Saying “I Do” To Good Design

By Annette Callari, IIDA, CMG

We are definitely in wedding season and just about every weekend for two months now, I have had a wedding on my calendar.  When you analyze all the elements that make up the visuals for a nuptial celebration, you realize there are distinct parallels between interior design and wedding design.  Let me try to break that down for you.


Cool colors versus warm colors run fairly equal in popularity for weddings.  Colors are no longer seasonal.  Brides choose what they love winter, summer, spring or fall.  White or black for bridesmaids is no longer taboo, but most brides do opt for color.  As with fashion and interiors, mixing colors to create fresh new harmonies is the ultimate success story.  A percentage of gutsy brides are choosing different colors for each bridesmaid, rather than the predictable one dress for all.  For interiors, three to four colors are max for a successful palette.


As with interiors, wedding schemes are mixing non-traditional materials to create drama and surprise. Burlap table runners on top of creamy silk tablecloths create a visual dichotomy of textures.  Turning a converted barn into an elegant wedding venue might sound extreme.  But this is a perfect setting to showcase chandeliers, elegant flowers, and satiny table linens against the backdrop of weathered wood and open-beamed rafters.  This is becoming a runaway bridal trend.  Rustic-elegance is the “tag” created to identify this awesome theme emerging as a macro-trend.  To achieve this same juxtaposition at home, think about adding area rugs to your interiors that introduce a texture opposite to the other elements in the room (ex:  sisal rug with brocade fabric draperies).


Weddings are borrowing from interior design to create relaxed, cozy spaces for guests to congregate.  Companies that “stage” the event bring in sofas, coffee tables, antique pieces, room dividers, even area rugs to define spaces and invite conversation.  Lighting is a huge ingredient in interior design, and now in wedding design.  Entire rooms can take on a custom ambiance with special lighting brought in to wash walls in soft, carefully chosen hues.  (Sometimes using programmed, sequential color changes on a timer). 

Outdoor weddings may someday outpace traditional ballroom venues.  But that doesn't necessarily mean that they are simple or unsophisticated.  On the contrary—crystal chandeliers suspended from hundred-year-old-trees create a timeless “canopy” for wedding vows.  Expected wood folding chairs are being replaced by antique church pews or Victorian settees for guests to view the ceremony. The creativity I see in this new format of ceremony design is exciting and unexpected.  What I do expect to see is many more options becoming available to brides as this trend continues to explode.


It is no longer an either/or proposition.  As you have read, a mix of both orientations is the new backdrop for weddings.  In interior design, you would call it eclectic, and what both have in common is that IT WORKS!  Eclectic style lets personal choice reign supreme (with a professional to guide you--both in design and in wedding planning--to be sure there is continuity and common elements that tie everything together).

It was only a matter of time until interior design spilled over to wedding settings.  After all, the principles of design work on any scale, and can be personalized to celebrate YOU.


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Web Page: Saying “I Do” To Good Design
Overall Rating: 3.8 stars - 3 reviews

Date: October 18, 2016
Page Rating: (1.5/5)
Date: April 13, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Excellent article! I am in the wedding industry and I find how colors are no longer matched with the season, but rather the vibe of the venue. Loved reading this!
Date: January 27, 2014
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
The eclectic wedding design article brings such new and fresh ideas for todays brides & grooms, of all ages!!! Just one conversation in this direction opens up so many creative ideas to bring very special moments of the most important occasions of our lives!!!!

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