I didn’t even know what an inspiration board was before I started working in the wedding world. But, my dear readers, let me tell you how important and help they are to planning a wedding. In an instant you can convey the visual and emotional feel of your wedding to the roughly 30 vendors (that’s right 30!) that you’ll be dealing with. Today, Courtney from A Sweet Soiree Events is sharing a Washington, DC wedding inspiration board that she created as well as a few tips for pulling together one for yourself. Take it away, Courtney

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Above photo credits:
Chair/bouquet: Milena Sefferovich via Green Wedding Shoes; Fabric – Fashionable Fabrics; Rings – Agape Studio; Patioscape – Helen Green Design; Boutonnierre – Lillie’s Flowers; Cake – Martha Stewart

An inspiration board is a a collection of pictures arranged to visually convey a wedding’s theme, feeling, or design direction. For example, this board was inspired by Washington, DC. You can’t throw a stone in DC without hitting a wrought iron fence or boxwood bush or some piece of marble, such as in the streets of Georgetown or along the monuments along the tidal basin. Turning this inspiration into a wedding design concept resulted in ideas such as:

  • Setting wrought iron cocktail tables in a beautifully manicured garden setting;
  • Using tiny pebbles, like you’d find on the pathways on the National Mall, to set pillar candles on in glass vases or to rest place cards on a bed of the gravel, and like in the picture, a unique ring shot;
  • Using the boxwood bushes as the floral accent or in pomander balls;
  • Choosing linens that incorporate a black and white design to mimic the wrought ironwork patterns; and
  • Anchoring a place setting with a 12×12 marble tile underneath the plates to bring in an accent of the same marble found all over the area.

If you are planning a wedding, odds are that you have comes across inspiration boards like this on a blog or Pinterest or even on Facebook. Often times, when I talk about an inspiration board to a client, I get blanks stares. This is mainly because when a client sees them out there in the wedding-sphere, they don’t know what they are or more importantly, what to do with them.

Inspiration boards are akin to unique works of art. They are collages where pictures are meticulously collected and then arranged like a puzzle. The inspiration board is also a fabulous wedding planning tool. It should be just as much a part of your planning as your trusty planning binder or massive spreadsheets or Maid of Honor in tow. They are a helpful visual example that you should be using in your meetings with everyone from your florist to your dress shop to describe to them to overall look, feel, atmosphere, theme or direction that your wedding will take on.

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If the outcome of the meeting with a wedding professional has a visual aspect to it, you should be bringing out your inspiration board. For example, the DC inspired board in this post would not be a good fit with the dress on the left above (Credit: Maggie Sottero). Instead, I would expect for a gown consultant to recommend dresses much more like the one on the right (Credit:  Kenneth Pool) coincide with your board.

I know what you are thinking: why can’t I just use my entire encyclopedia of pictures that I’ve collected from magazines to do the same thing? While still better than nothing, what can happen is what I call inspiration overload. Often times there is such an extensive collection with varying ideas that either a client has trouble narrowing down one direction to go in, or a wedding professional can become confused by varieties of quite differing pictures. I recommend either putting together one inspiration
board that is cohesive, simple, and to the point. If you have trouble narrowing your ideas, compose a few boards by grouping your photos into categories or color schemes and then choose the one board you love the most to use.

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Who is ready to make their inspiration board? Thank you so much, Courtney! If you are looking for a wedding planner in the DC area or some help gathering all of those wedding ideas together, be sure to check out Courtney and A Sweet Soiree Events.

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