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Trend Alert: Eclectic Urban

It seems as if the urban aesthetic has been everywhere, with moody city skylines and the ultimate loft goals filling social media feeds. This modern vibe has entered into the special events industry, but we are seeing it with a special twist. Rather than digging deep into a grittier urban feel, we are seeing designs that present the beautiful contrast we like to call ‘summer in the city.’  

Photo courtesy Sunshower Photography –

This look pairs rugged urban elements like brick, concrete, and other architectural installations with a delicate touch from lush florals, pastel colors, and unique patterns. The idea is to soften the rough edges of what is often perceived as city life for a stunning juxtaposition that will take anyone’s breath away.

With a significant amount of destination wedding couples opting to tie the knot in a city setting, this look is timely and versatile as it can translate well in any metropolitan area.

“Location is everything,” reminds Sanya Percic, founder of Ellwed Magazine. “Couples that decide to have a wedding in a certain location choose it for a specific purpose and, therefore, overall design of the event is very important to them. The eclectic style is slowly growing and the use of different colors, materials, textures, and patterns is an important part of the event design.”

Whether your client is celebrating in New York City, Paris, Rome, or Johannesburg, take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the destination to get a feel for the city. Every city has similar elements, but done in a distinctive way that is unique to that metropolis. Use the architecture, streets, signage, and cultural hubs (think farmers markets and street food trucks) for inspiration, and then work your client’s personalities into the design.

Alternative venues have become an effective option to infuse an event with an eclectic vibe with minimal effort. Trendy hotels, museums, and unique spots doubling as a wedding venue (think weddings in high rise parking lots!) are becoming go-to locations for wedding couples. Everyone wants to be different and unique, so couples are looking for out-of-the-box venue ideas to provide the wow factor and ultimate guest experience.

‘Eclectic’ comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes and it means something different to everyone. Be prepared to align your design plans with your client’s definition of ‘eclectic,’ which you can learn from a frank discussion about preferred design. For some, it may mean a traditional venue with some unique décor pieces, whereas others might want to stretch the boundaries for their event venue. Get a feel for what they want (as well as their budget), and look for ways to think outside of the box to make a strong impression on your client and their guests. 

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.