Wedding Planning, Styling & Design: The Aspects and Elements of Design

When you begin your event design, it is essential that you start by brainstorming and exercising your creativity before focusing on the aspects and elements of design – this will allow you to expand your thinking and broaden your creative mind.

The aspects of design, include: space, perspective, balance, harmony, unity, movement, and variety. It is important that you keep Feng Shui in mind whilst designing and creating your event space, in order to coordinate the elements of Feng Shui with the aspects of design.

For example, you can create a focal point at your event through perspective, by arranging various props (i.e. floral décor, fabric backdrops, candles, lanterns etc.) in either a formal (symmetrical) or informal (asymmetrical) manner (whilst maintaining perfect balance), in order to draw the audience in. The various ‘props’ and décor used in the design should achieve a harmonious environment, by creating a relationship between these props, through rhythm, repetition and pattern. This not only combines all of the props together, whilst creating an organic flow through the event, but it also builds unity between the elements of décor, making the event feel well tied together and a sense of  being whole. Whilst it is important to keep harmony, balance and unity, you can also incorporate variety into the design of an event, creating a contrast and still maintaining a strong relationship between these elements.

Below is a photographic example of a wedding ceremony that utilizes the aspects of design – creating perspective, and a focal point through the use of a romantic floral and fabric altar, surrounded by a green forest backdrop, with the use of floral décor, and petals lining the aisle leading up to the altar. This ceremony has a formal balance, tied together with simple elements of fresh white, and bright décor, combined with the rustic and green environment, creating a unity through the design of the ceremony.

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The elements of design, include: point, direct attention, composition, and value. These elements of design are more detailed and focus on the various objects, colours, lighting, texture and the emotions and ambience that these may evoke. The elements are essentially the details of the aspects, and go hand in hand when designing an event. The point, or focal point, highlights a certain element (creating perspective), and this can be achieved by using various points that work together to create the focal point. The direct attention uses lines to create certain feelings, and to enforce specific messages. By using a vertical line in the design, this will make the area feel elegant and more dominant, whereas a horizontal line creates a more peaceful and calming effect. Diagonal lines can create tension, as well as concave curves – however, convex curves can also be calming. When designing the event, it is important to keep in mind how these lines can direct attention to the focal points, or areas of attention, whilst maintaining a flow through the event.

The composition pairs with the balance aspect of design, as it focuses on the symmetrical and asymmetrical forms, arranging elements in order to create a balance, whilst remembering what lines should be focused on to point to the focal area. There is also open, and closed composition, whereby open composition is ‘out of the box’ and flows past the boundaries of an event, and closed composition is more direct and solid (keeping in a certain form). Colours are also very important in the composition, especially when mixing various colours. Complementary colours on the colour wheel shouldn’t be paired together, as they can create a harsh visual contrast that is not aesthetically pleasing, whereas colours that do not greatly contrast with each other are far more harmonious and create a beautiful visual. Different hues of the same colour, or colours very close together on the colour wheel are far more pleasing and create a harmonious atmosphere.

Finally, the value focuses on the degree of light or darkness that an element or aspect of design gives off. Darker areas will create a far more gloomy feeling, with a sense of mystery and drama, however, lighter areas are much more happy and fun, creating a feeling of closeness, warmth and texture. Texture is an essential aspect of the overall design, because it can create certain feelings when guests touch and interact with the various textures. The draping effects of certain fabrics can also create a feeling of elegance, or calmness depending on what lightness of darkness they exude (i.e. velvets that are darker and rich in colour will create a sense of elegance, and a warm ambience, whereas a light chiffon fabric draped over the altar may create a feeling of happiness and calmness). It is necessary, as a designer, to interact with different fabrics when playing with the textures for an event, as they should go with entire flow and theme of the event.

Below are a few photographic examples of ceremony venues that play with lines and direct attention; a wedding that uses light and happy textures, and a wedding that uses darker and richer textures (whilst incorporating composition and colour).

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