How To Give Your Wedding A Designer Aesthetic | Willow & Oak Events

Give Your Wedding A Designer Aesthetic With These Tips

Beautiful weddings with a designer aesthetic certainly have a je ne sais quoi about them. You know they seem next level… but what is it about them that specifically sets them apart? It may surprise you to learn that the answer isn’t always budget, but rather intentionality in the design exploration process. We pride ourselves in a styling approach that focuses on storytelling, sentiment and immersive experiences, but these ideas don’t come to us out of thin air. There’s an intentional process we follow to bring these concepts to creation in a way that tells a cohesive story, without sacrificing comfort or function. While we’ve spent years cultivating this craft, we wanted to share a few of our top tips for giving your own wedding a designer aesthetic in our Journal today. Let’s begin! 

Silk apricot wedding dress with a wild fall bouquet and trailing ribbon; Photo by Brian D Smith Photography with planning + design by Willow and Oak Events
Photo by Brian D Smith Photography with planning + design by Willow & Oak

Have a graphic designer create an original motif, crest or logo for you 

One straightforward way to “brand” your wedding is to work closely with your planner + graphic designer/stationer on a personalized motif, crest or logo that adds a sense of continuity to your wedding from the moment your guests receive the save-the-date to the moment they sit down at your intricately designed tablescape on the wedding day. Nuanced design elements that feature this subtle touch will go far in defining your unique wedding style, in a way your guests might not have experienced before. Word of caution: less is more. When you “overdesign” with a recurring element like this, the overall concepts can feel extremely themed. Let it show up in a few places, like your stationery, wedding website, bar panels, etc. but be wary of including it in every little thing. Possibility never equals permit. 

Pink floral arbor at an English country house // Catherine Anne Photography
Photo by Catherine Anne Photography

Incorporate the 5 senses throughout 

Our sensory approach to design is most definitely what sets us apart, and taking this experience-rooted focus yourself is a wonderful way to give your wedding a designer aesthetic. Wedding designs are never just visual. Close your eyes and reflect on what you want your guests to feel at every chapter of the day. Don’t skip this step! It may take a handful of calm, meditative sessions to discover the details that will make all the difference in the way your guests experience your day, but it’s beyond worth the effort when you can fully immerse them in your story. It’s important to understand, too, that you may not land on a perfect combination in the beginning – and that’s okay! Sometimes, the answer is not to incorporate the scent of the city where you met into a cocktail hour where you’ll be getting natural aromas from the food being served. We’d encourage you to brain dump multiple ideas for textures, scents, sounds, tastes and visuals that inspire your style + tell your story, star your favorite ideas, then carefully curate into an intentional, minimalist blend based on the wedding environment, style and level of formality, types of guests, and design direction as a whole. This is a fluid process, and you’ll find yourself balancing different combinations throughout. Be encouraged, as that’s perfectly normal and it’s always worth it to reach that perfect tapestry of sensory design concepts you’re over the moon for. 

Bride and groom kissing underneath a willow tree next to the lake at Legare Waring House, Charleston SC
Photo by Kylee Yee Photography with planning + design by Willow & Oak Events

Evoke curiosity

Creating your unique wedding style goes far beyond the color palette and location. Wedding designers always think about how they might evoke a sense of curiosity when approaching the various design elements. After all, curiosity drives engagement more than anything else. Consider the tablescape, for example. Your guests may be sitting there for 5 hours, so it’s crucial to think about what objects they’ll be touching and choose tactile decor that’s reflective of who you are. It may seem like good sense to use standard rentals the venue includes complimentary (often white linens, banquet chairs, standard, glassware, flatware and dinnerware), but these are the pieces your guests will be interacting with more than anything else. Do those pieces inspire? There are some cases where this works beautifully, but more often than not, it’s worth splurging on the tables + place settings + chairs that will take up so much real estate compared to the rest of your day. 

Floral printed fan menus with whimsical calligraphy for a spring garden wedding designed by Willow and Oak Events // Photo by The Happy Bloom
Photo by The Happy Bloom with planning + design by Willow and Oak Events

Make comfort a top priority

It’s hard to appreciate beautiful visuals when you’re uncomfortable, so one of our best tips is to keep guest comfort top of mind as the day unfolds. This can mean splurging a bit more on dining chairs with good support + cushion for your formal, plated dinner, providing complimentary pashminas as guests arrive to your Brush Creek Ranch wedding during an early Wyoming winter, curating a food + beverage menu that’s balanced and considerate of dietary restrictions… to name a few! If your guests feel like they’re being taken care of every step of the way, they’ll likely enjoy the wedding ’til it’s end and remember your proactive hospitality long after. 

Spring garden wedding with textured candles, ikebana flowers and bistro chairs designed by Willow and Oak Events // Photo by The Happy Bloom
Photo by Ava Moore Photography with planning + design by Willow and Oak Events

Consider the room from all angles

If you truly want to immerse your guests in your wedding narrative, think tall + wide! Consider a handful of design moments throughout the day and challenge yourself to imagine the room(s) from top to bottom. It may seem easiest to design on one plane, but when you envelope your guests in the action through climbing greenery and winding pathways for instance, you elevate your wedding design to a whole new level. It’s a beautiful moment when guests enter a room for the first time and have to stop, stare and appreciate what sits before them. Transforming a space that feels wholeheartedly yours means thinking beyond the singular… the expected. You can easily achieve this through custom builds + installations, personalized flooring and well-considered lighting for starters. Work closely with your planner + designer to brainstorm these key moments that will be remembered forever. 

Mini chocolate cake with a sugar flower on toile and speckled dinnerware from an Icelandic poppy filled Charleston microwedding, planned and designed by Willow and Oak Events // Photo by Kylee Yee Photography
Photo by Kylee Yee Photography with planning + design by Willow & Oak Events

 Feeling inspired? It’s my greatest hope that these thought-provoking prompts encourage you to take a “road less traveled” design approach for your own wedding. Seek guidance from your planner + designer as the ideas come flooding in, but remember, you know yourself + your story better than anyone else. Never underestimate the power of self-reflection in discovering which stories you want to tell, as well as what your sky-is-the-limit dreams are for every chapter of the wedding weekend. 

Explore our tips for how to infuse local culture into your wedding here next! 

‘Til we meet again! 

Xx,
Haley 

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