Today, I am so thrilled to have wedding planner extraordinaire Kelly Dellinger, owner of the newly launched Kelly Dellinger Events, on the blog to share her ideas on the importance of having a "big idea" to create a wedding that is a true reflection of you and your hubby-to-be. I have had the honor of working with Kelly on my most recent Nashville weddings (featured in the photos in this post), and she is one of the most creative, professional, and sincere people I've worked with in this industry. Her advice serves as an excellent starting point for all you newly engaged couples and will hopefully, start the wheels turning as you begin to plan a vision for your day!
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned wedding-going veteran or it’s your first rendezvous watching people vow their lives to one another, you inevitably observe certain things about the weddings you attend. Even though my husband has probably never mentally noted what a bride wore or what the table linens looked like at any wedding we’ve gone to together, he could definitely tell me in retrospect what the food was like and maybe rattle off something about the music played at the reception.
Why does this matter? In planning a wedding, the easiest mistake to make is to focus primarily on the details. Call it the Pinterest Curse, if you will. Hordes of gorgeous images bombard us every time we log onto a wedding blog or website, resulting in countless hours pinning breathtaking details. Brides bookmark crazy numbers of little things they’d like to incorporate in their wedding plans and somewhere along the way, forget to think about the bigger picture.
Don’t get me wrong – details matter. They make up the “Oooh!!” moments that leave wedding guests pleasantly surprised or impressed. Small things, curated by a keen eye, can truly personalize a wedding. They can evoke memories of how the couple met and fell in love, or emulate certain personality aspects of the bride and groom that are endearing.
However, if you’re shooting in the dark and expect to throw together a successful wedding just by replicating a thousand random “good ideas,” you’re misguided. Cohesiveness is key. I hate to use the word “theme” because that tends to bring to mind visions of senior prom and tacky weddings broadcasted on bad reality shows, but some semblance of a theme or aura can be extremely helpful in conceptualizing a wedding.
A question to keep in mind is, “How will my wedding planning decisions make my guests feel?” While your wedding is certainly not “about” anyone besides your spouse-to-be and yourself, you must keep in mind that the people who will really be experiencing the intricacies of your wedding day plans are your guests! As a recent bride, I can honestly tell you I did not take more than one fleeting glance at my centerpieces. Or food display. I didn’t even consume more than a single bite of cake the entire evening. That’s just reality. It’s an emotionally charged day, overwhelming at best. The only moments you have to slow down and enjoy it are the ones you intentionally set up for yourself.
So, with that knowledge, it is advisable to consider what you want the day to feel like, for both your guests’ and your own sake. Do you want the mood to be formal and elegant? Relaxed and homegrown? Streamlined and chic? Or perhaps, is there a more specific look and feel you’d like to conjure – Parisian bakery meets piano bar? Classic Southern plantation glamour? Once you have determined what overarching concept you adore – what fits you and your fiancé’s personalities and tastes best – make your decisions from that place. You may adore the timelessness of a Grace Kelly-inspired affair in a modern-architectural art museum just as well as burlap and floral-bedecked hay bales, but anyone can tell you the two don’t complement one another. There are not hard and fast rules, but do strive to make sense with your choices.
A seasoned planner or stylist should be able to assist you in selecting the perfect mood to fit you as a couple. If means allow, deeply consider working with one to string together the perfect conglomeration of details and big picture ideas for your wedding! And – this is crucial – take care to choose the photographer who best aligns with your vision and style for the day. Just like a random mishmash of wedding details can conflict and confuse, selecting the wrong photographer will leave a lot to be desired, and no one wants to look back on wedding photos thinking, “Wow. So-and-so REALLY didn’t get us OR our day.”
Be strategic in your wedding plans! Stay true to who you and your fiancé are, make that wedding-day vision a little more concise, and guests will leave your party happy to have celebrated the love… and not in the slightest confused. :)