One of the most important aspects of planning your wedding is creating your wedding look and feel. It is almost certain that no bride in the stratosphere is reading this because they don’t have any wedding style ideas in mind, but instead just has way too many ideas and needs to channel them into one cohesive stylish concept. Instead of handing you a list of current trends and style options let’s look at the process and not the outcome. That way you can look at trends and draw inspiration but ultimately decide on your own unique style, suited only to you and your partner.
We will dive into picking your Wedding Style – your wedding’s framework or outline. And then we move on to picking your Wedding Aesthetic – the colours and personality to fill those outlines. And the Practical Tools to get you where you need to be.
Think of the Style of your wedding as the frame for the aesthetic of your wedding. So put the colours, fixtures and flowers aside and think of the broader picture or your frame for now.
To narrow that down consider the following 6 points:
- What do WE want? Talk to your partner about what you like and what you dislike. Make an ongoing list after your engagement. You may find you come up with your dislikes faster – which sounds cynical, granted. But when bringing your ideas together you will instinctively react strongly on what you don’t want, and that will be a much shorter list than the things you love. Moving onto the endless ideas, trends and things to love – list them too. Narrow that down to 3 Yay’s and 3 Nay’s – Consider them your mantra, your song, your slogan.
- Consider your venue: It would be quite a feat to create a swanky formal setting if you booked a rustic venue. Or a modern minimalist ceremony in a Rococo-inspired chapple that would make a Duchess blush. If your venue boasts a specific style don’t empty your budget to transform it. Work with what you have.
- What season? As you know, during the changing seasons, fashion and home decor bring on appropriate textures and colours. If you opted for an autumn or winter wedding then a beach or nautical aesthetic won’t make a lot of sense. The season and weather won’t only impact obvious choices like indoors or outdoors, but can affect everything from colour palette to lighting, to layout. When you think of summer you think of space, light and air – especially in our climate.
- How formal? Your choice of style will heavily depend on how formal or informal you plan to celebrate your day. Perhaps don’t choose a beachy or relaxed eco-friendly wedding style if you envision your guests arriving in tuxedos and evening gowns.
- Role of heritage and tradition? Most couples don’t have overly traditional weddings anymore and instead choose to incorporate a few select elements of their heritage and traditions into their wedding or interpretations thereof. You may want to highlight your customs in your ceremony or reception. And if you and your partner are from different backgrounds, countries or creeds this is a wonderful way to pay homage to your respective heritages with your families and bring them together.
- What atmosphere? You and your partner probably want to have a beautifully chic celebration to announce your arrival. But don’t necessarily want it to be stuffy, overtly mature or precious. Feel safe to step away from tradition and carve your style. Incorporate what you truly enjoy if you don’t want to stick with the trends that came before you.
Now we can dive into all fun and pretty things. With that good framework you have now created you can let your creativity loose and put your stamp on your unique wedding. Your mood board will be your best friend and your muse (we will touch on mood boards in a moment).
Looking for wedding-specific ideas on Pinterest and in wedding magazines is a great start, but don’t stop there. Look to art, interior design, photography, textiles – any visual inspiration. Collect as much inspiration as you have time for. At some point, you will have to make decisions and bring order to your chaotic pretty-pile. And of course, we are here to help with that too. Here are 4 things to consider:
- Narrow it down: Honing in on your style is an important step but don’t let it completely overwhelm you, some things will change as you delve deeper into your planning process. But you need to have a good idea of where you are heading. So look now at your collection of pictures and samples and start sorting them into piles. Make groupings of pictures that fit together. Perhaps you loved both neutrals but also took a liking to certain vibrant tones. Or soft and floral designs caught your eye but you also took a liking to aspects of a contemporary and sleek style. Group them into collections that fit together. As you do this you will start to see connecting lines of styles that you prefer. And you can at this point perhaps already discard some ideas and looks that you know won’t work for you as a couple. If your partner was not interested or involved in the process up until now this may be a good time to involve them. One, you have already narrowed down the choices and two, they can give you their blessing.
- Mood or feel: There is a good reason it is universally understood that colour affects mood. So – do you want to make a dramatic statement? Then a vibrant colour palette or deep rich tones is a good choice. Or dramatic black for an even bigger statement! Do you want a sense of nostalgia or a vintage feel to your Big Day then perhaps a softer more muted palette is a good choice.
- Choosing your colour palette: This choice probably seems huge right now, and I’m sure a bunch of people have asked “What are your colours going to be?” And the best way to approach this choice is to not overthink it. We have moved far past the matchy-matchy, overly themed weddings of old.
Here are some things to consider:
- Venue: Some rented or converted spaces are blank canvases and in that case, you have complete freedom. But not all venues are, so choose your venue according to your colour palette if you have your mind set on certain colours. Or choose your colours according to what will work in your stunning venue. If the two clash it won’t look good. Like a blemish on your otherwise flawless skin, the harder you try to cover it up the more glaringly obvious it becomes – no matter how much concealer you apply.
