beyond the big day: spirograph wedding


[today i’m thrilled to welcome emily and the team from once wed to d*s! starting today, they’ll be joining us once a month with wedding-inspired entertaining and decor ideas in a new column called “beyond the big day”. i love the way that weddings are often the catalyst for beautiful decorating and party ideas, so emily’s column will focus on bringing that idea to life. she’ll be posting all sorts of design related projects, so stay tuned!]

I’m beyond thrilled to share these gorgeous inspiration photos from Jen Curtis with everyone today. Although this look was created for a wedding, it can easily be carried over into a dinner party or even used as decoration in your home like the fireplace mantel idea above. The lovely Gloria from Gloria Wong Design was kind enough to give us a look into the idea behind this shoot…

For this particular project, I decided to use my very own favorite childhood toy as inspiration. The spirograph brought me endless amounts of joy and wonderment as a kid. I remember spending hours and hours rotating those little plastic plates and watching shapes come alive on paper!

The shapes that a spirograph creates are inherently symmetrical and modern. So, for this mock table, I decided to go for an “Urban Modern Crafty” vibe in a loft-like venue with bare white walls. I chose fuschia pink, gravel grey and light cement grey because the combination of those colors fit the flavor… and because I’m in love with those colors at the moment! I used a streamlined wooden table, no curves, no fluff and layered on clean white plates. For the rest of the fun, I enlisted the most talented team of vendors.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the post after the jump!

The amazing Lisa Wong Jackson of Good On Paper designed all the different styles of spirograph shapes that were materialized in the form of laser cutouts, rubber stamps, and a spirograph garland that hung above the dinner table. For menus, Lisa had chipboards screenprinted. We opted for screenprint over offset printing or letterpress because we felt that the method lent itself to the artsy-crafty tone of this wedding.

Then, there was Anne Millett of Mira Aster, a sewing genius. For the white canvas table runner and napkins, Anne used fuschia and grey threads and sewed free form lines around the edges. We rubber stamped spirograph shapes onto the runner, and we stamped guests’ names onto each napkin. The napkins doubled as place cards. The combination of the DIY rubber stamp job coupled with Anne’s stitching was super cool!

Last but certainly not least was the brilliant Nancy Liu Chin, floral extraordinaire. For this tablescape, Nancy knew that simplicity and restraint were key. She chose fuschia pink dahlias because the anatomy of the dahlia actually resembles a shape that can be created from a spirograph! She also suggested bare walnut branches from which we hung mini spirograph laser cutouts.

Spirograph shapes and all of their intricacies provided much of the inspiration for all the other decor elements. The fabric pleats on the floral vessels were derived from the repetition of lines and curves when using a spirograph. Same goes for the paper pleated wheels (often referred to as paper rosettes) that danced above and across the dinner table. It’s so fun to think how all the different components of this tablescape can be traced back to that one question “What was your favorite childhood toy?”


Photography by Jen Curtis


I always love the work that Emily and the OnceWed team do- and this post is no exception. Great work!!


p.s. ohhhh Kristina, :( don’t feel bad about your own wedding….. I was once married…and there was nothing special about it, that was not the sad part, the sad part is that I did not marry my best friend…next time around, I could get married in a stinky old factory and I won’t care, because this time it will be with the right person…that is what really matters….ooof…I kinda just poured my heart out there…:/


Anyone else see brilliant holiday decor ideas here? So inspiring, thank you for sharing!


gorgeous! I LOVED my spirograph when I was a kid – I may have to get a new one now!


This is great! Where did you buy the rubber alphabet stamp that can do everyone’s names?
I can’t seem to find one!


The spirograph used to be my FAv toy as a kid. And I’ve been loving the round paper fans that I’ve been seeing lately.

I just think the gray with the hot pink is just FANTASTIC! Love that pink diecut. And the white diecut for the place setting for the glass is so smart!

LUV it!

