I am so excited to debut a new feature – the Wedding Stylist Spotlight! I’m kicking things off with the amazing Michelle Leo Events, whose beautiful work never fails to inspire me. Her creative approach to event design is a beautiful illustration of telling a story through wedding styling. To gain a little insight into her amazingly personal designs, I asked her to share some of her favorite work as well as some details about her design process and inspiration!
Design, Styling & Planning by Michelle Leo Events | Photography by Jacque Lynn Photography | Floral Design by Urban Chateau Floral | Wedding Dress by Claire Pettibone | Head Table by MC2 Woodworks | Rentals by Diamond Rental | Bridal Hair and Makeup by Steven Robertson Hair and Makeup | Stationery Design by Foil & Ink | Catering by Blended Table
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is all around us! I find it sometimes in the most random places like fabric stores, art galleries, within a song, in nature, literature, architecture, interior design, fashion, history and the list goes on and on. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in what is published via blogs and pinterest and I do my best to draw from other resources for inspiration because I don’t want to mimic or recreate what is already out there in the event design world.
What is your design process?
When working on a solo project where a client isn’t involved, I like to dig deep to see what moves and inspires me at that given period in time. From there, I research what I can to learn more about whatever elements I’m attracted to and from there, a design starts to take shape. I begin to process a color board and incorporate images that capture the mood I feel and associate with the project. I like to focus on the type of environment my design will live in, the lighting I’m working with, the colors I’m surrounded by, textures, fabrics, textiles, etc…
When working with a client, the process is very much the same but in addition to digging deep within, I’m also trying to dig into the client’s mind in order to extract the thoughts and feelings he/she is having with regards to the envisioned design.
I always keep the client and guest experience at the forefront of my process and overall designs. I constantly remind myself that I’m creating more than something you can see, touch and feel. An event is more than details, pretty flowers and lovely tabletops. And event is something you experience, remember, and hopefully cherish for a lifetime.
Design, Styling & Planning by Michelle Leo Events | Photography by Pepper Nix Photography | Floral Design by Blooms & Blossoms | Catering by Brown Brothers Catering | Bridal Hair and Makeup by Kristen Packard Hair and Makeup | Calligraphy & Paper Products by Design House of Moira | Table and Decor by Z Gallerie | Vintage Furniture by Refined Vintage Events | Wedding Dress by Alta Moda Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses by Amsale | Wedding Cake by Cake-a-licious | Located at Camp Cloud Rim
Design, Styling & Planning by Michelle Leo Events | Photography by Jessica Peterson Photography | Floral Design by Urban Chateau Floral | Wedding Cake by Layers | Table by MC2 Woodworks | Place Settings by Casa De Perrin | Invitation and Paper Goods by Peter Loves Jane | Ghost Chairs by Diamond Rental | Crystal Goblets by Refined Vintage Events | Painted Backdrop by Sarah Nightingale
How did you get into wedding and event design?
I began working in the field of marketing right out of college and found myself diving into corporate event planning. I traveled the world executing corporate events for the companies I worked for throughout my previous career. In 2010, when the economy wasn’t performing well, I found myself without employment and decided to start my own business while looking for full time work. I really wanted to marry my love for organization and event planning with my creative abilities and thus I created Michelle Leo Events, a full-service event design and planning company specializing in corporate events, social soirees and weddings.
Who is your ideal client to design for?
As the lead designer and principle planner of Michelle Leo Events, I love and appreciate working with clients who trust me to identify the distinct differences and little little details that make their story unlike anyone else’s. When that trust is given, I’m able to capture their individuality and work with them to craft a one-of-kind celebration for them and their guests, inevitably resulting in beautiful event design, and unforgettable experiences.
This custom approach is what separates Michelle Leo Events from the rest. Recently named one of Martha Stewart’s Top Wedding Planners, recipient of Z Gallerie’s “Designer of the Year” award, and recognized as “Utah’s Best of State Event Planner & Wedding Services Provider” for five consecutive years, my team and I pride ourselves on offering clients an event planning and design experience unlike any other. We appreciate working with clients who trust us enough to give us that opportunity.
Design, Styling & Planning by Michelle Leo Events | Photography by Jacque Lynn Photography | Floral Design by Blooms & Blossoms | Invitation and Paper Goods by Alexis June Creative | Located at Washington Schoolhouse | Bridal Hair and Makeup by Hair and Makeup by Steph | Wedding Cakes by One Sweet Slice | Rentals by Diamond Rental | Wedding Dresses and Accessories from Alta Moda Bridal and Anthropologie | Wood Chargers and Favors by MC2 Woodworks
What is your favorite wedding feature to design?
I love creating truly unique designs. I really enjoy the ability to be creative in my work and when a couple gives me the opportunity to dig deep and learn more about what truly makes their story unique, I’m then able to incorporate personal details that are true reflection of them. Personally, I love taking advantage of all the lovely areas Utah has to offer and am always excited to design and produce a gorgeous outdoor event at a variety of the country, rustic, and mountain venues we have to offer her. Don’t get me wrong, I’d jump at the chance to design a true southern wedding in the deep south (I spent much of my time there when my husband was stationed in the Marines), and I would love the opportunity to design something on the beach. I also have a true love for travel and having visited many gorgeous places in Europe, my dream come true would be to design something along the countryside in France or along the Amalfi coast, given my Italian roots. Maybe one day…
Design, Styling & Planning: Michelle Leo Events | Photography by Jacque Lynn Photography | Floral Design by Urban Chateau Floral | Invitation and Paper Goods by Alexis June Creative | Wedding Cake by Cake-a-licious | Table by MC2 Woodworks | Dresser by Vintage Event Outfitter | Located at La Caille | Macarons by One Sweet Slice | Bridal Hair by Steven Robertson Hair | Bridal Makeup by Kristen Packard Makeup