Finding Inspiration for Your Wedding
In this industry, we are surrounded by wedding inspiration. Between examples of real weddings and styled editorial photoshoots, there seems to be more than enough inspiration right here. But, in all that noise, it is really easy to get overwhelmed and to lose sight of your own voice.
I love looking at wedding blogs and magazines—I really do. But it’s important to remember that all of those beautiful events were designed for someone else. And as stunning as that cake, dress, invitation, or bouquet was, it was created with someone else’s story in mind. If you want to have a wedding full of elements true to you, you’ll need to dig deeper for that inspiration and find the “why” behind it all.
Photo by Mylyn Wood Photography
the pinterest strategy
These days, wedding vendors seem to be split into those who use Pinterest, and those who don’t. Why do some avoid it? Because too often it’s used in a way that strips us of our creative process. But, I really do believe that there is a way to use Pinterest in a productive and useful way.
step one: find photos you love
This first part of the process is all about gut instinct. Scroll through your home feed and just save things that you like the look of. While you can save some wedding images, focus on pinning other subjects too. That could mean a combination of food, architecture, paintings, fashion, crafts, animals, travel…whatever speaks to you most. After all, the best way to create outside the box is to think outside the box. Collect 20–40 images in one new board that captures the entire feel of the event.
step two: analyze the photos
Now is the time to dig deep. Look at every photo you saved and write down why you like it. What about it stands out to you? The colors? Materials? Textures? Detail? Style? Composition? Light? Think about how each image makes you feel. Once you make that list, you’ll begin to see patterns. By figuring out the “why”, you’ll have a better understanding of your own style and how to use that to shape your wedding.
Step Three: keywords
Take the patterns and elements you love from those images and develop 3–7 keywords. These words should capture the style and feel you’re looking for. For example, if you’ve saved images of soft linen, European architecture, metallic gold jewelry, and roses you may use keywords like “romantic”, “elegant”, “timeless”, and “soft”. Whatever come to mind, jot them down. These words will not only help you communicate your aesthetic with vendors, but it can help you find vendors that fit your style, too! Having a visual and verbal way to communicate will make your vision clear (because really, romantic and elegant can mean a lot of different things).
Every kind of vendor—whether they are a florist, planner, baker, stationer, musician, caterer, photographer, videographer, or what have you—is going to have their own creative process. The best vendors have honed this process through years of experience and practice, and as a result have created an essential part of their business. In my case, the steps I take in designing custom stationery are 100% necessary to create the suite designs I do.
Part of that process is taking inspiration from the client and turning it into something new and special—something that is entirely unique to this one client and my understanding of them. This step is crucial to the rest of the process, because without it, the design will end up pretty generic.
So, when you’re looking at inspiration and sending it to vendors, it’s really important that you aren’t expecting a replica of something you’ve seen before (although, one exception of this in stationery is if you’re purchasing a semi-custom suite design), especially if you’re not working with the original vendor.
when a client sends me a pinterest board
That being said, if a client has a Pinterest board or other collection of inspiration, I love to take a look! However, I’m not looking for pictures of stationery. If they have them, I’ll glance and see what those images have in common (minimalistic layouts, venue illustrations, use of calligraphy, etc.), but what I’m really looking for is a general sense of style and aesthetic; how they want their wedding to feel. I get that understanding by looking at the board as a whole.
a healthy relationship with inspiration
There really is so much to be inspired by in the world around us, and the wedding world is only a small sliver. Look beyond it to find things that truly speak to you and your partner. Use Pinterest as a starting point, not a finish line, and trust your vendors to take your vision and do what they do best! If you follow those steps, the result will be a day full of unique and meaningful details that reflect who you are and what you love!