David Stark on
Designing Your Wedding
His expert advice on how to get a truly stylish affair and where to look for inspiration
We’ve all been to gorgeous weddings where the flowers are fab, the music rocks, and the food is delicious, but what makes a wedding memorable? Sure, the couple and their love, but if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing and unique experience, check out David Stark’s advice on how to make a cohesive event that is personal, magical, and truly yours.
“For me, the goal is: How do we make it special, never seen before, personal? How do we find unfamiliar materials that when mixed together create a sense of the “new?”Stark tells Twirl New York. “And like the greatest of what interior designers do so well, how do we layer a look so that you don’t see everything on first glance? Things must keep revealing themselves over time as you are in a space. That’s when a space is magical.”
Stark makes the analogy of creating a wedding-scape with building the set of a play. As a set designer studies characters, story, and atmosphere, he too gets to know the couple, their families, the story behind the couple, and the location to build the perfect backdrop for a wedding.
Mixing styles, textures, materials, time periods, and references, and grounding them with layers of personality really elevate wedding décor to the realm of the special.—David Stark
David and his team are known for the unusual, from toile-like wallpaper on the walls of a tent to large gold eggs on the property. “We are so comfortable flitting back and forth from lovely to radical because we are designing for real people with real likes and dislikes. We are finding the personal moments that make their events unique and “just them.” Thus, the world of materials is a buffet for us to choose from, and they vary depending on the specific visual goals of each project,” David explains.
There’s only so many materials to work with. Part of the magic of David Stark Design is their ability to transform familiar objects, to recreate them into something new. “I do like the transformation of familiar things,” he says. “For instance, we have come up with all kinds of ways to make commercially bought lanterns more unique. Recently we cut rectangles of natural caning to insert into the glass panels which completely changed the look and were quite effective.”
And if you don’t know where to start, Stark tells us inspiration is everywhere. “I’m one of those people who look EVERYWHERE for inspiration, but I gravitate to the worlds OUTSIDE of weddings for reference. Whether it be art, design, interior design, theater, film, museums, architecture, popular culture, hardware stores, farmer’s markets, landscape architecture, you name it, we find ideas that can morph into wedding and other event design schematics quite uniquely. One could go on a trip or simply look in your own backyard, but be open to inspirations outside of the wedding world. For instance, the dining room walls of our tent for an affair on a horse farm in Bedford, NY were literally inspired by the wallpaper within the family’s home.”
Crack open that college Art History book for a tour of options.—David Stark
These last two tips should get your creative juices flowing, and show you that when it comes to wedding decor, the possibilities don’t have to be cookie-cutter, but actually, are quite endless.
“There are no rules! Keep an open mind, and like one very important college professor drilled into my head while at school: It’s ok to break the rules as long as you do it fabulously!”