the USE rule: three words wedding designers (secretly) hate to hear

U: Unique

S: Simple

E: Elegant

What do these words mean to you? In over 350 design meetings with brides, when asked to describe their dream event in three words –  these are the words we hear 95% of the time.

Around our shop, we secretly call it the USE rule – in the fact that you shouldn’t USE these words to describe your wedding. A bit harsh, I know. The thing to consider when you utter these words: what do they mean to you? We don’t mind hearing them if you know what they mean.

One bride’s idea of USE was orange & eggplant decor with orange candy slice centerpieces- another was a total country wedding complete with barn doors and horseshoes – another was a modern lounge with color changing LED lighting and paper lanterns. When asked to describe their wedding, each used the words unique, simple and elegant- each with radically different interpretations. But each bride had a specific vision for those words. USE means different things to different people.

(For example, in my experience, I am fairly certain many brides reading this wrinkled their nose or shook their head  reading at least one of these ideas.)

As important as your definition of USE – is your design teams ability to interpret the definition you have. Here in the Midwest, parties are pretty laid back. We don’t wrinkle our noses at themes or abstract party ideas

bridesmaid 1: gawd, a mardi gras theme. bridesmaid 2: didn't she get enough beads there last year? wink wink giggle giggle

– in fact we love them. It is not our job to define USE for you, only to help guide your decisions to overall good design. If you want to use bubble gum and poodles, we will do our best to bring that to life in a way that speaks to you but also doesn’t irritate overwhelm your guests.

Design is absolutely subjective – as so brilliantly portrayed in the TLC show Four Weddings. That show proves week after week – each of those brides is completely happy with the end result of their own wedding.  What does the USE rule mean to you?

A few tips to help communicate your vision to your planner or event designer:

  • what words will guests use to describe your wedding? be ready with your definitions- exactly what they mean to you. If you want a “club feeling” be able to put that into words: your definition – not your moms, or your sisters, or the knot’s, but your definition.
  • if you are fusing different ideas or themes, think about giving your event a tagline: old hollywood meets the black hills; modern museum in the woods. Taglines are often very powerful in evoking an image.
  • don’t reinvent the wheel for everything. some words immediately form an impression in your brain – luau, hoe down, mardi gras, decade’s themed event. if you send out invitations for a hoedown, don’t serve shrimp scampi in a hip hop bar. personalize traditional elements with unusual color schemes or interesting use of props
  • know your colors – if you say fuchsia, have a specific image of what that means to you. Know what hues and shades will work. it is often impractical to expect perfect color matches from one event industry to another, but as long as the colors are tonally similar, it is workable. paint chips from the hardware store are a great tool to carry on your person during the planning process.

About designdakotastyle

ideas about event design and function from one little party design firm on the prairie... a glimpse into design with dakota style.
This entry was posted in dakota weddings, wedding tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.