- Prioritise: If you had your heart set on Coral Peonies and you won’t waver on that choice, then choose your colours accordingly. If you want to incorporate a special item that has meaning to you as a couple, make sure your colour palette showcases it well.
- Look at what you love: We purchase just about everything in our homes and lives according to what is easy on our eyes. From your wardrobe to linen to furniture. We even tend to buy skin and hair products according to how they look and appeal to our style. Take inspiration from your home because the colours you have chosen to wear and surround yourself with are colours you cannot go wrong with.
- Classic white: If you just cannot fathom how to bring your favourite colour to life, or you and your partner’s tastes differ too greatly or whether you just love the simplicity of a white scheme – whatever the reason, this can look stunning across all styles – from romantic to minimalist. And don’t be mistaken, it can carry warmth and depth and need not be bland.
4. Motifs, textures and finishes: These are your accessories, the jewellery to complete your Wedding Aesthetic ensemble.
- Motifs: Simple insignia, emblems, shapes or patterns you can use across your customised items for a truly bespoke feel. But use these sparingly or your wedding will look branded with logos instead of tastefully personalised. Also consider your wedding stationery here, if you have a clean or bold style in one it is good to have it look in tandem with the other. If you opted for a light and twirly font then stay within those boundaries for your motif.
- Textures: Making use of different textures is a smart way to bring depth to a design. Especially if you have your heart set on a more monochromatic colour palette. Some fabrics exude luxury – but they also come with a luxury price tag. So variate between textures and fabrics to get the look but for less. Stick to 2-3 textures, your wedding style should be a ride for all the senses, not a tactile challenge.
- Finishes: Adding metallics to your colour palette will glam up your look. The amount of drama you wish to introduce is up to you, you can go super-glam and dramatic with high contrast colour- and metallic pairings or beautifully subdued combinations. Typically silver and chrome pairs harmoniously with cooler tones. And gold, rose gold and copper pair better with warm tones. Mirrors and glass also add impact and shine. Don’t ignore the power of finishes, they can make even the most neutral or natural choices pop and shine without taking over the aesthetic like a glitter bath bomb.
Practical Tools for Your Wedding Look and Feel
A quick Google search should bring you to a host of online Wedding Style quizzes. They are quite fun to complete and give a summarised result at the end of your questionnaire – they ask important questions like what season, where and what venue type. Some show you a line-up of images or choices from flowers to wedding cakes and you pick your favourites. And through a wave of their algorithm’s wand, you find your one true Wedding Style. Quick and easy exercise. And share the results with your partner!
Online Colour Palette Generators
These are fantastic tools to easily reach your colour choices and have them in a format that you can download or share. This example took no time at all to find or generate. Simple keywords will give you what you are looking for specifically. Or simply browse for inspiration, there are plenty of schemes and palettes that are on trend in terms of design as a whole. Try Coolers.co.
Digital Mood Board
There are amazing mood board sites out there, with easy-to-use templates where you can simply upload your images and save them. You can search for images where you want, when you want, on any of your devices and upload it straight to your digital mood board. It could not be easier or more convenient (and not to mention free). A digital mood board is unbelievably handy, forward it to everyone involved in your wedding day. It presents well and makes you look and feel like a pro.
I’m going to have to add in a “however” clause here if you plan on only relying on this tool. Experts agree that digital mood boards are fabulous, however, they would advise you to also make a physical one. One you can see every day, that you keep on display somewhere in your home. To keep you inspired and also to keep you in touch with the aesthetic. In other words, experts urge you to keep at it and stay involved with your mood board.
The best way to assemble and then eventually convey your wedding’s look and feel is a mood board.
It’s a visual brainstorming tool – so you can physically see the images that are in your mind’s eye. And when you finally speak with your suppliers you don’t have to explain until your face turns a vibrant Classic Blue, you can simply show them your smashing mood board.
Use a noticeboard with push pins when you are still collecting. It is a wonderfully interactive medium – add images you like, and remove ones you no longer love. Pin up fabric samples, paint swatches, textures – anything that catches your eye that can be pinned to a noticeboard. And if you can’t pin it up take a photo of it, and pin that up.
At first feel encouraged to be as chaotic or organised as you want, but do try and reach a final verdict and some sense of clarity and order before you present it to your planner or suppliers. Too few examples may leave your ideas open for interpretation, but too much will cause confusion. It is also a good idea to print out a copy of your digital mood board to pin onto your physical one.
Whether you cannot wait to get started and already have your decoupage glue out or don’t feel particularly excited by the prospect of making an arts and crafts project to showcase your tastes – go ahead and get started. You will be amazed by how fun and invaluable this exercise is.
Happy mood boarding!