Every couple’s story is different—that’s what makes each wedding special! While you might have your “how we met” elevator pitch down pat, the real challenge lies in representing your individual personalities in your ceremony and reception. That’s where thoughtful event design comes into play. As you design your wedding, I encourage you to consider how mixed media, or the use of distinctive textures, lighting, and colors, can bring a theme to life in a tangible and memorable way for your guests.
As a wedding designer and color theory expert with more than a decade of experience, I’ve picked up on a few simple tricks for achieving your custom vision. Here are my three favorite mixed media elements to layer into event design.
Emily’s Three Favourite Mixed Media Elements
Every wedding employs a unique color story or palette of colors used together to create a cohesive statement. These colors should reflect your wedding’s theme and your personal preferences, and meld seamlessly with your chosen venue.
The color story will help dictate not only your decor but also the event’s overall vibe, so it’s important to consider your choices carefully. For example, what color will the groom’s attire be? What color will the bridesmaids wear? In what season is the event taking place? Will the event be mostly outside or indoors? Do you want the event to feel ultra-formal or more relaxed? The answer to each of these questions should play a role in your final decision.
Some trending color stories right now include terracotta and rust, sage green and glassy blue, and champagne paired with other neutrals.
Live events make it easy to play with fun textures and fabrics. Don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with your selections!
When choosing textures, I like to consider the wedding’s overall theme first. If it’s a backyard garden party, perhaps we pull in nostalgic picnic-inspired textures like vintage gingham tablecloths or wicker chairs. On the other hand, if the wedding’s vibe skews more formal, then silk and chiffon will be more appropriate choices.
I also enjoy finding fabrics that evoke happy memories for the couple. For example, if the couple got engaged on a trip to Italy, we might layer ceramic plates and vases into the tablescape. A couple that took their first trip together to a national park might enjoy more natural, earthy textures like wood coasters or undone floral arrangements. Chinoiserie is very trendy right now and evokes a beautiful, colorful, and natural aesthetic!
You can even pull inspiration from your wedding day attire. What textures and fabrics will make an appearance on your dress, veil, or jewelry? Will the groom be wearing a basic black tux or a textured, colored suit? These attire choices will guide other textural decisions.
There are so many unique lighting options that many couples don’t know about. Some of my favorite applications include special lighting for the dance floor, bars, dining tables, and even lounge areas. Lighting is a powerful tool that can help evoke cozy, intimate vibes or get guests up and dancing.
Gobos are decorative lighting devices that can project custom images onto floors or walls in a variety of colors. This is a great option for any type of event. Project your family crest or a favorite motif in one of your event colors on the dance floor when it’s time for guests to bust a move!
Uplighting is another great option. These upward-facing bulbs project a stream of light from floor to ceiling and can jazz up simple spaces with ease. Pull in your event colors or go with soft white light for comforting vibes.
If you are designing your own wedding, look for unique pieces at event rental stores or cost-effective retailers like HomeGoods and Marshalls. You can also thrift items like vintage glassware, plates, and napkins. Facebook Marketplace is also a good place to search for lightly used decor!
Remember, many trends come and go. A solid mixture of classic elements and trendy, personalized pieces will ensure your custom event makes an impact that really feels like you. Happy planning!
About the Author
Emily Burton is an internationally known wedding planner, event designer, producer, and prop stylist, mixing interior design with event design to create one-of-a-kind spaces to visually tell a story.
Winning a design competition of 50 designers across the US, Emily was featured in a reality TV show for Celebrity Event Designer and Planner, David Tutera, which led to a TV show appearance on @WEtv. Designing luxury weddings from the ground up, Emily is a regular guest speaker on TV with The Chat Ladies of Jacksonville and has worked with New York Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week,and Miami Swim Week for three consecutive years.
Based in Georgia with over 15 years of experience, Emily has a keen eye for detail blended with her knowledge of furnishings and interiors, color theory, mixed media, and textiles.
Learn more at https://emilyburtondesigns.com/