Sophie Edme

Sophie Edme

Styling a Wedding: the Big Ideas behind Archetypes

Wedding planners know better than anyone that clients all come with their own ideas and expectations. People’s ideas are wide-ranging and sometimes contradictory, so corralling them into a coherent theme can be a challenge at times.

What all these granular ingredients need are a few big ideas to ensure that they will resonate, not only the happy couple, but in a way that speaks to all the guests.

Archetype branding is one of the best things to come out of identity creation in the last few years. It can be an extremely useful tool for bringing all the details together and binding them into themes that give them real meaning. They are also a great measuring stick for assessing the usefulness of new and last-minute suggestions.

Archetype identity design builds on various Jungien character types from literature, story and legend. These characters are developed by every story we encounter, and they are instantly recognisable. Characters such as Superman or Merlin are examples of The Hero, and The Magician. Others are, The Creator, The Lover, The Explorer, The Rebel, The Sage, The Nurturer, The Regular Guy, The Ruler, The Innocent and The Jester.

Harnessing creativity

We know what archetype characters stand for, whether they are authoritarian or anti-establishment, nurturing or demanding, creative or knowledge-based. These identities can be applied to any creative field from script writing, to advertising and in this case, weddings. We also know which colours and styles are usually associated with them. Finneas Fogg is a classic explorer brand, for example, while Innocent smoothies are, well, innocent.

You can draw inspiration from the couple’s personalities, from who they’d like to be, or from their own interests and expectations of each other. The planning of the wedding is part of the transformative process of the marriage itself. You can do this explicitly with clients or use it as a ‘behind the scenes’ technique.

You may choose to have one archetype drive the theme of the whole wedding, such as The Lover, or the Explorer, or take the bride and groom archetypes and find ways of combining them. An archetype will give you a guiding premise that makes everything from the wording of the invitations to the colour schemes easier to finesse. You’ll be amazed at how a guiding identity will open the creative floodgates while at the same time giving the whole event a cohesive feel.

Planning tools

There are other techniques for harnessing creativity and producing ideas, but they are most productive when you already have your big idea. Digital tools for planning and inspiration include a range of Pantone Color apps, Pinterest, Etsy, Brainsparker, and Artsy.

If you like to get down and dirty with paper and glue, then vision boards are a fun way to showcase all the different things influencing the final choices. You can divide them up into segments according to your client’s priorities, and then cover them in images, quotes, bits of material, etc. That way, whatever your big idea, you will know that it fits with your clients’ individual taste.

Just one question. Why is there no Bridezilla archetype?

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