I like to think of all designers as artists, and, in many ways, we are. But unlike artists working in some other mediums, we wedding designers are also in the customer service business -- a fact we should never, ever forget. After all, if it werenʼt for our wonderful brides and grooms, weʼd have no weddings to design.
One of the most important aspects of our job is understanding the dreams of the brides and grooms who hire us. After all, we canʼt make those wedding dreams come true unless we understand them!
When I meet a couple who wants me to design their wedding, I know that first and foremost I need to get a sense of who they are and what they love.
Basically, I become an unabashed snoop, and ask all sorts of personal questions! The list of things I want to know is exhaustive -- I want to know how they met, what they like to do together, what colors they love, what colors they hate, what they like to eat, what they donʼt like to eat, their favorite designers, the cars they have, the artwork theyʼre drawn to -- and thatʼs all before we start talking about the wedding itself!
Of course, I also want to know how a couple envisions their wedding day. Many brides and grooms have lots of very specific ideas for how their wedding should look, which is fabulous. However, it has been my experience that even when couples think they know what they want, they often end up changing their minds later on. It sometimes turns out that what they thought they wanted isnʼt what they want at all.
This is natural, and I understand completely. However, designers use those early guidelines from clients to create their design mock-ups. If a designer doesnʼt have a good sense of what a couple really, truly wants, thereʼs a good chance his or her mock- ups wonʼt be well received. Thatʼs a costly and timely mistake.
So itʼs not that I donʼt listen to what my couples tell me they want at our first meeting, itʼs just that I donʼt take everything they say at face value. I probe. I want to know more. I want to be convinced that they are confident in their vision and that I really understand it.
And thatʼs why I ask so many seemingly "unrelated" questions. Because the better I know a coupleʼs habits and preferences in their day-to-day lives, the better equipped I am to design their dream wedding.
And that brings me to another very important point: your wedding is a day in YOUR life. Itʼs a day that should reflect YOU and the life you love and have chosen to lead.
So many couples come to me with these fantastic ideas, but then it quickly becomes clear that these ideas arenʼt really them. Theyʼre ideas clipped from bridal magazines and blogs, and they look pretty and sound great but donʼt reflect the coupleʼs personalities.
If thereʼs one thing I wish I could tell every bride and groom, itʼs that your wedding day should feel like the best, most beautiful representation of you and your lives together.
So, before you start meeting with wedding designers, think long and hard about your favorite things. Take a look around your home. What does your favorite lamp look like? Your favorite painting? Your favorite blanket? Do you notice any themes?
Itʼs great to show your designer inspirational photos youʼve clipped from magazines and blogs, but why not bring in a few photos of your home, too?
Of course lots of couples donʼt hire a wedding designer, and choose instead to just hire a planner or to design and plan their wedding themselves. But I still advise those couples to think about the things that make them happiest in their daily lives. Let those places and things be your guide.
What you discover about your likes and loves might surprise you!