Elizabeth Demos is an event designer in Savannah, Georgia, who took her love and passion of owning a successful vintage store, @Home, and turned it into a full-service design studio. Her interior stylings have been featured in Country Living, Country Home, Southern Living and Better Homes & Gardens, and her weddings in Weddings Unveiled and online at OnceWed.com. Her book, Vintage Wedding Style was released in December 2012 for Chronicle Books.
Below are a few of the tips Elizabeth Demos shared with us on how to plan a fun and unique wedding. Enjoy!
Woman Getting Married: When you start planning a client’s wedding, what is the first thing you do?
Elizabeth Demos: After my initial consultation I compile loads of images, swatches and colors to share with my couples. This helps develop the overall art direction, and it also helps me get to know my clients. Once we have decided on a direction I hand-select vendors, scout locations and talk with my resources in an effort to fulfill the desired aesthetic. If the event requires special rentals or purchases I get on it right away. It can take months to acquire those little details that make a wedding unique.
Any advice for readers having a hard time coming up with a design “theme” for their wedding?
Stay true to your personality. It is easy to get carried away with so much eye candy out there in the way of wedding magazines, wedding blogs and design blogs. There is such a thing as too much! Keep it simple and genuine. Some of my favorite weddings are ones that were a true expression of the couple and not a regurgitation of everything they had seen before.
What is your favorite website for unique design ideas and resources?
I don’t have just one. I read a lot of blogs (wedding, design, art), magazines (wedding, design, craft) and books (wedding, design, craft, photography, art). I have an art history degree and I’m a photo stylist by trade so I draw a lot of inspiration from the past and the present. I love old things but I have to be up on current trends for my editorial work. I think of is as a blessing and a curse sometimes because I’m inspired by SO MANY things.
As for good, old-fashioned shopping resources, you can’t beat a flea market, antique fair or estate sale (I’m a scavenger at heart). I frequent the garment district in NYC for trimmings and embellishments. I also regularly attend to the trade shows, such as the National Stationery Show, International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Surtex, AmericasMart, and the New York International Gift Fair.
Little details (such as vintage place settings) seem to be easier and more economical for small, intimate weddings. Do you have any advice for brides having larger weddings on how they can create a unique and “intimate” wedding on a bigger scale?
With the help of one of my brides and her mother, we were able to dig up over 125 vintage dinner plates and 140 bread-and-butter plates. It is out there and is sometimes more reasonable than renting. Keep in mind you will have a large set of your own after the wedding, and you can sell the rest on eBay, Etsy, at a yard sale or on Craigslist. I now stock all sorts of vintage props to rent for my brides that don’t want to buy. I once rented a beautiful French bar counter from a local shop for a wedding for a fraction of what it would have cost to purchase or rent from an event supply company. As for smaller details, think in bulk. You will get better prices and they will have a bigger impact in a group.
To see more of Elizabeth’s work, or to consult her for your wedding, visit her website at http://www.elizabethdemos.com/