Many designers believe there's no better way to start off on the road to a happy marriage than by incorporating Feng Shui into your wedding, and that means starting by looking at the space with an eye to the ch'i.
Feng Shui, the ancient Asian art of placement, can be used in the home for everything from reducing clutter to encouraging prosperity. So it makes sense that you can use it to create a wedding venue that encourages a happy, healthy marriage.
The belief behind Feng Shui is that the placement of objects, the colors that are used, and the elements — such as water and fire — that are in a room can deeply influence the well-being of the inhabitants. We've all seen this work if only in the way that changing the wall color of a room can change one's mood, or in the way that clearing out clutter can make you feel cleansed and energetic.
One idea is that ch'i — the life-force energy — needs to flow freely, and yet also needs to be channeled correctly. Feng Shui practitioners work with something called a "bagua," which is like a map of the space. This map is broken down into sections, each of which represents a different area of life. For example, there is the work area, the health area, and the love and marriage area.
In designing a room for a wedding, the most important factor is to have the couple placed in the "marriage corner." Finding this requires a bagua map and the knowledge of how to use it, but once you figure out where the marriage corner is, that's where the couple should meet in front of the person who is officiating at the ceremony, according to Jennifer Ellen Frank, Feng Shui consultant and advisor in the Feng Shui Course at the NYIAD.
There should also be a "meandering ch'i flow" through the reception room, so that guests have to wander among tables, socializing with each other as they get to the drinks or hors d'oeuvres tables. This is also just good design for any gathering spot: you don't want everyone clumped up at the entrance, and you want to encourage people to mingle.
Therefore, set up the drinks table far from the entrance, maybe with a small table before it, such as one with a few hors d'oeuvres.
Throughout the room, you want to have what Frank calls "good couple ch'i" with doubles of whatever decorations you're using: instead of having one large hanging sculpture, have two smaller ones. While often the rule in decorating is to use odd numbers, such as seven candles in a row rather than six or eight, in a wedding you probably want even numbers which are multiples of two.
While many weddings focus on the use of white, in Feng Shui white is often associated with poise, confidence, and purity — not bad qualities, but not precisely spot-on for a wedding. For weddings, Frank recommends red, which may be a little more difficult to work with without creating a Christmas feeling; but if done right, white and red together can create an elegant, formal look for a wedding.
In Feng Shui, red, which carries the energy of the fire element, brings in joy, excitement, and sexual desire. In China, it's the color associated with marriage, and in India, it's the color of love and romance.
Frank also recommends the use of pink, the universal color of love, which is the color associated with the marriage corner, and so it harmonizes with using the marriage corner in the wedding ceremony.
As is the case with nearly everything in Feng Shui, if you can't get what you want, you can find a "cure" for it. For example, if your desk faces the wall, with your back to the door, and you can't possibly move it, you can hang a mirror over the desk as a cure.
In weddings, if the room doesn't suit your Feng Shui needs, you can find solutions. But that may take more study that we can provide here: for example, hire a Feng Shui expert, or enroll in the NYIAD Feng Shui Interior Design Course.
You can also learn about all things to do with planning a wedding by earning NYIAD's weddng planning certification.