Finding Your Perfect Wedding Style
When beginning the wedding planning process, many brides find themselves overwhelmed by all of the individual elements of their big day, often forgetting to answer a pivotal question: does this wedding reflect your personality as a couple?
In addition to providing direction and a sense of unity amongst the myriad elements of your wedding, a clearly expressed wedding style will create a memorable experience for you and your guests.
Whether you’ve already decided on the overarching style of your wedding or are still weighing your options, read on for expert insight from Katie Lester, event coordinator and co-owner of A Little Party Events in Lynchburg.
First thing’s first, it can help to assign an adjective to your wedding. This will help you stay focused on a particular look. For example, some of the major wedding styles are:
• Art Deco
• Mountain elegant
“These styles are often crossed or incorporated into sub-styles such as southern, preppy, etc.,” Lester says. “The adjectives are endless. Couples may also want a wedding that is cultural and reflects their diverse ethnic backgrounds, family traditions, and customs. We also see clients who want to incorporate a theme into their style such as nautical, tropical, celestial, travel, or garden.”
If even this list of potential styles seems overwhelming, don’t fret! Let your personal tastes as a couple guide the way. “When expressing your style as a couple, stay true to you and let your instinct lead the way when making selections,” says Lester. “If a couple does not yet have an idea of their style, we’ll start with the location for the event, as well as draw inspiration from their own personal style, the style of their home, what they like to do as a couple, and so on. We’ve always felt weddings should feel like an extension of the couple.”
The wedding venue is usually the first official element a couple decides on out of logistical necessity, but it is also an ideal starting point for determining your wedding style. “The venue’s aesthetic and location will refine the couple’s focus and cut through the wedding-inspiration chaos in their heads,” notes Lester. “Once the venue has been selected, a bride will often begin to dress shop both for herself and her bridesmaids. This will serve as the inspiration for stationery, floral designs, linen selections, and smaller details.”
While a wedding style should help give you a sense of direction as you plan, it shouldn’t make you feel constricted; in other words, it should be treated as a supportive framework rather than as a rigid set of rules. If you feel passionate about a certain element that doesn’t seamlessly fit into your chosen wedding style, you should absolutely still include it. “We always say there are no rules when it comes to planning your wedding,” Lester says.
“If you want tacos but are having a rustic wedding, go for it!”
According to Lester, mixing styles to any degree is also completely acceptable—and even encouraged—to make sure that both partners feel as fully represented as possible. “Mixing styles is common,” she says. “We often see couples pull inspiration from two or more styles. This can create a more personalized feel for the couple and a dynamic experience for the guest.”
The degree to which a couple wants their wedding style expressed will also vary, and as long as communication amongst the couple and their wedding vendors about these visual expressions is open and clear, the planning process is likely to progress smoothly. “The wedding style is only as important as the client makes it,” notes Lester. “Some couples want to focus on the party, others the food experience. If how stylish their wedding is isn’t part of their list of priorities, we will concentrate on developing key descriptive words the couple can use when planning with other vendors. This will help them communicate more effectively with their wedding vendors. If you say the words ‘rustic chic’ or ‘classic elegance,’ they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about, which is really refreshing when there are so many decisions to be made.”
Regardless of the wedding style or styles you choose and how you choose to express that style, remember to stay true to yourselves as individuals and as a couple as you plan your wedding and to focus first and foremost on starting this exciting new journey together. Hiring a wedding planner may help ease your mind and help you stay focused on what matters most.
“At A Little Party Events, we have service-minded hearts,” Lester says.
“We work hard to ensure we are creating flawless weddings that are carefully planned and executed. Developing a wedding style may not happen overnight, but the end results can be magical. Our most memorable weddings are those that were curated to ensure the details on the wedding day shone through.”
Wedding Style Journey
When local bride Rosa Johnson set out to plan her wedding, she envisioned an “elegant and classy” affair. “It was important to me for everything to be coordinated and on theme,” she explains.
In September 2020, Rosa and her husband, McKinley, were married at Old Pate Chapel and held their reception at the Madison Heights Community Center. She admitted being a little “leery” when her wedding planner, Gail Brown of Endless Events, showed her the center, but she trusted that the bare space could be transformed.
Throughout the wedding planning process, Rosa always had their style in mind. From her stunning corseted ball gown to royal purple bridesmaids dresses to the luxurious reception lighting (by Castle Event Lighting), she couldn’t have been happier with how the day turned out.
“I was speechless when I saw how beautiful everything was. I wanted elegance and that is exactly what I got,” she says. “It was truly a royal affair.”
Rosa agrees that having a wedding planner is a game changer. “Gail was a Godsend. She helped me with every step of the process. On my wedding day, she was right by my side,” she says. “She is the greatest!”
By Emily Mook