2022 will be a reinvigorating year as couples begin or continue to plan their big day. We have all built up mighty appetites for human connection and exciting experiences.
The bottom line?
You have a unique opportunity to thrill your guests, become the highlight of the year, and create memories to last a lifetime.
As an event designer with a decade of experience, I know how to get the party started. You need to engage all five senses: taste, hearing, smell, sight, and—one which is too often forgotten—touch.
Many of these senses are easy to activate. For example, taste hinges on carefully curated cocktails that leave your guests with a sweet taste in their mouths. I activate hearing using incredible live bands, DJs, and soulful singers that play to your audience’s preferences. A savoury, scrumptious menu proliferates the room with smells that make your guests’ mouths water as they approach their tables. As you say your “I do’s,” the guests’ eyes will water as though they have never seen anything more beautiful than watching you and your partner commit to each other.
All this, and yet none of it addresses the feeling of touch. We don’t exactly want wedding guests running their hands across the intricate lattice lace on the bride’s dress or picking at the floral centrepiece to see that they are, indeed, real.
So, what’s my secret?
Texture. There is so much we can accomplish with texture. It can be included everywhere on our wedding day. But why tell you when I can show you? Close your eyes (metaphorically, of course) and go on a journey with me:
You are a wedding guest making your way to your assigned seat. A beautiful table greets you, filling your soul with delight. It has a tall centrepiece filled with dried pampas grass, bunny tails, eucalyptus, and thistles. You are then drawn to the sight of your place card because the handwritten calligraphy makes for an impeccable art piece and one hell of a keepsake.
As you take the card into your hand, your fingers run across the ivory-coloured parchment, which has a distinct rough linen texture. The dimples on the paper are both soft and coarse, like the pilling on the inside of your “lounging-around” sweater. The exception is the area where your name has been carefully handwritten. The ink has left the paper with a laminated sensation, slick and shiny like a pair of well-polished loafers. The rugged edges of the paper are filled with loose fibres—as though the place card was torn from an olden book of love poems earmarked for this special day. The place card is tucked away, and you take your seat.
As you sit, you cannot help but notice the velvet linen which adorns the table. You run your hand up the linen, and it is as soft as a rabbit’s fur. It brings back long-forgotten childhood memories of playing with your pet bunny in your backyard. While you are basking in nostalgia, you pull your hand back towards yourself, and the velvet gives a little resistance, springing forth small waves of colours, like when a dragonfly lands on the water and gentle ripples radiate out.
You place your napkin on your lap, noticing that the satin is smooth and supple. It feels like luxury silk between your fingers, and you get a chill as the corner of the napkin brushes your knee when you drape it across your lap.
A wedding favour is sitting nearby, waiting for you to take home. It’s a small potted succulent in a clay pot endowed with a handwritten note that says, “Watch Our Love Grow.” The tiny pot is cool to the touch as you pick it up. It has a chalky feel with slight imperfections in the clay that gently prod your skin as you turn the pot to examine the beautiful, furry succulent. You can’t help but give one of the leaves a “boop” and examining how it turns up ever so slightly in response. As your place the pot back, it catches on a tine of your dessert fork and gives a little squeak.
You look around while taking a sip of the couple’s signature cocktail. The entrancing smell of dinner is getting stronger, meaning the show is about the begin. The low echo of laughter and chatting fills the room—it has been so long since you have seen everyone, and you cannot wait to catch up and dance the night away. The microphone cracks and the MC welcomes the couple. The chatting stops but the room soon erupts into cheers and applause as the couple enters. They take your breath away.
Open your eyes….
A few small considerations create so many immersive experiences for your guests. As you plan your wedding day, I encourage you to reflect on how you can create sense-stimulating experiences for your guests. By stimulating all their senses, we create formative memories for years to come.
Cheers to you and happy planning!
About the Author
Chelsea Lawrie proudly joined the River City Events team in 2014. Chelsea’s love for events started in her home roots in Muskoka, Ontario. Following her dreams, opportunities have led her to a permanent residence in Edmonton, Alberta after studying colour theory and fashion show production at Humber Collage in Toronto, ON.
Chelsea is passionate and dedicated to producing incredible experiences with event management, design, coordination and client care service. Chelsea’s years of experience within the events and fashion industry have allowed her the opportunity to work directly on many experiential live events, weddings and countless corporate functions.
In 2018 Chelsea was honoured and received the prestigious title of “Most Outstanding Wedding Planner, 2018.” And in 2019, Chelsea earned her Certified Special Event Professional designation. This certificate recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform all components of a special event on an international level.