I am always looking for inspiration and lovely things to share with you. Today, I have the pleasure of sharing the incredible talent of Matthew Robbins and an interview I recently did with him. Matthew's book, Inspired Weddings, is full of beautiful images of his work and ideas for making your wedding a magical experience. In it, he shares his process and some insider tips on how you can create a beautiful wedding. As Martha Stewart's constant resource for wedding inspiration, Matthew Robbins has assisted many brides in achieving their dream wedding.
These images of some fall weddings will give you just a hint of the glorious and unique ways Matthew brings the vibrancy of fall into focus, creating details that will inspire you and wow your guests. There is nothing ordinary about these event designs!
Matthew does not believe in what he calls the "factory approach" to design. Instead, he empowers his clients to identify what they cherish and turn it into an inspired design based on their unique vision.
With his beginnings in San Fransisco in floral design, Matthew has moved to New York and has launched a comprehensive and diverse event business. It is here, that he incorporates his talents with a team on equally talented people, to create events that are forever remembered and admired.
So, now let Matthew tell you in his own words what inspires him, how he works and where he figured out what he loves to do.
Q: How did you get started in this business?
A:My intro to the event world was in college as an art student in San Francisco. I worked part time after class and on the weekends to earn extra money as a student and during this time I developed a real passion and curiosity for event design.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I'm always inspired by travel. I love seeing and experiencing new places, new architecture and different ways of living. I also rely heavily on the art world and gardening and landscape design for great ideas.
Q: Brides do not understand the differences in the term “planner”. They don’t get that
the designer does not “fluff the dress” or hold their hand while they get ready. They are
not clear that the caterer does not set up their DIY centerpieces or that the officiant does
not run the day. Can you explain your services and responsibilities to my readers?
A: My focus is design and creating wonderful environments for my clients. The small design details are just as important as the big picture so I like to be involved in anything and everything related to the design of an event. I definitely cross over into "planner" territory by being involved in every detail related to design such as the look and feel of the paper goods, the presentation of food and beverage and the overall flow of the event. All of these details come together to define the look and feel of an event. A planner focuses or (in my opinion) should focus on the details related to logistics only such as vendor contracts, budgets and timelines. A good planner is an amazing project manager but does not control the design of an event unless you he or she to specifically design your event. I suggest doing your research and ask the right questions. Talk to potential planners and ask what their focus is. I don't believe one person or company is great at everything. A good designer should focus on design and I can speak from experience! When my clients prefer to have my company handle all logistics and design I bring in a planner to collaborate on the project. This is a clean division of responsibilities and duties. Everyone needs to understand a planner is not designing an event by recommending floral designers, lighting designers, photographers, etc. The professionals who offer these design services are designing the event and will make that magic happen.
Q: I notice that your fall weddings are not necessarily “traditional fall colors”. Can you
give my readers some insight as to your inspiration for creating color palettes that are
not traditional, yet have fall elements?
A: I like to focus on the general mood and spirit of the season rather than the obvious details so think about what makes Fall inspiring. Textures, layers, rich and muted color palettes, bountiful and decadent forms are all elements I use from the beauty of the season. Find one obvious detail such as a rusty red or pumpkin orange and pair it with something unexpected like a warm ivory or chic grey tone. This instantly takes a traditional palette and turns it into something unique and memorable.
Q: Though opulent, the elements of many of your weddings are simple concepts. Can
you give any tips to a bride who is on a budget ways to bring that same opulence to her
wedding without the cost?
A: An opulent decor is not so hard to create if you rely on a few tricks such as layering textures, focus on a limited color palette and incorporate pattern into your design. Texture can come from floral material, fabrics and lighting. A limited color palette brings an instant chis and styled edge to any decor plan. I like to layer neutral tones as a base and add in a few vibrant or rich tones to add contrast and a little drama. Pattern is a wonderful too for adding opulence and style to your event. A simple fabric runner with a fabulous pattern can transform a otherwise very ordinary table. Try a patterned dinner napkin or patterns on your vases, planters and candle holders.
Q: You say that you “empower” your clients with their personal style and you “educate”
them to use unique elements to achieve this vision. Can you elaborate?
A: I spend a good amount of time getting to know what inspires my clients. I like to know as much as I can about their own style, their backgrounds, where they travel, how they entertain, etc. This really informs so many of the design decisions for every event. I also try to connect my client's love or passion for a particular thing or place to real, tangible design details so they can see their personalities are informing the design process. I believe most people have an internal sense of their own style and vision but they just need a little help articulating that vision. A good designer knows how to discover that spark and build a whole story with the information.
What else would you like my readers to know about you- your vision, your philosophy,
A: My work is dedicated to bringing a more effortless, unfussy and approachable sensibility to the event design world. I believe the design world (in general) has made a real effort to really fine tune a more elegant, eclectic and personal approach so I make this the focus of my business. I also offer interior design services and this is a real treat as it allows my design skills to dig even deeper by working with clients to create spaces they can live with for many years. I'm currently finishing up design details on a line a beautiful vases in a collaboration with an amazing tabletop company. I can't wait to share these with everyone in the new year!
Let me leave you with these last two images. I just adore this vegetable garden of escort cards! Now, that is inspired! And, the rich gold, brown, green and red of the tablescape and cake make for a perfect fall wedding!! I hope that Matthew has inspired you to use your most precious things to create your wedding dream! Many thanks to Matthew Robbins for his time and to Christian Oth for the images. You can see more of Matthew's creativity at Matthew Robbins Design. Or, contact him to help you design an amazing wedding design.