Long gone are the days when wedding design was standard, when you topped white tablecloths with soft pink centerpieces and called it a day. With a huge range of venues, nearly endless rental options, and inspiration running the gamut from soft and timeless to eclectic and edgy, deciding which style works for you might seem like a huge challenge. But don't let having too many ideas get you down!
We asked Annie Lee, founder of Daughter of Design, to walk us through how she helps her clients figure out what their wedding style is-and then how to stick to it. These tips will turn this task into a fun and inspiring way to kick off wedding planning, we promise!Photo by Stoffer Photography
Where Should You Start?
вЂњI like to encourage my clients to look for design inspiration in disciplines other than the wedding world,вЂќ says Lee. вЂњI ask them to pinpoint designs and styles others have already created, like sets in films, interior design, and graphic art.вЂќ Some of her favorite sources? She points her couples toward their favorite hotels, restaurants, or retail stores; window displays and styled nooks in their favorite furniture store; scenes and spaces they love from movies and shows; and more tangible items like wallpaper designs and rental linen catalogues.
How Do These Ideas Become a Cohesive Style?
The hardest part of the process is eliminating things that don't fit the bigger picture. вЂњIf you're getting married in a traditional ballroom, those rustic details you love may not quite 'go.' I try to stay as true as possible to the venue and locale of the wedding to make it feel authentic,вЂќ Lee advises. Still have a folder full of cute ideas? Save them for other outlets: Your shower, the design of your new living room, or even a future baby shower-that inspiration doesn't have to go to waste!
Lee encourages her clients to begin with rentals. Why? вЂњThere are only so many rental options available in your area,вЂќ she explains. вЂњUnless you're planning to buy 150 plates, napkins, and chairs, you'll need to work with the resources you have at hand.вЂќ She begins with a tablecloth and a chair, which make up the largest visual square footage in your venue. Then, she starts adding elements and layers that line up with the venue and the selections you've made. вЂњWhen you have a narrowed scope of design, it helps you pull the other details together,вЂќ says Lee.Photo by Stoffer Photography
Already Got a Theme in Mind? Here's How to Support it Without Getting Carried Away.
вЂњI like to use the essence of a theme, rather than a literal interpretation,вЂќ Lee begins. вЂњIt's all in the small details, from the choice of font to the color or shape of an object.вЂќ Take, for example, a Gatsby theme. Instead of towering feather centerpieces, place a runner of feathers down the center of the table. Skip bridesmaids in fringed flapper dresses in favor of a fringed detail on the tops of the chairs. вЂњTake elements from the theme and deconstruct them, so they'll allude to your style without being so exact,вЂќ says Lee. вЂњDiluting the actual item that's inspiring you helps keep your event from feeling 'themey,' while still sending the right signals to your guests. Don't invite Captain Obvious to the wedding!вЂќ
How do You Avoid Getting Sidetracked?
вЂњI put blinders on my clientsвЂ¦ just kidding!вЂќ Lee jokes. вЂњBut honestly, I encourage my clients to stop looking once they've narrowed it down. It's the same as once you've met your fiancГ©: You don't get back on Tinder just in case there's something else!вЂќ A huge source of design-related stress comes when you continue to search and re-search for ideas once your decisions have been made, so save yourself the headache.
See More: 15 of the Most Unique Wedding Venues Out There
вЂњThere are so many options-really, too many-for design out there. It's about finding what you like and what works in your space, and being happy with it,вЂќ Lee continues. вЂњAnd remember, once your event designer and florist have placed orders, there's no going back! It's literally the point of no return.вЂќ The same goes for those last-minute details and ideas. вЂњIt's like over-accessorizing your outfit. You looked good in your gown with a pair of earrings and a bracelet, but if you keep going you're going to make your wedding look like Iris Apfel!вЂќPhoto by Stoffer Photography
How Can You Keep Your Theme Authentic and Accurate?
Research, research, research. вЂњMake sure to study your theme thoroughly,вЂќ Lee advises. вЂњI don't know how many times I've seen Indian decor at a Moroccan-themed event! There are nuances between different historical and geographical themes that, while they do have things in common, also serve to set the themes apart.вЂќ Pretend you're a historian fact-checking for accuracy in a period movie: You don't want to look foolish by using the wrong details that you could have easily confirmed, so double-check!