Crafting a Wedding Blueprint: The Inspiration Board

It’s an unfortunate truth: a DIY wedding can cost as much as a venue crafted by professionals.

Why? DIY or no, brides make mistakes when they don’t know what they want. There’s nothing worse than figuring out your perfect wedding design when you’ve already spent five figures. Never fear, brave DIY bride: you can say “forget you” to buyer’s remorse.

It’s simple: make an inspiration board! It’s almost impossible not to spot these online. Entire online communities, like the exclusive invite-only Pinterest (www.pinterest.com), gather to share these. And with good reason! Having a cohesive wedding blue print will save you a bundle.

There’s no trick to it: just grab a large white project board from your local craft store, get yourself a glue stick, and start putting ideas to paper. Collect ribbon clips of your weddings colors, any fabric swatches available from designers and rental companies, invitation samples, print-outs of ideas from websites, you name it. If reverting to kindergarten collages repels your sensibilities, you can craft your board digitally on sites like Wedding Wire (www.weddingwire.com), The Dessy Group (www.dessy.com), or Bridal Canvas (www.bridalcanvas.com).

When you’ve got enough information to visualize what you want, step back and take a good hard look.  Ask yourself: does each element flow together? What clashes? Are both my fiancé and I represented on this board? Check to see if your design is cohesive before possibility meets plastic.

Bring these boards with you any time you make wedding purchase. While working under the guidance of expert designer Nona Tai, I learned that seasoned wedding professionals welcome a bride’s input. At Floral Design Studio (located in Fremont, CA) all samples brought in by brides were photocopied and kept on file, to keep the bride and the design team in clear communication.

Vendors, you ask? I thought we were talking about DIY weddings! In the words of Kelly Bare, author of The DIY Wedding: Celebrate Your Day Your Way, “DIY doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself.” If you’re a busy professional, or have limited crafting skill, you can make your wedding blueprint, and hire assistance to create each item. I

t’s understandable if you’ve opted out of using vendors. There’s no lack of stigma that vendors sell “package-deals” and “cookie-cutter weddings”. No girl wants to wear the same prom dress; no bride wants to wed the same way. However, a truly professional wedding vendor will honor the bride’s creative vision, whether or not the vendor agrees with the bride’s aesthetic.

Finally, as you collect information from retail sources and make purchases, add each item to the board. Don’t be afraid to do this with everything. Weddings yield a large amount of fine detail. With your board, you’ll have a synchronized vision of exactly what you’ve paid for.

{Guest Blogger} Author: Mary Garnes – My industry experience is backed by one year as the assistant at Floral Design Studio, a 2011 pick for The Knot: Best of Weddings. Prior to working for Floral Design Studio, I planned my own winery wedding in six weeks.  I wed last year in February at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, California.  Currently, I am working on a blog project, Garnished Weddings (www.garnishedweddings.com), scheduled to launch on October 1st.

Inspiration board:  Kymora {via stylemepretty.com}

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