Determine Your Design Style BEFORE Pinterest

“Every great design begins with an even better story,” Lorinda Mamo. My favorite part of the planning process is in the design because it allows me to help my clients examine who they are as individuals and who they are as a couple to create an event that is beautiful, thoughtful and entirely their own. Deciding on the design aesthetic early will help take the stress out of the planning process because the overall look and feel of the event helps determines everything from the venue to the smallest of details. 

So, that said. How do you go about determining your design style? BEFORE you type anything into Pinterest, here are four things you need to consider.  

1. Think about YOU. 

            I don't want to scare you, but to have a wedding that is unique to you, you need to know who "you" is. What do you like? Think about what's in your closet and how you like to decorate your home. What are you favorite pieces? What colors do you gravitate towards; are they neutral or bold and bright? Do you lean more towards casual or are you the type who lives in heels and loves it? The type of clothes you have tell a lot about what you like to do. People who love the outdoors have clothes that reflect the time they spend in it. This might influence you to choose an outdoor venue setting over an indoor one. Thinking about where you like to shop, restaurants and coffee shops that make you sigh in happiness can help too. What is the decor like in these places? What kind of music do they have playing? What is it about them that you love so much? Can you put a name to their design style? Industrial. Chic. European. Vintage. Vintage Modern. Eclectic. Boho. My suggestion is to start by taking your little wedding notebook down to one of these spots, order something off the menu, and write down some of these details. 

2. Think about HIM. 

            So, now you need to think about your guy. What does he like? This is his day too, so you want to make sure he is represented on your big day. Marriage is about the coming together of two separates into one, so it might as well start right on day one. This is a conversation you need to have early. What do they want? Are they comfortable saying their vows in front of the 300 people you want to invite? Do they want to wear a formal tuxedo or would they prefer something else? When you are planning a day this big, with this many details, be prepared to make compromises. And be creative in your solutions. If vows in front of 300 people sounds like walking the plank to your future husband, maybe consider intimate vows or a private ceremony with more people invited to a larger reception. This is your day and there isn't a rulebook. 

3. Think about who you are TOGETHER. 

             Remember, there is no other love story on the face of the planet like yours. And when it comes to your wedding, your wedding is a NEW thing! Sure you got inspiration from other weddings, and yes, there are definitely design styles you gravitate towards. But its the beauty of putting it all together in a new way that is so special. The design is really a culmination of the two of you melded into one. It represents more than just a color scheme and tabletop decorations. It is a reflection of who you are as people, what you value and what makes your heart sing. 

4. Gather inspiration. 

              Here is a list of a few of my favorite places to gather wedding inspo (and don't forget to bookmark your favorite weddings!) ...


    I'm a sucker for hardcopy because I like to hold something in my hand, turn crisp pages, and smell new print. Plus the pictures are big and I can rip ones out that I like and pin it to my mood boards. My current go to magazines are Dainty Obsessions and Rocky Mountain Bride. Dainty Obsessions is based out of Sioux Falls, SD so you will see real Black Hills weddings, but more than that, what I love about Dainty is that they are always on the hunt for new and different. They seek to inspire. It's overall aesthetic is light, bright, and airy. Rocky Mountain Bride has a bit of a moodier vibe. They tend to feature darker color palette and photography style and will really appeal to the couple in love with epic outdoor adventures as the flavor of the Rockies is in every wedding. RMB follows the trail of the Rockies and as such extends from the Southwest states all the way into Canada. 

      I will admit it. I love Instagram. Sooo many beautiful things happening on there. When it comes to determining your design style, the best way to use this platform is by following your favorite wedding blogs and professionals. Pay attention to the tags and shout outs, they just might lead you to book a vendor or help you find your dream pair of shoes. And I almost forgot hashtags. When you find photos you like, look at the list of hashtags and use those to search for more like images. Last Insta tip...follow local vendors to see what they offer, who they like to work with, and what their personality is. It will also keep you informed of any upcoming events so you don't miss out!! 

     Please note: I do not hate Pinterest. I just think it is not the first step to wedding planning. And if it is the first step, it is the first step to overload and overwhelm. If you have done the groundwork I described above, Pinterest can be a great way to search specific styles, color palettes, and ideas. For example, you've decided you love snacks at weddings so you want to provide your guests with a trail mix bar of your favorite munchies. Typing "trail mix bar" into Pinterest will pull up a load of cute ways to style one. And I'm not saying you shouldn't have a Pinterest board. I am saying that you want to use Pinterest AFTER you have decided on your style, perhaps even your venue, as a way to collect workable ideas all into one spot. Having a Pinterest board is very helpful when it comes to describing what you want to your vendors. Oftentimes, my brides will pin their favorite pieces from my website to their board so that when we have a consultation, I know what pieces they are looking at. If you want to read more about using Pinterest to plan your wedding, read this blog post by Every Last Detail.

I hope this post leaves you feeling ready to conquer the world...or at least nail down your design style! And remember, we are here to help! We offer design consultations, digital styling boards, site visit, layout renderings and so much more. Visit our services page to learn more. Oooh and don't forget, follow me below!!    xoxo Sarah  

Sarah Enos of The Vintage Lease

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