How to Make Sound, Stress-Free Wedding Design Decisions

Nikki Santerre Photography

Nikki Santerre Photography

As both a florist and stationer, I know firsthand that these are two of the only elements of your wedding day that can be extremely hard to envision before you actually see them come to life. Unlike linens that you can see and feel ahead of time, or cake and dinner menus that you can taste prior to your wedding day, or a band that you can hear before choosing them, flowers and custom-designed stationery don’t provide these clear black-and-white decisions up front, and can often lead to feeling stressed and unclear about your decisions. So, how can you eliminate this stress and make design decisions you are confident in?

Make two very specific lists

You’re first list should detail all the items you absolutely want to include in your wedding design. It’s best if you make a custom list for both your florist and stationer. For instance, if you know you absolutely want to have more flowers than greenery in your bouquet, tall vessels for your centerpieces, and hanging wreaths above your head table, make sure to list those out. For your stationer, perhaps you want to have a custom crest that includes your sweet pup, white calligraphy, and a floral envelope liner. Your second list will be a short list of the things you absolutely do NOT want to include in your design. For instance, maybe you do not want to include any calla lilies in any of your florals, do not want pink flowers anywhere, or do not want any greenery in your bouquet at all. Share these lists with your vendors so they have a clear understanding of what you do and do not want. Your vendors will likely discuss this in more depth with you so you can begin to grasp what exactly you’ll be getting.

Remain flexible

Many creative vendors view their work as a form of fine art (because it is!). This means that they feel most comfortable when they have a little bit of creative freedom. It’s much more difficult (and stressful) for a vendor to feel constrained, for a variety of reasons. Flowers may not always come in the exact color of the photo you saw, and paper choice may alter the ink color just slightly. Vendors often have plenty of experience with these results, and therefore we make decisions based on that knowledge and experience. Many times these are vocalized, but sometimes these decisions must be made on a whim (for example, your blush roses arrived darker than anticipated and your florist knows full and well that you won’t be happy with them). Remaining flexible and letting your vendors do what they do best (and using their years of professional experience and intuition!) will instantly take some weight off of your shoulders. After all, you’ve hired your vendors because you trust their judgement, artistic ability, and fell in love with them already!

Keep images you love handy

I don’t mean to scour Pinterest for weddings you want yours to look like, because, let’s be real - their wedding is not your wedding. Whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram, or some other source you choose to sift through images, save the ones you’re really drawn to. Take a few moments to understand why you are drawn to those images. This will not only provide you and your vendors with clarification, but will also help make sure you aren’t saving thousands of random images that aren’t cohesive at all! It also means the images you find may not (and hopefully all of them won’t) be from other weddings. They may be from landscapes, home decor, vacations, or some other photo that strikes your fancy. For instance, perhaps you found a beautiful image on Instagram of a cottage surrounded by a picket fence with beautiful wooden rockers and you are really drawn to the feel the image evokes. Or maybe you snapped a photo of the sunrise on your Caribbean vacation this past summer and you love the color palette. Whatever it is, make note of why you love the images and vocalize those reasons when you share images with your design team.

Share details you don’t think are important with each vendor

Those details you don’t think are important for a florist may make a huge difference in your final design! You may not think your florist wants to see your wedding invitations or your stationer wants to know what linens you chose, but believe it or not, sharing these details with each vendor can be the difference between a design that is beautiful, and a design that is beautiful and unique. Your florist may be able to take your invitation design and complement it with hand-picked florals, or your stationer may be able to take the texture of your linens and recreate it into a complementary pattern that ties all the elements together. This creates a cohesive design that fits together like puzzle pieces, rather than just a bunch of elements that are really beautiful each on their own. And if I’m being honest, artists love seeing what other artists are doing within the same wedding!

Ultimately, communicating openly with your design team while remaining flexible and valuing their ideas and thoughts will provide you with an incredibly beautiful and meaningful design that doesn’t even need to be touched or seen before your wedding day because it already has you weaved throughout the entire design!

And before you start making your lists and sending images to your vendor team, make sure to go learn how you can make your design feel just like “home!”

Nikki Santerre Photography

Nikki Santerre Photography