Happy June and official summer my sweet friends! With wedding season in full swing, I’ve been feeling so grateful to be working with such genuine Clients, developing thoughtful and unique designs for each and every one of them. This work is not only something we’re grateful for, but a true passion of mine that will never fade.
These thoughts have brought design and styling to the forefront of conversations for me lately. Clients ask time and time again how to best determine their wedding aesthetic and how to just know which design feels right. There’s unfortunately no magic answer, but it’s a topic I wanted to dive a bit deeper into today with all of you.
I’ll start by saying this: unfortunately, I don’t envy brides today.
We live in a society of complete overwhelm and distraction, constantly bombarded with beautiful, endless ideas on Pinterest, blogs that claim to know the “latest trends of the year”, Instagram ads from wedding magazines and every vendor possible…. and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It doesn’t help that browsing so many beautiful designs is completely addicting! I’m sure you can relate – how many times have you started looking at tablescape ideas for your wedding, quickly moved on to the details of your floral centerpieces, saw one you liked in a wedding video, WATCHED the whole video, and then of course – watched 10 more videos, ended up in tears from allll the emotion and then realized that two hours had passed.
I’ll tell you what friends – if it hasn’t happened to you, I’m confident that it will. Like I said, it’s addicting! We’ve been there too. And while we encourage Brides to seek inspiration, the idea of constantly “following the trends” and keeping up with new ideas can result in confusion, anxiety, and sometimes, even regret.
It can make you question your decision on the stunning La Tavola pattern you just selected. Or maybe, you’ll start to rethink your florals for the day. Worse, you could even start to wonder if the season you selected is best for you, wishing you had opted for just the opposite.
Our goal is to help our Clients navigate this process in order to eliminate the confusion, relieve some stress, and get back to the real reason why we’re here in the first place – to make sure you have the most memorable, heartwarming day to marry the partner of your dreams.
We’ve seen a lot over the years in terms of design, but one thing remains true: incorporating your unique, individual style into the day is the best way (and only way?!) to ensure your wedding is your own. Look to Pinterest, but don’t be influenced to change your style. Watch those wedding videos (and yes, please still let the tears happen!), but avoid replication. And please, don’t chase the trends! Weddings are personal and custom, and yours should be individual to you.
To identify your unique wedding aesthetic, we recommend the following steps:
- Take a trip to your closet. What colors pop out at you? What are a few of your favorite stores to shop at? Personal style can tell us a lot about your wedding style – and there’s no better way than peering in your wardrobe to ensure your individual personality is front and center on your big day. Compare the colors in your closet to the inspiration posts you’re finding; more than likely, you’ll find an obvious match and a reassurance that you’re on the right track.
- Look around your home. How have you styled your home and what design elements align most with your personal style? What pieces inspire you? More times than not, Clients find that beginning at home is the best place to start when determining their wedding style. Home is where you’re most comfortable, the place that is filled with love from friends and family members each day. Seek out your favorite design aspects of your home and find ways to infuse this aesthetic into your wedding.
- Identify the themes. It may not be obvious at first glance, but there’s a strong chance you’ve begun to create a theme within the inspirational posts you’ve collected. Take a careful look at those few hundred (or thousand?!) of pins you’ve added to your board and find the similarities, no matter how small. Identify the colors and textures you gravitate towards the most – do these colors and aesthetic match your closet, your home, or own personal style?
- Find the balance between seeking inspiration and staying focused on your own ideas and personal style. This one’s important, my friends. This balance is key to ensuring your own style shines through those inspiration pieces you find and curate. Many times, Clients are drawn to the “trendier” option without even realizing it. Rather than seeking out the “trendiest” or most talked about style of the year, see what aesthetic naturally pulls you in. Your design should represent you and your partner as a couple, and when you focus, a design aesthetic will speak to you, pulling at the heartstrings just a bit more. Seek these moments throughout the design process and before you know it, you’ll look around on your wedding day with a sense of pride and awe of what you’ve created.
After completing this quick exercise, you’ll be able to identify key traits that describe your aesthetic and better hone your vision for the day. You may realize you do need to make a dramatic switch, but if this means adding elements of your personal style and unique ideas to the day, we fully support it. Do YOU on your wedding day, and nothing less!
