PERSPECTIVES: BRANDING… A WEDDING
Emma Ireland-Wakefield, Account Director at Brandhouse
6 weeks ago, I had a truly magical wedding day, which of course required a huge amount of hard work, planning and organisation. Whilst my now husband and I were in the depths of ‘wedmin’, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between planning a wedding and creating a brand. My favourite weddings are when the day truly reflects the couple’s personalities, and includes lots of purposeful and personal details. Brilliant brands, along with their great design should encompass a personality, values and feelings to create the same impression. So here are some of the main observations and wedding / brand planning advice I picked up over the past year…
Like with creating any brand, the groundwork and planning needs to be set before you power on full steam ahead. It’s important to gauge an idea of what you would like the overall look & feel of the wedding/brand to be before you get started. This starting point could link to planning or strategy phase when developing a new brand. Agreeing on key words or ideas of what you want your wedding to be e.g. rustic or black-tie glamour etc. is really important. Getting the thinking right up front and having ideas agreed with your fiancée/ stakeholders will save you all sorts of issues moving forwards! Once those words are decided then you can start building your visual ‘Brand World’ through good old-fashioned magazine cut outs or by a Pinterest board. This really helps inspire the colors, patterns, and textures for your day or brand. Try and be consistent by only choosing images that really link with your chosen key words, really connect with you and also work well with your ideal venue. These images will eventually inspire the mood and tones of everything so don’t rush this stage and choose wisely. The inspiration board will then help narrow down the aesthetics, and inspire the overall look & feel of your wedding.
From the final inspiration board, you can then narrow down on 3-5 colours that will work throughout your wedding from bridesmaid dresses to flowers. The chosen colours should work cohesively with your overall look & feel for the day. So, for example, choosing bold harsh colours like red or black instead of softer pastels for a rustic, romantic wedding wouldn’t be best match. Once decided on the wedding/brand colours and look and feel, that’s when the creative fun starts – bringing it all to life!
As with creating any new brand, choosing the right fonts is so important and they really give an overall feel of your day. So picking a few appropriate typefaces, using them consistently across all your printed materials and not changing your mind halfway through is crucial. Your guests will first experience your wedding brand through either save the dates, formal invitations or even a branded website so this will give them the first taste of the big day. These days, some weddings even have bespoke logos and hashtags, which is another great way of tying everything together.
Your developed wedding brand should then help you execute and bring to life all other aspects of your day e.g. photographer style, caterer, music, wedding favours, and the like. There is so much to think about from flowers to the cake, but a really strong brand idea will help make the right decisions quickly and should tell you instinctively what the right fit will be. Sound is another branding element that shouldn’t be overlooked. It seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget that music should complement the environment you’re trying to create. Throughout everything, try and let your brand or couple’s personality shine through. My husband and I met in Whistler during a ski season and are avid skiers. We knew we wanted to include this shared love through our wedding day so we had lots of nods to Whistler throughout.
Overall be wary of being too trendy and focused on the latest must haves. Ideally you want to create a day and brand that is timeless. You don’t want to look back in 30 years time and think what on earth were we thinking. Crucially, with every great brand, consistency and a strong, distinctive look & feel pulls everything together. Try and make key decisions and stick to them, have one strong and overarching idea/ concept and don’t veer off track which is easier than it sounds. Everything will become messy and disjointed when you have too many ideas and try and muddle them all together.
Finally, don’t be scared to invent your own rules, make it feel truly your own and not generic. Unique personal touches make a wedding day ownable and create a really standout brand. Those touches and the care and attention you put in will set your wedding or brand apart from all the others…. and hopefully express all aspects in an emotive, distinctive, memorable and authentic way.
Happy wedmin-ing/ brand development!