When you are first beginning to plan the design of your wedding, it can be very overwhelming. The day I got engaged, my maid of honor sent me a list of wedding blogs, and I was hooked instantly. Some of those blogs (Style Me Pretty, Snippet & Ink, Once Wed, Southern Weddings, etc.) are ones I still follow today and provided me with tons of wedding design inspiration. A tool that I saw on some of them was a collage of photos, sometimes called an inspiration board, that is used as the basis for the design of your wedding. I believe this is a great place to start your design inspiration.
Basically I just saved photos that I loved or pictures of elements I thought were inspiring. I had folders on my computer for florals, cakes, paper, dresses, hairstyles, wedding party attire, accessories, decor, and personal touches. Anytime I found things I loved I would save the photo in one of those folders. After a couple of months, I looked at these images, deleted ones I no longer loved or that didn’t speak to me as much as the others, and then I designed my inspiration board.
Your inspiration board will probably change somewhat along the way, because your design will probably change as you begin to make your inspiration a reality. But the board provides you with something that you can always come back to and helps you keep your design cohesive.
I designed my own inspiration board using Picasa, because it is the only tool I had at the time. Any software that you have should let you make a collage. Another great new tool is Style Me Pretty’s Style Circle, where you can make inspiration boards, blog, chat, save favorites, and lots of other great things. Head over there and sign up: http://circle.stylemepretty.com/
Here is an example of an inspiration board I made for a contest on Style Me Pretty’s site which would be a great inspiration board for an outdoor spring or summer wedding. I love the effortlessly chic style:
Top Row: Placecards, Lulu Paper from Snippet & Ink
http://snippetandink.blogspot.com/2009/07/board-401-lemon-and-sugar.html , Flowers: Katie Stoops of Open Air Photography http://www.thebridescafe.com/?postID=340&the-secret-garden
Lemon aisle: jose villa http://www.oncewed.com/13271/real-weddings-blog/real-weddings/daniel-laura-ii/
Middle Row: Hanging lanterns by Leigh Miller photography at http://www.stylemepretty.com/2008/06/18/real-wedding-by-duet-weddings-iii/ , Vera Wang gown from Look Book, Bouquet by Bellisima Vita Weddings on Snippet & Ink, http://snippetandink.blogspot.com/2009/07/board-401-lemon-and-sugar.html ,
Bottom Row, cake by K rose cakes at Snippet & Ink (same link as above), Table setting, Martha Stewart Weddings, http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/photogallery/outdoor-weddings lnc=6b1c139b22b1d110VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=lpg_inspiration&lpgStart=1¤tslide=16¤tChapter=2#ms-global-breadcrumbs, Florals, Katie Stoops from Open Air Photgraphy at http://www.thebridescafe.com/?postID=340&the-secret-garden