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Trend Alert: Global Patterns

In today’s society, it’s as easy to speak to someone on the other side of the world as someone in the next room. Cultural influences from all around the world play a part in our daily lives, but they’ve also made a splash in our events. In the age of wanderlust, couples in their 20s and 30s are no stranger to traveling to foreign places and making friends from all around the world.

For that reason, global patterns are emerging in the events industry as a bold style choice that appeals to these couples. In fact, many may already be incorporating those patterns into their homes and closets. Now, it’s translating to become front and center at weddings, showers, parties, and other celebrations.

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Globally-inspired events feature lush velvets, silks, geometric patterns, and metallics for a ‘more is more’ feel — when it comes to one-of-a-kind details, there’s no such thing as going over the top. This makes it perfect for couples styling a themed wedding or after-party space. Here are a few powerful ways to incorporate patterns that will pack a punch.


Standard white linens will always have their place, but statement linens are all the buzz now. From welcome tables to bars to buffets, culturally-inspired patterns add a special pop to any event. Opt for rich jewel tones, like sapphire, ruby, and amethyst, for a truly glamorous touch.


Although often overlooked, professional lighting can really change the overall look and feel of an event space. A patterned gobo wash, for example, brings intricate details to the forefront as opposed to standard overhead lighting.

Photo courtesy Don Mears Photography –


Sweeping drapery can be used for a simple ‘wow’ factor, but it can also serve the practical purpose of dividing areas of a venue. Use contrasting colors and patterns to designate each space, like cocktail hour, dining area, and dance floor.


From stripes to floral print, patterns have swept the fashion industry—which, inevitably, means it’s making its way over to the events industry. Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind wedding gown, a statement tie, or a vibrant cocktail dress, event hosts and VIPs can bring the runway to their celebration with an eye-catching patterned outfit.

The little things

Incorporating patterns into an event design doesn’t need to be done on a grand level. For those with more traditional taste, patterns can still be woven in through napkins, favors, chargers, signage, and other smaller details for a subtle yet beautiful effect.

Pulling inspiration from around the world can bring a unique flavor to an event that is truly memorable. Get your creative juices flowing for your next event by following travel accounts on social media and reading cultural magazines—keep an eye out for patterns that pop.

Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute

Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.