Lynn Easton, the sought-after wedding planner and designer behind Easton Events, has overseen more than 250 weddings in her 25-year career. (Phew! And you thought you were tired just planning your own!) With Easton behind a big day, the wedding photos always look like something out of a magazine editorial or top-pinned item on Pinterest. Here are a few things she's learned during her crazy career about throwing those dream-worthy weddings.
1. Determine Your Budget First
Otherwise, tears will be shed! A wedding budget determines guest count, which in turn determines the venue. So critical!
2. Do the Mood-Board Thing
When we first meet a bride, we ask questions to sleuth out her design sensibilities, like, "Who are your style icons?" "If you were a car, which would you be?" "What handbag would you carry to the Oscars?" Based on the answers, we create storyboards with fabric swatches, dress designs, invitation samples, photos of places—anything that evokes her vision. Putting it on paper helps make sure all the elements work together.
3. Keep It Uniform
I always ask to see the bride's Pinterest board to make sure her ideas match her venue. If she's getting married in a barn but wants to do the whole wedding in a contemporary print like chevron, there may be a disconnect. Not every barn wedding has to be rustic, but the design and the setting should be cohesive.
4. Consider the Season
In spring and summer, it's great to be less formal and more florally focused. In fall and winter, I love things more formal and objet-oriented, with rich velvet fabrics and accents like feathers and horns.
5. Try a Fresh Palette
We had a couple of years of everything blush. Now our clients are open to interesting earthy colors, like blue-gray and sage green.
6. Clear the Clutter
I hate when standing speakers are visible during the ceremony. Tall speakers and mics can ruin photographs. You can hear perfectly fine when they're on the ground.
7. Dress Up Your Tabletops
Five must-haves at every place setting: beautiful oversize napkins, layers of different-textured plates, interesting stemware and flatware (I love sterling silver or horn), eye-catching items like tiny bowls of cherries, and more candlelight than you can imagine.
8. Go for High Centerpieces
They're back, but in a much more ethereal, deconstructed way than the tight, ball-like ones of the past. Big, loose florals add a lot more dimension to tabletops.
9. Don't Rule Out Rounds
Long rectangular tables have more space to showcase complex flower arrangements, but there's something intimate about round tables. I'm a big believer in focusing on the guest experience, and being able to talk in a circle is really delightful.
10. Slow Down for Dinner
More and more brides want to get to the dancing, so they're cutting dinner short. It should be savored. It takes two hours to serve a first-class three-course meal.
11. Create Memorable Moments
At one wedding, we had a gospel choir come out and sing the final song of the ceremony; at another, a fiddler and a guitarist led everyone from ceremony to reception. These experiences are what really wow your guests.
12. Get Personal
One of the sweetest things I've seen was when a bride and groom wrote a note to each guest and placed it inside an envelope with his or her escort card. It was sensational.