Lydia, Clueless Crafter

The circular quality of the spirograph channels the symbolism of marriage. The union of two whole people that forever orbit around the other — and entertain together.

Wow! This is whimsical and profound. Like it.


where did the lovely lady in the photoshoot get that gray dress?? IN LOVE. I want my bridesmaids to wear it!! so so cute. does anyone know?? thank you!


everything is perfect!
I adore it, I really do. I’ll keep the idea in mind…
thanks so much for sharing.


Emily!! Amazing! Wonderful work. I can’t wait to see more of your columns! Meg :) La Partie Events


Oh gosh I am in love with these colors! It is making think I might need a room with grey walls and pink accents in my new house.


i am so jealous! i am planning a wedding right now in the Philadelphia area, and believe it or not i am having a REALLY hard time finding a venue for a very small wedding. this is just what i am looking for modern and clean. and i am having a lot of trouble =(
is this venue happen to be in the PA area?? =D


This is so beautiful. I love the Spirograph inspiration and how it’s been translated to this tablescape.

I especially love the laser cutouts hanging from the branches (and, I think, sitting under the glasses). How would one go about having these made/making these?


Yes, very pretty…. but there’s no useable information on how to replicate anything here.



starting with emily’s next column the ideas will be spelled out more concretely. we’re still fine tuning the format of the column so we’ll be sure to take your comment into account for the next post.

that said, i think there are plenty of great take-away ideas in this post to work with- they may not be written out in step by step form, but the ideas are definitely something you could run with on your own. for example, using spirograph stamps or stencils to stamp on your own white runner and creating a branch centerpiece to hang things from are concepts you can take away easily without having detailed how-to’s written out.


Melissa M.

Ah, I love this! It’s more modern than a look I’d normally like, but it’s beautiful. I especially love the playful dahlias, a smart touch. Also, to kristina – like another commenter said, don’t feel bad! You’ll just have to have a really wicked anniversary shindig at somepoint! :)


hey everyone!

thank you so much for all your wonderful comments. i am so happy to hear you enjoyed the table.

charlotte – gloria bought the alphabet stamps from michael’s.

caroline – the laser cutouts are by Jean Lee of Chikabird. her email is



amy osaba

this table is just precious. i love the simplicity. we could all use a little restraint these days :) just genious! i love it.

congratulations emily…


My favorite toy as a child was a little wooden bench and hammer so you could beat cylinders of wood from one side of the bench, then turn it over and do it again! Trying to figure out how to turn that into party decorations!

Thanks for the color cues, too. I think this may be my new bedroom!


Wow!! I love Gloria’s work!! We did something similar for our wedding: lots of unusual hanging decorations made entirely of paper, wedding trees, bold colors, etc.

I love creative weddings and the people behind them :)

Thanks for sharing this!


Oh wow, such great colour combinations. and the spirograph is a fabulous idea.

i’m really waiting for my friends getting married, so i can use some of these great ideas.

thanks for sharing!


Anyone know anything about the dress? I am sooo in love with it and I must have it!!!


ditto the where’s the dress from comment. anyone know? beautiful colors!


P.S. I think that’s a Crate & Barrel Big Sur table, if I’m not mistaken.


Loving the colours & styling, just magic – so inspirational – makes me want to throw a party just so I can make pretty decorations!


small suggestion: i would love it if design sponge made a habit of always having a straight forward source guide or at least “to find similar” guide. in this case the table, chairs, the props and as the poor girl is still asking…the dress! would mean the blog stands apart as useful instead of just another source for pretty pictures.


hey everyone

i heard back form gloria and here is what she had to say…

My dining table is from Crate & Barrel… It’s the Big Sur table. Chairs are Eames Eiffel chairs from Design Within Reach.

Dress is a Robert Rodriguez dress from I checked and they do not sell them anymore.




I am just in LOVE with this. I make my own Christmas cards every year and wanted to do something using spirograph patterns…however now I want to have a wedding like this. If get married any time soon.