Planning Your Wedding - How to Design your wedding from top to bottom
Linens, flowers, stationery, escort cards… with so many details going into the overall look for your wedding day it is easy to get overwhelmed and sometimes to even figure out where to begin. The good news is it will all be worth it in the end.
Making your event more personal makes it more memorable and the minute moments of discovery during the planning process will become part of a grander story of who you are.
If you are thoughtful, deliberate and organized while seeking out and whittling down inspiration, the wedding design process will be significantly easier to manage. Read on for tips for moving through the experience from start to finish.
Where to Begin
If you are someone who has not kept a secret Pinterest board of wedding inspo- and there is no shame either way, it can be tempting to open up the app. See what is trending and let that guide your initial choices.
It is important that the event actually feels like the couple, where you shop what you like to do and what you participate in are all great jumping off points.
Take inventory of your closet do you wear a lot of florals, stripes or bright colours? Those could all lead to colour palettes or deign motifs. Another question to ask yourselves: what joint hobbies or date night traditions do you have? Maybe you love playing a sport together or go out and doing something special every Friday night. These small details of your love story also make great memory for your overall wedding experience.
Sentimental components of your family histories can also be an excellent place to begin. For example, if your fiancé(e)’s late father loved to sail what better way to honour his memory than with a nautical theme and on the water venue?
Wherever you begin, make sure the inspiration point is uniquely yours. That way when your big day finally arrives, your guests are guaranteed to say that is so them.
How to find and refine your inspiration
Even as recently as ten years ago, the options for wedding design inspiration were significantly more limited. You might tear out and save pages from a wedding magazine. These days, however, ideas are absolutely everywhere particularly on Pinterest and Instagram. That can be both a good and a bad thing.
Social media can be overwhelming, you can objectively say you like everything but what do you like for you? That is why I recommend a more edited, intentional approach to these apps. Instead of saving everything from bouquets to ab workouts for brides in one catch all place and create separate folders or boards for different categories.
Save everything and anything you like at first, but when it comes time to meet with your vendors, whittle down to five or seven photos that best represents your vision in that category. That way, it is not just a stream of consciousness of random things, but a more curated peek into the exact kind of tablescapes you like or the arch you want for a ceremony.
As you pin, leave comments on each photo about what specifically attracted you to the shot. This will help ensure your vendors incorporate the correct parts of your inspiration into your wedding design.
Another good thing to know; generic wedding style terms such as “glam,” “boho” or “preppy” mean lots of different things to lots of different people, so when you type them into a search bar, you are going to get lots of different results. Instead of wasting time wading through irrelevant options of Pinterest, click into an image that catches your eye, and then scroll down to explore the more like this photo options, they will likely be much closer to what you are after.
Tips for designing your wedding
Be smart about your venue
The spaces where you hold your ceremony and reception will have the greatest influence on your wedding design. Not only will they impact the overall vibe, a romantic all white wedding, for example just won’t work in a modern hotel ballroom with a colourful patterned carpet. They will also dictate what parts of your Pinterest wedding vision you cannot bring to life.
Choosing a venue that works for you aesthetically, that matches your budget and will carry your theme and design through without having to cover the whole thing up in drapes is super important. You do not want to be venue poor and not have money left over for other things.
All that to say: choosing a venue you feel comfortable leaning into the style, and you will find it significantly easier to incorporate your inspiration. Or let your venue guide the way, find a place that meets your location, size and budget requirements, then start gathering inspiration with the look and feel of the space in mind.
Hire a professional
You can absolutely go to The Range and decorate your home with everything off the shelf, would it look more thoughtful and refined if you hired a professional interior designer. If you have the budget, bringing in an event planner and/or designer – someone who spends their professional life sweating the small details and knows what is actually available in your area and on your budget, is the best way to bring your wedding design dreams to life.
Having a planner also gives you the breathing room to enjoy the process, because they provide the structure of what needs to be done when they are there to help, you will have someone else worrying about help, you will have someone else worrying about staying on task and on deadline- which means you can devote your energy to the more fun activities, such as selecting cocktail hour apps or stationery.
Rethink what you know about colour palettes.
One of the most common questions you will be asked after getting engaged is “can I see the ring?” along with “what are your wedding colours?” choosing your palettes are less confined in choosing your colour palettes.
It also allows for more flexibility which is clutch as spending starts to rise. If you are open to a wide range of shades from the beginning, it will be easier to compromise on elements as your budget requires.
Rely on you vendors
Floral designers, rental companies, stationers they are called wedding professionals for a reason and a large part of that reason is their ability to create something unique and special for each of their clients. So, once you have shared your inspiration photos and discussed the specifics of what you love in each photo, trust your vendors to do their job – and know that means they likely will not be creating a perfect carbon copy of the pictures you provided.
Your wedding is not going to be found in someone else’s, and by giving over a bit of control to the vendors who are just as invested in creating something beautiful as you, you will likely find something even better.
Invest in elements that serve multiple purposes
The wow moments of your wedding design should either be things that guests will directly interact with or spend a good amount of time surrounded by (their dinner table setting). Items that make only brief appearances (bridesmaids bouquets) do not need to be lavished with as much attention – or money.
Think like a magazine editor
A well-designed wedding is a organised wedding. Meaning from start to finish, all the elements feel like they are part of the same day. That is achieved in two ways:
Repeat certain motifs
Maybe the front on the invitation also shows up in the dinner menu, or the pampas grass surround the base of your ceremony arch also features prominently in the floating installation above your head table. For an overall connected look, pick a few elements and weave them into multiple points of your wedding.
Edit, edit, edit
When designing, think of the wedding in a highlight reel. If you had only 20 photos to show, what are the elements that say this is the whole wedding. That way, you are not going to go completely crazy in between and you are also not going to miss the opportunity to jazz up something important.
At the same time, if a detail you love feels completely out of step with the rest of the set – like, say a pour your own beer tap wall at a Parisian inspired wedding this editing process will help amplify its otherness and ultimately make the decision to cut it a little easier.
Current wedding design trends
Right now, is all about monochromatic looks- bold precisely because of their simplicity. Doing a wedding in one colour would be really cool, imagine all black or incorporating risk-taking shades that are not as commonly used. Weddings are a happy and joyous occasion so showing that in an interesting and unique colour palette.
If you would like to look in to hiring a wedding planner please take a look at my services here or if you would like to discuss how I can help support you with planning your wedding and getting all your ideas together please do not hesitate to contact me to book your free consultation.
Hope you enjoyed the read
Emma Louise x