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Matthew Robbins Headshot

Think Before You (Design) Speak

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One thing is for sure in the world of weddings: planning one can lead many to losing any grasp of what might be good taste. It seems they can push many to lose the ability to know when enough is simply enough. At the start of my career, I battled against being a part of the wedding and event design world because frankly it was filled with an abundance of fluffy, dated, over-the-top details that I just couldn't embrace.

Things have definitely changed and the wedding industry is now filled with many professionals who create tasteful, unique and memorable experiences, but this hasn't solved the problem I see time and time again. There is still that manic free-for-all where a couple, planner or designer just loses all sense of their own aesthetic and everything they know is good and right in the world of design. I think it must be all of the stress, nerves and pressure to create what many feel are the most fantastic moments of your life while maintaining your sanity and keeping track of priorities. The expectations are high and it can all be a bit overwhelming.

Too often what happens in designing a wedding is clients are forced into design or décor details just because they are obvious, big, and showy but they have absolutely no relevance to the space, the architecture or season. Good design is relevant to all of these things and it should be inspired by who you are, your history, aesthetic and vision. When all of these things come together you create magic -- and not just a room filled with every possible (or trendy) wedding décor element (think: vintage suitcases, bird cages, glowing bars, white furniture and insane amounts of fabric hanging from every nook and cranny).

Stay true to your own design rules and listen to the professionals with an open mind. Don't sacrifice beauty or your budget just to wow your guests with superfluous details. Allow your design to have integrity and longevity. Remember you only have your photos to enjoy as the years go by and you don't want to look back in horror because you lost the ability to filter your design choices. Here are a five tips and general guidelines for staying on track when planning the design for your wedding.

1. Allow your design to have context: find inspiration in the place, season and surroundings. Bad or unconsidered design can look uncomfortable and insanely out of place. You don't want this for your wedding day! It should be a day filled with romance, elegance and timeless beauty.

2. Remember your own design rules and incorporate these into your décor: this is your wedding and it should say something about who you are. You definitely know what you like and don't like so make a list of your own rules and use these as guidelines.

3. More is really just more: You don't create beautiful design by adding more of anything. You are only creating more of a mess by doing so. Stop and really look at what you are choosing and why!

4. Learn how to edit: great films, books, rooms and events are amazing because they were edited brilliantly. If you don't know how to edit, consult design books, blogs and magazines. Read up on the basics of putting a great room or even an outfit together.

5. Good design tells a story: remember you are telling a story with the decor and if you don't recognize the story with the design elements you are choosing, rethink and regroup!