Planning a wedding is more an art than a science, so what better muse for your big day than art itself?

“Art can be a great source of inspiration for wedding design because of the wide variety of art styles and themes. You can find your color palette from an individual piece or from an artist’s overall design aesthetic,” says Risa Weaver-Enion, owner and chief wedding planner at Risa James Events.

And you don’t have to be professional artists to have an art-themed wedding (though that’s a great excuse). Everyone can appreciate beauty and creativity – even if you can’t draw your way out of a paper bag.

Of course, there’s a fine line to walk between a theme wedding and an event that looks like a child’s birthday party. So, here are a few do’s and don’ts to ensure your nuptials are a great work of art.

DO narrow your focus
“The first step in creating an art-inspired wedding design would be to choose the inspiration, whether it’s a time period, an artist or a single piece. Using more than one style will come off as unhinged,” advises Weaver-Enion.

Maybe that means basing your color palette on the different shades of blue from Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period, or perhaps the geometric shapes of Art Deco architecture.

“Once a couple has narrowed down their inspiration, we would hone in on what exactly inspires them about it, whether it’s specific colors, the feelings evoked by the work, or some characteristic of the artist that speaks to them,” says Weaver-Enion.

That way, you know exactly what you’re looking to translate into your wedding aesthetic.

DON’T use real art
“Couples probably don’t want to use actual pieces of artwork in their wedding design; otherwise, they run the risk of looking like a museum gift shop,” advises Weaver-Enion.

So, while a tablecloth printed with a copy of Monet’s “Water Lilies’” could appear kitschy, couples can create the impression of the impressionist artwork through the color and pattern of their table linens.

DON’T limit your theme to décor
While your décor offers plenty of opportunities to incorporate your art theme – from paint chip escort cards to watercolor backdrops – don’t stop there. Consider bringing some artistic style to every aspect of your wedding with a cake covered in brushstroke icing or illustrated invitations.

“Wedding invitations are a great place to start setting the overall mood and tone for your wedding. Once you’ve settled on your particular art inspiration, you may be able to find stationery that fits your theme,” says Weaver-Enion. “Or you can engage a stationery designer to custom-create an entire paperie suite incorporating your desired art-inspired elements.”

DO look for an artsy venue
Another great way to integrate art into your wedding is through the venue. Getting hitched in an art museum or gallery is a fun and interactive choice, but you can also make a less obvious choice work, like a church with stained glass or frescos or a library with art deco architecture.

DO let guests get creative
Bring out your guests’ inner artists with art-inspired entertainment. Consider hiring a live painter to create a custom scene of your ceremony or an illustrator to produce sketches of guests. Or, for a more budget-friendly option, you could set up a station for guests to paint a canvas instead of signing a traditional guestbook.

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