Last post we talked about your overall wedding style and how regardless of wanting a “theme” you need to have an overall concept or style to fully develop the look of your wedding. A lot of brides struggle with seeing the bigger picture when they overly focus on the descriptive words such as “formal” or “elegant”. These descriptions are great because they allow you and your planner to understand a direction to move in, however these are what I call sub-styles and the problem lies in the fact that these words do not define the look you want but the feel that you want for the day.
Some examples of sub-styles are:
Romantic: You want your guests to walk awaywanting to be in love more than they were before.
Elegant: You want your guests to leave feeling more graceful and sophisticated then when they arrived.
Whimsical: You want your guest to leave feeling playful and excited.
Ethereal: To me this means you want your guest to leave feeling as if they stepped out of a dream where everything was light, simple, and natural.
Simple: You wantyour guests to feel as though the day was easy going, not over the top or as if you tried too hard.
Formal: When a bride and groom want a formal wedding you want your guests in gowns and tuxedos; you want them to feel as though they are attending a red carpet event.
Casual: You want your guests to feel at home, they can come dressed as they please but in this instance it is typically about the party not as much the décor and the formalities.
Semi-formal: This is the most common sub-style that I hear and definitely the hardest to define. The best way I can is by telling you that your guests should come in cocktail or business attire, you want them to enjoy the party but still feel like they are getting a night out on the town.
Feminine: You want your day to feel light and lady-like. This is typically done through the use of pale colors, pearls, diamonds, ruffles, lace, bows etc.
Masculine: You want the day to have a rich depth to it. This is typically done through the use of darker colors, leather, wood, etc.
Again, there are so many sub-styles out there and these are just a handful of the ones that I hear most often.
It is important to pair your sub-style(s) properly with your overall style or theme in order to have a cohesive design, look and feel. It is rare you will see a traditional/casual wedding; however you can take whimsical and add it to just about any style, same with romantic, feminine, masculine, and elegant. You can also choose more than one sub-style to pair with your overall style/theme. For example say you want a romantic and feminine industrial wedding. You typically would not think of pairing these together however this is one of those instances where you choose a venue to represent your theme and then use your sub-styles to create the feel through your choice of linens and décor.
Your sub-styles are going to help define you as a couple, if you are casual and laidback please don’t force a formal wedding because it is important to feel at home and comfortable on your wedding day. Your venue may or may not be your dream location that shows off your styles but when choosing the feel you want for the day you can manipulate how people view the venue so that they see what you want them to see. With that being said try not to book a classic ballroom and think your planner can work a miracle and turn it into a rustic casual event, it most likely will not turn out the way you want.
Good luck in your search for your personal sub-styles, and don’t forget it is ok to know your sub-styles before your overall style is chosen but both are equally important to make your wedding day design feel unique to you as a couple!
Keep your eyes open for our next post that will help you understand the details of your wedding day!
Alyssa Hoffman | Owner – Planner – Designer
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