As we discussed in our last blog post Wedding & Event Styling 101: The Basics, event styling is the artistic process of mixing shapes, colors, and textures to create a custom and cohesive event look. Once you’ve mastered the basics, these 10 event styling tips and tricks will keep you sane as you plan the rest of your wedding or event.
#1: Be Yourself!
Think about what will make your event special, different and personal. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with any of your event design decisions, but you do want to have an event that you are proud of, represents you well and makes you happy! Is it bad that I love it when a bride walks in for a sneak peek of the reception we’ve styled on her behalf and cries because she loves it so much? Because I’m going to be honest, I love that reaction!
#2: Manage your expectations.
Pinterest, blogs and magazines showcase so many jaw-droppingly stunning events, but you have to be realistic about what works with your venue on your budget. Yes, Kim Kardashian’s floral ceremony backdrop was gorgeous, but it’s really not worth a down payment on a house to have one at your wedding. And yes, it is really cool to have your cake table suspended from the ceiling (love that idea!), but who will do all that work?
#3: Timeless is better than trendy.
It is easy to get sucked into the trends of the year. Everyone has something to say about what is so in or so out now. Since trends change all the time, don’t ignore timeless style options. You want to be able to look at your wedding pictures twenty years from now and feel good about the style decisions you made. If you do choose to embrace something trendy, moderation is key.
#4: Keep it simple.
Your wedding day isn’t about the flowers, linens or table runners. It isn’t about a curated guestbook table or an elaborate food display either. Focus on what really matters to you and forget the rest. Sure, Pinterest DIY projects seem easy, but the time, cost and planning add up to a stressful to do list. Keep all the “STUFF” to a minimum so you, your family and your friends can enjoy a stress-free celebration. Or, if those things are super important to you, make sure your budget allows for you to hire helpers.
#5: It’s not ALL about you.
Your groom may or may not be interested in the planning of your wedding day, but nonetheless don’t forget to consider him in the event design. Try to do at least one thing that he’ll get excited about. For example, we had four types of locally-made beef jerky at my informal, afternoon wedding reception because I knew my husband would love it! Also, don’t forget to consider what your friends and family would love too.
#6: Trust your vendors.
If you have carefully selected your vendors, they are probably really good at what they do. Trust them to handle the little details so you don’t have to deal with it. You have more important things to worry about than providing plates for the appetizers or grabbing lighters for the sparkler send off. Let the professionals handle it. Your vendors can also be great resources to help you make the best design decisions for your budget and style. Be sure to get them all the information they need to do their job.
#7: Use what you have, borrow what you can and rent the rest.
Don’t feel like you have to rush out and buy a ton of stuff for your wedding. Most likely you have things around your home that can be used for your wedding. For example, I used platters I had gotten at a bridal shower to display my reception food. Since I had registered for these platters they were items I really liked and I saved money by not needing to rent platters. I also borrowed and rented vases for my centerpieces. Renting items oftentimes allows you to have nicer items than you could afford to purchase. If you have to buy an item for your wedding, consider buying a used, refurbished or up-cycled option.
#8: Spend your money where it counts.
Prioritize spending on areas or items with the greatest impact on the look of your event or the experience of your guests. You don’t need to decorate every inch of the venue. Determine your event focal points by thinking about what will be photographed and what will be seen the most.
#9: Variety is the spice of life!
Things don’t have to be identical to go together. You can create a more interesting look by combining items with individual character. For example, it is fine to have all matching centerpieces, but for more visual interest you could mix bud vases, boxed floral arrangements and layered candles for a more complex vibe.
#10: Stay organized to stay sane.
Keep track of who will be doing what and when. Don’t underestimate the value of timelines, to-do lists, labels, floor plans, sketches and inspirational images.
I hope these tips come in handy! I don’t even pretend to know it all, so comment below with other wedding and event styling tips or just tell me about your event styling experience. I love hearing from you!