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Leslie Groves Big Impact, Small Space

Create wedding displays that wow

Written by Leslie Groves
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Big-impact merchandising in small spaces is a challenge that many stores face. Big-impact merchandising in small spaces is a challenge that many stores face. Space is often limited, shelving only gives you so many options and large fixtures can do more harm than good by taking up valuable floor space. The easiest and most economical answer is to work in levels by building height into your displays. This maximizes space while offering ample area for merchandising.

A display table shows off your merchandise and helps clients imagine their event unfolding. 

Working with nesting tables that can stack on or under one another to create different levels is a great first step. For all you thrill seekers out there, a trip to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore can be an eye-opening experience. See what you can find in mismatched tables, risers and coverings. With a few minor adjustments and a coat of paint you could have a whole new look. For the less adventurous, Ikea can be a wonderful resource for small end tables, coffee tables or larger dining tables. They also have a wonderful line of separates that allow you to create your own look with different tops and adjustable legs. For innovative risers to build levels, consider reclaimed wooden crates left natural or painted out to complement your composition. For something more elegant, try square glass vases that can be used as a vessel or turned over to create a new surface or provide a footing for a larger glass surface to be added.

Now that we have the basic structure for our vignette, it’s time to look for product, and with wedding season creeping up, I see no reason for avoiding the inevitable. Merchandising a wedding display can be quite exciting for both you and your customers, however, it’s important to position yourself properly in the market. Weddings and other events have become a business all their own and clients are educated as to what’s available, what’s hot and what’s not. This is where it’s important to put your best foot forward.

Remember that a wedding isn’t simply the bouquet or a table arrangement. It is the entire event on display from top to bottom: chair covers, linens, flatware, flowers, menus, invitations, candles and all the trimmings. Seeing is believing, and for a bride to book with your shop, she needs to see the entire event unfolding before her eyes. If you don’t have the linens, chair covers, larger rentals, etc., it’s your job as a professional to network with someone who does and make your bride’s shopping experience that much easier. Your display needs to highlight all of the possibilities. 

Start by creating a dream table that is breathtaking and completely set for dinner. Make it similar to a venue so that the day becomes real in your bride’s eyes. Consider incorporating larger rental items on risers to add height such as candelabras or oversized vases adorned with beautiful arrangements and dripping with crystals. On a lower nesting table alternate colour selections, Complementary décor or accessories can also be displayed. Taller risers can be used to create displays suitable for cruiser/cocktail tables. Additional services should also be made available such as linen selections or contact information for companies that you associate with to complete the event. This is also an area where a portfolio of your work can be on display in an album or even on a screen presentation for the entire store to see.

If space is available it is certainly to your advantage to create a larger framework for your display that will be noticed at a glance. Options can include draping embellishments from the ceiling, creative backdrops or fabric and ribbon, or perhaps a structure such as a tent that can be transformed into an elegant canopy that will accentuate the table settings within. Once again, the more you are able to bring to life, the more connections you will make.

Decorating aside, setting the stage for your wedding display is only going to take you halfway. We have to remember that we need to position ourselves as the experts in our field and that means knowing the trends – and not just in flowers. We need to recognize and understand our market, identify trends in rentals, venue décor, fashion, colour, personal accessories, etc. The more you know, the more you are able to share and by sharing, you educate your client while building their confidence in your abilities. That confidence is what can seal the deal. By actively positioning yourself as an expert, you set yourself apart from the competition.

Takeaway display tips
  1. Incorporate levels into your displays to maximize space.
  2. Create displays that depict the whole event. Use décor items to paint a picture of what you can do.
  3. Use your displays to prove that you are in touch with current trends.

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