Branding Your Wedding: What It Is, Why & How You Do It - Paper Pleasers - Milwaukee WI
When we think of weddings and the reasoning behind them, we focus on the celebration of a new chapter and two people coming together. But in the back of our minds, we envision planning a complete experience for everyone involved that is unique, different, and representative of who you are as a couple.
Like any memorable experience, let's stay true to Milwaukee here and use Summerfest as an example. The main focus of Summerfest is to bring people together and enjoy music, but ultimately they've branded the festival in a specific way that keeps you talking about it for years and years to come. From the iconic smiley logo, red and yellow colors, local breweries, staple food vendors (Saz's I'm looking at you), and variety of atmospheres, we all have specific reasons for coming back year after year. While there are tons of differences, everything relates due to an overall branded experience.
Essentially a brand is a promise to it's customers of what they can expect from their experience and the emotional benefits that it provides. Let's look at the wedding planning process as a project and the end result is a unique branded experience.
What is a wedding brand?
It revolves around the identity of those who are getting married and how they want everyone to participate in their marriage celebration. A wedding brand considers who will be attending, overall communication from start to finish , and the way it looks to set the tone and atmosphere for the entire day.
Why create a brand for your wedding?
You value guest experience. As a couple you appreciate your guests and their effort to attend. You have the desire to give them something in return -- a well thought out, cohesive experience that has them feeling specific and cared for. Guests + Attendees are more than just guests at your wedding. These are the people you want to establish lifelong relationships with as a married couple. By inviting them to your wedding, you're asking them to come along for your story and journey. You do this by making a lasting impression to show your appreciation and value their time and relationships.
Love the feeling of hospitality. Let's be honest, you're basically hosting the greatest party of your life and you want everyone to remember it.
You understand the importance of visual aspects and how they create an atmosphere.
How do you brand your wedding?
Plan your wedding to represent unique aspects of you; this distinguishes a strategic personality and creates an identity that displays who you are and the characteristics of your relationship. Differentiation creates more memorable experiences that guests will talk about forever!
Tie in personal aspects of who you are- make it look and feel like you. How would your friends describe you as a couple. Are you simple, extravagent, nature+outdoorsy, urban+industrial, feminine/masculine, traditional or unconventional?
Take these aspects and incorporate them into your visual details, guest experience, and communication style.
Branding the Guest Experience + Communication
How will you communicate? Formal or informally? Whatever method you choose suggests what experience they are going to have and creates anticipation for this particular event.
How much effort is required to attend your wedding? Locals or out of towners? Is it in a big city or the middle of no where? We must consider their effort and be as informative as possible. Do you want to make the guest experience easy? Think as if you are a concierge providing amenities.
Examples: Providing info on the location or area, hotel welcome bags, organizing shuttles+travel, communicating expectations on our invitations - i.e. attire, adults only. Ultimately being as informative as possible to prevent any confusion or problems day of.
Branding the Visuals
The first thing your guests see are paper goods and we want to give a visual represention of what to expect. Developing a cohesive set of products that match in some way, not only defines + displays who you guys are, but creates a consistent aesthetic that sets the tone and elevates the atmosphere.
You could do this by creating a logo/monogram/crest or specific design elements that are consistent throughout all paper items. From intial contact-save the date, invitation, ceremony program, menus, website, placecards, display signage, backdrops, welcome bags for hotel guests, favors, table numbers/décor, all the way to the last thank you card.
Branding Beyond the Invitation
Other Visual Details that help create a cohesive wedding brand:
Ceremony Program- All about the details. If there is anything your guests will take the time to read, it's your ceremony program. While many arrive early to snag the best spot, a well thought out program is a great way to occupy their time while they wait, and makes them feel more engaged in the ceremony.
Examples: Bios of wedding party, thank you notes to those that made the day possible, tributes to loved ones, monumental/heritage aspects of your ceremony.
Signage- Take those design elements from your invitation suite and use them in your decor.
Examples: Monogram for alter or head table, welcome + directional signs, history markers (family wedding photo display) table decor, food + desert table signage.
Reception Paper Goods-
Place cards, menus, table number or names, party favors + packaging, guest books alternatives.
Taking the time to fully plan out and develop a wedding brand can elevate the experience for both you and your guests. It doesn't necessarily mean excessive details but rather strategic, well designed elements can completely transform the wedding day. Remember to stay true to who you are as a couple and bring your personality into the day!
Your wedding branding enthusiasts,
Ellen + Gina