Photo Credit: Pixel Punk Photography
Styling is essentially the overall look of the event or wedding. It deals with everything from the type, colour and arrangement of flowers used, the colour of the crockery picked, all the way through to the chairs chosen for the event.
Each element plays a role in bringing a concept to life and ensuring that this concept flows through each element at the event. Including the table setups, ceremony setups and even down to the styling on the bar or in the bathroom.
Whilst they can often seem simple and like they just appeared there. They are all individually selected by a stylist to ensure that every aspect of the event flows.
The process of styling can often be a long one, depending on the brief, the budget and accessibility of items. Typically the first stage of a styling project is to discuss with the client and identify a brief. What kind of vision are you going for. Are you looking for a modern up beat Christmas party, or perhaps a romantic styled wedding.
Event design and styling is all about bringing together a vision or hitting a brief that excites and wows the guests. That provokes an emotional response and gets the guests excited about what is to come for the rest of the event.
Lighting can honestly make or break an event. It’s usually one of the first things you notice when you walk into a room and can set an ambience and mood. If you think about it, the fluros in a hospital make it feel sterile and uncomfortable. Compare that to some warm candles at a bar and you’re instantly relaxed.
Colour can also be bought in through lighting. Up lights and LED or strobe lights are a great way to bring in pops of colour like reds, greens and blues.
Whilst lighting will set the ambience and mood of an event, it is also a great way to add emphasis to other elements of your styling. Like a spotlight on the dance floor or up lights on a design element. Light naturally draws the eye and with it draws ones attention to a particular space. Likewise darkness can have the opposite effect and can be useful when wanting to hide things or not draw attention to them.
Candles are in a world of their own! The difference in an event space between when candles are lit and when they are not is truly incredible. One of my favourite parts of an event is running around and lighting all the candles and watching a design truly come to life. The way the light from the candles bounces of different reflective surfaces in your design really makes the whole thing come together.
When thinking about candles for your design, make sure you consult your venue first. Some venues don’t allow real candles at all, some must be in vessels, and some venues have no rules. It’s incredibly important to consider to ensure you don’t arrive on your big day with 100 open flame
candles that you can’t use because you don’t Photo Credit: Match Made Photography have the appropriate drip trays or vessels.
Florals always elevate an entire event design. I have found myself caught on styling jobs looking at the job thinking how sparse and bare it looks. Only to take it all back once the flowers are added in.
They are often the element that ties the whole design together, whilst adding in visually appealing and challenging items for the eye to see. It becomes very clear to see how a wedding reception and ceremony tie together when a similar floral design is used on the arbour, the bridal bouquet and then the table
Flowers also double with a meaning behind some of the elements. A wedding bouquet is meant to bring happiness and love to the marriage and the ribbon tied around it signifies fellowship.
It’s important to chat to your florist and send through some inspirational images. This will help them when it comes to selecting the types of florals and the sizing of the arrangements to ensure you get the desired look within your budget. Florals are truly one of those elements you can just keep on going with.
Crockery + Cutlery
I find this is the most underrated element of styling and something that couples often cut out to keep costs low. Which don’t worry I totally understand! When you’re sitting there and gold cutlery is going to be $500 for your guests and normal silver is only $100. I can see how it wouldn’t seem like much of a choice when they both do the same thing. However, it can really make a huge difference. If you’re working with a modern palette of golds and blushes and then throw in some cheap looking silver cutlery, it will throw off the entire design. It will make an incredibly styled and expensive design look cheap just with this one simple change.
Cutlery and crockery is an easy and quick way to elevate a look. Simply selecting glassware with intricate patterns instead of a plain tumbler or a martini glass over a wine glass will really stand out.
In this field you have other elements to consider like charger plates (these I always think should be a must). Plate choice, side plates and then just as importantly, the placement of these items. Are the plates stacked on top of each other or side by side? Again these are all elements that will influence the overall look.
Tables + Chairs
This is an element of styling that I feel gets talked about the least. Typically it’s because guests are renting out a venue and that venue already has chairs and tables that you can add your own flare to on the table tops.
Photo Credit: Pixel Punk Photography
However, blank canvas venues and home properties give you an added layer of creativity with the addition of being able to select your own tables and chairs.
The furniture is essentially your base coat when it comes to event design. It sets your foundation layer for everything else to be built upon. The base level is always incredibly important. No amount of flowers and crockery can disguise ugly chairs that are breaking and falling apart.
When considering tables and chairs you also need to consider function. How comfortable are the chairs, they may look great but are guests going go to be uncomfortable all night? Do they hit the right height of the table when you sit on them or are your arms around your ears trying to cut up your food.
When selecting tables, think about the space in the room. I personally am not a fan of round tables, but sometimes these may flow a little better. Where is the bridal table going to be placed and are you putting guests on each side. How many guests do you have? Should you be getting larger trestle tables to fit everyone?
Stationery is always a bit of a dark knight when it comes to event styling. Stationery comes down to your name cards and all your signage (welcome sign, bar signs, seating chart etc). The only stationery that is really essential is your seating chart and name cards. This is how guests will know where they are sitting without total chaos ensuing.
It’s an element you can have a bit of fun with and is an easy way to bring a pop of colour into the mix and a bit of flare. Event design can sometimes be forced into certain directions by the elements around you, stationery typically has no bounds and can be a great way to show off your creative side.
Overall, event styling and design is a world of its own with many elements that all work together to bring together an overall vision. It can be intimidating at first. The first place to always look is online to get some inspiration photos. From there you can start to determine what you do and don’t like about the images and build your concept from there.
Photo Credit: Pixel Punk Photography