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7 Elements to Include in a Wedding Design Brief

Couture Events in our Historic Landmark Venue in Long Beach's Arts District

7 Elements to Include in a Wedding Design Brief

Couture Events in our Historic Landmark Venue in Long Beach's Arts District


An event design brief is an essential document that outlines the vision and practical details for an event, serving as a roadmap for organizers and vendors. This guide provides a structured approach to creating an effective event design brief, ensuring clear communication and efficient execution. When applied to your wedding, it keeps couples anchored in something meaningful that allows for a comparison of potential vendor ideas and matching interests/ values.

1. Date and Time

Outline a target date and important elements like the season and day if there is some flexibility. Also a target start and stop time.

Example: "Our wedding will take place on Saturday October 19th, 2024, with a 5 PM ceremony and an 11 PM sendoff. We’re open to Saturdays from late September through early November except for 10/26"

2. Purpose of the Event

Articulate your wedding’s purpose, whether it's to celebrate with a large group of family and friends, get great photos with parents and extended family, visit an exotic destination with a small group, or hold an affair of state that will get covered by national publications. The purpose will influence all other planning aspects.

Example: "Our purpose in hosting a wedding is to spend quality time with close family and friends, get great photos while we create memorable moments, and acknowledging our family’s cultures."

3. Priorities

Identify the most critical elements for your wedding (in order), such as inviting a large group, fulfilling family obligations, having world class photos, providing great hospitality, etc, to focus budget and efforts efficiently. We suggest you compare notes here with your partner and your families to ensure that everyone is aligned OR realize it’s time to have a discussion

Example: "My top 3 priorities are: 1) finally introducing my fiancee to my extended family from all across the continent and making sure she has a great time with our cousins so she’ll want to visit, 2) getting great dressed up photos with my grandparents while they are still able to get on the dance floor, 3) making sure my family (especially nana) feels like we’re acknowledging my culture while also doing something a bit fresh."

4. Anti-Priorities

Define what to avoid or minimize, focusing on elements that do not support the event's goals or could lead to unnecessary expenses.

Example: "I don’t want +1’s that aren’t serious as they are just distracting and bring drama. +1’s should be together for at least a year or are engaged at the time of the invites. We can hold a few spots for people that get engaged in the meanwhile."

5. Desired Feel and Theme

Describe the intended atmosphere and aesthetic, including a mood board to visualize your wedding’s emotional tone and style. This aids in decisions about decoration, lighting, and overall presentation.

Example: "Our wedding will have a classic, timeless feel with an emphasis on great hospitality and energy. The ceremony will be fun and lively. We want to make sure our little cousins are involved as the flower girl and ring bearers. She wants the long walk - her dress is going to be stunning. We celebrate as a family with great food and drink. We’re going to keep it more minimalist but do a few things very nicely. My uncle will want to make sure we stock the tequila company he did all the ad campaigns for. I want short, funny speeches and time for my dad to make sure he puts in his favorite Winston Churchill quote. The DJ needs to know some bhangra for our Indian cousins to show off on the dance floor. "

6. Setting

Detail the preferred environment for your wedding, considering whether it's indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both, and the layout that would best suit the event's theme and objectives.

Example: I really love the idea of an outdoor ceremony (with a rain backup) and a really large dance floor for the reception. It needs to be somewhere convenient to family coming in from San Diego to Santa Barbara and have plenty of things to do - it’ll be a full weekend of activities.

7. Options and Combinations

Consider choices for key elements like catering, entertainment, and venue setup to allow for adaptability in planning and budget adjustments.


1) I’d love a live band for the reception and that means we’ll need space for stage and dance floor. I’m ok with moving to smaller tables and more of a buffet to make sure we have the space for dancing

2) I really love the idea of family style for dinner so everyone has to break bread and talk to each other at the table. We might need to limit centerpieces and candles so it’s easier for people to see each other from across the table.


A well-crafted event design brief is vital for clear communication and effective wedding planning. By outlining each component—from the event’s purpose to setting options—you anchor yourselves in a wedding that reflects your priorities, values, and tastes and can have much more clarity on which venues and vendors provide the right starting point for you.

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