Truly memorable occasions have substance to them. They evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity that stays with guests long after the celebration is over. We have designed and produced weddings and social events all over the world and have witnessed the importance of cultural infusion.
Our approach towards design is driven by a love for travel and a unique ability to mix local authenticity with international style. Art, craft, fashion, theater, cinema, cuisine--these elements play a massive role in the composition of any great event.
The key is to give yourself enough time and creative energy to investigating the cultural and historical significance of the place that our clients are inspired by. Regardless of where the celebration might be hosted, your clients will be delighted if you can masterfully integrate cultural undertones into their event. Understanding the influences and history of a place will help you then craft an environment that transports guests.
Perhaps you are working with a corporate client who envisions a Swiss mountain-themed soiree to highlight where the inspiration came from for their newest brand launch.
Consider the larger, more impression-making elements that feel authentic to that area, and then really accentuate those elements. For instance, design a lounge vignette with rich wood, fur throws and fire pits to mirror a ski chalet. Adorn the walls with antique apres-ski lodge signs, and serve warming cocktails. Incorporate the sounds of Austrian Ländler music.
Or, if you are working with a couple who wants to incorporate the bride’s heritage, look towards personalizing the most noticeable elements. An Indian heritage, for example, sparks lots of creativity and invokes the use of colors, textiles, henna stalls, flower garlands, bangles as gifting for guests, and traditional sitar musicians. Similarly, a celebration that highlights a Chinese heritage could integrate fabric lanterns, red letters, calligraphy corners, blue ceramic vases, and beautifully decorated chopsticks and serviceware on the wedding table.
Clients can also be drawn towards a theme that excites all the senses, rather than being driven by one theme in particular. Integrate more experiential elements such as live culinary demonstrations showing pasta being hand-rolled in front of guests’ eyes. Or a performance by an authentic Berber dance group for a Moroccan-themed celebration that gets everyone out of their chairs. Or, select a venue that gives guests a dynamic on-site experience, such as touring a biodynamic winery before enjoying a feast and dancing.
We often source traditional linens and indigenous flowers from the native region we are trying to convey, even if we have to import them. Suggestions: artisanally crafted plates imported from Europe, blown-glass goblets, and embroidered napkins. Mixing cultural patterns and prints for the tabletop will make a massive impression on guests.
Curating a visual mood board that reflects layers of our clients’ personality and style is the final complement to any great design plan. We combine our research on local music, fashion, art, cuisine and traditions with that of our clients’ vision for one event that feels thoughtful and unique. These mood boards can help from a design and planning perspective for your vendors but also for your clients’ guests. Providing a mood board along with the invitation will give guests a direction for what to wear, but also to instill a sense of anticipation for what’s to come.
Clara Isabella Boatto and Eva Zoe Trevisan of Design Anarchy by Chic Weddings have become sought after for their design savvy, eclectic celebrations over the last 12-plus years. Based in London, Amsterdam and Venice, they are industry tastemakers, leading a team of energetic, passionate experts in event production and creative experiences. They have produced unique weddings and special events around the world--from Italy to southern France, Ibiza, Morocco, Bali and worldwide.