Hello again everyone! Can you believe it’s already November and we’re only a month away from Christmas?! I can definitely hear some bells jingling!
The focus of today’s post is about how to style your wedding and I’ve included some tips to help get your creative juices flowing. As a wedding stylist, I’ve always known that styling a wedding is something far larger than just the visual look of the day. It can be in the venue you choose, the music you select, the invitations you send, right down to your food choices. All these details come together to create a unifying story, which can help guide the rest of your choices throughout the planning process.
With two weddings to style, I’ve definitely had my work cut out! It’s a done deal that our Hindu wedding is going to be colourful and traditional, but our ‘white wedding’ offers much more flexibility to showcase our own true tastes.
When I initially started planning for our big day I thought I knew what style I wanted, but over time my ‘mood board’ has changed. We started off with a colour palette of deep magenta (which I recently binned after conversations with my florist, Sarah of Floribunda Rose) and now our colour scheme is a mixture of neutral tones varying from greys, mint and white. So if you find your final style is different to your original vision – don’t worry. The further you get into the planning process the more likely it is that your ideas and preferences will evolve with it. Allow yourself the freedom to change your mind but make sure you talk these changes through with your trusted suppliers. Based on the amount of weddings they’ve done and the expertise they’ve acquired, they’ll know what ideas will work and which ones won’t. For example, one of my clients recently wanted to have lots of brass features through the décor and detailing. They were playing with the idea of spray painted gold safari animals, a beautiful image from Pinterest – YES, but appropriate for their antique formal wedding? NOPE!! So my advice is stay conscious that not all ideas will link into your overall style and be ready to accept you may need to let go of some things, no matter HOW cool they look on Pinterest.
Sundari’s Guide to building your wedding style
Write down your top three wedding ‘style’ priorities. 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 position 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 music (from classical, acoustic and the foot stomping kind) 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 away.
Use your venue to guide the 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.
Use Pinterest intentionally
Pinterest offers up so much inspiration and is one of the best places to build your wedding vision, but even I can find myself pinning pretty images that don’t actually tie in with the overall style. When you start thinking about your wedding style you do need to look at a number of ideas, but it’s worth bearing in mind that what you like now may be wrong or irrelevant when you start to refine your overall look.
My top tip: edit the caption on the pinned image and write why you’ve chosen it. 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!
Set your colour palette range
Don’t restrict yourself to three or four colours. For my clients, I typically set a range of at least nine colours and tones which all tie in together. This allows much more flexibility and avoids creating a look that’s ‘one dimensional’.
Create a style board
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 deciding between two bridal sash colours or ensuring that your flowers suit your colour palette). 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.
Rather than be lead by a ‘theme’, we went back to our initial ‘3 style priorities’ which helped us create the final picture we were painting for our wedding. You can see how much our initial style board differs to what is has become now. This has been influenced by a number of things, including design meetings with my florist, our photographer’s personal style down to the bridesmaid dresses I bought. As we began to think about the layers of detail such as stationery, favours and food, this again made us think how those would tie in with our style priorities.
Why no ‘theme’?
Personally, I kind of hate the word ‘theme’. To me it suggests Chessington World of Adventures, fancy dress parties and Las Vegas. Trying to ‘theme’ your wedding can give you unnecessary stress and even restricts you the freedom of design. It sets boundaries – which I don’t think should exist when it comes to styling an event – and opens up the doorway to silly worries and may make your wedding feel a little contrived. But that’s just me.
Whilst your home may look one way, modern and quirky, this doesn’t mean you have to choose this for your wedding. After all, you don’t necessarily dress how your home looks, do you? So why does your wedding have to follow that same route? I personally lean far more towards a colour scheme to begin bringing together a style, which is ultimately directed by the couple’s tastes. Tones and textures open up far more unique styling choices for a wedding than a particular ‘theme’.
So what should be the initial influence on your style?
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!
Stylish Real Weddings
I hope that my quick look at how to begin setting the style of your wedding has helped! It really does start by writing down those key style priorities and letting everything else evolve and develop over time. Let your suppliers guide you and allow yourself the freedom to change your mind as you get clearer on your vision.
If you do have any questions about particular problems or questions about styling, please do comment below and I’ll try my best to help you out!
- Mood Board One Image Credits Ellie Asher
- Elisa Bricker
- Zipporah Photography
- Camille Styles
- Paper Antler
- Eddie Judd
- Brosnan Photographic
- Praise Weddings
- Mom’s Best
- Mood Board Two Image Credits Jose Villa
- Jen Huang
- Live View Studios
- Jules Morgan Photography
- Carrie Patterson
- Dominique Bader
- Landon Jacob
- Depict Photography