If you’re planning on designing your own wedding, we’ve got a treat for you for you today! Bronte Dwyer, a stellar wedding stylist at Foreva Events in Australia, is sharing her secrets—everything it takes to make the wedding day magical. Paired with ethereal photos by Ivy Road Photography from a recent styled editorial, we’re certain you’ll walk away inspired and prepared to tackle your wedding design with newfound knowledge in your pocket! GWS out…over to Bronte!
Designing a wedding is not a small job. It takes creativity, boldness and an eye for detail. The truth is, every single detail of your wedding will contribute to the overall look and feel of your wedding. Details such as the colour of your plates, the texture of your flowers and the shape of your chairs are all important pieces of a puzzle which together will create the overall picture of your wedding.
So how do you make sure all of your wedding elements work together? We have a few tips and tricks we want to share with you, to make styling your wedding easy. We hope that by the time you finish reading you will feel confident to get started designing the wedding of your dreams.
1. Choose the Right Colour Palette
Your colour palette is one of the most defining decisions your will make when it comes to designing your wedding. Start by thinking about what colours you and your partner love. Look at your wardrobe, what colours do you like to wear? Look at your furniture and home styling, which colours stand out? Look at the pictures you’ve saved of weddings you love and notice the colours. Do you prefer lighter, soft colours or darker, strong colours?
Choosing the right colour palette for your wedding will determine the overall look and style of your wedding. Sometimes it’s easier to to choose one colour you love, then pair it with complementary colours. When pairing colours, make sure you don’t go overboard. You might be thinking, “But I love pink, purple, orange, green and blue”. Great, but let’s try to narrow that down for your wedding. Try starting with one central colour and two to three complementary colours to pair with it.
Remember, it’s not just the obvious elements like flowers and stationery that bring colour into your wedding. Elements such as the background of your venue and the furniture materials used will also contribute to your colour palette. For example, if your wedding is outdoors you’ll have green or blue with trees and the sky, and if it’s inside the colour of the walls will become a part of your colour palette as well. It’s also important to think about the tones of materials you would like to use. What colour metal, what type of stone, what colour wood will you use? Where possible, try to incorporate only one tone of wood, metal and stone and stick with that material throughout your wedding design.
Remember to consider the contrast of tones in your colour palette. Unless you’re going for a completely light look, we’d recommend having at least one dark or medium tone colour in your palette in order to have contrast. This will bring the lighter elements to life.
Finally, it’s important to let your colour palette guide your decision making. Before deciding on any element of your wedding, put it through the filter of your colour palette to ensure it will work with your overall style. If you really want to have an eye for detail, don’t include any element that doesn’t fit with your colour palette. You’ll be amazed at how applying this one simple step will help your wedding design stand out.
Loving this romantic torn invitation suite with dramatic script by Little Duck Calligraphy!
Before deciding on any element of your wedding, put it through the filter of your colour palette to ensure it will work with your overall style.
We’re absolutely falling for the blush florals throughout the day! This shoot had not one, but three brilliant florists bringing the creative blooms to life: Akirah Collective, Harbinger of Spring, and Loco for Koko!
The bride has us newly obsessed with Jennifer Gifford Designs gowns!
2. Design a Mood Board
A mood board is a tool that allows you to see the big picture of your wedding design. It will help you to see how elements will work together and determine whether your different ideas work coherently with each other. Mood boards can be digital or physical. Digitally, you can create a mood board on applications such as pages, word or photoshop. Alternatively you can create a physical board with printed wedding ideas and magazine clippings. A mood board can change and adapt as your wedding design develops.
You may want to create a mood board for each element of your wedding. Some mood boards you may create are:
- The initial inspiration
- The Ceremony (big picture)
- The Reception (big picture)
- The bar/cocktail setting
- Florals (include all flower elements e.g. bouquets, reception table flowers, ceremony flowers)
- Stationery (Save the date, invitation, program, menu, welcome signage, thank you cards, favour tags etc)
The first step to creating a mood board is to get a picture of your ceremony, reception and wedding photo locations. Use the images of these spaces as the backdrop of the mood board. Then add your colour palette and all of the elements of your wedding styling. For example, find an image of your arbour and chairs and add them it onto your ceremony mood board.
Once you find a combination of elements that work coherently together, take a ‘step back’ and ask yourself, “Is there anything here that doesn’t quite work?”. Do this for all of your spaces and make changes where necessary. When you’re happy with the different spaces, compare the spaces with one another (e.g. compare your ceremony and reception mood boards) and notice any differences in style, colour or design. Using a mood board in this way will allow you to see the bigger picture and have a representation of what your wedding will look like before the big day.
Once you find a combination of elements that work coherently together, take a ‘step back’ and ask yourself, “Is there anything here that doesn’t quite work?”
