Behind the Scenes: Our Design Process

Couples and vendors alike always ask me what my process is for designing a wedding, probably because my designs are not the norm.  I tend to get a lot of, “I’ve never seen that before” comments, especially from vendors and that’s the way I like it!  It’s nice to know that my designs are new and different because it means the wedding is truly unique to the couple, which is why I do what I do.  But, to answer the question about my design process is always a little difficult to explain because while the base design process is the same, it varies a bit by each couple.  So, what I thought I’d do is share a couple’s design story to give you a little behind the scenes look at how I design from the concept to the execution.

So, where I always start is with the couple.  My design process is all about the couple as they are the source of my inspiration and they really fuel the design.  I start out with having a long chat with the couple to learn about their stories, discover what they love and what they hate and find out about the cute things they do together and think about each other.

This particular couple (they are private, so I’m going to leave their names out of the story) were really sporty.  They played sports, everything from surfing to basketball, they watched sports and just both had a passionate love for it.  They had a lot of friends and family that were close to them, so this was going to be a big wedding, but also one that was very inclusive in terms of family traditions.  They also had a very clear sense of style that was more on the modern side, but with a little bit of softness.  They also had very strong feelings about color and didn’t want anything very girly but they liked the colors found in a flame-colored calla lily.  In that same vein, they didn’t care much for flowers, so I knew the design was going to need some impact elsewhere.  As you can imagine from the descriptions above, they were not prissy, white glove people, but street smart with a little bit of grit.  So, I made note that I wanted the design to reflect that as well. Now while there was much more I learned that what you just read, these were the bigger points.  From the design conversation, I put together a storyboard which you’ll see below.

As you can imagine from the descriptions above, they were not prissy, white glove people, but street smart with a little bit of grit.  So, I made note that I wanted the design to reflect that as well. Now while there was much more I learned that what you just read, these were the bigger points.  From the design conversation, I put together a storyboard which you’ll see below.

Wedding design storyboard by Jamie Chang, Event Designer of Mango Muse Events.

This storyboard became the foundation of our design and planning.  Now I specifically don’t call this a color board or mood board or inspiration board, but a storyboard because it tells a story.  It tells the story of who they are and what we want represented in the wedding itself.  What you see on here is not just the aesthetic side, but the feeling of the event and the special touches that we want to include in the wedding itself.  So, this is the beginning of the design.  It gives myself and the couple a framework of which to work within.  It’s something to reference as decisions are deliberated and made, but it’s also not set in stone.  Since this is created in the beginning of the design process, the design does evolve as new information comes to light or logistical issues come into play. For example, this couple was getting married in a ballroom and unfortunately not a very pretty one.  So, they wanted to transform it and make it look more modern.  We also had to consider the fact that there were a large number of guests attending (approximately 350), so the design also had to take that into account.  If florals weren’t going to be a big source of the design, we needed to bring in something else that would have a big impact.  After learning that they liked the colors in a flame calla lily, I realized that ombre was the route we need to go.  But, not just a soft ombre on a cake, but ombre to the room itself. Now you are probably saying to yourself, what are you talking about?  Ombre to the room?  Because of the sheer mass of tables, what we created was an ombre effect with the linen.  So the tables themselves created an ombre look from a cream to light yellow to yellow to orange to red.

What you see on here is not just the aesthetic side, but the feeling of the event and the special touches that we want to include in the wedding itself.  So, this is the beginning of the design.  It gives myself and the couple a framework of which to work within.  It’s something to reference as decisions are deliberated and made, but it’s also not set in stone.  Since this is created in the beginning of the design process, the design does evolve as new information comes to light or logistical issues come into play. his couple was getting married in a ballroom and unfortunately not a very pretty one.  So, they wanted to transform it and make it look more modern.  We also had to consider the fact that there were a large number of guests attending (approximately 350), so the design also had to take that into account.  If florals weren’t going to be a big source of the design, we needed to bring in something else that would have a big impact.  After learning that they liked the colors in a flame calla lily, I realized that ombre was the route we need to go.  But, not just a soft ombre on a cake, but ombre to the room itself.  Now you are probably saying to yourself, what are you talking about?  Ombre to the room?  Because of the sheer mass of tables, what we created was an ombre effect with the linen.  So the tables themselves created an ombre look from a cream to light yellow to yellow to orange to red.

