8 Key Elements We Use to Design Luxury Events

Ever been to an event and thought, “Wow, this place looks incredible!”? Event design made it happen!

“But wait, isn’t event design just a fancy term for event planner?”

This is a question we get all the time! Here’s the rundown:

Event Planners vs. Event Designers

Event planners are the masterminds behind the scenes of an event, making sure everything runs smoothly and according to plan. They’re all about the who, what, where, and when of an event. Budgeting, picking the venue, managing all vendors and entertainment, and keeping track of the schedule; both for the installation and the actual event.

Event planners are also imperative to making sure you feel comfortable and care free on your event day. They also work closely with their vendors to ensure the look and design of the event is exactly what you’re looking for!

As event designers, we are not involved with the day-of activities; we work on creating and developing the look and feel of the decor for your event. Our clients, the event planners, hire designers to elevate the visual wow-factor; which can include choosing color palettes, creating renderings, space planning, draping, decor, furniture, lighting, and many more visual details.

This is an often a collaborative effort in order to deliver the best event experience possible. Event designers also help orchestrate many of the pre-production and installation production details between vendors and sub-contractors. On larger, multi-day installations, we are the ‘go-between’ for the planners and the vendors/sub-contractors and can often times be found running around on-site answering multiple questions and managing the installation crew(s).

To summarize- there is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes of an event!

If you’ve ever walked into an event and felt instantly “wowed”, you have just experienced the magic of expert event design. It’s not just about making a space look good; it’s about transforming it into something unforgettable.

So, how do you turn a plain venue into a jaw-dropping scene that gets everyone buzzing? Let’s break down the eight essential elements of event design that you need to know in order to create that unforgettable event.

1. Space

Creating the perfect event starts with understanding and utilizing the venue’s space effectively. Event designers look at an empty space, whether it be an empty field or a ballroom, and begin to envision its potential. The venue space is the designer’s canvas and they work closely with the event planners on how guests will move and interact within/during the event. These are the beginning paint strokes that create the overall picture.

It is all about crafting an environment that encourages interaction and enhances the event’s overall vibe. As an event designer, it’s our job to make the best use of the venue, focusing on flow, interaction, and first impressions.

Here are some ways to utilize your space:

  • Welcome guests with a thoughtfully designed entrance.
  • Ensure clear, intuitive pathways that guide guests seamlessly while adhering to the fire and emergency protocols of the building.
  • Define areas with strategic furniture placement for dining, lounging, and overall interaction.
  • Maintain an open layout to facilitate movement and mingling.

This La Quinta wedding at The Madison Club utilized a large open field effectively, creating distinct pathways for guests that led them from space to space with thoughtfully placed tenting and visual moments throughout. The entrance to the reception tent greeted guests with a luminous candlelit walkway. Once guests were inside, the dining tables, cake table, bar, stage, and dance floor were clearly defined yet all harmoniously connected, ensuring a fluid and graceful flow throughout the celebration.

2. Lines

Lines are the invisible guidelines that direct guests through an event space. They can make areas feel more expansive or more intimate depending on how you use them. Playing with lines helps balance the space, making sure it’s neither too crowded, nor too empty. These lines also help ensure that the full visual space is being used, and often times help ‘guide’ the guests eyes around the full room. 

Here are ways to play with lines:

  • Arrange decor and lighting to designate specific areas and pathways.
  • Craft visual paths with rugs or specialty flooring.
  • Use furniture to create distinct zones, such as lounges separate from dining areas.
  • Employ decor elements like draping to add dimension and guide the eye vertically or horizontally.

At this electric 60th birthday party in Vegas, our LED tunnel masterfully utilized lines to connect two unique spaces: a modern hot pink cocktail hour to a dark and a moody disco after party. Each of these were also framed by billowing drapes in their respective hues. This glowing passage way not only linked the areas, but also created a visual flow that demonstrated how deliberate lines can be used to create a seamless yet intimate journey through an event.

3. Lighting

It’s no secret that lighting is an events best friend for setting the mood of any room. It is one of the most important ingredients and often times, the event planners, designers, and lighting vendors all work together to create the perfect ‘blend’ of moodiness and design. The designers and owners at Revelry Event Designers are invested in good lighting fixtures; we have an entire warehouse filled with every type imaginable!

Lighting can create ambiance, draw attention to focal points, and completely set the mood with colors and shadows. Day or night, lighting can dramatically alter the event’s feel and enhance the overall aesthetic.

Here are some ways to use lighting to your advantage:

  • Utilize ambient lighting like sconces or table lamps for a warm, inviting glow.
  • Use spotlights to draw the eye to eye-catching decor or architectural features.
  • Incorporate different textures and bulbs for variety and depth.
  • Experiment with colorful lighting and LED to add vibrancy and energy.

For this Mexico birthday celebration, we used a faux green ceiling and our Casablanca Gold Pendant Lamps to bring warmth to this dinner on the water. This design choice brought out the glowing candles on the table and perimeter and drew the eye upward, encapsulating all the island vibes.

4. Forms

Forms are the shapes and structures within your event. For example, do you want more curves within the design or square/sharp shapes? Forms play a pivotal role in creating a dynamic environment designers pay attention to, making sure these particular shapes and forms are consistent throughout the event and design. They will also ‘play’ with the scale of these shapes and forms to make your event more fun and engaging.

How to add drama and engagement through forms:

  • Mix geometric and organic shapes for variety.
  • Play with the scale of elements to create focal points.
  • Choose furniture that complements the event’s theme.
  • Consider the overall silhouette of the space and its components.

For this birthday bash at Universal Studios, there was a playground of epic proportions; featuring a giant Nike shoe and oversized shoeboxes for Air Jordan 1s. The designer and planner turned these fun forms into a functional and crucial part of the party and this playful use of scale and shape, made for an unforgettable, Instagram-worthy celebration.