3. Use a Motif
Having an eye for detail means looking at the tones, shapes, colours, angles and textures of your entire wedding design. One way to ensure you have consistency between the spaces of your wedding is to choose a few elements that will recur throughout your wedding. In the creative industry this is called a motif.
A recurring subject, theme or idea.
A distinctive and recurring form, shape, figure, etc., in a design.
A dominant idea or feature.
For example, a wedding might use macrame in the ceremony arbour, the back of the reception chairs and as a feature on the wall behind the bar. Or, a wedding might feature leaves incorporating the same leaf design in the stationary, wedding dress and tablescape. Using a recurring element throughout your wedding will tie your wedding together from beginning to end.
Using a recurring element throughout your wedding will tie your wedding together from beginning to end.
4. Choose the Right Venue
Your venue/s will determine the look and feel of your wedding and set the tone and theme of your wedding. If you want to have a beach wedding, it may not be the best idea to use a country barn for your reception. The location and architecture of your venue will have a unique style so it’s important that this is consistent with your wedding theme, colours and overall style. Since your venue is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make when planning your wedding, make sure you choose a venue that suits your style and let it inspire you when designing your theme, furniture and decor used in your wedding design.
If you wedding venue is at the beach, you could use light colours and soft tones with beachy/boho furniture. If your wedding is in the city why not go for something a little more unique and industrial with chrome, concrete or geometric features? Whatever you choose it’s important to ensure that your furniture and decor is consistent with your setting and venue.
Your venue/s will determine the look and feel of your wedding and set the tone and theme of your wedding.
5. Keep to Your Theme
If you’ve chosen a theme for your wedding, make sure every detail of your wedding fits into this theme. With so many beautiful furniture pieces, decor elements and stationery options to choose from it can be easy to see something and feel like you just NEED to have it at your wedding. If it’s really important to you to have a certain element then who cares!? At the end of the day it’s your wedding and you can do whatever you would like. But if you’re looking to design your wedding with an eye for detail, we recommend making sure that any furniture piece, decor item, floral arrangement or accessory is consistent with your theme and design.
Overall you want your theme to be clear and evident through every detail of your wedding. Before making a decision on an element of your wedding, ask yourself, “Does this fit into my overall theme?”. If it doesn’t suit, there may be a similar element available that is more suited to your style or or the same item may be available in a different colour/material that will work better for your design.
If you want to go the extra mile, aim to have all of the typography for your wedding the same. Work with your stationery designer or wedding planner to choose a font or collection of fonts that will be used throughout your wedding. This means that your save the dates, wedding invitations, menus, programs, welcome signs, bar signs (basically anything that includes text) will have the same font used. The result will be worth it.
Overall you want your theme to be clear and evident through every detail of your wedding.
Such a dreamy cake by Macarons by Monika! And those lush donuts by Nodo…yum, yes please!
Time to Design!
So there you have it! Five tips to help you design your wedding with an idea for detail. Designing your wedding is a fun, creative process that is just as much about the detail as it is about the big picture look. Never underestimate the difference that looking into the details of every element will have when creating a design for your wedding. Now you’re ready to design the wedding of your dreams, enjoy every moment of the process!
photography: Ivy Road Photography // event planning: Foreva Events // venue: Summergrove Estate // florist: Akirah Collective // florist 2: Harbinger of Spring // florist 3: Loco for Koko // cake: Macarons by Monika // donuts: Nodo // stationery: Little Duck Calligraphy // makeup artist and hair styling: The Beauty Case // wedding dresses: Jennifer Gifford Designs // bridal accessories: Simona Bridal // groom and groomsmen’s apparel: Wil Valor // rentals: The Wedding Shed // silk: Songbird Silk // model (bride): Kobie Louis // model (bridesmaid): Emily Beardmore
I love your point to create a mood board for the parts of the wedding so that you can derive your dream from all of the inspiration you love! About a week ago, I got engaged to the man of my dreams! I have been trying to figure out exactly what I want from my wedding. My fiance and I have been talking and we think that one of the most important things to use is to have a fantastic photographer so that we can remember our amazing day forever.
My fiance and I are currenlty looking for a venue where we can hold our lovely wedding. Well, I guess you’re also right that everything must be considered when planning a wedding, starting from the plates down to the chairs’ shapes. We’ll also keep in mind to think about the perfect elements of flowers.
Thanks for mentioning that a beach wedding should be complemented by light colors and soft tones. My sister and I have been talking about our dream wedding and we’re both unsure about what a good one at the beach would look like. You definitely made a great point that a beach wedding would look great with a boho look. That would really send the message of a tropical and welcoming look. I’d really love to have a beach wedding venue one day, planning it way ahead of time is really fun and your article helped me quite a bit in thinking it through so thanks for that.