The Wed Post X With Love, Nilma - Wedding Design and Décor...

Published by - The Wed Post | 12 minute read

From bright lit fairy lights to flowy drapes and whimsical props, the game of wedding decor has changed drastically in the previous decade. Wedding decor is no more limited to a fixed inventory and done to death templates, but is a well-designed concept curated with taste by experienced, knowledgable professionals. Talking about this creative aspect of weddings, Nilma Dileepan, the young and inspiring founder of With Love, Nilma and also one the finest mavens of her field, sheds some light here on everything related to wedding decor! Read on the excerpts of her interview with us...

For how long have you been into wedding decor?

It has been about 5 exciting years.

How did you choose this profession for yourself?

Post my graduation with a major in Communication Studies, I worked with a production house in Bangalore. I put together locations, talent, models, sets, props, the crew for photo & ad film shoots. After 4 years of doing the same thing, I was looking for a creative change and I quit. At the same time my friend was looking for someone to help her design & style her wedding in December 2015. I had no experience with events or décor but she thankfully trusted my aesthetics and hence got me on board. Then in February 2015 I had my first client who trusted me blindly as I barely had a folio to show her and I designed and set up her wedding and from then it has been a roller coaster ride.

Hence I think I just went with the flow, followed my instincts, trusted my aesthetics and started doing things I love, with a whole lotta love and that became my profession.

What is the one thing you love the most about weddings?

I love the feeling you get whilst at a wedding venue where every guest is dressed in their finest amidst beautiful flowers, fairy lights, candles and flowing fabrics. The best part is seeing so much love & laughter go around the whole space.

What’s the difference between wedding design & decor? Do you do both?

Yes, we do both and they go together hand in hand. A couple gets in touch with us regarding their upcoming wedding and we sit with them and ideate on styles, the mood they want to create, colours, fabrics, flowers, stationery etc which helps us design a moodboard for them which in turn gives us direction for the décor and its style. The furniture, flowers, props, lights and all aspects of the décor would adhere to the design and it’s details we put together prior to the event.

The only difference that I see is that we design the wedding in house but most of the décor materials and furniture we rent from external suppliers apart from some of the props, furniture and fabrics we have in house. If they aren’t able to provide it we end up making it from scratch or sourcing it ourselves.

And on the day of the event we are on site working alongside our suppliers and artists from the time the first pillar goes up until the space is cleaned to make sure every single flower or detail goes into the right place as envisioned.

What is that one go-to element of yours that you want to incorporate in every setup?

We believe that there is beauty in simplicity and in the concept of less is more and we try to imbibe the same into our décor.

We love foliage and try to make our décor look as natural as possible by using creepers and lots of leaves. We love it when guests or the families tell us that they thought the arch at the entrance was an already existing natural arch with wild flowers and creepers growing over it for years and couldn’t believe we put it up just a few hours prior.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

From a ton of different places. From south Indian temples with ornate bells and traditional pillars carved into their structures, Chettinad homes, the doors & streets of Pondicherry, floor tile patterns, botanical prints, floral flatlays, pink bougainvillea flowers hanging from the compound walls of old colonial homes, local flower markets, shadows created by palm leaves…. There is inspiration from our travels, from reading blogs of home décor companies like the Jungalow, Anthropologie, good earth etc. Anything that evokes an emotion in us becomes an inspiration.

How do you make sure your ideas are always fresh?

- Reading up on books, articles, watching great films, interesting conversations with people and connecting the same into creating great décor. The experiences you have influence the ideas you generate.

- Travelling often and visiting new spaces, restaurants, parks even if it is within your city. Ideas can come from the strangest places, and it’s up to you to go to them and be open to what you see.

- By bringing in something unique to the couple into the décor. Be it as simple as a favourite flower or colour or the restaurant they had their first date together into the details of the décor.

- Enabling creative thinking from my team. Let them test their ideas, see what works and what could be improved, and make sure they know that they have to opportunity to do so. - By just pouring our heart into the wedding and the family and setting it all up as it were in our own. In the long run we have ended up with some great friends.

What has been your most challenging project until now?

The first few years have been extremely challenging. As I mentioned earlier I didn’t have any experience in event décor and I was working solely by instinct and depending on my aesthetics. Hence finding the right florists, good quality furniture to rent, reliable suppliers was a herculean task. I learnt from my experiences and my mistakes and we have built a wonderful network of colleagues with whom we work alongside making our work less stressful over the years.

Would you like to share some easy DIY decor tips for a Mehndi at home?

-Gather your cousins and family and make an ombre paper garland backdrop

-Chalkboards to create quirky signages around the house

-Quintessential strings of marigold hung to create a backdrop

-Moms or grandmothers sarees can be used to drape the ceiling/ walkway

-Mix up plants from your garden along with cane baskets filled flowers to give it a rustic vibe

-A lovely floral Rangoli at the entrance of the house

-Lots and lots of fairy lights!

For an eco-friendly wedding, what do you do with the flowers after the event?

If they are in centrepieces and if the flowers survive the indian heat you could reuse them at home, or make small arrangements and give it to your neighbours or an old age home and make their day Find a local waste management team to compost the flowers Petals can be given to a company that makes incense sticks with flower petals.

Can you share some tips for a sustainable wedding decor?

Follow the 4R’s: Reduce / Reuse/ Recycle/ Refuse

Reuse: drapes, lights, wooden decor, furniture

Reduce: use locally sourced flowers, usage of electricity, your carbon footprint, wastage.

Recycle: the flowers after the wedding, serve food on banana leaves which can be composted later.

Refuse: anything that is not eco friendly. Speak to your caterer and planner and stand your ground.

What is a colour scheme you would recommend for a day wedding?

If you prefer lighter colours a beautiful peach, dusty pink, blush and nude shades work wonders.

If you lean towards brighter colours you could work around shades of green, oranges, browns and yellows with pops of antique gold. These are classics and one could never go wrong with it.

What is the basic budget that I need to keep aside for my wedding decor?

The budget depends on a number of variables- if the venue is providing furniture, type of flowers, etc. But a fairly basic budget would be around Rs 2,50,000 to begin with. Depending on your choices of furniture, spaces, props etc. the costs will go higher.

What is the top decor trend for 2020 weddings?

Greenery and foliage are still going to rein this year as well with added elements of painted leaves, dried flowers & unconventional flowers.

Decor inspired by art.

With so much awareness floating around couples would be more conscious in making sustainable decor choices.

In terms of colours, it would be bolder and high contrast colours!

How do you think the COVID-19 outbreak will affect the wedding industry? What advice would you share with the affected vendors?

Emotionally & financially the wedding industry has taken a massive blow because of the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, many daily wage workers, florists, artists, carpenters, floral farmers have suffered worse. Planners, decorators, photographers have been requesting couples to postpone their wedding than cancel it. Nothing is more important than everyone's health & safety.

If we follow all precautions, we should hopefully be back in action soon with a bang, with brighter ideas which have been simmering in our heads during the quarantine period.

With Love, Nilma is a Bengaluru based wedding design and decor studio known for crafting stunning, Instagram-worthy weddings. Founded by Nilma Dileepan in 2014, their unique technique of styling gorgeous, minimalistic weddings has helped Nilma and her team win a number of hearts in India and abroad. You can get in touch with her on +91 9986259226 or write to her on