. Sit-down meals are still incredibly popular, especially among couples who want a more traditional, exclusive wedding, but you don’t have to go down this route. Alternatives include buffets, barbeques, grazing boards and platters, afternoon tea, brunch, food stalls, hog roasts and sushi, seafood and pizza stations. Use your theme and your budget and party size to help you decide which types of food would be most suitable. 

The perfect playlist

Movies and TV shows are a major influence on wedding music choices. Often, soundtracks and songs that feature in hit shows and chart-topping films become first dance classics or anthems that hail the arrival of the newlyweds. If you’re looking for inspiration for your playlist, why not explore popular tracks, such as ‘All You Need Is Love’ from ‘Love Actually’, ‘A Thousand Years’ from ‘Twilight’, ‘Over The Rainbow’ from 50 First Dates, ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ from ‘Armageddon’ or ‘A Million Dreams’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’? To get the party started and revel in memories of nostalgic nights out, you could also add ‘My Girl’, ‘Hold On’, ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ or ‘Shout’ to your party playlist. 

The dress

What guide to big screen weddings would be complete without a mention of the outfits? To achieve that sought-after audible gasp as you enter the venue, there are all kinds of scenes to inspire you. From the bling and opulence of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’ and vintage meringues featured in ‘Steel Magnolias’ and ‘Enchanted’ to sleek, understated gowns in ‘Twilight’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and quirky styles in ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Sex and the City’, the choice is yours. 

TV shows and movies have inspired couples all over the world when it comes to planning their weddings. If you’re in the throes of wedding planning, and you’re on a mission to organise an event worthy of the big screen, you can use your favourite film and TV scenes to choose everything from your venue and theme to your playlist and outfit.

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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