When planning your wedding the first thing my couples ask is when are we getting to the design of their wedding! Most couples know a direction they might want to go in, but don’t know how it will all come together, or what they can expect to see on their wedding day. Being a wedding planner and designer it is easy for me to see a vision and then execute that vision, but for couples it can sometimes be a bit harder. I decided to show you a little bit of the background of our wedding design process and how the design was then executed! We are calling this series, Behind the Design! Think of it as a little behind the scenes of the velvet rope, that only the lucky VAE couples get to see. Since these weddings have happened I can share with you the design and the process.
The first wedding to be featured in Behind the Design is Adriana + Dino, I shared with you in another blog post the background story to their wedding day! Now I’m going to show you the behind the scenes of how we came to create and design a beautiful wedding day for these two at the Historic Langham Pasadena Hotel.
First Step of the Design Process
The first step of designing any wedding at VAE is to do a deep dive with my couples on what their vision is, what their likes are, and what they want the guest experience to be. We do this in two different ways, through conversation, and then through a couple questionnaires.
The couple questionnaire is long, and asks a lot of random questions but it allows us to create a wedding day that is all their own! Some of the questions we ask are: What’s your favorite date night? Where was your favorite vacation as a couple? Who’s your favorite musical artist? How would you describe the decor in your home? What things do you absolutely NOT want to see at your wedding?
These questions might seem strange, but for my brain to design a one of a kind wedding for my couples these are the questions that get my creativity flowing. Once Adriana and I had extensive conversations about her wedding vision, she completed her questionnaire and we were off to the races!
The first thing I create is a mood board that shows an overall vision of the wedding day. It’s short and sweet and it allows our clients to get excited about the full design plan! On the mood board we incorporate, colors we are thinking of using, images to convey the overall feel for the day, and sometimes words, and fonts that we will use for detail elements. Once this is done and approved, and edits are discussed it’s time to go and create a full Design Plan.
From the wedding inspiration I always like to use words to highlight the esthetic of the Wedding will be. For Adriana and Dino some of the key words we used were, the holidays (Bride and Groom got engaged on Christmas Eve), classic design, English elements and traditions (since the Bride and Groom met in London), we wanted to incorporate the color pink to give a nod to their venue the Langham Hotel. From these words we came up with the color Palette and the overall feel for the wedding day. We used muted pinks, creams, olive greens, and taupes, and accented everything with gold to add a festive element.
The Full Design Plan dives deep into all of the moving parts of the Wedding Day from Welcome Dinner, Ceremony, Cocktail Reception, Reception, and the Wedding Day details, and even the table top design. In the next images I am going to give you a preview of what we identified in the design plan and how it translated to the wedding day.
Wedding Ceremony Design
For the Ceremony we focused on the greenery inspiration photos to create an all greenery arch, by adding the hanging votives it gave the ceremony arch a little more depth and warmth. The wedding colors were pulled in with the pinks of the roses that became the main focal point at the top of the aisle. The greenery elements were pulled in these arrangements but with an organic feel, like the inspiration images we pulled. James Hartman of In Blume LA always creates magic with his Floral Design.
Wedding Tabletop Design
This Tabletop design was so fun to come up with. Early on we knew we wanted to use a Swiss Dot linen from La Tavola, that tied into the classic and also European/ English design esthetic. Once the main linen for the long Kings Table was picked every other element came together seamlessly. We decided to use olive velvet napkins, also by La Tavola, they are so lux but also gave the tables a focal point and brought in the holiday wedding esthetic we wanted to bring in. The floral arrangements were inspired by english gardens with lush and organic greenery and garden roses. The chargers and flatware from Soiree 8 were picked to bring in the gold accent color, and I loved the texture of the chargers that made the tabletop layered and feel collected. To top off the table settings we used antique etched crystal glassware from Dishwish, which were adorned with scroll place cards with gold calligraphy, created and designed by Dominique Alba. To emphasize the pink in the design plan we sourced gorgeous mercury pink votives from Theoni Collection. This really is one of my favorite tabletop designs and I loved creating a layered and intentional tabletop.
Wedding Details Design
The wedding design details of Adriana and Dino’s wedding were so fun to create and dream up with Adriana. We focused on high-touch details for guests to enjoy, and to relay the esthetic of the wedding as a whole. One of my favorite details were custom made linen cocktail napkins with the couples monogram. These were not only fun for guests to receive during cocktail hour, but they became a keepsake for Adrian and Dino. Adriana knew she wanted a classic sugar floral cake inspired by the ever so talented Sylvia Weinstock. We had the head pastry chef at the Langham Hotel create this custom one of a kind wedding cake that also included the Swiss Dot pattern from the table linens. When my couples fill out their questionnaire I ask what are their favorite quotes, this may seem silly, but it really inspires me! One of the quotes Adriana loved was perfect to highlight for the wedding day, so we had a custom scroll sign made by Dominique Alba lined with gold leaf paint, and it became a focal point of the cocktail hour space. For favors we decided to make everyone a pink velvet mini wreaths to bring in the pink and holiday elements. We also gifted guests with custom glass etched Christmas ornaments and sent the couple off with the popping of the traditional English Crackers (basically like a popper with a small gift inside and a paper crown for your head), that are used during Boxing Day in England. These were a huge hit and added to the guest experience.
Desiging the wedding day is always one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. I love to get to know my couples and create a day that is all their own. I am always listening and thinking to add touches that will be not only meaningful but also fun, and will make our couples feel proud of their special day.
Reach out to us if you need help designing your social day, we would love to help!