How To Decorate For A Wedding: Top Tips From Designer Ron Wendt

Where does inspiration begin for a party's design begin?


One of the biggest and most rewarding challenges is creating the "look" for an event. Circumstances differ from charity fundraisers to weddings/bridal showers, etc. but the design process is the same. It's all about how to create and bring a vision for an evening to life. Let me take you though our process on how we recently designed a fundraiser for the School of the American Ballet.

One rainy Sunday afternoon watching films on TV I became engrossed in an old favorite classic film " My Fair Lady ". Mid way through the film there is an amazing highly stylized scene at the Ascot horse race. The set was design by the famous fashion photographer, Cecil Beaton. The actors costumes were all black, white and grey, in an equally black and white environment. Though Edwardian in style, it was remarkably modern and so graphically powerful. The next day at work I noticed two magazine covers where the model and celebrity were wearing black and white striped dresses - Hmmmm...Is this a sign?? It seemed like the perfect starting point and the ideal backdrop concept.

Considering the venue and its lighting, we knew we needed more than just black and white to carry the evening. We needed a vibrant punch color to electrify the room - Hot Pink would serve us well. As a floral designer I knew that pink flowers alone as beautiful as they are would not be enough to respond to our venue's soaring ceilings. We allowed ourselves to think big and go beyond the scale of normal flowers and created a prototype of giant Italian crepe paper" poppy roses" on four foot long stems which we knew would animate the room with its dynamic backdrop of our black and white striped dance floor and over scaled patterned mobiles overhead. The adage "Go bold or go home" was never more true.

The night of the gala, the looks of wonderment on the guest's faces as they encountered something completely unexpected in a room they had all been in a thousand times was so rewarding. It was as if they were walking through a field of giant flowers. The 14" wide paper flowers caught the light streaming down beautifully and illuminated each as if they were lit from inside. That is what we strive for, that one moment when, the partygoer is lifted from their daily routine to stop and notice.

When thinking about your own celebration, keep your eyes and mind open to the things that capture your heart and imagination. You never know where you will find it and where it will lead.  Visit museums, look at magazines or even watch a favorite film on a rainy Sunday!