Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Event Styling Tips and Tricks (Part 1)

I get asked quite often where I rent and purchase my decor props & rental pieces from fellow vendors out there, so today, I wanted to cover some basic event styling tips with you. Hope this post will also push brides to think outside the box and think about creatively using their venue space.

One of the main jobs I take seriously is styling different stations such as the escort card display table, dessert bar, sign-in table, drinks station and etc. Uniquely setting these displays can definitely set the mood and excite the guests as they anticipate the wedding they're about to experience.  If done right, it cohesively pulls the look together to match the overall ambiance and details you're trying to achieve.
I honestly think rentals including tables, chairs, lounge furniture, decor furnishings and dance floor can play a huge role and can contribute even more than flowers and lighting.  But I would only suggest rental pieces that would be worth renting after carefully evaluating your overall budget.

Before you add any rental items to the invoice...
Scout out the venue carefully and see if you can find any unique decor pieces/furniture you can incorporate.  I know some venues are pretty strict with moving their furnishings but if you kindly ask the staff, you never know the kind of feedback you'll receive. hey, it doesn't hurt to at least ask!
Here are some examples to show you what I've done in the past that worked.. Of course, for free but with our labor of love! 
We turned La Venta Inn's custom made coffee hut into a dessert bar station. I knew this coffee hut had more potential than to display coffee cups!  I believe this was the first time they had seen their coffee hut turned into a dessert bar and the staff loved the way we set up everything. 
Photo Credit: Perpixel Photography
Polaroid Photobooth station at La Venta Inn
Since the bride wanted a relaxed, cozy atmosphere, I kindly asked if we can move one of the sofas and coffee table in the bridal room to the courtyard.  The guests loved the idea of taking pictures behind the beautiful water fountain as their backdrop.
Ceremony set up at the Viceroy
The venue itself had a modern, sophisticated decor so I really wanted to let the venue shine.  The flowers were kept to a minimum and we used three of their white high boys to put flowers on top.  We also took their outside lounge sofas inside the ballroom for guests to feel right at home.
Photo Credit: Hazelnut Photography

Candy Station at the Craven's Estate
Going along with this couple's book theme wedding (they met while studying together) the groom had purchased an old library catalog from his school. It catalog fit in perfectly in the Craven Estate's built in bookshelf and we filled the drawers with different colored jelly beans & candy.  Guests were also encouraged to write well wishes on "library cards" and place them in the drawers. Adding some flowers was a perfect touch, no? :)
Photo Credit: Heather Kincaid
Cake Table at the Heritage Museum
You would not believe where I found this white dresser from! Inside the women's restroom! Ha! I honestly didn't think they would allow our staff to move it but they said 'yes'! 

Cake Display at the DryBar
Again, we kindly asked if we can use their yellow side tables together
Escort Card display at the London, West Hollywood
As soon as I saw the gold trim mirror at the lobby, I knew this would be a perfect spot for the escort card table. Sparkles, floating candles and feather centerpiece? Yes, please!
OK. What if the venue isn't flexible or doesn't provide anything except the space? This is when you want to start looking into adding rental pieces that would make a statement...

Part 2 is coming up! Stay tuned! I'll be covering draping, lighting, linens and other rentals.



Thanks Esther!
Love that you're doing these posts! It's definitely an eye opener!! I hope you and your belly...baby...future baby? are doing well haha :)


Esther said...

You're so sweet, Sarah!! It seems like you've been editing a lot of your blog posts.. again, really appreciate your support on crediting the sources.
Part 2 is gonna be better, I promise! :)


I tried my best with crediting the sources. Can't wait to post some of your beautiful work :) (I hope you don't mind)

Looking forward to part 2!

Thanks again <3

Heavenly Blooms said...

Love this Esther!! I wish more people thought like you. Dying to work on a wedding or shoot with you my dear. Hope all is well... Jaclyne xo

carol said...

this is such a helpful post!!!! thanks esther!