13 Wedding Design “Rules” You Should Absolutely Ignore

Weddings are a beautiful celebration of love, commitment, and the start of a new journey together. However, planning your special day can often feel like navigating a minefield of dos and don’ts, especially when it comes to design and decor. Traditional rules have long dictated the look and feel of weddings, but who says you need to stick to them? In an era where personalization is key, breaking free from these conventions can help create a celebration that truly reflects YOU. Here are 13 wedding design “rules” that are begging to be ignored, along with some inspiration to make your day distinctively yours.

1. All Tables Should Match

An eclectic mix of table designs can elevate your event from “fine” to “designed.” Cohesion is achieved through the overall vibe, not uniformity. By introducing two or three tablescapes, or at least experimenting with different linens, you create a dynamic space that’s visually engaging and brimming with personality.

2. Timeless Wedding Design Means White and Green

While white and green palettes offer classic elegance, the essence of timelessness lies in personal significance and emotional resonance. Dare to infuse your wedding design with colors that speak to you, whether that’s bold hues, soft pastels, or a thematic spectrum that speaks to your personality. Becuase you, my dear, are timeless.

3. Rules Are Made to Be Followed

The realm of design thrives beyond the boundaries of conventional wisdom. Your event is a canvas awaiting your personal touch. Whether it’s blending styles, playing with color, or reimagining spaces in innovative ways, the key is to reflect your individual taste and vision.

4. Stick to a Strict Color Palette

A palette should inspire, not restrict. Introducing unexpected pops of color or mixing multiple palettes can add depth and vibrancy. Let your color scheme evolve naturally, incorporating shades that resonate with your story and setting.

5. Only Use Flowers for Centerpieces

Flowers are beautiful, but they’re not the only option for impactful centerpieces. Consider alternatives like candles, lanterns, or even fruits and vegetables for a unique twist. Mixing mediums and textures adds an element of surprise and personalization, and may be more cost-effective than you think!

6. Keep Decor Minimal for Modern Elegance

Layering textures, playing with scale, and incorporating meaningful details can achieve a sophisticated yet inviting atmosphere. Modern elegance is about thoughtful design that balances simplicity with moments of abundance; it is not about sparsity.

7. Match Every Element Perfectly

An overly coordinated wedding can feel staged rather than heartfelt. Embrace a blend of elements, where not everything has to match perfectly, but rather complement each other for an authentic and character-filled setting. Recurring themes or symbols are fine, but don’t overdo it! We like to stick to a maximum of three repeats for each design element throughout the day. For example, if you have a custom crest, place it on your cocktail napkins, ceremony programs, and favor stickers!

8. Avoid Bold Patterns or Prints

Bold patterns and prints can inject personality and dynamism into your wedding design. Use these elements strategically to create focal points or add playful touches, tying your theme together in unexpected and memorable ways. Having a designer on your wedding team is hugely helpful in knowing where and how to effectively use bold in your design for meaningful impact.

9. Lighting Is Just Functional, Not Decorative

Creative lighting can set the mood, highlight your decor, and make every moment picture-perfect. From fairy lights and chandeliers to custom neon signs and colored uplighting, the possibilities are endless. Important tip: if you hire a natural light photographer, don’t drench your reception in uplights and moving dance floor vibes until later in the evening, so they can capture your reception as you’ve seen on their portfolio.

10. Formal Weddings Require Traditional Invites

Your invitation sets the tone for your wedding, but “formal” doesn’t have to mean “old-fashioned.” Modern couples are redefining what formal invitations look like, incorporating bold designs, unconventional materials, and personal touches that speak to their unique style. Let your invites be a teaser of the unforgettable experience you’re crafting for your guests.

11. Chairs Should Always Match Tables

The rule of matching chairs to tables is outdated. Mixing chair styles can add depth and interest to your overall design, creating a curated, eclectic look. Whether you’re blending modern with rustic or vintage with contemporary, the contrast can enhance the visual appeal of your setting, making each detail stand out. Fun fact: if we have the budget to upgrade them, we ALWAYS recommend upgrading your chairs above Chiavari. Been there, done that.

12. DIY Elements Look Unprofessional

DIY doesn’t mean amateur. Handcrafted elements bring a personal, heartfelt touch that can’t be replicated by store-bought decor. Whether it’s handmade invitations, favors, or table settings, these details add layers of meaning and authenticity to your celebration. Embrace your crafty side and let those personal touches shine, making your wedding uniquely yours. The trick is to make sure you have not bitten off more than you can chew, and not to leave these projects until the last-minute!

13. Stick to Seasonal Themes and Colors

While seasonal themes offer a natural palette and motif, they’re not a mandate. Your wedding should reflect your personal style and love story, regardless of the time of year. Draw inspiration from your favorite travel destination, a beloved era, or even a cherished movie. By transcending seasonal expectations, you naturally create an event that’s all about you.


In the end, your wedding is a celebration of your love and partnership, not a performance for others. By embracing these suggestions and ignoring outdated “rules,” you pave the way for a day that’s not only beautiful on the outside but deeply meaningful and unforgettable. In our opinion, the most successful wedding designs are the ones that tell the couple’s story.

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