Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Design Stars Take On Wedding Planning

Is anyone else watching Design Star on HGTV? I just got sucked into this show and I'm not shocked—it’s pretty much Project Runway minus the clothes, a snarky Michael Kors and Tim Gunn’s go get ‘em attitude. Instead, there’s Pantone color swatches up the wa-zoo, some other snarky judges and a perky host with a less catchy sign off line than Heidi Klum. And I love it. Now that Keith and I are nesting, I’m getting really into what our nest looks like so I’m pretty excited to watch the show and borrow some of their ideas.

Last week, I was watching for about 30 seconds before I said, “There should be a reality show about wedding planners!” And what do I get? One whole Design Star episode dedicate to wedding design! In last night’s episode the seven remaining designers had to plan a wedding in 24 hours. They met with the bride and groom and then, naturally, fought about who had more wedding credentials. Obviously Cathy, the one screaming that her wedding was published in three…three national magazines, was setting herself up for some strong criticism. Go Cathy!

Here’s the thing: I think they were all kind of screwed the moment the bride said she wanted a Victorian look and bright colors, like purple and orange. Call me crazy, but I hate those colors together, and I’m no expert, but I don’t think the Victorians did either. Ok, so far I’m not a great wedding planner because I just dissed the client’s ideas.

Moving on.

I’ve had my wedding published in zero national magazines but I'm confident in my opinion that this wedding was not that great. Sure, there were some really cool elements, like a groom's lounge, but that just proved they were good at designing living rooms, which we already knew they could do well, hence the topic of this episode being a wedding design challenge. All the furniture and fixtures looked a bit too modern, the flowers were nothing special (I’m a strong believer that the flowers make the wedding) and the linens were covered in giant disco-style sequins. Nothing about it was pretty.

I did take away some great wedding planning advice (via former New Jersey Housewife, guest judge and newbie to the HGTV family, Ms. Dina Manzo): You’ve got to make the wedding reception an experience. I think all brides should be asking themselves as they plan, “What experience am I trying to create? And does this add to it?” In order to create an experience, you’ve got to keep your design cohesive. Everything you pick up needs to enhance the mood you’re trying to create.

Adding a wow element was something else they talked about. Kelli said that every wedding needs something that makes your guests say, “Wow, I never would have thought of that!” For this wedding she hung long panels of orange fabric over the dance floor. In an all white room, the design really popped and I think that every guest was drawn to it. I don’t think a wow element has to be huge, or high glam. It just has to be something new.

In the end, the bride and groom loved their reception, so I guess that’s all that matters, right?

Dina Manzo thought the flowers were unbalanced.

This was the "wow moment"

Judges did not like this sign in table. I have to agree.

The men designed this "Mad Men" lounge. Looks cozy, but not very wedding-y.
The judges loved it.

And they loved the skate board wall, but hated the flowers.
Lighting overall got a big thumbs up.

What do you think?
(all images from


  1. I watched last night and couldn't help but wonder who would plan their wedding in 2 days!

  2. I think Mark's got that show wrapped up. Especially if the judges notice he looks just like Mac from It's Always Sunny

  3. Too bad Cathy went home ...she was riot!