A Top NYC Event Designer’s Secrets Revealed

FEB 24, 2016 updated May 28, 2021

Thingswelove

Our favorite wedding and event expert Xochitl from AaB Creates is back on our blog today to share ideas for adding unique touches to your wedding day design. We were introduced to Xochitl last October at The Knot Gala, and were so blown away with how well her team designed the whole event, we knew we had to have her share her secrets with us! 

diy wedding place settings and textures


Xochitl: When we started our company AaB Creates 13 years ago, we knew that we wanted to help people think of ways to personalize their celebrations. Sometimes we do that on a super literal level: custom written songs at a wedding ceremony, or hand-written notes on each guests’ place setting. But sometimes we work on a more subtle level when thinking about the event design of the wedding and that’s when fabric and paper, especially custom fabrics a from Spoonflower can play a big part in personalizing elements of the wedding space itself. The first thing that I always suggest to our clients is to not just select a save the date or a wedding invitation, but to be sure to pick or have created a graphic element or two (like a border, pattern, monogram or motif) that you can work with to create other elements that can be used to personalize the space. Then it’s up to your imagination and your budget to help you go from there. Here are a few ideas that can be executed to add subtle but thoughtful unique touches to your wedding day design.

Dave Robbins PhotographyPhoto Credit: Dave Robbins Photography

Backdrops and Room Dividers: Often, when hunting for wedding venues, you might find places that are almost perfect…but maybe you need to hide something a little less than perfect looking, or perhaps you need to make one space feel like two rooms. A fabric dividing wall is a great solution that can be made even better if you take a pattern or motif from your wedding stationery or website and have fabric printed especially for this purpose. At this year’s Knot Gala, we took a pattern inspired by the event’s invitation, had it printed on fabric and used it to make a massive backdrop for our DJ and Band. This is an idea that can be replicated on a much smaller level to make a backdrops for a photo booth or a ceremony focal point.

@AngelicaGlassPhoto Credit: Angelica Glass

@stillmotionPhoto Credit: @StillMotion

Tabletop Elements: The table is the place where your guests will spend the most time at your wedding event and it’s one of my favorite places to personalize with fabric. Table runners are an easy and affordable way to incorporate a design motif to your entire table scape. Another fun idea are custom napkins… which is especially fun to mix and match if you are going for a more eclectic look. For this wedding we incorporated various patterns from the couple’s wedding stationery and had an assortment of different napkins which added color and pattern to our tabletop.

DaveRobbinsPhotography1Photo Credit: Dave Robbins Photography

Accent Décor Items: Lounge furniture has become an almost must-have at weddings for cocktail hour or after parties. In fact more and more venues come with lounge furniture, which is great, but can look a little generic. For the beginner sewist, pillows are a great way to infuse your weddings look and personalize elements that might otherwise feel more generic. In addition to being easy to make, they are also relatively easy on the budget.

@DaveRobbinsPhotographyPhoto Credit: Dave Robbins Photography

DJ Booths and Bars: Two of the most overlooked areas of a wedding are the DJ booth and the bar- which is funny because people are staring at them all night. One of my favorite “hacks” to create completely custom DJ booths and bars involves Spoonflower’s Woven removable wallpaper, foam core, some tape and some fishing line. Essentially you create a fake façade that you decorate and tie to the bars or the DJ tables that is covered in a pattern or motif printed on removable wallpaper. It is a really affordable way to create a stunning focal point in an otherwise forgettable area.

Stillmotion3

Photo Credit: Still Motion 

@heatherwaraksa

photo credit: Heather Waraksa

More No Sew Ideas: If you love these ideas but doubt your crafting or sewing abilities, you can still incorporate custom fabric into your wedding décor. We took elements and patterns in this peachy pattern and create fabric wraps for this edible favor (inside there were cookies) that were then tied with a beautiful bit of ribbon. Or, if you are looking for a great escort card idea, consider creating an escort card board with a piece of wood, a piece of foam core and decorated with a Spoonflower fabric. You can then pin your escort cards on and display for guests on an easel.

Want to hire AaB Creates for your wedding or event? Get in touch!


 

Xochitl Gonzalez

Xochitl (So-cheel) is the Chief of Making Things Pretty here at
AaB. A Brown University alumna, Xochitl’s background is in Fine Art and Art History.  She’s also an experienced stitcher, crafter and re-purposer of old finds from Brimfield. With over 15 years of experience designing and producing events, Xochitl was the Director of Events and Marketing for The Clio Awards before launching Always a Bridesmaid (now AaB Creates) in 2003. Xochitl has been featured on The Style Network, TLC, HuffPost Live and About.com and is frequently called on for speaking engagements. Xochitl is very active in the wedding blogosphere, Always a Blogsmaid and as a former contributor for The Huffington Post Weddings and the Current wedding expert for About.com. She sits on the President’s Leadership Council for Brown University and the board of Cool Culture, a non-profit dedicated to Arts Accessibility.

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  • These ideas are great! I may not be planning a wedding, but I can incorporate them into my projects. Thanks for sharing, Xochitl!