Learn to flirt with mood, patterns, colors & textures
The revel is in the details. From your color palette to your petals to your plating, each design element matters — individually and collectively. So Utah Valley Bride asked Michelle Cousins, owner of the award-winning Michelle Leo Events, to take us into her marry mind. And take us she did. With a toile pattern as her inspiration foundation, she — and a local army of vibrant vendors — created a wedded wonder for our glossy pages. Relish in this romantic room, take in every detail, and consider how you can pattern your planning with design on the mind.
MOOD – Hooked on a Feeling
We’re going to speak now — because there’s no holding this peace: Wedding planning should start with a feeling. What do you want your day to feel like? What does “happily ever after” look like to you? Is it modern? Is it playful? Is it dramatic? Those are the questions — and you hold the answers. For this shoot, Michelle was after romance, mystery and passion. So the toile pattern came straight out of the 18th century, the color palette mixed the soft with the strong, and the florals were wonderfully wild. Each element is powerful on its own. Together? They make the mood.
PATTERNS – The Fine Print
We know what you’re thinking: Patterns are crazy intimidating. Not so, Michelle says! More like liberating. “Rather than approach a pattern with a fear of, ‘What can I even do with this?!’ I approach patterns with the thought process of, ‘What can’t I do with this?’” she says. Long gone are the days where brides only work with solid patterns, organza fabrics and two distinct wedding colors. “Thank goodness and good riddance!” Michelle says. “Today’s wedding is all about elaboration. I elaborate in design areas where I can accomplish that ‘wow’ factor. One of the easiest ways to do that is by selecting a great pattern for a starting point.” For this inspired shoot, Michelle selected a toile pattern that was originally produced in Ireland during the mid-18th century (and later became popular in Britain and France). The understated romance of the white and gray pattern makes it a neutral design element — with flair. To incorporate the pattern into the shoot, Michelle focused on quality over quantity. Her team constructed the elegant table runner and chair coverings (both ending in triangular gorgeousness). One Sweet Slice printed the toile on two layers of the cake. And Twelve30 Creative used the inside of the envelope to seal the pretty pattern package. So how do you go about picking a print for your nuptials? Decide what you want it to say. “Patterns speak,” Michelle says. “For example, paisleys and plaids tend to say ‘country.’ Stripes can project a modern and contemporary direction. Damask patterns can be viewed as traditional, and polka dots can be interpreted as youthful and fun. Be aware of what message patterns send, and choose one that appropriately complements your vision. The options are limitless.”
COLOR – Made in the Shade
Weddings and colors are MFEO — and will be forever and always, amen. But how you use those wedding colors determines the real design destiny. Work with your vendors to create unexpected avenues for stellar shades. For instance, Culinary Crafts gave the purple palette a delicious spin. Namely, the sweet purple onions, the plum-colored beverages, the orchid macaroons, and the shaved purple cauliflower with lemon and shallot. Florals are one of the more obvious color uses — and for great reason. Petal pops of color are fresh and forever in style. In her floral design, Lizy Bowden played with flowers of soft lavender and deep purple — accentuated with the smallest touches of champagne and blush. “Within a color family, I like to establish neutrals to fall back on, because it allows our more radiant colors to shine,” Michelle says. For this shoot, the neutrals included gray, white, taupe, copper and rose gold — with a sparkly twist. “Metallics offer so much diversity when it comes to neutrals,” Michelle says. The copper touch graced everything from the chargers to the Old Dutch mugs to the cake to the old world chandelier. Meanwhile, everything was coming up rose gold with the flatware, candle sticks and jewelry. And how could we not pay tribute to those berry lips and shimmering copper-like hair? Color us charmed.
TEXTURES – The Perfect Touch
Don’t want your overall design to fall flat? Add texture. “Texture adds depth — plain and simple,” Michelle says. “The design instantly becomes more interesting.” And this shoot? A texture wonderland. Textured candlesticks sparked the table. Textured lettering danced on the menu cards and invitations. A textured bodice gloriously topped the Sarah Janks gown from Avenía Bridal. Textured greenery ran wild on the centerpiece, hanging chandelier and four-tier cake. And don’t even get us started on the floral shawl. (We kid! Get us started and never let us stop.) “I wanted the floral shawl to be wild and unmaintained,” says Michelle, who worked closely with Lizy on the wild wrap. “I wanted it to be a statement piece — something that would inspire brides to see the beauty of boldly adding texture to your design.” And just like you can mix your metals, you can mix your textures. “Not every element of your wedding design has to be ‘matchy-matchy,’” Michelle says. “A wood table by itself can have a rustic texture, but by placing a beautifully textured linen paired with a textured menu and floral selection, you can transform that rustic table into a sophisticated and glamorous dining space.”
You’re telling us.
Concept, Styling & Design Michelle Leo Events
Photography Jessie Alexis Photography
Floral Design Lizy Bowden
Paper Suite Twelve30 Creative
Cake One Sweet Slice
Catering Culinary Crafts
Dress Sarah Janks gown from Avenía Bridal
Jewelry Columbian Emeralds International
Hair Kali Wengreen
Makeup Kristen Packard
Dining/Cake Tables & Walnut Appetizer Boards MC2 WoodWorks
Copper Mugs/Purple Stemware Pier 1 Imports
Linens, Chargers, Chandelier Michelle Leo Events
Vintage Chair Refined Vintage Events
Chairs, China, Flatware, Napkins Diamond Rental
Location The Loft Studio, Lehi
Model Jackie Welling