Designing your wedding seems like a rather huge task but it’s perfectly achievable if you set down good foundations. Even for me, it felt like a rather impossible task to narrow down my ideas and truly set the direction for our 3 weddings. (yes three – we milked it for all it was worth with our mixed cultural backgrounds)
There are lots of considerations when creating the “look” of your wedding – much like designing a space in your own home, it’s about collating a cohesive atmosphere with complimentary pieces and elements. The difference is that your wedding day is a space that isn’t yours day to day so it might feel daunting on putting your own personal stamp.
STEP ONE | Set your wedding “style” priorities.
This is something you can do before you even pick your venue or photographer. It’s a task you can sit down over a glass of wine. Maybe it’ll take 5 minutes or 5 days but I guarantee it’s the best step. No Pinterest, no magazines, no nothing. Just you and your partner.
Making a list of the things that are important to you and your partner will give you direction and get you thinking about your vision for the day. For our ‘white wedding’, Andy and I agreed on the following:
Roman Design Influences | We got engaged in Rome and both have a love for ancient Roman history. Latin also has a strong place in Andy’s family (both his parents are Classics teachers) so we want to incorporate these influences into our wedding in some way.
Bringing The Outdoors In | Andy has a love of the outdoors and I love flowers. Lots of them. With a Florist who prides herself in beautifully British grown floral design, we knew we’d develop lots of set ups to bring the beautiful outdoors of Buckinghamshire inside.
Music | Both of us have a passion for classical and acoustic music so we agreed this was one of our top priorities. We knew that the music would influence emotions and shape the tone of the day. Using classical choices for a romantic setting but having it played on an acoustic guitar would add the rustic feel we were after and having a live band for the reception added a real meaty atmosphere for everyone dancing the night away.
STEP TWO | When you find your venue, let it guide initial decisions
Your location doesn’t need to dictate every aspect of your day, but you should let it guide you in some direction. If you chose your venue based on the prospect of having an outdoor ceremony, you can pull inspiration from the surrounding nature, or if the venue has a striking dark wall paper, pull that into your colour scheme.
For our our ceremony took place in the “Winter garden” with it’s green structure and glass, I knew we could make a feature of bringing greenery in along side the lanterns to fill the space
STEP THREE | Stepping into the realm of pinterest
Whilst it’s good to have a mood board of ideas you love for your wedding… it is ridiculously easy to get lost within the world of photographs and pin things that really don’t tie into your wedding day. Many of us begin wedding planning with massive Pinterest boards that often go neglected – it’s worth bearing in mind that what you like now may be wrong or irrelevant when you start to refine your overall look. That’s exactly what happened to me! So don’t worry, it’s normal.
TOP TIP : When you pin an image, edit the caption and write why you’ve chosen it. This will force you to consider the real reason why you’ve chosen it – make you more intentional and also hold you accountable for your choices. It might be the tiniest detail or simply the colours within it. This way, when you’re months down the line looking back at the board you know exactly why that image was chosen and can refer to it properly when talking with your suppliers
STEP FOUR | Setting your colour palette
Don’t restrict yourself to three or four colours. For my clients, I typically set a range of at least nine colours and textures which all tie in together. This allows much more flexibility and avoids creating a look that’s ‘one dimensional’.
I often force my clients to get out of the “matchy-matchy” realm and it’s often something they want me to keep a close eye on when they start sending my options for bridesmaids and favours.
STEP FIVE | Moodboard
Whilst I do say keep caution with pinterest, creating a mood board (either online or in a scrapbook) is a brilliant way to get your ideas together and keep you inspired. It also provides a great point of reference for when you need to make visual based decisions (such as bridal party attire). Personally this really helped with my focus and gave us direction for our Sunday wedding. It made me remember the colour tones as well as the initial influences that I didn’t want to forget.
You can see part of our wedding mood board and pick out the inspiration that translated directly into the wedding design you see in our wedding photos featured in this post.
TOP TOP : Try using Photoscape to collage images together that you find. It’s a free piece of software where you can combine and create beautifully arranged mood boards.
Once you get engaged, you’ll suddenly start to notice the imagery of weddings around you – from films to magazines and even thinking back to your own friends’ weddings. You’ll begin to remember the things you liked and the things you disliked, so if you do, try writing them down. Even if it’s just a few words (e.g. massive floral arbour during ceremony) these initial ideas will help towards setting your style.
When I first meet my couples, I typically ask them how they envision their day. Sometimes it’s based on their personal tastes, for others it’s on the venue of their dreams. Both of these are great places to start and will really help to narrow your style choice. What I do find is that a lot of people tend to rein in their ideas until they’ve landed their venue – which again is fine – but there’s no harm in looking at what you like and dislike. Doing this means that when you’re venue hunting you’re already thinking about the vision for your day and what will work (such as the space for walking down the aisle or the layout for your wedding breakfast). If the venue doesn’t hit that vision, you can eliminate it from your list and move on to the next – and this will make the process a whole lot easier!
If you’d like to chat to me personally about designing your wedding please do get in touch through my contact page.
A L L W E D D I N G P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y D O M I N I Q U E B A D E R