The movie 27 Dresses illustrates well how weddings can be extremely different from one another. From the crazy colors to the elaborate, and sometimes, out of this world fashion design. Wedding and event design encompasses many different details to pay attention to including the color scheme, linens, lighting, floral design, stationery, specialty decor, entertainment, venue layout, and even the food. In fact, the food that will be served may be what helps set the tone from the beginning.
Here is an example: A bride comes to you and says that she wants plum as her main wedding color. It is her favorite color and it seems to be very “in” this year. She also wants a lot of sparkle and glam. They are thinking they’d like formal seating with plum sashes on every other chair, tall floral arrangements in the center of each table, and for the food, they will serve BBQ chicken, choice of salad or green beans, rolls, and for dessert, an ice cream sundae. They want to save money on food so the wedding can have every decor detail she’s always imagined.
Hopefully alarms are going off in your mind right now because you know that while there is nothing wrong with that selection of food, the combination of a BBQ chicken with glitter and gold everywhere doesn’t exactly mesh well, especially if the feel of the wedding is glamorous, but the menu has backyard-family-reunion written all over it. The food is one of the aspects of a wedding (or any event) that people will always remember, just like they’ll remember the bride’s dress and how great the band was. It’s not to say that the menu determines the napkin selection or the flowers, but it helps set the tone and theme in the overall event design.
The color selection for an event will mean everything when it comes to the attire of the bridal party, linens, lighting used, accent decor, flowers, and table settings. The most common thing is for a bride and groom to pick their favorite colors to be represented in their wedding. This is perfectly acceptable, but it’s important that if there will be two colors, that they go well together. As a planner, you may have to help your clients pick varying shades of their favorite colors to ensure a cohesive color palette for the overall style of the wedding.
If a couple is insistent that the colors are represented in every detail, make sure their flower selection is available in that color or one close enough before finalizing the color palette. Or, if flowers aren’t available in their desired wedding colors, you may be able to stick with neutral color florals and use linens and stationery to bring in some color to the event.
Keep in mind that colors may look one way on the computer screen or in a magazine, but all colors have different shades and may appear different when used on other fabrics. It’s also important to review all of this with your couple so that there are not fifteen shades of plum throughout the wedding. Here are a few good sites to browse when looking at colors: Pantone, Colour Lovers, Perfect Palette, and Design Seeds.
Lighting sets the mood as well and can change throughout the course of a wedding’s events. Determining whether any special lighting will be needed on the dance floor or if the lights should be turned up or dimmed at any point of the day and evening is important to know as well. The non-electric lighting is also very important such as candlelight or if flameless candles will be used on the tables or anywhere else, that all plays a role in the mood and ambiance of the event.
We all know that we can be at the most extravagant venue with beautiful scenery, delicious food, and eye catching decor, but if the entertainment is terrible, the entire event can be ruined. Knowing the acoustics of a venue, whether an outdoor or indoor space, is vital when helping a bride and groom select their wedding entertainment. If a band is wanted, make sure they are asked about their equipment and talk to the venue as well to see if they’ve ever had a band play and how does it sound.
You will also want to make sure the band won’t be so loud that guests aren’t able to have a conversation at their table. Keep in mind that different styles of bands can set a very different tone for an event. An acoustic bluegrass band is going to be quite a different atmosphere than a high energy dance band. You can easily set different atmospheres for the cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing by using different types of musical entertainment. Perhaps you have an a capella trio for a fun cocktail hour, a jazz quartet for relaxing but inspiring dinner music, then you have a 10 piece horn band get the energy going for dancing.
Paying attention to details and keeping in mind that everything plays a part in the design of a wedding or event will help it all come together at the end!
This is a guest post from Christine Bochniak. Christine resides in Galena, IL where she works as an Author Account Manager for Kendall Hunt Publishing. She also works as a wedding coordinator part-time for her own business Rise Events Planning.
photo credit: Amy Michelle Photography