5. Textures

Design is all about texture! Textures invite your guests to touch and feel the elements in the space, creating a more immersive experience and adding richness to the visual landscape. It’s a subtle way to add depth and comfort, making your event space more inviting.

How to incorporate textures at an event:

  • Mix materials like soft fabrics against harder surfaces for contrast.
  • Use draping to create different textures throughout an event. Chiffon adds a light and airy feel, while velvet draping for a rich, luxurious feel.
  • Make sure the surfaces of elements guests interact with are pleasant to touch. No escort card wall on a cactus.

For the Roc Nation brunch, we wove a tapestry of textures, using billowing chiffon draping to craft a custom ceiling that floated above with a light, airy presence. Below, the curvaceous lines of our serpentine couches echoed the soft undulations above, creating a harmonious blend of form and fabric that enveloped guests in a cool, chic atmosphere.

6. Colors

Color is one of the best ways to evoke emotion in event design. The color palette sets the tone and is capable of altering mood, defining space and reinforcing the event’s theme. Choosing the right palette is important for creating cohesion in your design.

Here’s how to utilize color:

  • Choose a palette that reflects the event’s tone and mood. You would most likely choose different colors for a baby shower vs. a supper club style birthday bash.
  • Utilize colors to enhance or soften features of the venue.
  • Consider the psychological effects of different hues.
  • Integrate colors consistently across all design elements.

Immersed in the sultry shades of a speakeasy design, this event’s color scheme was set in seductive reds and burgundy, mixed with touches of glittering gold. The deliberate layering of red hues across decor, draping, and florals, accentuated with gold, evoked a rich, bold ambiance that was both inviting and exclusive. All this masterfully designed use of color dictated the event’s mood and overall style.

7. Patterns

Patterns add layers and interest to your design. Whether you go bold with statement pieces or subtle with background textures, incorporating patterns can inject personality into your design and tie everything together.

Here are ways to incorporate patterns and enhance your visuals:

  • Use patterns in decor, such as linens, tableware or backdrops.
  • Balance bold patterns with solid colors to avoid overwhelm.
  • Choose motifs that reinforce the event’s theme.
  • Place patterns strategically throughout venue for balance.

At this ‘Dia de Los Muertos’ inspired wedding in Santa Fe, a kaleidoscope of skulls and patterns danced across every surface, from the vibrant ceiling to the vivid dance floor, chairs, and linens. The secret to these vivacious visuals? A harmonious color palette that wove through every decor detail, uniting florals, fabrics, and lighting in a cohesive theme and hue. A true testament to how a bold mix, when balanced thoughtfully, can come together to create a feast for the eyes.

8. Balance & Proportion

And finally, the design element we can’t live without- balance! A well-designed space feels cohesive and balanced. When elements are in balance, the space feels right—comfortable, inviting, and complete. It’s a careful dance between different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors, ensuring that each piece complements the others without overpowering them.

It is all about the relationships between objects: the way a table pairs with a chair, how a vase of flowers stands against a backdrop, or the interplay between the dramatic central piece and the surrounding accents. Finding the right balance and proportion ensures everything feels just right and visual elements complement each other, so your space feels harmonious.

Here are ways to make sure your design is balanced:

  • Evenly distribute visual weight throughout the space.
  • Scale furniture and decor elements appropriately to fit the venue.
  • Use symmetry or strategic asymmetry to create visual interest.
  • Harmonize different design aspects to complement each other.

In this grand affair, majestic arches draped in florals frame the long tables, ensuring balance and proportion are maintained throughout the space. The repetition of the arches creates a rhythm that guides the eye along the room’s length and height, achieving a perfect harmony between grandeur and intimacy.

And there you have it! The eight essential elements of event design that we at Revelry Event Designers utilize to create stunning spaces. Whether it’s a luxury wedding, corporate event, or private party, these principles help us create experiences that elevate every occasion and leave a lasting impression.

Contact us today for help designing your next luxury event!

Event Credits:

Cover Photo: Planning & Design: Ozzy Smith Events| Event Design & Production: Revelry Event Designers, Milana Ayvazova | Photography: John Solano Photography | Florals: Hidden Garden Flowers

  1. Planning & Design: Levine Fox Events | Event Design, Draping & Decor Rentals: Revelry Event Designers, Angela Murelli | Photography: Callaway Gable | Florals: Nancy Kaye, Marks Garden
  2. Planning & Design: Mindy Weiss | Event Design, Draping & Decor Rentals: Revelry Event Designers, Angela Murelli, | Photography: John and Joseph | Florals: Jeff Leatham
  3. Planning: 424 Productions | Event Design, Draping & Decor Rentals: Revelry Event Designers, Leigh Carter | Photography: Sandra Aberg Photography| Florals: Celio’s Design
  4. Planning & Design: Mindy Weiss | Event Design, Draping & Decor Rentals: Revelry Event Designers, Angela Murelli |Photography: John and Joseph Photography
  5. Planning: 424 Productions | Event Design, Draping & Decor: Revelry Event Designers, Angela Murelli | Photography: Anna Anikina Photography | Florals: Celio’s Design
  6. Planning & Design: Mindy Weiss | Event Design, Draping & Rentals: Revelry Event Designers, Angela Murelli | Photography: CRV Productions | Florals: Jeff Leatham
  7. Planning & Design: Michael Russo Events | Event Design, Draping & Rentals: Revelry Event Designers, Angela Murelli | Photography: Philip Siciliano Photography | Florals: Petals LA
  8. Planning & Design: Xquisite Events | Event Design, Arches & Decor: Revelry Event Designers, Milana Ayvazova | Photography: Gloria Mesa Photography | Florals: Celio’s Design
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