The Rule of Odd Numbers in Venue Styling

I’m going to let you in on a little venue styling secret… we stylists are odd. Well, some of us may be, but we like odd. Numbers, that is. We design in vignettes and groupings of 3 or 5 and sometimes 7 or 9. We refer to this as the “Rule of Three” or the "Rule of Odd". But why do we do it and why does it work?

While 'even numbers' of items used in venue styling creates symmetry, 'odd numbers' creates harmony and visual interest.

As people are naturally drawn to unusual or uneven compositions, an odd number of detail is more effective at capturing your gaze. With an odd number of elements, the eye can’t pair things into groups as easily. Therefore, odd numbers force your eyes to move around the grouping–and by extension, the room. That forced movement is the heart of visual interest and makes for a more interesting visual experience. It's for that reason that a set of three is more appealing and memorable than something paired off in two's.

To that end, I often use the "Rule of Odds' as a foundation when styling a wedding venue. It helps to have groupings of objects in varying heights, shapes and textures too.

No matter your style or concept, candles are the perfect accessory for any wedding and a great way to incorporate the "Rule of Odd" . Candles are one of my absolute personal favourite items to use when dressing a venue! I love how something so simple can completely transform a dimly lit room into a stunning romantic atmosphere.

One of my lovely couple gave me a brief to create them an effective shabby chic centrepiece that had the wow-factor, but not overpowering, and was naturally inviting.

Straight away I turned to the "Rule of Odd" and the warmth of candles to create their memorable centrepiece (featured on this page). I even took the "rule" one step further and used three sets of three within the design to create depth. It included:-

* Three tall candlesticks of varying heights but still taller than the next set of three.

* Three smaller vases of florals the same height as each other.

* Three miniature tealight holders the same height as each other.

This is not to say that I always use odd numbers. Even numbers imply stability, which can be useful if the design calls for confidence or reassurance like at the entrance of venue. Design is all about finding the perfect balance between symmetry and asymmetry.

If you have any further questions about your wedding concept, centrepieces or prop hire for your wedding venue, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I'd be more than happy to help!

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