Wedding Styling 101: 8 Pillars to Define Your Wedding Vision

You may have heard the phrase “wedding brand” tossed around since you put the ring on your finger – sounds pretty corporate, right? When it comes down to it, this phrase simply means the art of curating your wedding style to the point where every little detail is cohesive, intentional and one-of-a-kind. No Pinterest copycats here!

wedding styling tips

You’re culling through the wedding blogs to do your wedding planning research, so we know you’re aesthetically-minded. After 10 years of sharing wedding stories + inspiration, we’ve seen some beautiful celebrations with a whole lotta heart. So when it comes down to it, your wedding should encompass a feeling, rather than simply looking pretty. And above all, it should tell the story of you.

If you’re styling your own wedding, we’ll let you in on 8 pro tips to keep in mind:

1. Imagine the feeling you want to have: This goes for the guests too! Nailing down the ambiance you want to create is the first step in determining your wedding style. Beyond the formal vs. casual question, ask yourself how much time you want to spend with each guest, what kind of dining experience you envision, what kind of entertainment you’re drawn to, what kind of language you want to speak (i.e. are puns in order?) Stylists will often ask you to create a Pinterest mood board that encompasses the feeling you want to capture rather than just wedding decor, colors or flowers you like. They’ll ask you to add destinations, clothing, couple shots… truly, anything under the sun! So our pro tip is to elevate what’s familiar (and what you love), rather than mimicking a day you’ve been told is the “right way” simply for the sake of having a wedding that people expect. This is all about you, honey!

wedding styling tips

From this Santa Fe wedding inspiration photo by Whiskers and Willow

2. Work with your venue, not against it: Booking your venue will be one of your very first steps after the engagement is on. One of the biggest mistakes planners see couples make is trying to transform their venue space into something so opposite of what already exists, that it racks up cost, creates a mountain of stress and frankly, doesn’t always look/feel natural. So choose a wedding venue that you love for the space itself, and let the visuals you dream up for the day complement rather than mask.

3. Incorporate the 5 senses: One of the best way create a cohesive wedding style, while simultaneously elevating your guest experience is to incorporate all the senses. Think about the textures you want them to feel as they sit down at their place setting. Leather, tartan, acrylic, rattan… get creative, and don’t be afraid to mix and match in order to create more depth. Consider the music + mood you want to set as they enter the ceremony space. Do you have a favorite travel destination with your SO? Let that scent waft through the air at the cocktail hour by placing native blooms about. The tiniest details, with thoughtful purpose behind them, will make all the difference.

4. Less Is More: That being said, there’s no need to overpack your wedding with decor, entertainment and a timeline that’s booked solid. It was Don Draper that said, “simple, but significant,” and this is a mantra we will continue to live by forever. Not only will this save you some $, it will create better visual interest for your guests and more memorable pieces. So whether your focal point at the reception is your centerpiece or your table linens (hey, a little linen goes a long way!), make sure you’re selecting pieces that create an air of lightness + openness.

5. Choose a Fresh Color Palette: Planners will often ask you to think about what colors they would see the most of it they looked in your closet. Or what the general style of your home is. Sure, they want to get to know you! But it’s also a good way of finding out what hues you’re most drawn to. Pinterest can have a tricky way of putting these ideas into our heads about what a wedding should look like (cue the blush+gold brigade!), but we encourage you to look past what you’ve seen done before, and think about what shades are most inviting for you. Oftentimes, designers will select one main focal color and a couple complementary shades to accent. These colors will be used in everything from your invitations to your personal flowers to your cake, and it’s because the biggest way to create cohesivity in your style is in the visuals. And nothing pops quite like color! If you’re having trouble nailing down complementary shades, use this resource!

wedding styling tips

From this Philadelphia wedding at Hotel Du Village photo Maria Mack Photography

6. Use Your Resources: You’ve made it here, so we know you’re familiar with wedding blogs by now. Across the board, publications provide the best resource in their vendor directories for you to find all your wedding vendors. For the best match made in heaven, look specifically at those publications that are sharing real weddings and inspiration shoots you’re most drawn to. Most Guides are vetted and curated with those specific vendors that best fit the blog’s style.

wedding styling tips

from this Scottsdale sunset wedding, photo Amy & Jordan

7. Table Styling: Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Using your color palette and ideas from using your 5 senses, how do you want to style your reception? We recommend table decor being set in odd numbers. Setting things like this is more visually appealing and draws the eyes to each item in the group. In this group, you also want to use “The Pyramid Principle” using the tallest item as the focal point and all remaining shorter items  will surround it. Again, making it visually appealing for your guests and in photos!

wedding styling tips
Photo by Ashtyn Brooke Photo with floral design by Kaleidoscope Floral from one of our most popular real wedding features

8. Think YOU: Now that you’re a pro at wedding styling, you just need to add the bit of flavor that’s unique to you. Do you guys have a favorite activity you enjoy together? Maybe something like traveling, and instead of a rose petal or sparkler send off, you pass out paper airplanes and people throw those as you run towards your getaway car. Or maybe you love camping and can give your guests the ingredients to s’mores as their favor. While the options are endless, you and your SO are one-of-a-kind so don’t be afraid to let that shine!

Phew, that was a mouthful! At the end of the day, we have no doubt you’ll create an unforgettable fete that reflects your unique love story in all the right ways. So study these tips, *literally* close your eyes and daydream about your perfect wedding day, and get cracking with these 5 top things to kick off your wedding planning!

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