In the ever-evolving world of event planning, there's a delicate balance to strike between following the latest trends and creating timeless experiences. Should you keep things fresh or stick to classical elements?
“Event professionals, by nature, tend to go against the grain, so the idea of staying relevant can be a hard concept to incorporate into the creative process,” says Carin Hunt. “It's when we marry our own design styles with the latest hot craze that we innovate and elevate the event industry.”
Whether you're a seasoned event planner or someone embarking on their first design journey, we sat down with a handful of experts to gather their best advice on balancing innovation with timelessness. Here's what they had to say.
Know when trendy is A-OK
Just because something is labeled “trendy” doesn’t mean you should automatically avoid it. It’s more than okay to incorporate something mainstream, especially if your clients prefer it.
“There are some events that are meant to ride a trend,” notes Vijay Goel of Bite Catering Couture. “The explosion in events playing off the color pink surrounding the Barbie premiere is probably not something that will stand the test of time without context, and that is okay.”
Though specific trends might feel overdone, they can also be a lot of fun. So don’t worry too much about whether you hop on the bandwagon or not!
Stay aligned with the client
Remember: Your clients should be at the heart of your planned events. If they want something trendy, keep their vision in mind.
“Make sure that the trend(s) being incorporated fit with the clients' personalities and personal styles,” stresses Sara Bauleke of Bella Notte. “It's completely reasonable to push your clients beyond their comfort zone, but at the same time, you still want the event design to feel representative of the client.”
Katy Padilla of Scarlet Rose Events agrees, sharing, “It is easy to jump on trends, either local or worldwide, but understanding a couple’s overall picture of their wedding day is my number one tip for staying balanced and timeless.”
Weddings, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations—regardless of the event, your client's preferences should always come first.
Balance is everything
There are plenty of ways to weave together trends and timeless elements. Walk through each aspect of your event and consider which could use a twist and which are better left untouched.
“Allow for smaller elements such as welcome drinks and place cards to display today’s trends and larger elements like linens and florals to remain classic,” Padilla suggests.
House of Joy’s Samantha Leenheer also recommends “finding three to four moments to blend the on-trend chair, stationery element, or food concept into your event design for guests to experience and discover.”
Sit down with your client to determine which elements are most important to them. Then, discuss how to incorporate a fresh touch or stick to the classics.
Get comfortable with experimenting
At the end of the day, event design should be fun! So don’t get too caught up in what you think you should do versus what you genuinely want to do.
“Think outside of the box, try new mediums, and take risks to help you find your design direction,” Leenheer urges. “Remember to enjoy your journey and that your audience and style shouldn't be the same as another. Once you refine your design voice, you will define your way of staying relevant with your clients and audience.”
Goel emphasizes this point, adding that “the challenge of doing something new, especially when it stretches our boundaries, often generates even more ideas that can serve as future inspiration.”
Whether you're planning an intimate gathering, a corporate affair, or a grand celebration, keep these lessons close. Embrace the trends that resonate with your vision, but always anchor them in the enduring principles of design. Craft experiences that reflect your unique style, infuse a touch of timelessness, and you'll ensure your events remain relevant for years to come!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.