• James Novotny

What Are the Elements of Wedding Design

            You get engaged and the ideas start flowing or maybe they began long before. You pick your favorite vendors, fulfill as much as your Pinterest dreams as is possible and yet your entire wedding theme falls flat. Your guests leave your wedding reception lost and confused unsure of what the over all design even was. Creating a cohesive wedding design is all about indulging the senses in every way and working with a few elements: paper products, venue, cake, food, ambiance and attire.

Paper Products

         Paper products include invitations, place cards, table numbers, menus, directional signage and more. We will starts our study of wedding elements here as invitations will be the first objects your guests will receive and set the standard for what is to come. Working with a professional graphic designer in this area is very helpful as they can disperse the same imagery across all paper products, not only creating a cohesive theme but exact replicas you may not be able to find in stores. Be mindful of this wedding design element as guests will be looking at materials like menus and signage for some time and in the case of invitations keeping them in albums and memory boxes for years to come.


        While the invitations will be the first things guests will see, the venue is where your wedding planning journey will begin. The venue effects the overall themes of your day by setting the backdrop. Where a lot of weddings fall short is planning their décor per their chosen theme but picking a venue with a clashing back drop. Being such a large visual design element a venue can make or break your cohesive theme and destroy the environmental design. Venues also come with an array of challenges and limitations. Some venues don’t allow open flames or attaching décor to walls or the ceiling. The physical limitations including height and actual space can affect the décor you choose. Be creative, if a hotel or normal venue doesn’t fit your theme, reach out and see if a location would be willing to offer their space to your wedding for a better environmental backdrop.

Cake and Food

         These two factors are some of the most rememberable parts of your reception as it fulfills the most senses and involves the guests. While the cake and food take an almost neutral effect to the day as guests don’t necessarily expect it to match a theme it is exactly that reason it is a perfect element. It is the small details and unexpected that leave the most memorable impact. Individualized cake toppers, flowers and cake colors are some of the easiest methods of carrying out your theme into your cake. Is your big day cultural? Try to incorporate that culture into your food. Your cake and food can get lost in a theme but you can use these elements to expand upon your wedding day for a stunning and effective outcome.


        Ambiance is the feeling created by environmental design. Choosing the right lighting and décor elements help create a good environment. Flowers are a classic decorating staple for aisles, tables and more but is not the direction you need to go. If other objects such as books, feathers or crystals will reflect the theme of your day more go for that and set your wedding apart from the rest. Many couples opt for dim lighting for evening weddings as it’s a simple classic but playing with light can be one of the biggest environmental design elements as it can change even the most drab venue into another space. Regardless what direction you choose to go make sure the décor and lighting flows through the entire space and not just portions.


        The way you dress as an element plays a huge impact on the theme and cohesive feeling of your wedding as all eyes will be on you and the rest of the party. Make sure the fabric, colors and styles you choose coordinate with the standard expected of the day. Attire doesn’t just include the bridal party but the guests as well. Remember your guests will outnumber the bridal party and be moving throughout the design you set up. Their attire will either blend in and aid the design or standout blocking the design setting entirely. Now you can’t tell your guests exactly what to wear but being sure to set up an expected standard of dress in your invitation is key to having your guests help in being an element of the wedding design.

            Be mindful of your decisions and how they affect your overall wedding day design. Try to think from the perspective of the guest, something that may seem easy to understand for you may not be as clear for them. When picking a theme be sure to carry that design throughout your entire day regardless of what your budget is by indulging the five senses of the guests to create a cohesive and believable environment that will be remembered for a long time to come.

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“bridesman” James

Novotny, professional

event coordinator shares his experience to help provide an artistic perspective to your wedding day and life.

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