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How to Create a Personality Filled, DREAM Wedding | Interview with Carey from The Idea Emporium

I couldn’t be more excited to share with you an interview I did with wedding stylist and event branding specialist – Carey Galliani from The Idea Emporium. Below is a little excerpt from her website…

“[The Idea Emporium] is a team of artists and designers who live to create. We believe in outside-the-box thinking (if there is even a box at all). We seldom wear shoes and never say no to champagne or doughnuts…We believe that great events are because of great people, not big budgets. And mostly, we believe that your wedding should be an authentic reflection of your relationship.”


Carey is the person that can bring your dream wedding vision to life, in a way that is incredibly personal and unique to you. A wedding that is anything, but cookie-cutter. A wedding that reflects you and your love for each other. And best of all STAY on budget. Bringing in a wedding stylist may seem like a huge luxury, but in reality they are able to bring your ideas to life and not only stay on budget, but keep your sanity as well. Carey is creative, bubbly, honest, loooooves to make unique items, all while sipping a little champagne. Carey shares her office with two other talented ladies, Nicole from Studio Twenty-Two an amazing graphic designer and Jodi from CES Weddings and Events coordinator extraordinaire.

Below is Carey’s interview featuring some INCREDIBLE tips for a drool-worthy, low-stress, dream wedding.

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium photo by shannon rosan1. What is the best way to make your wedding, unique, personal and blog worthy status?

Your wedding needs to be about YOU. So think about your personalities, interests, and natural aesthetic and find ways to bring that into the day. How do you decorate your home? What kind of clothes do you normally wear? Take cues from your existing style choices you’ve already made for your everyday life and let them serve as the jumping off point for the wedding. Not sure what your aesthetic actually is? Make a Pinterest board, but STEER CLEAR OF WEDDING PINS.  Instead populate that board with images you love from home décor, fashion, photography, etc. and then look at it as a whole collection and you will start to see the common threads.  Maybe you are totally drawn to sleek images with minimal and modern objects, or you will notice that the whole board is full of bright colors and crazy patterns, there is no wrong answer, only YOUR answer.  *from Shannon, I COULDN’T AGREE MORE!

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium-000002a2. What’s the most common mistake(s) you see happen with weddings? 

Duplication instead of Inspiration.  In the age of social media we live in, it’s easy to fall into the trap of copying what you see and think is pretty.  Instead, I encourage you to ask yourself (no matter how much you like the way something looks) if that choice has anything to do with YOUR relationship.  For example, if you have attended a wedding in the last 2 years, you have probably been handed a mason jar at one point or another.  Is it cute?  Totally!  But if you and your fiancé don’t can fruit together, then why is it at YOUR wedding?   Instead, take the ideas you see and enjoy and ask yourself what about them draws you in. Rather than duplicating the literal object or project you see online, let it inspire you to create something that gives you the same emotion, feel, vibe, texture, purpose, or function but with your spin on it.  (I promise, there are plenty of ways to let your guests know you are having a causal and fun wedding without handing them a jar to drink from).

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium photo by Shannon Rosan3. What’s your favorite thing about being a wedding stylist? 

Giving my clients the gift of search-free cohesion.  As our list of tools continues to grow (from the digital cutter, to the miter saw), so does the list of things we can create.  Meaning less time searching, shopping, and trying to coordinate a million tiny parts.  Once we have your “brand” nailed down, we can take the pressure of production off of your shoulders and make it as easy as a wish list of wedding goodies.  Then just like magic, we produce all those tiny parts (from the invitation to the matchboxes, from the ring pillow to the party favors and welcome tote bags) with YOUR needs, colors, fonts, etc. So at the end of the day you will have a custom and perfectly curated collection.

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium- photo by Shannon Rosan4. Big wedding or small intimate affair? Why/why not? pros/cons

I love small weddings!!!!  The more you can cut that guest list, the more you will enjoy your day. It goes by fast…really fast. And with a guest count of 400 you will be lucky to see half of those people let alone share in a meaningful conversation with them.  The smaller your list, the more one on one time you will get with the people you care about most on a day that is truly special.  That being said, sometimes families are large and guest counts get out of control, it happens to the best of us. The best way I think you can tackle a large wedding is to park yourself at the front of the buffet line.  Everyone will get to see you for a quick congrats and hello, but because the line for food is moving, it takes far less time than a traditional receiving line.


