Wedding Brands & Style Guides for Brides

A&J-1-pageStyleGuideI was thinking Southampton Garden Party meets Mad Hatters Tea Party (but more restrained and sophisticated) meets European simplicity meets our life story . . . with a little New Orleans charm and a touch of Aussie casual. AMANDA

When planning my daughter’s wedding, we began with the notable books and websites. We were immediately overwhelmed by a myriad of checklists, a multitude of photos, and a million costly decisions. How on earth could we ensure that all of these decisions were going to come together in the end? Verbal descriptions can be so subjective—just imagine relaying Amanda’s vision (above) to five different vendors and the different interpretations that could result! I quickly realized that it takes a village to make a wedding come together and we needed a VISION before we hired our first VENDOR.

I decided to do what I do best. Utilizing my 15 years of experience in branding and design for Fortune 500 companies, and 15 years as university professor of design, I created an exclusive brand for this wedding and a companion wedding style guide making it uniquely theirs. This SIGNATURE WEDDING STYLE GUIDE contained both visual and verbal examples of Amanda and Jono’s ideas on their vision, color palette, budget, etc. It became our roadmap driving all of our wedding decisions and ensured a consistent vision across all touchpoints—from the save the date to the send off.

I made copies and brought one to every vendor meeting. This ensured that everyone was on the same page as we put our plans in place. From the wedding planner to the florist, everyone raved about the style guide and commented that they wished every bride had one because it made their jobs so much easier. We updated the guide in real time and communicated changes as we went through the planning process. As it got closer to the wedding date, the style guide reflected our final decisions and we replaced our inspiration photos with the real deal. The result was a seamless and signature wedding of their dreams!

Want to Create Your Own Signature Wedding Style Guide? Download the How To & a Template HERE

Also, check out our article, Signature Wedding Style Guide: A Bride’s Best Friend, over at Huffington Post Weddings.

Treasure Hunt, Sydney


One neighborhood that I make a beeline for when I am in Sydney, is the area called Newtown. It is packed with cool cafes, restaurants, stores, and my favorite, Mag Nation. Yes, a magazine store is alive and well and it is chock full of the fabulous, hands-on, Jurassic technology that are magazines from all over the world. I go right for the art, design, and wedding magazines, but also choose random ones in other categories that catch my eye. The key to a signature wedding is looking for inspiration in unusual places. You fall into the proverbial cookie cutter trap when you follow the trends too closely and are looking at all of the same things as everyone else.


At the moment, I am totally enjoying one called New Philosopher and especially an article entitled Just Who Do You Think You Are . . . The Splendid Mess of Personal Identity. How perfect for a blogger who writes about branding! This quote got me thinking, ”Where once we could have spoken of the ‘self’ without further qualification, today there are, by philosopher Galen Stawson’s count, more than thirty distinct senses of ‘the self’ in play in the literature—and that list is growing rather than shrinking. It’s all a bit of a mess. Quite a splendid mess, sure, but a mess nonetheless.”

So, which self are you? We’d love to know more about our readers. In fact, we are preparing to launch our new site in the next month and will conduct our first reader’s survey—there will be prizes! In the meantime, share your story with us. Drop us a line and tell us which ‘self’ you are—things like: Age, Occupation, Relationship Status, Location, Media Diet (What you follow, read, watch, etc.), Income Range, Hobbies, Topics You Would Like Us to Write About, Tools/Things You Think Are Missing From the Wedding Market.

Here are some other fabulous magazines I picked up and am reveling in. What a splendid mess!

White Magazine
This one is a lovely and very atypical wedding magazine—an example of the very signature style I was talking about above. Check out the cool tents at Katalane and the gorgeous lace dresses at Kitsch Bitsch.


Extra Curricular . . . for Creative Folk
What a precious little craft magazine from New Zealand—they are done in limited edition print runs of 1,000.


Spring Forward in Oz and Fall Back at Home

Banksia, 1927 by Margaret Preston

Banksia, 1927 by Margaret Preston

I spent the day on Saturday with my extended Australian family, Maria (Amanda’s mother-in-law) and Linda (Amanda’s sister-in-law’s mother-in-law). I think I will call us the Outlaws. Anyway, we met at the Gallery of New South Wales for lunch. They have a beautiful restaurant with glass walls that overlooks the Botanical Gardens and the harbor. It is one of my favorite spots for lunch in Sydney as the food, wine, and views are spectacular. After lunch, we made our way down to the incredible, Sydney Moderns exhibition. We ended up spending the entire day there and only realized it upon exiting the gallery. Now that is a great exhibit! One of my many favorites in the exhibition were the still life paintings by Margaret Preston called Banksia, 1927 from the National Gallery of Art and The Brown Pot, 1940. The flowers depicted were like nothing I had ever seen!


Another find in the exhibit was the De Mestre Colour Harmonising Disc. Roy de Maistre was an Australian artist and musician recognized not only for his use of pure abstractionism, but for his early experiments with color theory and its relationship to music harmony. The tool has two disks, major and minor, that aid a designer in choosing pleasing color schemes. I had to have one and luckily, the museum had reproduced them for sale in the gift shop.

Color-Harmony1The following evening, I had dinner with my daughter, Amanda, and her friend Nicole at a lovely restaurant called Chiswick in the area called Woollahra. Again, the food, the atmosphere, and the company were fabulous. It is my birthday this week and both Amanda and Nicole surprised me with the most gorgeous bouquets of native Australian flowers. How serendipitous that these bouquets included Banksia. They were a riot of color! Though it is spring here in Australia, all I could think of is what a gorgeous color scheme these would make for an autumn wedding back home. Amanda took her entire wedding palette from a bouquet of fresh flowers. Nothing beats Mother Nature when it comes to color. The next day, I pulled out my new harmonizing disc and went to work using the colors in my bouquets and the flower paintings to create some autumn color palettes. Which one do you like best?

The Brown Pot, 1940 by Margaret Preston

The Brown Pot, 1940 by Margaret Preston


Speaking of Autumn, here is another lovely infographic from our friends at Simply Bridal.