Photos by Blue Rose Photography
If you haven’t read my post on Chapter One yet, I recommend starting there first.
In that chapter, I talked about what I used for wedding planning and I honestly believe that I was so successful at planning our wedding because I had The Joyful Wedding Planner to help guide me! I am using that as the framework for these posts, but I HIGHLY encourage you to buy the real thing for yourself. It’s only a $25 purchase for the full range of PDFs! The document is comprised of 160 pages of wedding planning goodness, so this low price is SUCH a steal! And the benefit of it being digital means that you can reprint any planner pages that you may want to replace or have multiples of.
Today I’m sharing small snippets from the planner along with some advice from my wedding planning experience regarding inspiration for designing your dream wedding! This aspect may have been my absolute favorite part of wedding planning because I adore a beautiful aesthetic and being creative!
The first portion of the planner kicks off with a questionnaire for you and your honey to fill out together! Some of the questions may seem silly (as the authors note), but you never know where inspiration will come from and honestly, it’s just a fun activity for the two of you! (with questions like: Where did you grow up? What do you do for work? What is your favorite travel destination?) By the time you complete the questionnaire your creative juices should have started flowing; but don’t worry if they haven’t. The design of this planning chapter will help you to find inspiration and a general theme for your wedding!
People may suggest that you stay off of Pinterest while wedding planning, and I agree that it can definitely become overwhelming (and repetitive)! However, if you’re searching for general color scheme and style inspiration, in my opinion it’s the best place to start. (Hence, my Pinterest wedding boards above. 😂)
It will help to have a general idea of the time of year that you plan to be married or a location in mind (city, garden, beach, etc.) because those parameters will help you to hone in on your wedding theme. For example, a rich burgundy or deep emerald would be gorgeous “anchor colors” for autumn or winter weddings, just as a sapphire blue or a vibrant coral pink would be so lovely for a summery nautical / beach wedding. Be sure to use those kinds of key words in your search (i.e. “winter wedding color scheme” or “nantucket outdoor summer wedding”) to yield the best results.
I also love searching for color palettes because sometimes I discover combinations that I may not have thought of on my own. In going through this process, you’ll discover that you are naturally drawn to certain color schemes that reflect your personality. With a determined color palette starting to develop, you will notice that all other wedding style choices are much easier to make. Additionally, inspiration may come from somewhere unexpected (such as from a J.Crew or Restoration Hardware catalog or even from a random candlestick you saw at a flea market!)… just because the content isn’t presented in a “wedding” capacity doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for inspiration!
Visual Inspiration / Mood Board
In the Joyful Wedding Planner pages, there is an entire page designated for you to paste any physical inspiration tidbits that you start to collect (such as magazine clippings, paint color strip samples, ribbon / material swatches, etc). As you can see in the image above, I also included a sheet protector here to include bulkier items that may not attach well to paper.
It’s so nice to have a vision board available to help you stay on theme when making decisions because you can reference it to see if something “fits” your wedding aesthetic (especially if that inspiration is located in your binder! 😉). I’m a very visual person so having this visual representation of our wedding decor was helpful for me.
Tips for Building Your Inspiration Board
1. Use multiple sources when gathering your inspiration — some personal favorites are: Pinterest (of course), Style Me Pretty, Snippet & Ink, Wedding Sparrow, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, and The White Wren.
2. Don’t be afraid to delete or toss inspiration items as things evolve and start to take shape. If you love something but it doesn’t exactly go with your overall theme you can always keep it as inspiration for a different event (such as a birthday party, baby or bridal shower, game night with friends, etc)!
3. Narrow things down and pick a favorite image for each category (i.e. a floral arrangement that makes your heart flutter, an outdoor setting that gives you the right vibes for your ceremony / reception, a dress style that you know would look stunning on your mom, etc).
4. Fill in the gaps! Even if you can’t find an exact image for something that you want (such as the color of the favors that you’re envisioning), finding something similar enough will help complete your inspiration board and make it feel more cohesive when you reference it later on.
There are a few more suggestions / tips on this particular Joyful Wedding Planner page, but you’ll have to purchase them to get those details! 😉
Please feel free to let me know if you have any specific questions in the Comments section below!
Other than that: Congratulations and happy inspiration perusing!!
P.S. In the spirit of full disclosure, I know these posts may seem like I am partnering with The Joyful Wedding Planner / Cultivate What Matters group, but this planner is seriously a head above the rest and was indispensable to me and planning our wedding! I just believe in it SO strongly and want to share it with you!!!