Left photo : Carey of Idea Emporium with the talented graphic designer Nicole of Studio Twenty-two. Right photo : Carey w/ the lovely Jodi of CES Weddings

5. Do you do consultations before booking clients? 

Usually, but not always.  I am always happy to meet with couples to hear the scope of their needs, dreams and budget.  But mostly I like sitting down with them to make sure we are a good fit for each other.  I work really closely with my brides and grooms so it’s helpful for us to have a rapport and enjoy one another’s company.  It’s more important to me that we click than that you simply hire me, because this process is supposed to be fun (for both of us).

6. Tell me about your dream wedding to style. 

That question is way too hard!  I am a sucker for fancy fancy fancy, black tie, ultra formal dinner parties.  But I also have a major soft spot for theme weddings.  Circus? Steampunk? Dinosaur?  Count me in!  (and yes, I did actually have a dinosaur wedding once!  It was totally unique and 100% them).  No matter what the style, I love creating details that are an authentic reflection of the couple.  I want each piece of wedding goodness from the Save the Date to the Thank You Card to make your guests say “that is soooo them”.

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium- photo by Shannon Rosan7. What is the number 1 key to a stress free wedding?

Hire a planner.  Can you do it without one? Probably.  Should you do it without one?  Nope.  Planning a wedding is a full time job, and you already have one of those.  Having a planner gives you the inside track to spending your money wisely, and saves you a ton of time.  They have done this before (many times over) and as a result you get to benefit from their experience, successes and mistakes.

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium-photo by Shannon Rosan8. What do you wish couples did more of/less of, for their wedding?

I wish couples would spend more time thinking about what is important to them and less time thinking about what is important to those around them.  Tradition for tradition’s sake makes no sense to me.  If your mom says “it’s not a wedding without a cake” but you and your fiancé are pie people, then I say…let them eat pie!  You’re still providing a sweet option for the end of the meal, but its one that is a reflection of your personalities.  At the end of the day, the wedding is supposed to be a celebration of your relationship, not a list of boxes to get checked off.

9. Are there any trends/fads you wish would end?

Burlap.  I just don’t get it.  It smells funny, it looks cheap, but it’s just as expensive (if not more) than other fabrics.  Instead, try muslin or linen.  It will still give you a rich earthy texture, but without the fad.

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium-00001110. Can a wedding stylist keep you on budget all the while crafting a magical affair?

Absolutely!  Before working in weddings, I worked in the non-profit sector, so I struggle (a lot) when I see my clients spending oodles of money in the wrong places.  I love finding ways to incorporate DIT (do it together) projects into your wedding design process.  When my clients realize their champagne dreams don’t work within their beer budget, I love figuring out a loophole.  From making you a rubber stamp (and then letting you stamp your own favor tags) to designing and printing envelope liners (but then letting you glue and assemble them). There is always a way to get what you want if you are willing to put in a little elbow grease.

wedding-planner-chico-the-idea-emporium-00000911. What is “event branding”

It’s the process of assigning a visual identity and set of style guidelines to your wedding.  Huh?  Think of it as having a graphic designer working just for your big day.  It starts with a color palette, then moves on to picking just the right font(s) then that leads into the creation of a wedding logo, monogram, and other graphic elements.  Once your brand is set to the level that you love it so much you could scream! The brand is then used to produce wedding collateral (aka the stuff,).  The most common collateral is stationary products (invitations, escort cards, thank yous, etc.) but can also be applied to hard goods like cake toppers, and signage.  Branding your wedding results in a cohesive (but not matchy-matchy) collection of wedding items made exclusively for you.


Thank you Carey so much for taking the time to share your knowledge!

For more info about how Carey can build your dream wedding contact her here –

Was there anything we missed? Any tips, advice or things you wished you’d done different? LOVE to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below to start a conversation 🙂

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  • Pam youngDecember 9, 2014 - 8:43 pm

    Love this !!! When can we talk about flowers ? :))ReplyCancel

    • Shannon RosanDecember 9, 2014 - 9:18 pm

      Hi Pam!

      LOVE to talk flowers with you on my blog! I’ll email you 🙂ReplyCancel

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