Wedding Inspiration Boards

Anyone familiar with mood and inspiration boards knows that they are powerful communication tools. In particular, wedding inspiration boards center around the big day with visual guides about the design and aesthetics that you are drawn to. While digital inspiration boards, like Pinterest, provide convenience, most people still prefer the tangible, printed format.

Worth pointing out is that a wedding inspiration board doesn't outrightly detail the exact wedding dress you'll wear or the precise centerpieces and decoration that will adorn your reception. Instead, the board simply serves as an abstract representation of the style and mood you'd like to work with for the occasion.

Still, the perfect wedding inspiration board is detail-rich with tidbits about the various elements that collectively make up the big day. It gives everyone involved in the planning process a clear visualization of how the event should look and feel.

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Why You Need A Wedding Inspiration Board

Having a visual guide gives you a point of reference throughout the wedding planning process, and it also helps you keep sight of your vision. The number of decisions you'll have to make when putting things in motion can leave you feeling overwhelmed and even more confused. Without a sounding board, so to speak, it's easy to lose track and even give in to other people's opinions. It's fine to reach compromises about various things but at the end of the day, it's your wedding and your preferences should take the center stage.

The board also functions as a communication tool when consulting various suppliers and wedding vendors. For instance, a florist can replicate the wedding bouquet and floral arrangements that pique your interest. The same applies to the bridesmaids' dresses, wedding decorations, and tablescapes.

Once you've chosen a theme and settled on your preferred wedding colors; an inspiration board shows you how the different elements complement each other to create a harmonious look. Most importantly, a wedding inspiration board outlines the mood or tone you want for the occasion which in turn influences everyone's experience during the occasion.

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How To Create Wedding Inspiration Boards

The wedding inspiration board should be a collaborative project between you and your partner. It's better to work on an offline board, to transfer the ideas you have in mind into a visual form. There's no problem with consulting existing mood boards but the majority of the details should focus on your shared aesthetics and preferences.

Some of the questions that can help you come up with a wedding mood board include:

  • What are your shared hobbies?
  • What are some of the special memories you've created together that you would love to incorporate into your wedding?
  • Where is your favorite hangout spot, where did you first meet, or what nostalgic place evokes a special feeling for both of you?
  • Are you a laidback pair or would you prefer to have a black-tie style event?
  • Which season do you both love and how will it impact your wedding positively?

With these questions answered, you can use Pinterest or the vast number of wedding boards available to aggregate images that reflect the different details of your desired nuptials. Again, Pinterest is a great choice for creating customized wedding boards or you can also simply collate the photos in collage form.

Keeping the board in a digital format serves as a backup and the shareability factor also helps. Just to keep the mood alive, print it out and regularly give it a once over just to make sure that you are in love with every aspect on the board. You have the liberty to make as many changes as possible. The goal is to have a board that showcases how your vision translates to a cohesive event and an occasion that accurately tells your love story.

Wedding Color Inspiration

Choosing a wedding color palette isn't a fun process but sometimes it isn't as straightforward as you think. While your favorite color is a great choice for the occasion, sometimes it's a hue that doesn't translate well on various aspects of the big day. For instance, if you love black or other darker tones sprinkling it all over the wedding would make the entire event appear cold.

The answer lies in striking a balance between warm and inviting pigments, romantic undertones, and textured accents. Naturally, your wedding colors will also feature predominantly on the inspiration board. Aspects like the season, wedding venue, the mood you want to exude, and your personal taste count when choosing your color scheme. Also, think about how the hues look against your skin tone, on the collections of posies, and as different decorative elements.

There's also the matter of deciding whether to go with monochromatic hues, ombre colors, or a colorful combination of pigments. Again, it depends on the aesthetic you are going for as well as your tastes and preferences.

Introducing Texture To Your Wedding

Fusing textural elements is the final piece that makes everything come full circle, in terms of your wedding colors and inspiration board. Adding textural elements to your wedding makes a great impact in terms of depth and detail. Patterns, fabric choices, and geometric shapes also add points of interest to the overall aesthetic.

The best way to introduce texture to your wedding is through furniture pieces and decor. Choose pieces that align with the setting and compliment your overall theme. For instance, velvet fabrics work well for luxe settings while leather and rattan suit boho-chic occasions. Metallic accents in the form of chandeliers, photo displays, and wire baskets also bring out the textured effect.

The table setting presents yet another opportunity to add some texture in the form of wooden details, flatware, flower vases, and linens. Floral centerpieces can equally incorporate unique textures to the tablescape. Other elements like mesh-style chairs, brass candle holders, and acrylic placeholders also add some texture to the tablescape.

Why Inspiration Boards are Awesome

So I’ve been writing this event design and styling column for a few weeks now and it suddenly occurred to me that I should write about inspiration boards (where was I on that? Seriously, it should have been the first post I wrote!). As you might have read last week, I put together some course material all about wedding inspiration boards for WEI. But something you might not know (unless you’re taking the course) is that I spent the first ten minutes of the video I created for them blabbing on about why you need inspiration boards in your life and why they are so important for creatives.

