1/ Your culture
Image by onelove photography (cover image by Patina Photography)
Drawing on a culture that you have a personal connection to – whether local or international, religious or secular – can be an especially powerful starting point for wedding design. This can take many forms, from wedding-specific cultural customs like handfasting or floral lassos (read more examples from around the world here), to specific outfits or utilising resonant readings in the ceremony or reception. If you like, culture can have a more overarching visual impact, too, informing everything from colours to stationery design, flowers to venue décor.
2/ Your love story
Image by m three studio
Since your wedding will celebrate your love and life together, it’s a natural choice to draw on some defining relationship events or characteristics to set the day apart. There are lots of ways to incorporate these. You could serve the same style of food as the restaurant where you had your first date and note a brief explanation on the menu (perhaps including the recipe as a thoughtful and unique wedding favour). If the proposal happened somewhere memorable, include a nod to that somewhere in your day. Are you mad about your pet(s)? Feature them in the wedding and photography, or take inspiration from your furry family members for things like favours or the cake topper.
3/ Wedding venue
Image by Sally Pinera
When it comes to wedding design, it’s always a good idea to work with your venue rather than against it. Taking this a step further and using your venue as inspiration for the other visual elements can work really well. No matter whether you’re getting married somewhere distinctive like a museum or zoo (with opportunities to utilise history and art, or animal motifs) or if you just loosely channel your location’s vibe (like embracing seashell or mermaid imagery if you’re getting married on the coast). If the venue features a gorgeous view or some interesting architecture you particularly love, you could even incorporate these into your design. Perhaps playing on the textures, colours or using a direct illustration for your invitations.
Image by JoPhoto
Going seasonal with fresh food and flowers is, of course, great for the environment and local area. Seasons also offer some clear-cut colour palettes and decorative ideas: rich oranges and pumpkins for Autumn, for instance, or pastels and blossom for Spring.
5/ Personal Passions
Image by Michael and Carina Photography
Do you have an interest that you love, share or are known for? Take that – whether it’s a favourite style of music or film or a hobby like travel, cooking or the outdoors – and use it to inspire something truly unique and recognisably ‘you’.
Remember, a theme can be as subtle or bold as you prefer. You could pay homage to a favourite era, for example, with very overt references like 50s diner style food and décor for the reception or Gatsby-style flapper bridesmaid dresses. Or you could keep it to understated hints, like naming your tables after 50s icons like Elvis and Marilyn, or adding Art Deco motifs and lettering to your stationery.