8 Event Styling Rules You Should NEVER Break
Styling an event is a long process of planning and decision-making. You and your client will spend many hours poring over color schemes and possible decor pieces, but there are some ideas that just won’t work.
Be prepared to go in swinging! Clients with a vision can be difficult to persuade – even when their dream decor will clearly end in disaster. Always explain your reasoning, and be gentle when you tell them the honest truth. After all, you both want the event to look gorgeous in the end!
Use these event styling rules to keep your client’s decor planned to perfection. Build them an event design that will knock their socks off!
Tune into the season
As a rule of thumb, event planners should always focus decor around the season. It’s the most natural way to decorate, even in home decor! Think of a summer-themed event in the dead of winter – it just screams cliché party, doesn’t it?
But working with seasonal decor doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice color scheme or your client’s ideal centerpiece. An easy way to draw inspiration from the season is by using different variations of color. For example, in the summer you should use colors that have a warm tint, rather than cool-toned shades. This will add a subtle, seasonal touch, without forcing your clients to change their whole vision of the event.
So no, you don’t need to use holly and evergreen decor for winter weddings – just allow your colors to complement the weather outside!
Start with the foundation
Before building any decor plans for your client’s event, you need to know where it will take place. The venue has a huge impact on type of decor, sizes, table and seating layout, colors, and more. Knowing the area you have to work with will make your decor plans much easier to navigate!
Key aspects of the venue to take note of are wall color, type of flooring, and room layout. Knowing just these three features will allow you to cater your design to the specific space. You want to plan an event that will match your venue in order to avoid harsh focal points or mismatching colors – both of which are event styling disasters.
Nod to neutrals
To keep your client’s color scheme in check, be sure to match it with the correct neutral tones! Using the right neutrals, from beige to white to grey, will make your focal points pop and draw more attention from the guests. Too much of a bold color (or colors) will take away from the beauty of the design.
Follow this rule: each time you plan to use a bold color, whether it be centerpieces or place settings, use a neutral color as your base. This will keep your brighter colors the main focus of the design, without overwhelming it!
Light it up
Lighting is one of the most important features of the event. Not only will it impact your guest experience, it can take a toll on photos if you’re not careful! Even though most photographers can adapt to different lighting, it’s best to book a venue that has good lighting.
By good lighting we mean brightness, without being too harsh. Natural light is always ideal for capturing the true color of your event decor. Plus, natural light is great for photographing guests! Artificial light isn’t always bad, but you’ll want to stay away from lights that cast shadows or LED bulbs. These can compromise your event design by causing it to look washed out or dull.
Talking to a photographer about best lighting for your events will help you make the right call!
Go with the flow
Event styling is not just about decor! Your event needs to direct traffic flow and be easy to manoeuvre through. This adds ease and comfort to the guest experience, and will nix disasters like a server tripping or a jammed up dance floor!
Especially when working with a smaller venue, you want to make space and movement a priority. Guests should be able to move freely without smashing into a table or chairs, and they should be able to get from their seats to the bathroom to the bar quite easily. Planning for openness will change your decor plans slightly, like using hanging decorations rather than extra tables.
Even though you might have to redesign an area or two, you don’t have to sacrifice the beautiful decor!
Loud & Clear
When you’re designing your event decor and layout, be sure to factor in signage. Whether you decide to use a pamphlet or fancy flyer, or you want to build some DIY chalkboards, you need to offer guests some sort of direction! Being a guest and not knowing where or when events will be taking place is downright frustrating. A simple sign directing guests to the washroom or letting them know when cocktail hour is makes a huge difference in their experience.
By providing them with guidance throughout the event, you’re making it more enjoyable for everyone. No nonsense questions for you, and the host won’t hear any complaints!
Follow your theme through
Although themed events are starting to lose their grip, we still love the idea of having a continuous style throughout the night! From beginning to end, make sure you’re designing every aspect of the event with a similar style. Starting with invitations, choose your color scheme and fonts wisely – you should be keeping these as the event standard!
Not only will this make your event style look organized and flawless, you’ll get some fabulous photographs to show off in your portfolio.
Establish vendor attire
Coordinating with vendors can be challenging if you don’t have much experience, but most vendors are used to working with terms and conditions. When consulting with local businesses and vendors, be sure to bring up attire and behavior before you think of booking them. You’ll need to have them on board if you want the event to be seamless and successful!
Vendor etiquette at any event is generally the least of your worries, but still, you should always have a contract clause about your expectations! Once they agree to this, it’s one more thing you don’t have to worry about.
Any other event decor styling rules we missed? Let us know in a comment!
Think you could become an event stylist? Find out what you’ll learn in an event decor course!