This couple was getting married in a ballroom and unfortunately not a very pretty one.  So, they wanted to transform it and make it look more modern.  We also had to consider the fact that there were a large number of guests attending (approximately 350), so the design also had to take that into account.  If florals weren’t going to be a big source of the design, we needed to bring in something else that would have a big impact.  After learning that they liked the colors in a flame calla lily, I realized that ombre was the route we need to go.  But, not just a soft ombre on a cake, but ombre to the room itself.  Now you are probably saying to yourself, what are you talking about?  Ombre to the room?  Because of the sheer mass of tables, what we created was an ombre effect with the linen.  So the tables themselves created an ombre look from a cream to light yellow to yellow to orange to red.

Setting up wedding reception, event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

Ombre wedding table design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

(Photo credit: Nick Pugay)

These photos, unfortunately, are not ideal (no offense to Nick, the photographer) because of the people in them, but you should hopefully get the idea.  We had a really short 2 hour setup time to transform this room, so from a logistics standpoint, it was hard for Nick to get clean photos.  But, that is the planning side of the wedding, back to the design side.

Normally this type of design wouldn’t work because it would be disjointed, but because we had so many tables, it actually helped to break up the room and the monotonous look most weddings have. The color also made a big visual impact while not being girly.  You’ll see that we piped and draped the entire room in a gray drape to accent the colors and used black chairs to give it a little bit grit and give a little nod to the dark end of that flame ombre spectrum.

The runners were a DIY project sewn by the bride and her family and brought a modern graphic element to the table to also help break up the massive amounts of color we had going on. As an example of a design evolving, the original graphic shape you see in the storyboard was meant to be more triangular/diamond shaped, but as time went on we found that they shapes that were a little bit rounded, so we went that route instead with both the runner and cake (which you’ll see further down).

Red and grey wedding table design, by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

Wedding table, floral centerpiece. Event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

Yellow orchid wedding centerpiece, event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

Sports and movie theme wedding table numbers. Event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

(Photo credit: Nick Pugay)

You’ll see in the above photos a bit more detail with the table design.  The favors were chopsticks (a favorite of the couple’s) in a variety of gray printed covers for guests to use in their home and the tables were named after sports movies.  The flowers were a combo of the flame calla lilies, mango calla lilies, orange and yellow cymbidium orchids with river rocks.  The arrangements were a bit different on every table and while the actual florals were minimal, the design was still impactful, artistic and modern.   This same feeling was also translated to the cake (see below) with the geometric feeling, ombre colors and a custom cake topper with the couple and a basketball.  We also hung photos of the couple’s parents and grandparents around the cake to honor the families and those who have passed.

This same feeling was also translated to the cake (see below) with the geometric feeling, ombre colors and a custom cake topper with the couple and a basketball.  We also hung photos of the couple’s parents and grandparents around the cake to honor the families and those who have passed.

Red and yellow geometric wedding cake. Event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

Basketball wedding cake topper. Event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

(Photo credit: Nick Pugay)

A Chinese tea ceremony and Chinese lion dance both took place at the wedding to honor her heritage and 1000 paper cranes were folded and Japanese banzai toasts were given to honor his heritage.  There were lots of involvement from various friends and family who helped with the decor, gave toasts and even some surprises during the reception.

Thousand paper cranes chinese wedding. Event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

Woman pouring tea for the Chinese tea ceremony wedding tradition.

Chinese lion dance at wedding reception. Event design by Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.

(Photo credit: Nick Pugay)

Now you’ve gotten to peek behind the curtain a bit into my design process from conception to execution.  I hope you enjoyed it!  Let us know what you think in a comment below and as always if you’re looking for some help to create your unique wedding, contact us here, we’d love to get to know you!

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