To Mock-Up or Not

To Mock-Up or Not

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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You've asked and we've answered! Welcome to your weekly column 'Planning Your Happily Ever After' with wedding consultant Shikima Hinds. Her focus this week: Wedding mock-ups

One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding is pulling all your wedding ideas together and turning them into something tangible and visible. It can be difficult to clearly communicate exactly what it is you dreamed up in your mind's eye.

If you're the type of bride or groom who needs to see all of the wedding-related details in person before finalising your decisions, a décor mock-up is a good idea and will be a crucial part of the planning process.

What is a décor mock-up?

A décor mock-up, also known as a sample, is meant to show clients what they will be getting on their big day. It is essentially an opportunity to set up a complete tablescape so they can see their flowers, rentals, linens, candles, and other miscellaneous details all together, in advance of the wedding.

When I'm hired to do a wedding design, I usually recommend a mock-up; it helps ensure my design is meeting a client's expectations, because, regardless of the written design details, some clients just require a bit more of a visual presentation to make sure everyone involved is on the same page. For example, a client may read the description “an arrangement of blush floral varieties in a gold square vessel”, then ask: What florals make up the arrangement? What shade of blush? What size is the container?

Because I am so involved in the design of the entire wedding, I realise how overwhelming it can be sometimes for couples when there are so many details being proposed to the client for consideration. My goal as a designer therefore is to ensure I am delivering what my client will love in order to meet their expectations. A mock-up gives me a chance to show my clients everything to scale, but also allows an opportunity to see different rental options and to play around with charger patterns, florals, linens, or chairs, to adjust the final outcome. Another advantage of doing a mock-up is that it allows ample time for my clients and me to troubleshoot details ahead of the big day.

Tips for brides:

If the mock-up does not meet your expectations or there are elements you do not like, speak up and don't feel badly about doing so. It's perfectly okay to want one thing but when you see it you realise that you want something else, even if that's what you originally asked for. That's the whole objective of a mock-up. Never feel badly about changing your mind.

It is also important to know that there is usually a cost for mock-ups, especially if they involve florals. This cost usually falls on the bride and groom. Make sure you're comfortable paying the quoted price for a centrepiece. As a designer, I am sometimes willing to contribute to cover this cost of theirs in order to make sure the client is happy and the wedding will look as beautiful as possible. This however is dependent on the scale and budget of the wedding.

Do you really need one?

Though I encourage brides to ask for a mock-up, I feel confident that you can nail your look without the need for one. The goal is always to manage expectations and prioritise clear communication. The best ways to do this are:

1. Provide inspirational wedding images you love: This is super important! I want to see the colour palettes, shapes, and styles you love.

2. Discuss the flowers you love or dislike.

3. Talk about the wedding vibe you are going for: A classic, elegant evening affair, or tropical vibe, a rustic-chic vibe, maybe?

4. Read the details of your wedding décor proposal. Google the names of flowers and things you are not familiar with to make sure they go with your vision.

In the same way that brides want to do a make-up trial, see an invitation sample or participate in cake tasting, investing in a décor mock-up is a great way to cover your bases and ensure that, when you walk down the aisle, everything looks exactly the way it did in your wedding-planning dreams.


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