I have a confession. More often than not you'll find me on any given Sunday sitting on the couch recovering from my wedding hangover with my new favorite guilty pleasure: My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. I some how stumbled on this show one day and was immediately hooked. David shows up to one lucky Bride's home, takes over all the planning of her wedding day, rethinks all the details and creates a magnificent event for the Bride and Groom! Who wouldn't want an accomplished wedding planner coming and taking over your wedding?! Sign me up for our vow renewal!!
As I've watched the show I've started to think about what it takes to plan and execute a successful wedding day. One where the theme and vision match the tiny details that make up the day. Often times I think Brides become overwhelmed with all the things they need to pull together that sometimes their vision can get lost in all the planning. And how DO you plan an event that is a reflection of who you are but that is also entertaining and FUN for your guests?
By no means am I a wedding planner. But from my experience as a wedding photographer and once being a Bride myself I've found there are a few tips that I feel help pull a wedding together that I think every Bride should keep in mind when executing the overall vision for their day!
1. MORE THAN JUST A COLOR. I would say that a wedding theme needs to be more than just a color palette. While a color palette is necessary to help make detail choices, a successfully executed wedding experience needs to be more than just complimentary colors. Brides need to have a specific VISION of a theme and experience that they want for their wedding day. Through that vision a Bride can make better choices for a more cohesive style. For example, pink could be a great color palette for a wedding, but the color alone will not be a unifying factor. Be specific with that vision even if it sounds ridiculous. You'll be glad you did as that vision statement will be your guiding force as you move forward in your planning!
2. MAKE IT PERSONAL! Make your wedding personal by creating a theme in which all your details and elements can be based around. And I don't just mean using childhood pictures to create that personal touch (while those are adorable and cute:)). Think about what you enjoy as a couple, what makes up who you are and base a THEME around that. Then that theme will dictate all of your details and element choices. For example, if you love the great outdoors then a rustic barn wedding might be for you. You could have rustic flowers, soft lace accents, touches of plaid, burlap and yarn, perhaps all within an actual barn! That theme would be a representation of who you are as a couple and the things that you enjoy while at the same time giving your guests that experience to enjoy WITH you. So think beyond just the pictures of you and your fiance. Make your actual details and design choices a reflection of YOU!
3. APPLY TO THE SENSES. SIGHT, SOUND, SMELL, TASTE, TOUCH. Have you ever thought about how these senses all work together to create an overall experience? Think about what your guests will be experiencing when they attend your wedding. What will they be smelling? What will they be hearing? What will they be eating? What will they be seeing? What will they be touching? How will your elements and details all tie together through these senses? Think of beautiful flowers that also have a strong (delightful;)) smell. Think about the music choices guests hear during the cocktail hour. Think about how the food will be prepared and served... I could go on and on!
4. LIGHTING. Use lighting to create a mood for your reception. Lighting is SO important when it comes to creating a mood and ambience for your guests. Candlelight, uplighting, spotlights, you name it, you can do it. If you do decide to use a specific source of light to create a mood for your reception don't just go half way. Make sure you go all out (whether that is candles or uplighting etc). For example, a single candle will not create that intimate, romantic feel you may be going for. However, entire tables lit with varying shapes and sizes of candles will immediately transform any room. Uplighting is also great for setting the mood, especially when your room is being photographed. It adds just enough interest and contrast to the room. Make sure that what ever you do is a fully thought out and executed idea. Go all out for that one of a kind feeling!
5. THE TABLE! I think one of the hardest things to visualize when planning out your reception is how your tablescapes will look. The tablescape is one of the most important elements of your reception and the unifying factor for ALL your wedding details! This is where your guests will be seated and what they will be experiencing for the majority of the wedding. It undoubtedly will either make a great impression or be forgettable. Remember to think about the SCALE of your table and your table scape. If you have large tables that seats 8 or more people and you place a small centerpiece in the middle, the table will look disproportionate and out of scale. When photographed the table will look empty. Use varying sizes of vases, candelabras, and other elements to create a MULTIDIMENSIONAL centerpiece. This doesn't have to be expensive, you could use all candlelight for example. But just make sure that it is a complete though out table scape that appeals to the senses and that applies to the scale of the room and table. Also think about your linen choices. A simple white table cloth might be nice, but it can also make the table look empty. Think about adding colorful napkins, sheer overlays and other linen elements to break of the monotony of the table and to create interest and contrast. Finally remember the chairs! It may sound silly but the chairs are what pull the whole look together! They are the most repeated element in the entire reception and will certainly set the tone of the space. Any easy way and affordable way to dress up any chair or table for that matter is to add ribbon, simple flowers, or a linen covering!
6. DON'T BE SO LITERAL. Don't feel pressure to be so literal when it comes to executing your theme or vision. Instead think about using your details to COMPLIMENT your location or your theme. For example, if you are getting married at the beach think about HOW the beach makes you feel! Light, airy, crisp, clean, soft. Think about the colors you see at the beach. Blues, peaches, pinks, greens. Once you have that THEN start beginning to plan your details. Just because you're at the beach doesn't mean you're relegated to just starfish and seashells. Use the feelings and the colors that you experience at your location to dictate your details. You're guests will get an immersive experience and your wedding will have a more cohesive and elegant feeling. I would say this to be true about any place you are getting married. Think outside the box and use your details to compliment and reflect your location and theme!
Like I mentioned, I am NOT a wedding planner and I would HIGHLY suggested working with one who can help you pull all of these elements together in style and unity. If you're budget does not allow for a planner, make sure to do your research. The details, entertainment and location of your wedding day are what are going to TELL the story of your love and wedding day. Use them to reflect who you are to bring together a day neither you or your guests will forget! If you'd like to be connected with a planner or just want some advice on your detail choices, I'm always happy to help couples in their planning! I also have LOTS of inspiration over on my Pinterest page so make sure to follow along! (Warning: I sure do love pinning CAKES:)!)
Below are some video clips of My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. Here David shares some great tips on how to pull a wedding together through the smaller details that I thought would be super helpful to you Brides out there! Happy Planning!
David walks through a Parisian inspired wedding and how that VISION dictated all of the details that they pulled together.
David shares how the table settings related to the overall experience of the reception.
In this example it was the actual wedding venue that set the tone for the rest of the wedding. Because the venue was so over the top dramatic the details needed to fit that.
Finally, while this is referencing a Gothic themed wedding, I think this video offers the most valuable tips on how to throw a fabulous wedding that has a cohesive feel and style. Brides can certainly apply what he is saying about a Gothic theme to their own wedding.