Creating your wedding atmostphere

As you plan your wedding, you may be constantly asked, "What is your wedding style?"   Vendors will ask you this questions because it helps us visualize your dream wedding.

Looking at blogs, Pinterest and wedding photos can help you determine what wedding are a good fit for your personality.

Think about the items that inspire you...maybe you love flea market finds or maybe it is sparkly tablecloths.  Each of these can help you narrow down the feel and atmosphere that you want to create at your wedding.

You feel is more that a particular pattern or motif.  If you love chevron stripes, that can be incorporated with many different feels and styles.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Step 1

- Think about how you want the wedding to feel

  • Modern or Clean
  • Whimsical or Fairy-tale
  • Barn or Rustic
  • Collector or Flea Market
  • Glamorous or Sparkly
  • Zen or specific world culture
  • Retro or Vintage
  • Casual or Beach
  • Elegant or Refined
  • Old World or Traveler
  • Organic or Natural
  • Backyard, Old-fashioned or Homespun
  • DIY or Handmade

(Don't be limited by this list.  There are plenty of other options such as Punk, Gothic, Shabby, Bohemian, etc.  The Style Dictionary   has more.)

You can combine 2 or even 3 of these into a beautiful event.  Maybe you want to use a specific world culture to influence the food such as Caribbean. You use the vivid colors from the region for the linens and flowers.  But you want it to feel more like an elegant 50's nightclub so you add chandeliers and vintage dresses.

Step 2

- Will the location impact the feel?

Saying you want an outdoor wedding can mean a lot of things...beachy, woodsy, mountains, backyard....

Your location can influence the atmosphere or simply just be a location.   Getting married in a shaded grove of trees could give you a casual, organic, homespun, rustic, flea market or whimsical feel depending on what you wanted to create.  Getting married in a hotel ballroom doesn't lend itself towards a rustic or beachy wedding as easily as other locations.

Step 3

- Have you been inspired by a motif, icon or pattern?

Are you consumed by looking for chevron stripes or perhaps peacocks have caught your eye.  If this is what started your wedding inspiration then it should be easy to create a feel based around it.  However, if you want to include a particular pattern or image, make sure it blends with your feel and location.   Also, don't spread it around to everything or it can feel smothering.

(Read more about Determining your Wedding Style )

Hint:  When talking to wedding vendors if you can't describe what you want,  is there a book or movie or other cultural icon that evokes the time and feel that you want.

Not sure about creating the perfect atmosphere for your guests?  Talk to me; I offer design services that will help you tell your story. 

Determining your wedding style - Part 2

Now that we have worked on some of the overall details and the ceremony; it is time to focus on the reception.  The reception takes both the largest amount of time the day of your wedding as well as the largest amount of money.

We already looked at picking the overall feel for your wedding.  Thinking about that decision, picture your reception location.

  • Hotel - Modern
  • Hotel - Historic
  • Banquet hall
  • Private Home/ Backyard
  • Tented/Outdoors
  • Country club
  • Barn/Rustic
  • Historic venue/Plantation
  • Offbeat venue - art gallery, museum, etc


Food plays an important part of the reception.  Not just what is served but how the food is served impacts your wedding. Which style fits your wedding?



  • Heavy appetizers
  • Full buffet
  • Served sit down meal
  • Food stations
  • Casual buffet/picnic








  • Smaller vases of flowers with votives
  • Centerpieces that are large and detailed
  • Unique centerpieces that are personal to you and the groom - stacks of books, travel landmarks, etc
  • Tables have alternating but balancing centerpieces
  • Details on guest and favor table that complement the wedding theme
  • Lighting around the room














Determining your wedding style - Part 1

Before picking any vendors or deciding on any colors or decor, it is important to determine your wedding style.  This starts by taking your ideal dream wedding and the weddings you are drawn toward and pulling the details that appeal to you.

Start with the time of year - What season do you prefer?

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter

What is your wedding personality?  What kind of wedding photos are you drawn toward?  (You can pick more than one)

  • Modern
  • Fun/Party
  • Casual/Rustic
  • Retro/Vintage
  • Glamorous
  • Asian/Zen
  • Old-fashioned
  • Floral/Outdoor
  • Elegant

Have you always dreamed of a fairytale dress or of everyone having a great party?  For every couple there are some items or events that are more important than others.  These answers will help determine where you should put your focus and your money.

Rank these in order of importance:


  • Wedding Dress/Tuxedo
  • Photography
  • Flowers/Decorations
  • Ceremony
  • Honeymoon
  • Reception

Think about your ceremony.  Where do you picture your ceremony taking place?



  • Family church
  • Historic church
  • Small chapel
  • Garden
  • Rustic - Cabin/Fireplace
  • Beach
  • Backyard/Outdoors


Stay tuned for Part 2