I think it’s safe to say that designing your wedding day is probably the best part of planning your big day. Am I right? But there are a few things you want to cover in your planning process before getting to this part. So, I want to set your expectations before you get started.
The wedding date and location will be huge factors in your design process so personally, I think it’s crucial you finalize those two aspects first. That said, not everybody will approach it this way. Some couples have a clear vision for their wedding day and they want to base the date and location off of that. Regardless, you’ll need the date and location before you get started. Kapeesh?
The one thing you like least about planning your day…your budget. We all have one and we all have to manage it. Therefore, it’s so important you finalize this budget before you get started on designing your wedding because the following will rely on what you can realistically afford to spend.
And remember, you can transform any space. Don’t let a venues current aesthetic turn you away too fast.
Let’s dive in…
Start with the location. What location is your wedding venue in? This will play a significant role in selecting a style and/or theme. If you’re having a countryside wedding, you’re likely to gravitate towards a woodsy feel with cedarwood, greenery, and maybe even a boho type vibe. If you’re having a beach wedding, you’re likely to gravitate towards shells, botanical leaves, and lush details.
Once you select a venue, let the venue unfold your design. Instead of racking your brain on how to transform the space, work with the venue and all the things that make it unique and beautiful!
Second to the time of year, is the date! What season will you be getting married in? This will dictate the color palette. If you’re having a Fall wedding, you’re likely to gravitate towards terracotta, burgundy, oranges, and browns. If you’re having a Spring wedding, you’re likely to gravitate towards dusty rose, lavender, gold, and powder blue.
Colors evoke emotion. For example: red evokes passion, green evokes freshness, yellow evokes happiness, purple evokes luxury, etc. When creating your color palette, keep this in mind.
What is your goal? Are you looking to create an experiential design or are you focusing more on aesthetic? This will determine your layout for the event and how you strategically place elements throughout the space.
Consider designing your wedding with guests in mind. Are you inviting a party crowd that loves to dance? Consider designing your event with lots of high tops to provide a social aspect. Or are you inviting a more laid-back crowd that enjoys sitting down, relaxing and mingling? Consider putting your focus on the tables and low-key entertainment.
Be open to finding inspiration anywhere you can! You’d be surprised where you can find inspiration. It’s usually in the places you’d least expect. I find inspiration when I go for walks outdoors. There’s something about my body moving and the fresh air that gets my brain moving. Take photos and make note of inspirational moments or colors that you think you can incorporate into your day. Your heritage and family traditions can play a huge role in this step also.
Don’t be afraid to do something different. That’s the best thing about designing your wedding. It’s YOUR wedding which means the design is centered around you and your fiancé. Be true to you.
Lighting is essential. If there’s one thing you invest in, make sure it’s the lighting. Lighting is key to providing ambience throughout the space. I’m a fan of romantic and intimate feels throughout a wedding reception. So, I focus on soft white or amber lights and lots and lots of candles. Lights can be chandeliers, string lighting, or even soft uplights on the walls around the room. I’m a BIG fan of candles. My motto is “you can never have too many candles”. They really do so much for the space and vibe you want for the event.
The more candles, the better!
Florals are the finishing touch. I love florals! They really do enhance…well everything to be honest. From your arbor at the ceremony to the centerpieces on tables. They are truly the finishing touch that simply wraps it all up. It’s like a present. It’s not perfect until you’ve wrapped a pretty little bow on top. And then, voila!
I always recommend gathering inspirational photos online for your florist so that they have a foundation to go off of when providing you with a quote. To keep costs low, let the florist know you are OK with utilizing seasonal florals.
BONUS PRO TIP
Consider a wearable floral. They are so unique and incredibly beautiful. Here are some I’ve done in the past with one of my favorite florists of all time, Ashley Kirnan of Tarry Grove.
Consistency is key, ensuring you tie in the same style and color palette throughout your entire event including your stationery. If you’re sending out save-the-dates or invitations before you design your wedding, at the very least, consider the color palette or types of colors you’ll be incorporating into your day so that you keep the color consistent on your invites to guests.
Be mindful of your color palette and where you are using certain colors. For example, if the bridesmaids are wearing burgundy, you probably don’t want the table linen to be burgundy. Pick one of your more neutral tones for the table linen like a gold or champagne.
Now it’s time to create a mood board…the fun part! It’s so important to create a mood board as it will lay the foundation for your planning as you start contacting vendors and contracting elements for your wedding day. If you’re outsourcing a lot of the décor, having the mood board to share with your rental company will be crucial.
Below are different aspects of the mood board that you’ll want to create.
- Initial inspiration – color palette
- Cocktail hour
- Food & Beverage
- Area vignettes – i.e. lounge area, photo op area, etc.
Here is an example of some of the elements I create for client’s mood boards.
If you plan on using specific items from a rental company, go over to their website and utilize photos of those items in their catalog so that when you reach out to them to contract services, they’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.
Execution and design team – who will be in charge of executing your vision? Designing your wedding is fun, but it means nothing if you don’t have the perfect team to execute it for you. The team consists of your floral designers, lighting crew, and of course your design consultant (whether this be a professional you’re hiring or your best friend).
Before you decide who your design consultant will be, make sure they understand your vision and have a proven track record of flawless execution. You put so much work into designing your day and how you want it to look and feel, the last thing you want is poor execution because listen, you can’t re-do your wedding day.
There are so many aspects to designing your wedding day. If I could only give you TWO pieces of advice, it would be:
1) Be true to you, and 2) hire a day-of execution team.