Stop searching on Pinterest and read this!
By Kripa Singh
Have you ever walked into a wedding and thought, “I’ve seen this before”? The same suspended mirrorballs. The regular palm leaf table settings. The usual acrylic bar with faux flowers. I don’t have to explain the visual because it’s likely you’ve seen it.
Designing wedding décor which looks unique, timeless and fun is no small feat. To navigate the sometimes-expensive, and often-overwhelming process, I’ve put together some design tips to avoid common mistakes when working on your big day’s décor, from the point of view of a wedding decorator.
Conceptualisation is Key
When you define a concept, you ensure that your wedding décor is cohesive and reflects well-thought-out ideas. A lack of conceptualisation can lead to mismatched décor elements, and a messy aesthetic.
A good starting point is to think about the mood you’d like for each event. For instance, would you like a rustic and natural aesthetic, or a rich and traditional appeal for your wedding ceremony? If you have no clue where to begin, ask your wedding designer to show you reference images to help you narrow down your style. Remember that conceptualisation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to opt for an over-the-top theme. Curating a general concept can be as simple as selecting a specific colour palette.
A simple but well put-together colour scheme can look more impactful than décor that is heavy but clashing. When selecting your colour palette, think about the flowers that are available in those hues. For example, if you want a lilac and sky-blue mehendi, speak to your wedding designer to check if there is enough variety available in those shades.
Consider Your Venue Value
When designing your décor, make sure you consider the look and feel of your venue. If you don’t keep in mind the existing architecture and dominant colours, they could end up clashing with your selected concepts.
For example, I recently worked with a bride who wanted to create a Moroccan flea market in a venue that already had a strong Thai aesthetic. Fortunately, she eventually understood how the existing pagodas and ornate props would clash, and agreed to explore an Oriental- style lounge instead.
Visit your venue enough times so you can figure out how to leverage what your space offers. For example, if your wedding venue is outdoors, think about how you can use the gifts of nature. Are there any trees you can enhance? Or is there a picturesque view you can highlight?
Utilising your venue’s value can sometimes also help keep your costs in check, as you can opt for minimal décor touches to complement the existing charm of the location.
Put a Number On it
Weddings can be expensive, and costs can escalate. It is important to determine a décor budget, and share it with your décor team. A good décor designer will guide you with what to spend on and what you can trim down on. This will ensure you get the maximum value in your preferred spend.
While it’s important to be clear about your budget, it’s equally important to be realistic. An overt theme always requires more customisation and detailing, especially if you want to do justice to it.
If you want to transform your ballroom venue to look and feel like winter in New York, you’ll likely need to spend more to achieve the aesthetic. If not done right, you’ll end up with what looks like a Frozen (2013) themed Sweet 16.
Let there be Light
Good lighting is essential to accentuate your décor. Less light can cast shadows and excessive coloured lighting can ruin your intended colour scheme. Consult your décor designer and lighting engineer to discuss how much lighting is required to create the right mood for each event. Be sure to consider your venue and the amount of space that needs to be illuminated.
While a romantic, dimly-lit ambience can create an impact in your seating spaces and stage area, it’s especially important to have ample bright lighting in your food layout and buffet lines. People should be able to see what they’re choosing to eat.
Don’t Copy and Paste
Pinterest and Instagram have brought inspiration to our fingertips. It’s tempting to spot a reference image you like and have it replicated for your big day. But where’s the creativity in that?
Take inspiration from other weddings but make your décor unique by exploring ideas that resonate with you. Inspiration doesn’t need to be restricted to Pinterest. It can be found in less obvious places like the movies you watch, the restaurants you visit, and the places you you travel to.
Kripa Singh is a wedding decor designer and aesthete with a love for good books, dogs and a cup of tea.