As much as I would love to say that there is no such thing as too much styling, the reality is, there is such thing as too much styling! As the good old saying goes, less is more.
Styling is a balancing act if you think of it like cooking for instance. Too much salt or sugar or chilli can throw off the entire balance of the dish, and take it from being a tasty flavour sensation to an unpleasant over-powering disaster.
The same can be said for styling. Too many florals, or elements within the design, can take a concept from stunning to stunned, very quickly.
It’s important to allow each of the elements within your styling design to stand out on their own and be seen for exactly what they are in all their glory. At the end of the day, you’re going to be spending a lot of money on each of these elements, so you want to make sure they are seen. You don’t want to spend thousands on flowers only for your guests to ask you the next day why you decided not to go with flowers.
It’s hard to know though what this balance is. Until you see it on the day, it’s easy to be confused (and by then, it’s way too late if you’ve overcooked the spaghetti). Honestly, as a stylist who does this for a living, it can often even be hard for me to determine how much is too much because it is so dependent on the venue that you are working with, your guest numbers and also your styling vision.
Let’s break down what to look out for when it comes to each of the elements I just listed above to make sure that you don’t ‘overcook your spaghetti’.
This one is obviously a bit of a no-brainer, if you have a really small venue vs a really big one is going to determine how much styling you can fit into the space.
Have a look at the ceiling and what is above the venue. If the venue has really high ceilings, there is going to be a lot more room for you to do hanging installations, and create volume within your designs before it starts becoming overbearing.
If the room has really low ceilings, then you are going to want to keep your designs quite low, compact and minimal, as to not fill the minimal ceiling space even more and make the space feel even smaller.
It’s important to also look around the venue. Some venues have their own unique style and charm and already come fairly styled up.
Consider if this is enough on its own, or if you really need to add to this, if the venue already has a lot of elements itself, be careful not to add too much more to the design.
The pre-existing style of the venue might also determine how much more can be added in order to stick with the theme. In venues that are more modern and clinical in nature, featuring lots of exposed concrete and brick, I wouldn’t add much styling as it starts to clash with the minimalistic vision of the entire venue. You probably booked it for this exact reason, so be sure not to take away from its natural charm by adding too much in. Take a look at Jamie + Caroline’s Wedding with a really modern venue, we went simple with styling.
Sort of sticking on the same line as the venue comes in your guest numbers and the maximum capacity of the venue. If you end up in a space that can fit 100 and you only have 50 guests, consider this my permission to go bold and big with your styling. You will need to fill out the space so it doesn’t feel empty and barren without the extra numbers.
Likewise though on the other hand, if you’re at the maximum number of guests, bringing in more over-the-top styling is going to make the room feel small and cramp for your guests. If you’re standing at the bar looking back over at a room full of bustling guests squeezing their way between guests and styling elements, it’s not a great look and will make your guests feel uncomfortable throughout the night.
Your styling vision
This one I started to touch on when talking about the venue.
Realistically, whatever venue you picked is going to be in line with the overall style that you’re going for.
If your style is simple and minimalistic, do it proud by keeping your styling choices minimalistic and in keeping with your theme.
Trust yourself on this one as well! I find it helps to do mock-ups of my designs so I can see exactly what it is going to look like.
Then when it gets to the day, make sure the person setting it up is brutal with their decision-making abilities.
Just because it got ordered or bought, doesn’t mean it needs to be used. It’s best for some items to sit in the back of the venue not on display if it means your design is better for it