The Design Process
I recently read on The Knot that “Pinners save nearly 900 million Pins about weddings” every single year. Trust me, I know it’s so easy to get lost in the rabbit hole that is Pinterest, but holy cow! That is a lot of pinning. When most brides bring me on board, they already have a Pinterest board that they’ve been saving wedding ideas to- a lot of the times since even before they were engaged (I did this too, so no shame!). There is so much inspiration on Pinterest and social media in general, that a lot of times these existing boards will have a mix of styles and ideas that are all beautiful but wouldn’t necessarily work together. A big part of my job as a wedding designer is to help our clients create a cohesive look that is uniquely them so today I wanted to share a bit about our design process and how we accomplish that.
When I initially meet with my clients, I ask a bunch of questions to help me get to know them and get a better feel for what they’re envisioning for their wedding. These are few of my very favorite questions that I feel provide a lot of insight and the reasons why I use them time and time again.
“What is your personal style?”
I feel like this is so much less scary than asking someone or yourself to define your wedding style. Doing that can feel like you need to make a rushed decision that is going to influence all of the decisions you'll be asked to make from there on out. Instead, just considering your day to day personal style in all aspects of your life feels more natural and, if you really want your wedding to be a reflection of you, will result in a more honest answer. We surround ourselves with things we like so if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of choices out there for wedding decor, just take a look around your house or in your closet. Are most things black and white? Maybe consider a minimalist design scheme. Do you have plants everywhere? Maybe organic is the way to go for your big day.
“What is the most important element of your wedding to you?”
A lot of the times this question can influence the timeline of an event but it can definitely also impact the design. Sometimes couples will say that they want to use the wedding as an opportunity for their friends and family to get to know one another. This lets me know that we want to design an intimate space that encourages conversation. This could mean we end up choosing low centerpieces so guests can see one another and talk during dinner or we incorporate lounge areas with lawn games to add some interactive elements that help break the ice.
And the one that always throws people off. “Give me three adjectives you want people to use when describing your wedding.”
We want our wedding days to be everything, after all it is THE day. But limiting it to just three simple adjectives makes you laser in on what it is that matters the most to you. I looked back at some of my notes from these meetings and here are a few words that our clients have mentioned: eclectic, sophisticated, clean, happy, personalized, relaxed, whimsical. One of our couples said to me “memorable, tasty and upscale” and you can actually see the blog post of their wedding and how those words guided our design to an unforgettable Great Gatsby themed event here.
After I have these answers, I do actually create a new Pinterest board for each of my clients that we collaborate on. Even if they already have their own, this gives us a fresh start. It’s so helpful for both of us to be able to comment on pins and (pro tip) if there is something on there my clients decide they don’t like or we find something else that they prefer, I delete the superfluous pins to keep the board from getting overwhelming.
Once we have a good amount of ideas on the board and after I’ve gotten to know my clients and their relationship better, I’ll create a mood board. For me, mood boards typically include our color palette (you can create and browse thousands of colors using Pantone's color reference tool), a photo of the venue, and attire, beauty, ceremony, place setting, paper, cake, and floral inspiration. I only include one photo of each element because the point of a mood board is to really narrow down that Pinterest board and hone in on only your absolute favorite ideas. It also puts all of these things side by side so you can really visualize how everything will look together. This is then what we share with our vendors so that they all get the same understanding for the aesthetic of the event and then design with that in mind. It’s such a helpful document for couples to be able to refer to when making all of their design decisions- it really keeps you focused and moving forward.
The last piece of our design process is a mock up. For our full service clients who want to see everything before wedding day, we will set up an actual reception table for them- their table and chairs, linen, table numbers, centerpiece, candles and place settings. We love doing this when possible because it gives us a chance to make changes if there’s something our clients aren’t crazy about and if everything looks great, then it just makes them that much more excited for the wedding day! If you aren’t able to pull together all of the elements for your tablescape beforehand, try asking your florist at least if it’s possible for them to do a mock up of either your centerpiece or bouquet. Sometimes this will be included in a florists’ cost but more often then not, they will charge you for the materials needed to make it. Trust me when I say though, it’s worth it!
I hope this gives a little guidance to anyone struggling with the copious amounts of wedding pretty out there! If you feel like you could still use some more help, please feel free to contact us on our connect page- we’d love to help you create a day that’s completely you!