When it comes to using bold geometric shapes, striking tones and daring details to create an unforgettable design, the team at Michelle Leo Events believes the sky is the limit. Their leader, Michelle Cousins, shares her tips and tricks for creating an out-of-the-box celebration sure to be the talk of the town. 

GO BIG

“Colors, shapes and patterns can breathe life into your events,” says Cousins. “It’s your day, so don’t be afraid to express yourself.” For this party, Cousins opts for unexpected wedding hues, a choice that she says can pay off in a major way. “People tend to shy away from tones like black and yellow because they’re not necessarily traditional,” Cousins explains, “but when you showcase them in a form that complements your venue, they create a memorable aesthetic that’s sure to make your wedding stand out.”

Photo by Michael Cozzens at Hardware Apartments
Photo by Michael Cozzens

START STRONG

“An invitation suite is your guests’ first impression of your event, so it’s important for it to speak volumes far beyond the written details,” Cousins says. She encourages clients to work with a graphic designer to incorporate the overall mood of their celebration into the look and feel of the paper goods. For this celebration, Cousins worked with Twelve30 Creative to compose modern-contemporary imagery, from the stationery to the monogram. “We took inspiration for the monogram from the venue’s logo, which plays a prominent role in the architecture of the space.”

Yellow and pink invitations by Twelve30 Creative. Photo by Michael Cozzens.
Photo by Michael Cozzens
Downtown Salt Lake City
Photo by Michael Cozzens

FAVOR FAR-OUT FASHION

“You shouldn’t have to pull back on certain elements simply because you opted to be adventurous in other areas,” Cousins explains. “When done correctly, bold pieces complement one another.” The chartreuse pantsuit by JXA Fashion is a stand-out, but it elevates, not overshadows, surrounding elements. 

Downtown Salt Lake City
Photo by Michael Cozzens

SET YOUR SITE

The key to creating a city-chic style is finding the balance between masculine and feminine shapes then using them to reflect the urban elements of your chosen venue. The architectural elements of the Hardware Apartments’ rooftop—such as the arched floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for an expansive view of the city’s skyline—form the inspiration for Cousins’ use of angular components like the ceremony benches. 

Blended Table
Photo by Michael Cozzens
Twelve30 Creative
Photo by Michael Cozzens
Downtown Salt Lake City
Photo by Michael Cozzens

BRING IN BOTANICALS

Rather than opting for traditional florals, Cousins works alongside Artisan Bloom to err on the side of foliage that has a sense of belonging in a downtown locale. “Think about what you’d expect to see in a metropolitan space,” Cousins explains. “You’re much more likely to see a potted plant in green or other neutral shades being used to brighten up an urban environment.” To create a dynamic tablescape, she shines the spotlight directly on the floral design as it floats high above the place settings, providing contrast against the sharp lines of pink rocks chosen to mimic stones found in nearby fire pits.

Floral design by Artisan Bloom
Photo by Michael Cozzens
Downtown Salt Lake City
Photo by Michael Cozzens
Downtown Salt Lake City
Photo by Michael Cozzens
 downtown salt lake city Catering by Blended Table
Photo by Michael Cozzens

THE TEAM

Planners: Michelle Leo Events

Photographer: Michael Cozzens

Videographer: Ryan Hinman

Venue: The Hardware Apartments

Fashion: JXA Fashion Jen Shah

Rentals: Modern Display; Wild Event Studio

Catering + Bar Service: Blended Table

Cake: Flour & Flourish 

Floral Designer: Artisan Bloom

Makeup: Kristen Packard Artistry

Hair: Kali Chris Hair and Makeup

Paper Goods: Twelve30 Creative

Jewelry: O.C. Tanner Jewelers 

Models: Jordan Olsen and Aimee Jordan Sgro


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