I recently took the time to do this activity myself, ensuring our own design aesthetic at AFA was staying true to my personal style, our team personality and representing my crazy design ideas and authentic self.
It’s always fun to revisit this activity, and I’m happy to report that our design aesthetic has remained authentic, and one that I continue to be proud of each day. To best describe the aesthetic of AFA, I’d say that:
We love abundance and are constantly looking for more design elements to incorporate. I’m at home working with multiple colors and numerous textures, creating aesthetically pleasing designs that drawn in the eye from no matter how far away. We try to infuse these elements into all of our designs, creating a feeling of lush abundance that welcomes your guests without looking like there’s too much going on.
Much of this abundance stems from working with local farms to embrace all that Maine has to offer each season. We started A Family Affair of Maine in 2010 with the promise of using farmer floral designers to reduce our carbon footprint. These talented growers know their Maine earth, floral species families and how to showcase the best that Maine has to offer our Clients. The field to vase movement is one we’re continually committed to, and is at the heart of our maximalist aesthetic whenever possible.
AFA’s phenomenal Abby Johnson, our Event Design Assistant (and remarkably talented baker!) describes this best: “We’re over the top in the best way possible. We create designs that have intriguing details, designs that make you want to keep looking at the tablescape and gazing around a space. It’s inspiring to see so much going on, effortlessly pulled off into one cohesive look.”
No matter the style, aesthetic or setting, we like to bring as much impact as possible. We LIVE for the small details that bring the wow factor, mixing bold colors with neutrals, soft velvet details with timeless metals, and everything in between. Maximalism can be tricky, but it’s one of the most defining traits of all our designs. And let me tell you friends, it’s a whole lot of fun to create!
We create designs that are warm, inviting and approachable.
We’ve heard that our designs just have that feeling. It’s not always easy to articulate, but it’s something we always strive to accomplish for our Clients each and every time. Guests will feel right at home while supporting you on your wedding day, but it’s important to bring an element of practicality to your design. We strive to make our designs look lived in, welcoming guests with warm lighting, plush lounge seating, and just enough florals & greenery to make anyone smile from ear to ear.
We like to use color – and a lot of it.
We’re bringing bold colors back to weddings and loving every minute of it. Neutrals and pastels had a moment in the sun, but we’ve never strayed from bright colors that give a dramatic pop to any design. It can be risky to pull off and is certainly not everyone’s style, but we’re proud to have mastered the art of mixing colors for a dramatic, beautiful design aesthetic.
If color is definitely your vibe and you’re looking to infuse it into your wedding aesthetic, try adding colors in bold ways – lounges with bright seating and different colored pillows, over the top florals, or multiple colors within your tablescape design. If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and are looking to add juuust the right touch of color, start small – a pop of color in a napkin or candlestick will do the trick.
We like to be bold.
We like to go ALL out. Creating unexpected designs is my favorite hobby, sparking feelings of surprise and wonder from all who experience it. We’re big fans of cocktail style weddings, glamping, and anything that provides us with a break from the norm. The more crazy and different, the better! Glam weddings with multiple food trucks to deliver amazing food and create a party vibe? YES PLEASE. Hunger Games themed weddings with floor lounge seating for the reception? Done and done. Our design aesthetic is bold and unexpected, and we love to work with Clients who are looking to do the same.
And most importantly, we’re thoughtful in our design process.
Thoughtful design is at the center of everything we do. We don’t just throw together a look that’s beautiful on the surface to impress your guests. In fact, we do just the opposite. We take the time to curate, to craft items that you just can’t seem to find, and to add in personal elements that will warm the hearts of all your guests. Incorporating small, meaningful details can set the stage for an intimate atmosphere filled with love. We take design seriously, but it also needs to also be super functional in order to best represent the food and the service staff you have given upwards of half of your overall budget to. We love collaborating with the entire team of vendors to ensure the design we create falls in line with what they need to do their job to the best of their ability, right down to floral and herb garnish color.
So remember friends: to create a day that is truly your own, stay true to your individual self throughout the planning and design process. As a designer, it’s by far the best advice I could ever give, and we hope you take it to heart! You’ll be proud to look around on your wedding day and see elements of your style and personality infused throughout every aspect. We wish you all the best of luck as you continue to hone your aesthetic and design the day of your dreams.
Shop all the looks featured in this post at our Online Store.