If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking that they are just another time sink, post-filler, ‘pretty picture woo-woo fru-fru hippy hocus pocus’ (yes, I’ve actually heard that before) then I challenge you to stay with me here and see how you feel about them after reading this.

Inspiration boards are not just collections of images and things – they are curated with a specific purpose in mind and they come in every imaginable shape, size, and medium. The terms you’ll most commonly hear in reference to them are inspiration board and mood board. And yep – there is a difference between the two.

A mood board does what it sounds like it does. It sets the mood. Clean and modern, soft and romantic, summertime fun… dark or light. Blogger and graphic designer Shauna Haider (aka Nubby Twiglet & whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting) creates some of my favorite ‘real life’ mood boards. They are physical, graphic, and the ones I love most always seem to include a pair of her shoes.

orange mood board

Citrus & Sunshine mood board by Shauna Hiader // see more of her mood boards here.

A mood board will influence what goes into an inspiration board. The big difference is that inspiration boards have more specific elements that will show up in the resulting product or event. That’s what I do a lot of here on this blog – wedding inspiration boards. While they all have a definite mood, they also have specific event-related details, colors, and elements that are easily translatable to your wedding.

Here’s a handy way to think about the difference between mood boards and inspiration boards:

Mood Boards = feeling, conceptualized, psychological.

Inspiration Boards = details, colors, textures, specifics.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! These neat little collages also come as storyboards, idea boards, branding boards, and color stories…I probably shouldn’t have said ‘little’ because there is no defined shape or size for mood and inspiration boards. You can have them anywhere you feel like you need a little jolt of creativity: right above your desk, or bigger like the picture below of the eternally cool NYC stylist Linda Rodin next to her door-sized inspiration board.

inspiration baords

workspace inspiration board from Paper Crowns // Linda Rodin photographed by Dan McMahon for Refinery 29

A color story is a collection of images that share the same color or combinations of colors. They can but don’t have to relate to each other in any way other than that, while storyboards differ in that they have some sort of chronological and sensical order to the image placement. Branding boards are used to come up with colors, textures, and graphic elements for businesses and brands, and idea boards are a collection of things that spark your imagination and give you ideas.

pink, blue, and charcoal color story

Obviously I think that inspiration and mood boards are fabulous in and of themselves, but they also serve an important purpose in the creative process. I often find myself thinking of this quote by Len Kenall, the founder and CEO of Centup:

“Often the biggest favor you can provide your ‘creative’ colleagues is constraints. Asking someone to interpret a vision in your mind is impossibly difficult and can lead to disappointment from one side, and guilt on the other. Share as many specifications as you can upfront. Some may be unrealistic, some may be wrong, but sharing the constraints you believe to be important will help reduce the time and frustration that often goes into turning an idea into tangible output.”

mood boards in design

grey and yellow inspiration wall by Lisanne // April idea board by Sarah Tolzmann

Well said, don’t you think? If you’re a bride one of the first steps in your wedding planning process is deciding what color palette you’re going to go with and looking through mood and inspiration boards is a great way to go about doing this. Once you’ve found or made an inspiration board that is totally “you”, you can share it with your wedding vendors. It will serve as a keystone and reference point that you and your wedding team can keep coming back to as you plan all the details of your wedding.

Why can’t you just tell them what you want? Well, different words mean different things to different people. For instance: If I’m styling your wedding and you tell me that you want a romantic, intimate wedding – my idea of romantic and intimate will look like the inspiration board that I posted earlier today. But would that be what you had in mind? Sharing inspiration boards throughout the creative process will keep unwanted surprises from happening further along the line. That’s why wedding industry pros use inspiration boards all the time. They show them to clients, they use them to showcase their own work, and they create them to give potential brides an idea of their style and aesthetics.

In fact, creatives the world over use them for this very reason. I’m personally drawn to graphic design so I stalk a lot of graphic designers online and I adore their inspiration boards for branding projects. I’m always fascinated to see a collage turn into a neat logo and branding elements and it ALWAYS reminds me of the inspiration board that they came up with first. But it’s not just graphic designers who use and create them – it’s also interior designers, architects, fashion designers and everyone in-between!

branding-boards

first branding inspiration board called ‘modern geometrics’ by Breanna Rose  // second branding board by Jordan Brantley of Create Like Crazy (side note: see the multi-talented Jordan model in this shoot we’ve featured!)

So…. what do you think of these neatly packaged visions now? Useful, right?!

Credits: photo credits for color stories: neon + pastels: interior from Moody’s Home // bride and groom from Ruffled, photographed by Sun and Sparrow Photography // pink, blue, and charcoal: cake by Amelia House // Lily Collins for LA Times Magazine //

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